Adelbern's Directive — Guild Wars 2 Forums

Adelbern's Directive

Omar Aschi Popp.7496Omar Aschi Popp.7496 Member ✭✭✭✭
edited October 24, 2017 in Lore

Last I checked Guilds were not allowed to own any land on the Tyrian mainland.

Who officialy rescinded Adelberns Directive#1?

(2 being death to filthy Charr)

<13

Comments

  • draxynnic.3719draxynnic.3719 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Well, the ban was also in Kryta, so it wasn't (just) Adelbern's directive.

    Ultimately, what we're seeing is that the guild halls are still outside the jurisdiction of Ascalon or Kryta. The guild halls in the Heart of Maguuma apparently have the blessing of the Exalted of Tarir to be held by guilds, and said Exalted are probably the closest thing to a recognised government in the area. Kryta may or may not still be uncomfortable with the idea of guilds, but the general idea of the ban was to keep any inter-guild fighting from drawing in the nations as happened in the Guild Wars, and having those guilds in the remote Maguuman jungle probably serves that purpose as well as having them on a southern island somewhere. The point is to stop any inter-guild fighting from happening on Krytan soil.

    Windswept Haven, on the other hand, is apparently being established explicitly against the wishes of the government of the region: however, I expect the Guild Initiative doesn't recognise Palawa Joko or the Mordant Crescent as legitimate.

  • Athrenn.9468Athrenn.9468 Member ✭✭✭

    First of all, where is the source on the claim that guilds are not allowed to own land in continental Tyria?

    Secondly, I think it's a pretty shady business practice for the Tyrian Explorer Society to act as an invasive colonial entity by funding expeditions to declare ownership of foreign soil while acting under the authority of the five major nations of the northern continent. That could be taken as an inadvertent act of war which the countries may not agree with in the case of Elona where the claiming mission includes open hostilities with the Vabbian army while on their own soil.

  • Aaron Ansari.1604Aaron Ansari.1604 Member ✭✭✭✭

    This fella. Like drax said, though, that's technically limited to Ascalon and Kryta. Whether the other races see the same wisdom in such a decree- or if it's even still in force in Kryta- is an open question.

    For your second point- I haven't see it personally, but the candy corn general in Fort Marriner tells me that Joko is already sending Awakened after the Tyrian continent. It would seem Joko would agree with your assessment. (On that, and on having his top enforcer assassinated, his army borrowed, his designs for Amnoon potentially being thwarted, enemies of the state being aided within his own borders, and a certain smug mortal seeing fit to rub it all in his face.)

    R.I.P., Old Man of Auld Red Wharf. Gone but never forgotten.

  • draxynnic.3719draxynnic.3719 Member ✭✭✭✭

    It was implied to be the case in Elona and mainland Cantha as well - probably having learned their lessons from seeing what had happened in Tyria. The Kurzicks and Luxons seemed to encourage it, though.

    As for the second point...

    It wouldn't surprise me if it turns out that the nations of Tyria - particularly humans and charr, which are simultaneously the strongest militaries and probably the two most concerned about Joko - have decided that Joko's history makes him too dangerous to leave unopposed, and now is a good time to strike him down (Joko's empire is in disarray due to the events of PoF, while in the meantime Tyria is relatively unthreatened with the surviving Elder Dragons either back to sleep or a long way away).

  • Aaron Ansari.1604Aaron Ansari.1604 Member ✭✭✭✭

    'Relatively unthreatened', though, can still mean tottering on the brink of crisis in Tyria. Getting them to send supplementary troops to back the Pact against Mordremoth was like pulling teeth, and that was against a foe that'd already inflicted severe casualities on both nations' forces. There's no sign that the situation at home has improved enough for them to consider now footing the main bill of a campaign against a potential threat. (With Caudecus and the Mantle out of the picture, it's likely that things will slowly begin improving in Kryta, but a siege is a hell of a way to go out with a bang, and the bandits and centaurs won't melt away overnight. Unless they've reintroduced the watchknights on a much larger scale than we've yet seen, I'd expect that any spare manpower they have at this point would be tied up in rebuilding Lake Doric and carefully rolling back the enemy on other fronts.)

    R.I.P., Old Man of Auld Red Wharf. Gone but never forgotten.

  • @Athrenn.9468 said:
    First of all, where is the source on the claim that guilds are not allowed to own land in continental Tyria?

    Secondly, I think it's a pretty shady business practice for the Tyrian Explorer Society to act as an invasive colonial entity by funding expeditions to declare ownership of foreign soil while acting under the authority of the five major nations of the northern continent. That could be taken as an inadvertent act of war which the countries may not agree with in the case of Elona where the claiming mission includes open hostilities with the Vabbian army while on their own soil.

    Guilds were restricted to the battle Isles in Cantha, I am sure the decree covered the entire tyrian continent, but now that I think about it Elona isnt mentioned.

  • Athrenn.9468Athrenn.9468 Member ✭✭✭

    Guilds lost access to the Battle Isles with the rise of Orr in the early 13th century. That combined with the fall of human Ascalon and the decline of Krytan power means that things could have changed.

    The Guild Initiative is operating under the endorsement of all five nations and Lion's Arch on top of that. Their agenda is to use guilds as a decentralized paramilitary solution to combat threats abroad. That places guilds in a position where they could be the real military power in overseas campaigns, spearheading the push of continental Tyrian colonialism.

  • dusanyu.4057dusanyu.4057 Member ✭✭✭
    edited October 24, 2017

    Well being you know being the dead ruler of a Dead Kingdom that he cursed may have had something to do with it being nullified.

    Also here is the lore about that directive and were it came form
    ""You will not be granted a guild hall anywhere on the mainland. After the devastation of the Guild Wars, both Kryta and Ascalon banned guilds from owning land. No, if you desire a guild hall, you must petition for territory on one of the Canthan islands to the south." --https://wiki.guildwars.com/wiki/Canthan_Ambassador

  • Athrenn.9468Athrenn.9468 Member ✭✭✭
    edited October 24, 2017

    The argument against recognizing the legitimacy of the Vabbian government seems rather hypocritical for the powers involved.

    "You're a Guild Wars 1 villain faction who forcibly conquered human territory using tactics of aggressive military expansion!"

    You mean... like the charr? They seized all of Ascalon and hunted their enemies down all the way to Ebonhawke where they tried to exterminate them like mice holed up in a barn. If we established a precedent where Joko's empire was invalidated then we might as well take back Ascalon as well. This is why it is against the Iron Legion's political agenda to discredit King Joko's legitimacy—they don't want to be next on the chopping block of ex-villain factions whose government is illegitimate.

  • draxynnic.3719draxynnic.3719 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Aaron Ansari.1604 said:
    'Relatively unthreatened', though, can still mean tottering on the brink of crisis in Tyria. Getting them to send supplementary troops to back the Pact against Mordremoth was like pulling teeth, and that was against a foe that'd already inflicted severe casualities on both nations' forces. There's no sign that the situation at home has improved enough for them to consider now footing the main bill of a campaign against a potential threat. (With Caudecus and the Mantle out of the picture, it's likely that things will slowly begin improving in Kryta, but a siege is a hell of a way to go out with a bang, and the bandits and centaurs won't melt away overnight. Unless they've reintroduced the watchknights on a much larger scale than we've yet seen, I'd expect that any spare manpower they have at this point would be tied up in rebuilding Lake Doric and carefully rolling back the enemy on other fronts.)

    True enough, although I suspect that the fall of the White Mantle does mean that Kryta is better off. And Kralkatorrik having flown south may mean that the Brand is less active in Ascalon. Jormag going back into hibernation might have taken a lot of pressure off the norn.

    The nations may also be considering the possibility that with the routes reopened, the last thing they want is an opportunistic Joko deciding to hit them at a time when they might be more vulnerable than they are now. We probably won't see any large-scale troop movements into Elona. However, I think it would be reasonable for the nations of Tyria to feel that they can handle an attack from Joko if it happens now, without giving Joko the opportunity to figure out an equivalent of the Elon redirection gambit for a Tyrian nation, while being quite happy to see anything that might destabilise Joko's rule.

    @Athrenn.9468 said:
    The argument against recognizing the legitimacy of the Vabbian government seems rather hypocritical for the powers involved.

    "You're a Guild Wars 1 villain faction who forcibly conquered human territory using tactics of aggressive military expansion!"

    You mean... like the charr? They seized all of Ascalon and hunted their enemies down all the way to Ebonhawke where they tried to exterminate them like mice holed up in a barn. If we established a precedent where Joko's empire was invalidated then we might as well take back Ascalon as well. This is why it is against the Iron Legion's political agenda to discredit King Joko's legitimacy—they don't want to be next on the chopping block of ex-villain factions whose government is illegitimate.

    Eh, I think there are two big differences here.

    From a practical standpoint: Smodur is not the charr leader who invaded Ascalon. In fact, the current charr government system was established by the overthrow of the one that did invade Ascalon, and Smodur specifically is the one on the charr side who established a truce to stop the conflict. It's reasonable for the nations of Tyria to feel that the days of charr invasions of other nations is in the past. Joko, however, is exactly the same despot who invaded Elona. Twice. Possibly in violation of a truce the second time around.

    From a moral standpoint: Smodur does generally seem to rule for the benefit of his people, or at least tries to. Joko might have good propaganda, but when you look past his propaganda he's clearly a despot.

