This thread is so interesting on so many levels and touches on some of the issues that have dogged historical estate as well as themed estates in general. Although I am a, look over and see the expanse type of person, I can see where one can get disillusioned. If attracting new people is your only metric for success, it dooms you to either success or fail with no option for anything else.
I do not believe that that is our only metric we should be looking at. Yes..its important, but I also believe having a stable environment, general activity and enthusiasm also as ways to gauge trajectory. I am now firmly in the Tatiana camp on this. Although I will always be looking to bring in more people, people come and go. That is the cycle in SL. Some stay longer and are more involved, others more flyby. Just the way it is.
That said, it seems to me the crafting systems, properly applied to a rp can indeed help bring it more to life. These types of systems are well suited for our theme of rp. I do understand, that in those days, a prince such as myself would not bee seen picking onions or squashing grapes, but in general, life in those days for most people were filled with the mundane type of tasks that crafting systems can replicate so well.
I am not ready to call the end of the large formal courts, though I do believe as Abbondio, that noble houses and smaller groups are the fashion right now. I think the reason is because these types of crafting systems give you chores and a direction in your rp. A more formal court, building on the crafting system model, might also be able to sustain itself, as long as you had all levels of society as is needed in a court. From king to baker. Before, lots of kings and dukes but not many bakers. The crafting systems flip that model and focus and the chores needed to sustain a court and community and not so much on the top 1%, the high nobles.
As Abbondio mentioned, there was a time the court was a cut throat environment. I personally am glad those days have passed. Rocca and the Duchy have always been lovely places to visit because you never got the feeling of attitude or smugness. It has been my experience that places more like Louis might rank, casual rp, is much easier for people to have fun in. If you are stressed about what your next line should be or you have to think up a novel to submit, it tends to drain all the fun out of it. I believe staying in character and answering in character are important to keep the atmosphere, strict rules, punishment or embarrassment are not the way to do it. Keeping it light, and fun what I am aiming at these days. Enjoying the wonderful family and friends of our period communities.
As we release the [ACS], I will be like most royalty, lovely title but dirt ass poor. (scuse the langage) I will be starting at a level 1 and work in the system, so like Tatiana, I can get a feel for how the system works and keep my fingers in the heart of it to better learn and modify where needed. Recognize the needs of the users. Do not be surprised to see me working a corn field, squashing grapes or diving for oyster beds. This will also give a great opportunity for me to travel to the other estates as well, peddling our wares and opening up trade routes. I am already looking forward to visiting the hamlet and rocca and taking a few bottles of my newest brandy and wine and coming back with some of their fine products for us.
One of the things I had mentioned before was how I really liked the way that the social aspect was written into the [ACS] by louis. Getting people to do things in a group of 3 or more to help raise your XP and level up faster, i am hoping, will prove a powerful way to do as Pamus suggests, more group activities.
I have to say, I am with Tia here. The one hill I am not ready to die on, is death to the tea parties. I tend to like small idle gossip..i mean...news from them. As with everything, in moderation is good.
The posts in this thread have been very informative and give everyone a good idea what we are all thinking. I think this could go a long way in to working some trade rp between us and also shore ups some activities in our respective estates.
His Royal Highness Jacon Cortes de Bexar Prince of Antiquity, Duke of Cumberland, Duque de Bexar, Duc de la Valliere, Marchese di MSB