My reasons for eschewing NCM. (Crossposted from A'riste's LJ.)
For several reasons and with much regret, I will not, so far as I know, be moving there. I will be remaining on PernMUSH.
I hope that more folks come back. I understand the frustration at the MUSH downtime, but I don't think it's necessry to abandon the game upon which we Impressed, on where we built history. Fort's activity issues, in particular, were rarely impacted by the wizcorps, it was mostly internal, and a game change was not the answer; the same Fort could have been built on PernMUSH and was in the process of doing so.
I have seen splinter groups try this before; almost every instance has failed. I don't feel comfortable risking the time I've put into this character to a game that's taking a big gamble.
I also don't feel that the game administration is considerate of the playerbase. 'Move or be left behind' is the choice that was given to many people, and that's a hard choice for many. The Weyrleadership, and/or former/transitioning Weyrleadership, of several Weyrs were not notified of the impending move; in two cases that I know of, they've had to step back up (or forward) on NC to salvage what's left. One Weyr was not contacted at all.
Two weyrs (Telgar and Igen) were simply closed, one without notification (Igen), and the playerbases there told to scatter amongst the remaining three. In the case of Telgar, this was discussed with many of the players; in the case of Igen, it was discussed with no one.
Crafthalls were massively reformatted and/or simply not created, without input from Craftmasters. This has caused issues for several players, myself included.
The reasons behind the creation of NCM (NorConMUSH, as opposed to NorCon, which has been PernMUSH's alternate name for 17 years) are varied. Some were tired of the game being down (as if acts of God are responsible for the continued delay). Some were disgruntled at the WizCorps not caving to the demands of the majority of the Weyr Council-- tangentially, some on the Weyr Council were upset that some Weyrs, particularly Igen (which was as active as several of the others), were not closed and the playerbase scattered among the other areas. Some wanted a Public channel, or a different codebase. Some simply were new enough to Pern to not have built up a sense of history there, or a connection.
Whatever the reasons were, the game was conceived, I have been told, in several stages. Some time ago, discussions were had between the leaders and a few players of separate areas about creating an alternate game, but never came to fruition.
This time, during NC's (PernMUSH) downtime, the creators of NCM decided to act. Over the course of a week, without notifying numerous people -- in order to maintain secrecy from the NC wizards, of whom it was thought might @nuke every departing player despite a long history of not taking extreme action during past player migrations -- a grid was built, policies hammered out, and code installed.
Upon news of an update regarding the imminent return of PernMUSH, NorConMUSH was opened. Some areas' near-total population, at least among those players refugeeing on TooMUSH, had been informed of the move, and did so. Some areas had only partially notified. As was noted, one was not at all.
Large swaths of Fort Weyr, Ista Weyr, Telgar Weyr and High Reaches Weyr have moved. Not coincidentally, most of the players at Telgar were alts of players at High Reaches and Ista, so that was relatively painless. Igen, who had few alts at other locations and whose administration was often in conflict with High Reaches', Telgar's and Ista's (because of a refusal to be closed during a period of previous leadership inactivity, issues which have plagued every other Weyr in Pern's history at one time or another), mostly remains on PernMUSH.
Fort and Telgar's previous leadership, upon discovery of their newly-ascended Weyrwomen's decisions to gather up players and move them to a new game, have stepped up to help sort out the situation. How future leadership issues there will be resolved is in hiatus, as these weyrs lost their two most recent (and active) junior goldriders. I am not yet certain about Ista and High Reaches' leadership situations, as I have no contact with the admins of those areas (they now being on NCM).
The storylines to justify the mass exodus of numerous riders and administrators have been incompletely hammered out, and in some cases, the Weyrs (and remaining players) on PernMUSH have been left to figure it out on their own. I find this irresponsible; leadership's responsibility is to ALL of their Weyrs' players, not just the people who are moving on. That was why they were given that responsibility. So, not only have many players lost roleplay opportunities with friends and acquaintances, their characters stripped of much necessary interaction, but they must now figure out and implement reasons as to why those people are gone.