    When you get into the situation with Ascalon specifically, it starts to become a case of "well, how long are you going to keep a grudge?" The Searing happened because the charr couldn't let go of a millenia-old grudge. Today, the region is mostly occupied by charr, and Smodur actually seems to be fairly generous with ceding land to Ebonhawke under the truce. Pushing the Iron Legion charr out of what has been their homes for two centuries because it used to be someone else's homes is one of those eye-for-an-eye-leaves-everyone-blind situations. The current generation is not to blame for what their forebears did. Palawa Joko is definitely to blame for what Palawa Joko did.

  • @draxynnic.3719 said:

    @Aaron Ansari.1604 said:
    'Relatively unthreatened', though, can still mean tottering on the brink of crisis in Tyria. Getting them to send supplementary troops to back the Pact against Mordremoth was like pulling teeth, and that was against a foe that'd already inflicted severe casualities on both nations' forces. There's no sign that the situation at home has improved enough for them to consider now footing the main bill of a campaign against a potential threat. (With Caudecus and the Mantle out of the picture, it's likely that things will slowly begin improving in Kryta, but a siege is a hell of a way to go out with a bang, and the bandits and centaurs won't melt away overnight. Unless they've reintroduced the watchknights on a much larger scale than we've yet seen, I'd expect that any spare manpower they have at this point would be tied up in rebuilding Lake Doric and carefully rolling back the enemy on other fronts.)

    True enough, although I suspect that the fall of the White Mantle does mean that Kryta is better off. And Kralkatorrik having flown south may mean that the Brand is less active in Ascalon. Jormag going back into hibernation might have taken a lot of pressure off the norn.

    The nations may also be considering the possibility that with the routes reopened, the last thing they want is an opportunistic Joko deciding to hit them at a time when they might be more vulnerable than they are now. We probably won't see any large-scale troop movements into Elona. However, I think it would be reasonable for the nations of Tyria to feel that they can handle an attack from Joko if it happens now, without giving Joko the opportunity to figure out an equivalent of the Elon redirection gambit for a Tyrian nation, while being quite happy to see anything that might destabilise Joko's rule.

    @Athrenn.9468 said:
    The argument against recognizing the legitimacy of the Vabbian government seems rather hypocritical for the powers involved.

    "You're a Guild Wars 1 villain faction who forcibly conquered human territory using tactics of aggressive military expansion!"

    You mean... like the charr? They seized all of Ascalon and hunted their enemies down all the way to Ebonhawke where they tried to exterminate them like mice holed up in a barn. If we established a precedent where Joko's empire was invalidated then we might as well take back Ascalon as well. This is why it is against the Iron Legion's political agenda to discredit King Joko's legitimacy—they don't want to be next on the chopping block of ex-villain factions whose government is illegitimate.

    Eh, I think there are two big differences here.

    From a practical standpoint: Smodur is not the charr leader who invaded Ascalon. In fact, the current charr government system was established by the overthrow of the one that did invade Ascalon, and Smodur specifically is the one on the charr side who established a truce to stop the conflict. It's reasonable for the nations of Tyria to feel that the days of charr invasions of other nations is in the past. Joko, however, is exactly the same despot who invaded Elona. Twice. Possibly in violation of a truce the second time around.

    From a moral standpoint: Smodur does generally seem to rule for the benefit of his people, or at least tries to. Joko might have good propaganda, but when you look past his propaganda he's clearly a despot.

    When you get into the situation with Ascalon specifically, it starts to become a case of "well, how long are you going to keep a grudge?" The Searing happened because the charr couldn't let go of a millenia-old grudge. Today, the region is mostly occupied by charr, and Smodur actually seems to be fairly generous with ceding land to Ebonhawke under the truce. Pushing the Iron Legion charr out of what has been their homes for two centuries because it used to be someone else's homes is one of those eye-for-an-eye-leaves-everyone-blind situations. The current generation is not to blame for what their forebears did. Palawa Joko is definitely to blame for what Palawa Joko did.

    Said the disgusting Charr appoligist.

  • On that note. How long...

    Verbatim npc chatter: the searing is ancient history, move on

    The holocaust/slavery/salem/inqusition is ancient history move on.

    Lol wat

  • Aaron Ansari.1604Aaron Ansari.1604 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @draxynnic.3719 said:

    True enough, although I suspect that the fall of the White Mantle does mean that Kryta is better off. And Kralkatorrik having flown south may mean that the Brand is less active in Ascalon. Jormag going back into hibernation might have taken a lot of pressure off the norn.

    The nations may also be considering the possibility that with the routes reopened, the last thing they want is an opportunistic Joko deciding to hit them at a time when they might be more vulnerable than they are now. We probably won't see any large-scale troop movements into Elona. However, I think it would be reasonable for the nations of Tyria to feel that they can handle an attack from Joko if it happens now, without giving Joko the opportunity to figure out an equivalent of the Elon redirection gambit for a Tyrian nation, while being quite happy to see anything that might destabilise Joko's rule.

    Agreed on Kryta- my point is that it's an open question on how long it'll take for 'better off' to translate into strategic resources.

    I'm less sure the state of the Elder Dragons is going to make a marked difference. Kralkatorrik had already been south of the charr territories, calling the minions formed by the Brand to migrate down to join him. Under those circumstances, the threat of the Brand was still, essentially, self-perpetuating, even to the point of expanding without direct intervention by Kralkatorrik or champions like the Shatterer. Unless distance somehow waters down that corruptive power (and Kralkatorrik's snack doesn't cancel out the effect), there's no reason it'd make a difference whether the dragon was in the Crystal Desert or Kourna.

    Likewise, the main Jormag-inspired pressure on the norn, except on the northern fringe of their territories, is the Sons of Svanir and not the icebrood proper. Their ability to seed Jormag's corruption might suffer or go away entirely, preventing them from converting the occasional wildlife or elemental to their cause, but it doesn't strike me as likely that the rest will stop looting and killing because their master's asleep- assuming that they even know he's asleep. Not that the norn would be a particularly strong contributor even if Jormag and the Sons didn't exist.

    We're largely in agreement on the broader picture. I can easily see the Tyrian nations providing tacit support to guilds and other independent operators giving the Awakened a hard time, and not being too worried about Joko's backlash at this time. I just don't see them deliberately provoking said backlash. A several-hundred-year-old lich king that's successfully maintained rule of a living free-willed populace isn't likely to be lured into leaving himself vulnerable in a hasty assault far from home... unless it's a certain other several-hundred-year-old undead king doing the taunting, of course.

    R.I.P., Old Man of Auld Red Wharf. Gone but never forgotten.

  • dusanyu.4057dusanyu.4057 Member ✭✭✭

    Said the disgusting Charr appoligist.

    Not everyone is a human Character player and has human sympathies.
    Some of us view things threw the eyes of the charr, Norn Silvari or Asura.

    Lets be honest the char war was a minor sub plot of one campaign the was is over and the human lost the lore states they are on the edge of extinction and pushed back to the gates of the reach by the centaurs. Tyria has bigger problem than a small Resolved war. Queen Jenna and Smodor were able to See the bigger picture and unite to face the dragons.

    GW1 player with more Love for asura than human in GW2

  • Athrenn.9468Athrenn.9468 Member ✭✭✭

    @draxynnic.3719 said:
    From a moral standpoint: Joko might have good propaganda, but when you look past his propaganda he's clearly a despot.

    Despot: a ruler or other person who holds absolute power, typically one who exercises it in a cruel or oppressive way.

    To answer this question of whether Palawa Joko is a despotic ruler, we would need to ask ourselves: 'Which Vabbian ethnic groups would consider themselves cruelly oppressed?'

    By nature, the power dynamics of ruling an empire are complex where different groups benefit unequally. Throughout human history, there have always been marginalized groups within societies that would consider themselves cruelly oppressed from the margins while other groups feel otherwise. Because of this ubiquitous experience, I think it's disingenuous to say that any ruler with a record of cruel oppression, no matter the context or scale, is a despot objectively speaking but rather to certain groups depending on their perspective.

    I'll be going into these points in greater detail below but if I had to describe Joko's governing policy in one sentence, it would be this: 'Harsh to his enemies, generous to his loyal subjects.' Those who submit to his rule do not seem to feel oppressed while those who resist are more likely to have severe actions taken against them. Let's go into more detail about what I have observed, ranging from exiles and enemies to friends and followers of King Joko's imperial rule.

    Subjects of the Empire

    From what we see in Vabbi and the Desolation, this category encompasses most characters who we are presented with. Very rarely do they describe their living conditions as cruel or oppressive and we do see many different perspectives from commoners to royalty.

    In the Bonestrand, loyal citizens of the empire are rewarded for their service with basic amenities (and even some that are arguably well beyond 'basic', as we will see). The village of Purity is granted Awakened servants to work the fields and the village hall is filled with a rich variety foods that aren't restricted to nobility. Unlike some societies where the very rich eat like kings and the very poor are extremely malnourished, even the commoners of Vabbian society on the northernmost edge of the empire are well fed and adequately housed.

    This system of rewarding loyalty and punishing dissent is an effective strategy for quashing rebellions before they take root in the mind, and while it doesn't match our 21st-century liberal democratic sensibilities, it's an improvement from medieval European society which had a greater disparity between rich and poor across the board. We also see a very interesting form of government in the Bonestrand where a living clanmarshal governs alongside an Awakened vizier, each of them co-managing the region and representing the interests of the living and dead.

    Part of what allows the village of Purity to enjoy their way of life is the existence of work farms across the wall whose living conditions will be described below under 'Exiles'.

    In the Domain of Vabbi, we see evidence of Vabbian nobility living quite well and enjoying the political freedoms of arguing in favor or against the Awakening of the deceased. This is by no means a perfect process, but it does seem to make people feel like they have some control over minor affairs of state. Some nobles are even pampered to the point where they rely all their lives on their Awakened servants and develop emotional bonds with them.

    In the Vehtendi Academy for young cadets, children have the choice of applying their focus to the liberal arts, hard sciences, or martial arts according to the three houses of Rolic, Ingene, and Ventura. Schooling is mandatory and that means literacy is probably quite high in Vabbi as we see students doing homework and reading scrolls. There is definitely a bias in what information is available to them, but we've seen no signs of children being oppressed, punished, or abused.

    The Garden of Seborhin is another location in Vabbi where the Vabbian subjects don't seem to feel oppressed at all by their situation. There's even one quest chain involving an elderly man who is training with his sons to prepare himself for the day where he hopes to join the Mordant Crescent. In their culture, servitude after death does not appear to be regarded as an evil thing but rather an honor, much like joining the army for some patriotic Krytans.

    Exiles & Enemies

    There is a difference between these two groups so I'm going to talk about them separately. While some exiles might become enemies of the state, we also see many examples of characters who are exiled but while retaining positive opinions of Joko's empire.

    Exiles

    Some of Vabbi's subjects have been exiled beyond the Bone Wall for one reason or another, either for crimes that either they or their families committed. There in the region of "Palawa's Grace", the living must work to feed the empire and the dead are taken to serve as Awakened. This is a historically accurate part of the brutal reality of many medieval societies all the way up to the modern era where political enemies were sent off to penal colonies to work off their crimes in service to the empire. Siberia and Australia are two real-world examples which still bear the legacy of this practice.

    There are some exiles who might consider Joko a despot, but we also see evidence of others both in Amnoon and Palawa's Grace who believe otherwise. Some of them express feelings of remorse for being exiled and wish that they could go back. Regardless of whether one agrees with them or not, I don't think that we can discount the evidence that shows a portion of exiled Vabbian subjects who don't consider Joko a cruel and oppressive ruler. From their perspective, the notion that he is a despot might be considered false if they were presented with the idea.

    Enemies

    Those who carry on the Sunspear ideals are the principal enemies of Joko's empire. His armies hunt them down, living or dead, in order to eradicate them from the world. Anyone who openly proclaims allegiance to the Sunspears or shelters them is considered an enemy and dealt with accordingly, meaning that they are the most heavily oppressed ethnic group in Elona. If you are a Sunspear then you will probably consider Joko a despot, and this includes Sunspear ghosts who dwell in the sulfur wastes and are actively hunted by Joko's "ghost eaters".

    Public Perception

    This is to say, 'how visible are these cruel acts of oppression?'

    The answer to this is, 'not very'. Defecting is illegal and any families who flee the empire and survive haven't found a way to return and spread dissent. Exiles are oppressed on the other side of the Bone Wall, out of sight and mind of the populace. No means of video recording exists at the moment in their society so stories only travel as quickly as word of mouth or the written word, and even those are monitored to some extent through the use of spies.

    As for the empire's true enemies (the Sunspears and their ghosts), they are oppressed in the desolate sulfur wastes and as far north as the desert highlands. No Vabbians except the Mordant Crescent are there to witness what is happening so it is unknown to the populace and therefore it does not factor into their perception of Joko.

    Public perception is important because it influences the flow of information that the general populace would have access to. Just like modern Americans don't know all the details about every controversial action their government has taken, the people of Vabbi do not know everything that the player character knows, thus shaping their opinion.

    Conclusion

    While it is fair to note that members of the dwindling Sunspear ethnic group are systemically oppressed well beyond the borders of Joko's empire, the evidence that we have in-game suggests a system of targeted oppression. Those who are loyal to the empire are rewarded with considerably high standards of living, and from their perspective, freedom to live their lives within the legal bounds of their society. Based on the evidence presented to us, I would say that there is a marginalized minority of oppressed individuals who would consider Joko to be a despot while the majority would have a very different opinion.

  • Squee.7829Squee.7829 Member ✭✭✭

    @Athrenn.9468 said:

    @draxynnic.3719 said:
    From a moral standpoint: Joko might have good propaganda, but when you look past his propaganda he's clearly a despot.

    Despot: a ruler or other person who holds absolute power, typically one who exercises it in a cruel or oppressive way.

    To answer this question of whether Palawa Joko is a despotic ruler, we would need to ask ourselves: 'Which Vabbian ethnic groups would consider themselves cruelly oppressed?'

    By nature, the power dynamics of ruling an empire are complex where different groups benefit unequally. Throughout human history, there have always been marginalized groups within societies that would consider themselves cruelly oppressed from the margins while other groups feel otherwise. Because of this ubiquitous experience, I think it's disingenuous to say that any ruler with a record of cruel oppression, no matter the context or scale, is a despot objectively speaking but rather to certain groups depending on their perspective.

    I'll be going into these points in greater detail below but if I had to describe Joko's governing policy in one sentence, it would be this: 'Harsh to his enemies, generous to his loyal subjects.' Those who submit to his rule do not seem to feel oppressed while those who resist are more likely to have severe actions taken against them. Let's go into more detail about what I have observed, ranging from exiles and enemies to friends and followers of King Joko's imperial rule.

    Subjects of the Empire

    From what we see in Vabbi and the Desolation, this category encompasses most characters who we are presented with. Very rarely do they describe their living conditions as cruel or oppressive and we do see many different perspectives from commoners to royalty.

    In the Bonestrand, loyal citizens of the empire are rewarded for their service with basic amenities (and even some that are arguably well beyond 'basic', as we will see). The village of Purity is granted Awakened servants to work the fields and the village hall is filled with a rich variety foods that aren't restricted to nobility. Unlike some societies where the very rich eat like kings and the very poor are extremely malnourished, even the commoners of Vabbian society on the northernmost edge of the empire are well fed and adequately housed.

    This system of rewarding loyalty and punishing dissent is an effective strategy for quashing rebellions before they take root in the mind, and while it doesn't match our 21st-century liberal democratic sensibilities, it's an improvement from medieval European society which had a greater disparity between rich and poor across the board. We also see a very interesting form of government in the Bonestrand where a living clanmarshal governs alongside an Awakened vizier, each of them co-managing the region and representing the interests of the living and dead.

    Part of what allows the village of Purity to enjoy their way of life is the existence of work farms across the wall whose living conditions will be described below under 'Exiles'.

    In the Domain of Vabbi, we see evidence of Vabbian nobility living quite well and enjoying the political freedoms of arguing in favor or against the Awakening of the deceased. This is by no means a perfect process, but it does seem to make people feel like they have some control over minor affairs of state. Some nobles are even pampered to the point where they rely all their lives on their Awakened servants and develop emotional bonds with them.

    In the Vehtendi Academy for young cadets, children have the choice of applying their focus to the liberal arts, hard sciences, or martial arts according to the three houses of Rolic, Ingene, and Ventura. Schooling is mandatory and that means literacy is probably quite high in Vabbi as we see students doing homework and reading scrolls. There is definitely a bias in what information is available to them, but we've seen no signs of children being oppressed, punished, or abused.

    The Garden of Seborhin is another location in Vabbi where the Vabbian subjects don't seem to feel oppressed at all by their situation. There's even one quest chain involving an elderly man who is training with his sons to prepare himself for the day where he hopes to join the Mordant Crescent. In their culture, servitude after death does not appear to be regarded as an evil thing but rather an honor, much like joining the army for some patriotic Krytans.

    Exiles & Enemies

    There is a difference between these two groups so I'm going to talk about them separately. While some exiles might become enemies of the state, we also see many examples of characters who are exiled but while retaining positive opinions of Joko's empire.

    Exiles

    Some of Vabbi's subjects have been exiled beyond the Bone Wall for one reason or another, either for crimes that either they or their families committed. There in the region of "Palawa's Grace", the living must work to feed the empire and the dead are taken to serve as Awakened. This is a historically accurate part of the brutal reality of many medieval societies all the way up to the modern era where political enemies were sent off to penal colonies to work off their crimes in service to the empire. Siberia and Australia are two real-world examples which still bear the legacy of this practice.

    There are some exiles who might consider Joko a despot, but we also see evidence of others both in Amnoon and Palawa's Grace who believe otherwise. Some of them express feelings of remorse for being exiled and wish that they could go back. Regardless of whether one agrees with them or not, I don't think that we can discount the evidence that shows a portion of exiled Vabbian subjects who don't consider Joko a cruel and oppressive ruler. From their perspective, the notion that he is a despot might be considered false if they were presented with the idea.

    Enemies

    Those who carry on the Sunspear ideals are the principal enemies of Joko's empire. His armies hunt them down, living or dead, in order to eradicate them from the world. Anyone who openly proclaims allegiance to the Sunspears or shelters them is considered an enemy and dealt with accordingly, meaning that they are the most heavily oppressed ethnic group in Elona. If you are a Sunspear then you will probably consider Joko a despot, and this includes Sunspear ghosts who dwell in the sulfur wastes and are actively hunted by Joko's "ghost eaters".

    Public Perception

    This is to say, 'how visible are these cruel acts of oppression?'