Rancor was directed toward Igen Weyr; players were called 'undesirable' by Tiriana, and several amongst the Weyr Council (NCM's governing body) requested that I, despite being an active Fortian, not be notified of the move and the building until the last minute, because my loyalties were suspect. I had been questioned indirectly about my loyalties to Fort and Igen by Berit, who asked me if I would choose between the areas without saying why. (I was also questioned about being an Igen Admin-- I am not at present and have never been.) Satiet and Tiriana have publicly made their disgust regarding Igen plain, on boards and in conversation to others. Griere's opinion, last I knew, was negative, but that's not holy writ-- I could be misremembering this particular bit. Berit's opinion is negative. Tiriana was installed as the admin in charge of dealing with Igen's players in the event of requested transfers. N'thei has informed me that he was ignorant of all of these things, and has accused me of believing in a conspiracy; his own reason for not wishing to contact Igen was, in his words, because he did not know them. (He later complained of a lack of communication between Igen and the other Weyrs, but given that it was the other Weyrs which refused to communicate with Igen over the move, this seems to me to be a shifting of the blame.)
Addendum to the previous paragraph: Several readers have observed that Tiriana's dislike of Igen was known to N'thei.
Igen's administration was not brought in on this.
The reasons originally given to me by Berit, who cited pressure from the other weyrs, were the same reasons I have seen stated by multiple admins from various Weyrs, so N'thei's insistence that no other Weyr advocated this rings false.
None of Igen's players were brought in on this, either, not even those who had alts at multiple weyrs.
The reasons after were given as Igen being inactive; this is false, as Igen was easily as active as Fort, which was allowed to remain open.
Furthermore, and reiterated:
The secrecy was entirely unnecessary.
Players have been left with Weyrs whose playerbases have been ripped apart.
Addendum #2: A fair amount of people are telling me how upset they are that their weyrmates and good friends are leaving them behind. People are getting hurt over this. Either they are forced to follow along or they're left wth broken characters, some of whom they have played for years.
IC explanations were haphazard or nonexistent as to why PernMUSH's weyrs (save for Igen) are suddenly missing many riders. Those who have been left behind have been left to fend for themselves, unless previous leadership (or new leadership) steps up to try to clean up the mess.
The impulsiveness and selfishness, on the part of NCM's admins and some select players, in how this entire situation was handled, inspires no confidence in me as to the future of this game. It is a sandbox, protestations of Weyr autonomy or no. (Crafts are, if they exist at all, are subject to Weyr Council micromanagement.) In fact, given that the reason I was given for being excluded was because of pressure from said Council, it seems that autonomy is only allowed on the majority's terms-- which is not autonomy at all.
Lastly, but not least, I am personally offended that I, someone who has been loyal and trustworthy, active and engaged, willing to assist, build, and contribute, was kept in the dark simply because I had an alt at one Weyr and was considered a risk to the security of the game. I was asked to choose between my friends, something which I'd asked not to be obligated to do, and I was expected to watch as my friends were derided, blacklisted as 'undesirables', and forced to disband their weyr for (and this is the new reason listed, it keeps changing because previous ones are either false or just look bad) 'aesthetic' reasons. Moving, or not, was presented to me as an issue of 'loyalty'. I resent the implication of disloyalty.
People can choose to stay or go as they like. I am upfront in my wishes that folks stay on PernMUSH and/or duplicate. I loved candidacy and weyrlinghood and do not want to lose my group of friends over this poorly- and questionably-executed coup. (Though I may alienate some of them with this post, I hope I don't.)
I am betting that PernMUSH will weather this as it has past bouts of attrition. The wizards are not closing the game. I don't know if they will consolidate areas or not, but they have been reluctant to do so in the past. I know that many players will still stay on.
I've been here for fifteen years, and the game, instead of dying, was flourishing. I don't believe this is its last gasp. It will soon be on a new machine and a new server and, with the leadership stranglehold now unlocked, will hopefully be in the hands of enthusiastic and less-jaded players.