    The answer to this is, 'not very'. Defecting is illegal and any families who flee the empire and survive haven't found a way to return and spread dissent. Exiles are oppressed on the other side of the Bone Wall, out of sight and mind of the populace. No means of video recording exists at the moment in their society so stories only travel as quickly as word of mouth or the written word, and even those are monitored to some extent through the use of spies.

    As for the empire's true enemies (the Sunspears and their ghosts), they are oppressed in the desolate sulfur wastes and as far north as the desert highlands. No Vabbians except the Mordant Crescent are there to witness what is happening so it is unknown to the populace and therefore it does not factor into their perception of Joko.

    Public perception is important because it influences the flow of information that the general populace would have access to. Just like modern Americans don't know all the details about every controversial action their government has taken, the people of Vabbi do not know everything that the player character knows, thus shaping their opinion.

    Conclusion

    While it is fair to note that members of the dwindling Sunspear ethnic group are systemically oppressed well beyond the borders of Joko's empire, the evidence that we have in-game suggests a system of targeted oppression. Those who are loyal to the empire are rewarded with considerably high standards of living, and from their perspective, freedom to live their lives within the legal bounds of their society. Based on the evidence presented to us, I would say that there is a marginalized minority of oppressed individuals who would consider Joko to be a despot while the majority would have a very different opinion.

    This is pretty much North Korea in the desert. "The people who don't like the self proclaimed God-King are treated well and don't see him as a bad guy! But they guys who think he may not be as great and godly as he says are oppressed marginalized, and often imprisoned tortured and killed" That sounds like a despot to me. Even if "not everyone thinks he's bad!" Obviously. This is a nation of people who have grown up under his oppression and his constant propaganda machine. Going back to the North Korea thing, this is a nation of people that are starving, poor, oppressed, and imprisoned for the most minor infractions. They have no access to the outside world (like in Vabbi where the students are surprised when you tell them there is a world outside of Elona) and the only reason most of its population survives is through the UN's constant funneling of supplies. But the people still cry with joy at the very sight of their beloved leader. It's despotism done well. And it's a terrible nation the rest of the nations rightfully don't want to take many chances with.

  • @Squee.7829 said:

    @Athrenn.9468 said:

    @draxynnic.3719 said:
    From a moral standpoint: Joko might have good propaganda, but when you look past his propaganda he's clearly a despot.

    Despot: a ruler or other person who holds absolute power, typically one who exercises it in a cruel or oppressive way.

    To answer this question of whether Palawa Joko is a despotic ruler, we would need to ask ourselves: 'Which Vabbian ethnic groups would consider themselves cruelly oppressed?'

    By nature, the power dynamics of ruling an empire are complex where different groups benefit unequally. Throughout human history, there have always been marginalized groups within societies that would consider themselves cruelly oppressed from the margins while other groups feel otherwise. Because of this ubiquitous experience, I think it's disingenuous to say that any ruler with a record of cruel oppression, no matter the context or scale, is a despot objectively speaking but rather to certain groups depending on their perspective.

    I'll be going into these points in greater detail below but if I had to describe Joko's governing policy in one sentence, it would be this: 'Harsh to his enemies, generous to his loyal subjects.' Those who submit to his rule do not seem to feel oppressed while those who resist are more likely to have severe actions taken against them. Let's go into more detail about what I have observed, ranging from exiles and enemies to friends and followers of King Joko's imperial rule.

    Subjects of the Empire

    From what we see in Vabbi and the Desolation, this category encompasses most characters who we are presented with. Very rarely do they describe their living conditions as cruel or oppressive and we do see many different perspectives from commoners to royalty.

    In the Bonestrand, loyal citizens of the empire are rewarded for their service with basic amenities (and even some that are arguably well beyond 'basic', as we will see). The village of Purity is granted Awakened servants to work the fields and the village hall is filled with a rich variety foods that aren't restricted to nobility. Unlike some societies where the very rich eat like kings and the very poor are extremely malnourished, even the commoners of Vabbian society on the northernmost edge of the empire are well fed and adequately housed.

    This system of rewarding loyalty and punishing dissent is an effective strategy for quashing rebellions before they take root in the mind, and while it doesn't match our 21st-century liberal democratic sensibilities, it's an improvement from medieval European society which had a greater disparity between rich and poor across the board. We also see a very interesting form of government in the Bonestrand where a living clanmarshal governs alongside an Awakened vizier, each of them co-managing the region and representing the interests of the living and dead.

    Part of what allows the village of Purity to enjoy their way of life is the existence of work farms across the wall whose living conditions will be described below under 'Exiles'.

    In the Domain of Vabbi, we see evidence of Vabbian nobility living quite well and enjoying the political freedoms of arguing in favor or against the Awakening of the deceased. This is by no means a perfect process, but it does seem to make people feel like they have some control over minor affairs of state. Some nobles are even pampered to the point where they rely all their lives on their Awakened servants and develop emotional bonds with them.

    In the Vehtendi Academy for young cadets, children have the choice of applying their focus to the liberal arts, hard sciences, or martial arts according to the three houses of Rolic, Ingene, and Ventura. Schooling is mandatory and that means literacy is probably quite high in Vabbi as we see students doing homework and reading scrolls. There is definitely a bias in what information is available to them, but we've seen no signs of children being oppressed, punished, or abused.

    The Garden of Seborhin is another location in Vabbi where the Vabbian subjects don't seem to feel oppressed at all by their situation. There's even one quest chain involving an elderly man who is training with his sons to prepare himself for the day where he hopes to join the Mordant Crescent. In their culture, servitude after death does not appear to be regarded as an evil thing but rather an honor, much like joining the army for some patriotic Krytans.

    Exiles & Enemies

    There is a difference between these two groups so I'm going to talk about them separately. While some exiles might become enemies of the state, we also see many examples of characters who are exiled but while retaining positive opinions of Joko's empire.

    Exiles

    Some of Vabbi's subjects have been exiled beyond the Bone Wall for one reason or another, either for crimes that either they or their families committed. There in the region of "Palawa's Grace", the living must work to feed the empire and the dead are taken to serve as Awakened. This is a historically accurate part of the brutal reality of many medieval societies all the way up to the modern era where political enemies were sent off to penal colonies to work off their crimes in service to the empire. Siberia and Australia are two real-world examples which still bear the legacy of this practice.

    There are some exiles who might consider Joko a despot, but we also see evidence of others both in Amnoon and Palawa's Grace who believe otherwise. Some of them express feelings of remorse for being exiled and wish that they could go back. Regardless of whether one agrees with them or not, I don't think that we can discount the evidence that shows a portion of exiled Vabbian subjects who don't consider Joko a cruel and oppressive ruler. From their perspective, the notion that he is a despot might be considered false if they were presented with the idea.

    Enemies

    Those who carry on the Sunspear ideals are the principal enemies of Joko's empire. His armies hunt them down, living or dead, in order to eradicate them from the world. Anyone who openly proclaims allegiance to the Sunspears or shelters them is considered an enemy and dealt with accordingly, meaning that they are the most heavily oppressed ethnic group in Elona. If you are a Sunspear then you will probably consider Joko a despot, and this includes Sunspear ghosts who dwell in the sulfur wastes and are actively hunted by Joko's "ghost eaters".

    Public Perception

    This is to say, 'how visible are these cruel acts of oppression?'

    The answer to this is, 'not very'. Defecting is illegal and any families who flee the empire and survive haven't found a way to return and spread dissent. Exiles are oppressed on the other side of the Bone Wall, out of sight and mind of the populace. No means of video recording exists at the moment in their society so stories only travel as quickly as word of mouth or the written word, and even those are monitored to some extent through the use of spies.

    As for the empire's true enemies (the Sunspears and their ghosts), they are oppressed in the desolate sulfur wastes and as far north as the desert highlands. No Vabbians except the Mordant Crescent are there to witness what is happening so it is unknown to the populace and therefore it does not factor into their perception of Joko.

    Public perception is important because it influences the flow of information that the general populace would have access to. Just like modern Americans don't know all the details about every controversial action their government has taken, the people of Vabbi do not know everything that the player character knows, thus shaping their opinion.

    Conclusion

    While it is fair to note that members of the dwindling Sunspear ethnic group are systemically oppressed well beyond the borders of Joko's empire, the evidence that we have in-game suggests a system of targeted oppression. Those who are loyal to the empire are rewarded with considerably high standards of living, and from their perspective, freedom to live their lives within the legal bounds of their society. Based on the evidence presented to us, I would say that there is a marginalized minority of oppressed individuals who would consider Joko to be a despot while the majority would have a very different opinion.

    This is pretty much North Korea in the desert. "The people who don't like the self proclaimed God-King are treated well and don't see him as a bad guy! But they guys who think he may not be as great and godly as he says are oppressed marginalized, and often imprisoned tortured and killed" That sounds like a despot to me. Even if "not everyone thinks he's bad!" Obviously. This is a nation of people who have grown up under his oppression and his constant propaganda machine. Going back to the North Korea thing, this is a nation of people that are starving, poor, oppressed, and imprisoned for the most minor infractions. They have no access to the outside world (like in Vabbi where the students are surprised when you tell them there is a world outside of Elona) and the only reason most of its population survives is through the UN's constant funneling of supplies. But the people still cry with joy at the very sight of their beloved leader. It's despotism done well. And it's a terrible nation the rest of the nations rightfully don't want to take many chances with.

    Naw I agree with Athren here. Its all from x spun narrative. If you(yall) look at cold unfeeling facts and leave your emotions at the door it might be more clear.

    Look at Iraq.

    Under despot:
    Clean water
    Subsidized electicity
    Cheap petrol
    Internationally accredited university
    Subsidized public transport
    Top 5 Arab nation for gender equality
    Massive social works

    No political rights.

    Under FEEEDOM USA:
    No water
    No satitation
    80% electricity blackouts
    Gas thru roof
    No school. Its destroyed.
    No bus
    ISIS
    Starvation
    Religous zealotry
    More death than ever

    But look we can vote!

    Joko=Saddam
    Life is better under despot.

    Fact.

  • Athrenn.9468Athrenn.9468 Member ✭✭✭

    While I would personally leave out the Iraq debate from discussions of lore, it's a good real-world example of what goes wrong when "liberating" countries go to war in the name of improving another sovereign nation's standard of living. As we see with Balthazar's invasion of Vabbi, wars cause problems for the local people. Supply lines get cut off, villagers starve, houses are destroyed, and a lot of other bad things happen. If continental Tyria decided to "liberate" Vabbi through armed warfare, it would end up hurting the people they're trying to help whereas right now many of Elona's subjects (as I demonstrated in my above post) are actually enjoying relatively high standards of living under the current system. Destroying the status quo is not going to improve their lives unless it can be done peacefully, subtly, and without going to open war.

  • Squee.7829Squee.7829 Member ✭✭✭
    edited October 26, 2017

    @Omar Aschi Popp.7496 said:

    @Squee.7829 said:

    @Athrenn.9468 said:

    @draxynnic.3719 said:

    ...

    Naw I agree with Athren here. Its all from x spun narrative. If you(yall) look at cold unfeeling facts and leave your emotions at the door it might be more clear.

    Look at Iraq.

    Under despot:
    Clean water
    Subsidized electicity
    Cheap petrol
    Internationally accredited university
    Subsidized public transport
    Top 5 Arab nation for gender equality
    Massive social works

    No political rights.

    Under FEEEDOM USA:
    No water
    No satitation
    80% electricity blackouts
    Gas thru roof
    No school. Its destroyed.
    No bus
    ISIS
    Starvation
    Religous zealotry
    More death than ever

    But look we can vote!

    Joko=Saddam
    Life is better under despot.

    Fact.

    War is bad, no one argues that, but let's also look at what YOU said objectively. Was it really "better" or just another flavor of bad? Let's break this down point for point, for starters:
    Under despot: Had clean water: I'll give you this one. There were a ton of regions that had no clean water under Sadam, but by and large it was MUCH more readily available when he was in charge.
    Subsidized electricity: Same as water.
    Cheap petrol:. Petrol was cheaper for the suppliers, but the average citizen has almost as much access to the petrol now as they did before. If anything, it's slightly more subsidized now.

    No school; it's destroyed:. Absolutely 100% false. I was there. The schools were among the first things to be rebuilt and placed under guard (mostly by local leaders and police forces). Especially the Universities. Also, attendance was more or less standardized. Rich men's sons aren't the only ones attending Universities now. The classrooms are still segregated by sex, but women are attending in record high numbers since Sadam's regime took hold.

    No bus: Also not true.

    ISIS: another despotic rule scenario, so obviously bad. But no one is trying to argue "Well, the people who like ISIS are treated well, so it's wrong to question their sovereignty!"

    Starvation: Existed during AND after Sadam. Was worse under Sadam in areas outside of city centers like Baghdad or Ramadi. And especially bad in majority Shi'ite areas, who were by and large extorted, raided, and generally got no assistance from the government.

    Religious zealotry: Started with Sadam. ISIS is just continuing it.

    But we can vote!: Yeah. True.

    Life is better under a despot: No It was not. For a majority of the population, it was the same abusive kitten. Just now the argument can be made that "At least not EVERYONE was oppressed back then! Just most people"

  • draxynnic.3719draxynnic.3719 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Omar Aschi Popp.7496 said:

    @draxynnic.3719 said:

    @Aaron Ansari.1604 said:
    'Relatively unthreatened', though, can still mean tottering on the brink of crisis in Tyria. Getting them to send supplementary troops to back the Pact against Mordremoth was like pulling teeth, and that was against a foe that'd already inflicted severe casualities on both nations' forces. There's no sign that the situation at home has improved enough for them to consider now footing the main bill of a campaign against a potential threat. (With Caudecus and the Mantle out of the picture, it's likely that things will slowly begin improving in Kryta, but a siege is a hell of a way to go out with a bang, and the bandits and centaurs won't melt away overnight. Unless they've reintroduced the watchknights on a much larger scale than we've yet seen, I'd expect that any spare manpower they have at this point would be tied up in rebuilding Lake Doric and carefully rolling back the enemy on other fronts.)

    True enough, although I suspect that the fall of the White Mantle does mean that Kryta is better off. And Kralkatorrik having flown south may mean that the Brand is less active in Ascalon. Jormag going back into hibernation might have taken a lot of pressure off the norn.

    The nations may also be considering the possibility that with the routes reopened, the last thing they want is an opportunistic Joko deciding to hit them at a time when they might be more vulnerable than they are now. We probably won't see any large-scale troop movements into Elona. However, I think it would be reasonable for the nations of Tyria to feel that they can handle an attack from Joko if it happens now, without giving Joko the opportunity to figure out an equivalent of the Elon redirection gambit for a Tyrian nation, while being quite happy to see anything that might destabilise Joko's rule.

    @Athrenn.9468 said:
    The argument against recognizing the legitimacy of the Vabbian government seems rather hypocritical for the powers involved.

    "You're a Guild Wars 1 villain faction who forcibly conquered human territory using tactics of aggressive military expansion!"

    You mean... like the charr? They seized all of Ascalon and hunted their enemies down all the way to Ebonhawke where they tried to exterminate them like mice holed up in a barn. If we established a precedent where Joko's empire was invalidated then we might as well take back Ascalon as well. This is why it is against the Iron Legion's political agenda to discredit King Joko's legitimacy—they don't want to be next on the chopping block of ex-villain factions whose government is illegitimate.

    Eh, I think there are two big differences here.

    From a practical standpoint: Smodur is not the charr leader who invaded Ascalon. In fact, the current charr government system was established by the overthrow of the one that did invade Ascalon, and Smodur specifically is the one on the charr side who established a truce to stop the conflict. It's reasonable for the nations of Tyria to feel that the days of charr invasions of other nations is in the past. Joko, however, is exactly the same despot who invaded Elona. Twice. Possibly in violation of a truce the second time around.

    From a moral standpoint: Smodur does generally seem to rule for the benefit of his people, or at least tries to. Joko might have good propaganda, but when you look past his propaganda he's clearly a despot.

    When you get into the situation with Ascalon specifically, it starts to become a case of "well, how long are you going to keep a grudge?" The Searing happened because the charr couldn't let go of a millenia-old grudge. Today, the region is mostly occupied by charr, and Smodur actually seems to be fairly generous with ceding land to Ebonhawke under the truce. Pushing the Iron Legion charr out of what has been their homes for two centuries because it used to be someone else's homes is one of those eye-for-an-eye-leaves-everyone-blind situations. The current generation is not to blame for what their forebears did. Palawa Joko is definitely to blame for what Palawa Joko did.

    Said the disgusting Charr appoligist.

    How to know when you take a balanced perspective: When the human fanatics call you a charr apologist, and the charr fanatics accuse you of having an irrational hatred for charr.

    @Athrenn.9468

    "Harsh to his enemies, generous to his loyal subjects" is basically what despots do. No despot remains in power without the support of their power centers, which requires a certain amount of pampering of those power centers, often at the expense of powerless commoners.

    You're trying to present a rosy picture, but several things have been filtered out by your rose-tinted glasses. For instance, from what I've seen, people get exiled for some of the most petty things. Simply expressing that you're not happy with the situation can get you exiled if the wrong person hears, even if what the informant hears gives no indication that you intend to act on that dissent.

    Or worse than exiled. You might have missed it, but one of the themes in the events around Purity is that the government there is literally poisoning the citizens there in order to create more corpses that can be Awakened for the army. You don't get more despotic then deliberately killing your own citizens without caring if they're loyal to you or not.

    Sure, you have some exiles and refugees wanting to go back. In the case of the exiles... partially because life there is deliberately harder than it is on the other side of the wall (it is intended to be a punishment, after all) while the exile is isolated from their family, friends, and any other support network they have at home, probably never to see any such loved ones again. Best case scenario for refugees is an undersupplied refugee camp, others have to cross a warzone.

    So are citizens, with all the despotism, better off than being in a refugee camp in a warzone? Sure. Despotism relies, in part, on the fear on the part of their citizens that however bad things are, they still have something to lose - the point at which people think they have nothing to lose is when they get pushed to full-scale revolt. However, I'm pretty confident in saying that they're worse off than they'd be if Palawa hadn't been able to seize control.

  • Athrenn.9468Athrenn.9468 Member ✭✭✭
    edited October 26, 2017

    @draxynnic.3719 said:
    "Harsh to his enemies, generous to his loyal subjects" is basically what despots do. No despot remains in power without the support of their power centers, which requires a certain amount of pampering of those power centers, often at the expense of powerless commoners.

    What you just described is the natural state of governance of the nation-state at its very essence and the unfortunate reality of how power works. If one group is to stay in power then it needs the support of powerful people. I cannot name a single complex society, even in the modern world, where there isn't some marginalized group of people who would consider themselves oppressed at the expense of the greater population. Some of them would even claim that the methods used to oppress them are biased and cruel. That doesn't make every ruler in history a despot in an objective sense, nor should it. Rulers can be capable of both good and bad acts that combine to form their overall legacy.

    The word "despot" is a political term that people in power can wield as a weapon to justify the overthrow of another sovereign leader because if they're a despot, it's a just war, right? We can see the effects of this vastly different state of mind between "liberating" and "liberated" populations in opinion polls which show just how effective the media is at shaping a person's view of reality depending on which media outlets they are immersed in.

    You're trying to present a rosy picture.

    No, I'm not. What I'm presenting are the facts that we're shown in-game. If you want to see an example of what the common citizen's standard of living is in Vabbi, go to the village of Purity and walk into their buildings. You can see for yourself what kind of food is available to them, what kind of houses they live in, the amount of material wealth they possess. You can't accuse me of making up facts that everyone here has access to. Everyone here can log in right now and visit the village of Purity where all of these environmental textures are right there for everyone to see. They would also be able to see Villagers (NPCs) entering the hall and using it like a communal mess hall.

    This isn't just the Clanmarshal's palace where only he and his family get to eat like kings while everyone else lives on meager rations. As far as we can tell, this is how commoners in Vabbi live.

    You might have missed it, but one of the themes in the events around Purity is that the government there is literally poisoning the citizens there in order to create more corpses that can be Awakened for the army. You don't get more despotic then deliberately killing your own citizens without caring if they're loyal to you or not.

    I didn't miss that either. If our topic of discussion is whether Palawa Joko is a despot then we shouldn't be weighing anecdotal evidence of a single vizier's decision. We have no evidence that this is a recurring event. No villagers say, "Oh, remember that other time our crops were mysteriously poisoned a while ago?" This tells us that it's a rare event that only happened in the year 1330 (as far as we know) under very specific circumstances. (I.e. "We're at war with Balthazar, communication with Vabbi has been cut off, and our last orders were to send food and supplies south no matter the cost.") If the Vizier and Clanmarshal made the wrong choice then that is on them and it has to be judged separately.

    After completing the event, the daughter of the village elder who instigated the rebellion blamed the Vizier and Clanmarshal specifically and said that things were better before Joko disappeared. Note that she did not blame Palawa Joko for the problem but she did blame the local ruler. The same pattern can be seen when talking to other villagers who agree that things were better for them before Balthazar's arrival and Joko's disappearance.

    However, I'm pretty confident in saying that they're worse off than they'd be if Palawa hadn't been able to seize control.

    100% of human Ascalonians would be better off if the charr hadn't seized control of Ascalon. That's just how history played out and there's nothing we can do to erase that fact, but it doesn't mean that engaging in war to overthrow the regime is going to fix their reality.

  • Squee.7829Squee.7829 Member ✭✭✭
    edited October 26, 2017

    It's probably good to mention, aside from the whole "Joko is a despot" thing, there's also the fact that Joko is absolutely and unquestionably a dangerous character. Not just to his own people. He is the exact same ruler who literally tried to assassinate the ruling bodies of all of the other nations 250+ years ago. It's unsurprising that Kryta might not care too much about violating his territorial rights. It's probably a little surprising to think that the Queen and Council of Kryta didn't go "The guy that tried to destroy us all that time ago is STILL alive?!" and immediately declare war on him. But bigger fish to fry I guess.

    Edit: I think it's still somewhat up in the air whether or not it was Joko that hired Zinn to assassinate those rulers, but the dialogue in Rata Arcanum left very little room for it to be anything else

  • draxynnic.3719draxynnic.3719 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited October 26, 2017

    @Athrenn.9468 said:

    @draxynnic.3719 said:
    "Harsh to his enemies, generous to his loyal subjects" is basically what despots do. No despot remains in power without the support of their power centers, which requires a certain amount of pampering of those power centers, often at the expense of powerless commoners.

    What you just described is the natural state of governance of the nation-state at its very essence and the unfortunate reality of how power works. If one group is to stay in power then it needs the support of powerful people. I cannot name a single complex society, even in the modern world, where there isn't some marginalized group of people who would consider themselves oppressed at the expense of the greater population. Some of them would even claim that the methods used to oppress them are biased and cruel. That doesn't make every ruler in history a despot in an objective sense, nor should it. Rulers can be capable of both good and bad acts that combine to form their overall legacy.

    Not really. "Generous to loyal subjects" - yes, that is fairly common in nation-states. "Harsh to enemies" - not so much, and those that are are rightly criticised. Sure, there are usually minorities that consider themselves to be oppressed, but in most modern Western nations anyway, that oppression is not something that deliberately comes down from the top, but the result of abuses of power from the middle ranks (although the responses when these come to light vary).

    The whole principle behind a healthy democracy is that you can disagree with your government and even take steps to replace them by measured that are in place to allow peaceful transfers of power. Now, one could say that many politicians are varying degrees of corrupt, but most countries don't send people to work farms where they get beaten for not making severe quotas just because the wrong person heard them saying that they weren't happy with the state of things.

    You're trying to present a rosy picture.

    No, I'm not. What I'm presenting are the facts that we're shown in-game. If you want to see an example of what the common citizen's standard of living is in Vabbi, go to the village of Purity and walk into their buildings. You can see for yourself what kind of food is available to them, what kind of houses they live in, the amount of material wealth they possess. You can't accuse me of making up facts that everyone here has access to. Everyone here can log in right now and visit the village of Purity where all of these environmental textures are right there for everyone to see. They would also be able to see Villagers (NPCs) entering the hall and using it like a communal mess hall.

    This isn't just the Clanmarshal's palace where only he and his family get to eat like kings while everyone else lives on meager rations. As far as we can tell, this is how commoners in Vabbi live.

    Well, this is a place where the heart is about how many of those buildings are in fact falling apart, but to put that aside:

    So?

    People having enough to eat does not change that they're living under a tyrant.

    Even then, we're looking at the conditions in the area that is literally Joko's breadbasket. How do you think things are in Kourna, which lost its ability to grow its own food when Joko diverted the Elon specifically so he could use food and water as a means of control?

    You might have missed it, but one of the themes in the events around Purity is that the government there is literally poisoning the citizens there in order to create more corpses that can be Awakened for the army. You don't get more despotic then deliberately killing your own citizens without caring if they're loyal to you or not.

    I didn't miss that either. If our topic of discussion is whether Palawa Joko is a despot then we shouldn't be weighing anecdotal evidence of a single vizier's decision. We have no evidence that this is a recurring event. No villagers say, "Oh, remember that other time our crops were mysteriously poisoned a while ago?" This tells us that it's a rare event that only happened in the year 1330 (as far as we know) under very specific circumstances. (I.e. "We're at war with Balthazar, communication with Vabbi has been cut off, and our last orders were to send food and supplies south no matter the cost.") If the Vizier and Clanmarshal made the wrong choice then that is on them and it has to be judged separately.

    You don't think that the actions of those which were appointed by Palawa Joko reflect at all on Joko? You don't think that it's possible that the Scourge of Vabbi, who has a history of murdering people in order to conscript them into his undead armies, might not have intended exactly that when he said "no matter the cost"?

    After completing the event, the daughter of the village elder who instigated the rebellion blamed the Vizier and Clanmarshal specifically and said that things were better before Joko disappeared. Note that she did not blame Palawa Joko for the problem but she did blame the local ruler. The same pattern can be seen when talking to other villagers who agree that things were better for them before Balthazar's arrival and Joko's disappearance.

    Ah, yes, the Villian With Good Propaganda clearly would not have allowed things to reach that state if he was around!

    It's a common trope for people to think that a bad state of affairs is only because the Beloved Leader wasn't aware of how bad things were, only for it to turn out that he definitely was.

    Putting that aside, though, there is a connection between Joko going missing and things getting worse, but it has nothing to do with a good leader, and everything to do with Joko having been betrayed by Balthaddon. The war didn't go into Joko's realm, and therefore things didn't get bad enough to require drastic measures, until after Joko's disappearance. However, Balthaddon only managed to get his army of Forged with Joko's assistance. Joko was assisting Balthaddon right up until Balthaddon was so rude as to betray Joko first.

    However, I'm pretty confident in saying that they're worse off than they'd be if Palawa hadn't been able to seize control.

    100% of human Ascalonians would be better off if the charr hadn't seized control of Ascalon. That's just how history played out and there's nothing we can do to erase that fact, but it doesn't mean that engaging in war to overthrow the regime is going to fix their reality.

    I don't really see the relevance here. The charr do not rule over human Ascalonians, so they did not set up the current Ascalonian society. Neither is anybody saying that Ascalonians should thank the charr for the Searing. Forgive, perhaps, but "forgive" carries with it the assumption that there is a wrong to forgive.

    Palawa is 100% responsible for the state Elona is in, and the decline in living standards, let alone educational standards (let's not forget that he burned the biggest library in Elona) and the ability to speak freely without fear of ending up exiled to a penal colony or worse. (Speaking of, I'm Australian myself, and I don't feel as if the legacy of being a penal colony is any more than history - but even when England was at its worst, the standard for "being deported for something petty" was stealing a loaf of bread, not commenting to a friend that you're really hungry and you're tempted by the smell of the loaf of bread you can't afford to buy...)

    You're clearly attempting to drive a real-world political agenda here, but it is equally obvious that ArenaNet has designated Joko as a despot. A practical one, yes, and one where deposing him might make things worse for the majority of his subjects rather than better, at least in the short term, but a despot nonetheless.

    At the bottom line, though, it is reasonable, given Joko's history, for the nations of Tyria to regard him as a threat. Particularly since they're also all influenced by the Order of Whispers, which has no love lost with Joko even if the Tyrian branch has shifted its focus to the dragons. Therefore, to return to the topic of this thread, it's entirely reasonable for the governments of Tyria to be happy to see anything that destabilises Joko. Whether such motivation is out of idealism (free the oppressed!) or realpolitick (if we keep Joko focused on his own land he won't be able to interfere in ours) is open to interpretation, but either motivation is sufficient to be happy to give the Guild Initiative open licence.

  • Dewsitine.3645Dewsitine.3645 Member ✭✭
    edited October 26, 2017

    To @Athrenn.9468
    I would like to raise a question as to why does Joko's army is secretly putting poison into the crops instead of going outright to the people and tell them that we need more bodies/awakened for our troops are running low?

    To the information that is given for education of the people; there is a chain of events that has a outsider scholar taking a look at the murals on the wall depicting one way or another of an important event that happened was done directly or indirectly by Joko himself. Since these murals are in the school grounds and none of the staff that work there has raised no concerned, then I can assume that there is no longer a person in the academy that has the uncensored history or is forced to keep quiet for fear of breaking the law.

    There has been no official law book for us to take a look at to see how severe/strict are the laws regarding everything related to joko's rule. I can hopefully safely assume that any information of past events or present will be banned if not outright destroyed that do not follow the Joko's guideline on history and current events.
    Also another thought of mine is that joko has instilled a fear and obey mentality to his subjects by painting himself to be a god-king like in Ancient Egypt pharaohs were descendants of the gods. To the people under his rule, they may not see him as oppressive ruler, but everywhere else people would, I would like to think, see him as oppressing their right to history and knowledge by banning multiple perspectives and only having the government perspective.

    The survivors of both dragon campaigns would definitely get pissed off since through his version of history and current events; their sacrifice that they and the fallen have made are invalidated by the citizens who would definitely refute their experience as it was not the information they have received. The priory would also view his rule oppressive on information as he has erased Elona history in order to establish his own history that supports his god like status. (Edit: Forgot to add in the rest of my thought.)

    I enjoyed reading your post with the information you have put together and it is neat putting together this view. Please forgive my post if I sound rather rash as I do not have enough experience with online debates or with debates in general. Anyways, cheers.

    Would be nice to have more hybrid plant and regular clothing for fashion wars or more plant armor.

  • This is actually some very good reading, and insight from a lore prespective and general thinking/philosophy.

    Thank you everyone for a worthwhile read.

  • @Squee.7829 said:

    @Omar Aschi Popp.7496 said:

    @Squee.7829 said:

    @Athrenn.9468 said:

    @draxynnic.3719 said:

    ...

    Naw I agree with Athren here. Its all from x spun narrative. If you(yall) look at cold unfeeling facts and leave your emotions at the door it might be more clear.

    Look at Iraq.

    Under despot:
    Clean water
    Subsidized electicity
    Cheap petrol
    Internationally accredited university
    Subsidized public transport
    Top 5 Arab nation for gender equality
    Massive social works

    No political rights.

    Under FEEEDOM USA:
    No water
    No satitation
    80% electricity blackouts
    Gas thru roof
    No school. Its destroyed.
    No bus
    ISIS
    Starvation
    Religous zealotry
    More death than ever

    But look we can vote!

    Joko=Saddam
    Life is better under despot.

    Fact.

    War is bad, no one argues that, but let's also look at what YOU said objectively. Was it really "better" or just another flavor of bad? Let's break this down point for point, for starters:
    Under despot: Had clean water: I'll give you this one. There were a ton of regions that had no clean water under Sadam, but by and large it was MUCH more readily available when he was in charge.
    Subsidized electricity: Same as water.
    Cheap petrol:. Petrol was cheaper for the suppliers, but the average citizen has almost as much access to the petrol now as they did before. If anything, it's slightly more subsidized now.

    No school; it's destroyed:. Absolutely 100% false. I was there. The schools were among the first things to be rebuilt and placed under guard (mostly by local leaders and police forces). Especially the Universities. Also, attendance was more or less standardized. Rich men's sons aren't the only ones attending Universities now. The classrooms are still segregated by sex, but women are attending in record high numbers since Sadam's regime took hold.

    No bus: Also not true.

    ISIS: another despotic rule scenario, so obviously bad. But no one is trying to argue "Well, the people who like ISIS are treated well, so it's wrong to question their sovereignty!"

    Starvation: Existed during AND after Sadam. Was worse under Sadam in areas outside of city centers like Baghdad or Ramadi. And especially bad in majority Shi'ite areas, who were by and large extorted, raided, and generally got no assistance from the government.

    Religious zealotry: Started with Sadam. ISIS is just continuing it.

    But we can vote!: Yeah. True.

    Life is better under a despot: No It was not. For a majority of the population, it was the same abusive kitten. Just now the argument can be made that "At least not EVERYONE was oppressed back then! Just most people"

    You keep combining the two seperate systems.
    Despot was saddam. Freedom is iraq in its current state. Almost 20 years later.

    Despite political blah blah the bottom lime is Iraq used to be pretty ok under the despot. And absolute kitten under freedom.

    Without mincing words, which would you prefer, 1980s Iraq or Iraq right now? Pick one.

    I really didnt want to bribg irl stuff into this but this is the best example I can draw from in comparisson.

  • Squee.7829Squee.7829 Member ✭✭✭
    edited October 26, 2017

    My point was it was definitely not "ok" under Sadam. It was far from ok. It's not really ok now, either, but saying it was better before isn't accurate either. And I wasn't mixing the systems. I just wasn't using the same format you were. I can see where that can be a little odd looking. But basically instead of making two seperate lists as you did, I was just making generalized points about how things are now compared to how they were under Sadam. (i.e,: Schools are not worse now than they were under Sadam, in fact they're slightly better. Still in a crappy part of the world and full of problems, but better)

  • draxynnic.3719draxynnic.3719 Member ✭✭✭✭

    If we are going to bring the real world into it, too, one could also consider that Iraq as it currently is is still in a "recovering from upheaval" stage, where a large part of the problem is that Saddam's legacy is still playing out. For the long-term effect, you could look at, say, West Germany and Japan, which had a lot of pain in the first decade or so but worked out in the end.

    Now, the previous governments of Germany and Japan were probably a lot more dangerous to the wider world than Saddam was. On the other hand, and to return to Guild Wars, Elona under Joko is probably a lot closer to the Axis powers in WW2 in terms of how much of a threat he poses to the protagonist nations than Saddam ever was to the West. Maybe peace is possible. And maybe the fate of Elona has already shown what happens when you try to live in peace with Palawa Joko as a neighbour. As far as we know, his attacks on Elona were unprovoked, and someone who launches an unprovoked invasion twice might do so again.

  • @Squee.7829 said:
    My point was it was definitely not "ok" under Sadam. It was far from ok. It's not really ok now, either, but saying it was better before isn't accurate either. And I wasn't mixing the systems. I just wasn't using the same format you were. I can see where that can be a little odd looking. But basically instead of making two seperate lists as you did, I was just making generalized points about how things are now compared to how they were under Sadam. (i.e,: Schools are not worse now than they were under Sadam, in fact they're slightly better. Still in a crappy part of the world and full of problems, but better)

    You didnt pick a time to live in.
    Just admit it. 1980s irak is sweet potats of the options.

  • Squee.7829Squee.7829 Member ✭✭✭
    edited October 26, 2017

    Maybe for a bit. And only for the Sunnis, whom were aligned with Saddam. (Despots like favoritism). There was always tension between the two groups but it only got a lot worse in the 80's. There was a slight economic recession, followed by a general upward trend. Before Sadam decided to, you know, try to brutally take over Kuwait and got sanctioned into the dirt. Also, pretty crappy thing to do. So, all in all, I'd have to say, no. 80's was just the beginning of the terrible decline of the horrible state of Iraq and it was because of a despot. But I feel like this isn't really relating enough to the main thread anymore, so to bring it back on subject; "liberating" is bad, especially in the short term, but so is letting a despot remain in power and strangle a country to death to serve his own agendas. Therefore, it's not at all weird that Kryta could not care less about Joko's claims to territory. He's A) A terrible person in many ways, (You don't get a title like "Scourge of XXX" for being nice) B ) generally seen as a cruel taskmaster, and C) already a proven threat to nations outside of Elona and therefore must be watched, if not outright removed. And putting a few little guilds on his borders is a good way to keep an eye on things. Whether Joko likes it or not.

  • Before everyone is debating the legitimacy of Jokos regency, the last time I was looking he was trapped in a cage somewhere in inbetween world. So technically Vabbi doesn't have a ruler at all at the moment. Maybe Joko comes back maybe not but IF he does it pretty much looks like he will be up to revenge. And we have no idea if that will be personal against us or if it will be against anyone else.

  • Squee.7829Squee.7829 Member ✭✭✭
    edited October 26, 2017

    I think the only person he'd seek revenge on is Balthazar. But he's gone now. We personally haven't done anything to him but insult him a little by not knowing who he was while we were dead. He might, however, be a little cranky about us making Kralk a good bit stronger. That seems like something that might worry Joko. ANd we kind of harassed/temporarily took over his military, but ultimately it WAS to kill the guy that imprisoned Joko in the first place, so there's no telling how that will go. I wouldn't be surprised if he recognized us as generally superior to his forces, or too powerful a nuisance (seeing as how we manhandled them into falling under our favor) and try to strike some horrible deal with us that will backfire in some terrible way in the future.

  • And that we took his army under disguise and didn't free him and I don't know ... killed his Archon.
    But what I rather wanted to say is Vabbi doesn't have a ruler atm.
    So the legitimacy of the despot Joko doesn't matter anymore. Not really much at least.

  • Squee.7829Squee.7829 Member ✭✭✭

    Sorry. I think I ninja edited my post while you were replying. I mentioned the "harassing his army" thing. And I forgot about the Archon, which is likely a very important part of his forces. So, I cede that point. He will likely be angry about that.

    But yeah, I agree. We don't even know IF Joko will be free'd or if we're just going to use his absence as a chance to ween Elona out of his rule or something. No one even seems to know Joko is missing, and as we kind of control his military, this would be a prime opportunity for Dragon's Watch to change things up without excessive force. Maybe the story will develop in that direction. Or maybe something will free Joko and give us players something else to fight for a bit.

  • Aaron Ansari.1604Aaron Ansari.1604 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited October 26, 2017

    According, to our old friend, the no-longer Colonel Kernel, Joko's already out and directing troop movements again. A bit anti-climactic, but on the other hand, there wasn't much use in dragging it out either.

    Replying to a couple earlier points:

    @Squee.7829 said:

    Going back to the North Korea thing, this is a nation of people that are starving, poor, oppressed, and imprisoned for the most minor infractions. They have no access to the outside world (like in Vabbi where the students are surprised when you tell them there is a world outside of Elona) and the only reason most of its population survives is through the UN's constant funneling of supplies.

    I'm also in the Joko-as-despot camp, but I don't think this comparison follows through. As far as we can currently tell, Elona under Joko is well fed, on a spectrum from opulently rich to still comfortably making ends meet, relatively free as long as you toe the party line, and all that without any foreign aid. It's still not a place I'd like to live, but it isn't a soul-crushing dystopia. We'll see what conditions are like elsewhere- there are lines indicating that Vabbi is much more comfortable than the rest of the country- but on the whole, I'm not expecting any clear-cut, pitch-black evil overlord nonsense when ANet's already taken pains to show that the situation is more nuanced than that.

    @draxynnic.3719 said:

    You don't think that the actions of those which were appointed by Palawa Joko reflect at all on Joko? You don't think that it's possible that the Scourge of Vabbi, who has a history of murdering people in order to conscript them into his undead armies, might not have intended exactly that when he said "no matter the cost"?

    I don't, given that Joko's appointees are so often taking different actions. The best example is probably the Necropolis- each of the High Judges was handpicked by Joko, but we have one who's pushing to build up the troops by Awakening everyone, another who's set the bar for Awakening so outrageously high that essentially no one can qualify, and a third who doesn't think the judges ought to be coming to any decision while Joko isn't around to check in on things when he feels like it. All three of them wind up taking violent action in support of their own positions and in direct opposition to the others'; the only thing that we can say reflects on Joko from that mess is his failure to set up governing bodies that are prepared to operate without him.

    (Not that I think Joko would be at all shy about murder; I think he'd just keep it to the Deadhouse, out of sight of anyone south of the Bone Wall.)

    R.I.P., Old Man of Auld Red Wharf. Gone but never forgotten.

  • Narcemus.1348Narcemus.1348 Member ✭✭✭

    I find it interesting that in all of these conversations about whether or not Joko is. Despot, no one brought up his alleged blatant genocide of the elonian centaurs. I understand it may not be 100% true, but to claim to have made your Bone Palace out of the bones of Centaurs you would have to at least killed a lot of them. And I would say that those are not the types of actions taken by a noble leader.

  • @Narcemus.1348 said:
    I find it interesting that in all of these conversations about whether or not Joko is. Despot, no one brought up his alleged blatant genocide of the elonian centaurs. I understand it may not be 100% true, but to claim to have made your Bone Palace out of the bones of Centaurs you would have to at least killed a lot of them. And I would say that those are not the types of actions taken by a noble leader.

    Yes, but is he bad towards his own people?

  • ugrakarma.9416ugrakarma.9416 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited October 26, 2017

    Political systems are full of details and nuances that would be impossible to represent in a game, and i think Anet did a brilliant job with Joko in PoF.

    "It's a testament to the folly of the humans and their gods. They say Arah was sacred, but all I see is one big dragon nest."(Rytlock Brimstone)

  • Athrenn.9468Athrenn.9468 Member ✭✭✭

    @ugrakarma.9416 said:
    Political systems are full of details and nuances that would be impossible to represent in a game, and i think Anet did a brilliant job with Joko in PoF.

    Now this, I can agree on wholeheartedly. We need more of what we saw in Vabbi in future expansions because it makes the Guild Wars universe feel more like something out of a history book than most video game cultures.

  • Athrenn.9468Athrenn.9468 Member ✭✭✭
    edited October 26, 2017

    @draxynnic.3719 said:
    At the bottom line, though, it is reasonable, given Joko's history, for the nations of Tyria to regard him as a threat. Particularly since they're also all influenced by the Order of Whispers, which has no love lost with Joko even if the Tyrian branch has shifted its focus to the dragons. Therefore, to return to the topic of this thread, it's entirely reasonable for the governments of Tyria to be happy to see anything that destabilizes Joko. Whether such motivation is out of idealism (free the oppressed!) or realpolitick (if we keep Joko focused on his own land he won't be able to interfere in ours) is open to interpretation, but either motivation is sufficient to be happy to give the Guild Initiative open license.

    There are better ways to deal with international threats than declaring war or backing conspicuous paramilitary organizations (I.e. Guilds with private armies backed by the Guild Initiative) to potentially provoke a violent response. You never want to start a war if you can avoid it while achieving your political goals; it's bad for the geostrategic balance of power and not subtle enough to deflect political blame.

    From a moral standpoint, that would be very dangerous territory. We're not even in a time period of Tyrian history where modern democratic countries exist yet but imagine what it would be like if a democratic state looked back at the atrocities committed by their ancestors in other time periods while judging them with their contemporary values. Let's take the Irish Potato Famine of 1846-1852 as an example. (Even if you don't want to take real-world politics into account, bear with me. We've already passed the point of no return where people are comparing Palawa Joko to real-world political leaders so this argument isn't going to die anytime soon.)

    The Irish Potato Famine was a horrible disaster in human history, claiming close to a million lives for reasons that were preventable. If you read the article, those reasons that contributed to the disaster were largely political and rooted in the prevailing philosophies of the British government at the time. To quote the article, "Sir Charles Trevelyan, the British civil servant chiefly responsible for administering Irish relief policy throughout the famine years. In his book, The Irish Crisis, published in 1848, Trevelyan described the famine as 'a direct stroke of an all-wise and all-merciful Providence', one which laid bare 'the deep and inveterate root of social evil'. The famine, he declared, was 'the sharp but effectual remedy by which the cure is likely to be effected [sic]... God grant that the generation to which this great opportunity has been offered may rightly perform its part...'"

    Now, what if the French were looking across the English Channel and saw this terrible injustice?

    "Ah-HA, you English swine!" they would say in their outrageous French accents. "We've caught you doing something terribly evil! Your domestic policies are WRONG and it's our job to liberate your country for the good of the poor Irish minorities!"

    How would that have changed history? Looking back, would it have been a good thing for the evolution of Great Britain if some foreign country had toppled the 'Victorian regime' to free Ireland from its terrible conditions? And replaced it with... well, what would they have replaced it with that could have possibly fixed this problem, short of culling every politician with a similar mentality as Trevelyan and replacing them with people who we'll somehow select based on their moral qualifications?

    Interfering with the affairs of sovereign nations using military action based on shoddy moral justification is a very dangerous practice. If some opposing society had successfully toppled the rule of Queen Victoria and began a succession crisis, Great Britain would undoubtedly be the worse for it.

    We don't know how Vabbian society will be in a hundred years, but making a knee-jerk reaction to purge their government of people who hold unfavorable political opinions for the sake of short-term moral victories is a bad idea. Declaring war is not going to stop those people from starving; if Kryta wants to commit to a long-term solution, they should build an alliance with the Vabbian government and apply nonviolent diplomatic pressure when necessary to slowly bring them into alignment as allies. It's not a perfect solution, it won't result in positive change overnight, but it would be a step in the right direction. Approaching international affairs with diplomatic tact is a time-proven strategy that Tyrian governments have already learned to use through the Charr-Human Treaty negotiations and so there's no excuse for why the same strategy couldn't be tried with the Palawian regime. if it succeeds? Fantastic. if it doesn't? Less fantastic, but at least they shot for the best possible outcome first.

  • Well like I said Vabbi doesn't have a ruler atm, there is not much to purge left. (I yep I'm not putting to much trust in the hear-say of the scouts of a candy-corn during Halloween.) So we got regional rulers who poison their own people, a totaly incapable royal family, who are not even able to let their palace clean and the roaming remains of the mechanical army of a mad and now dead god. So who do you want to approach diplomaticly?

  • He does not have to be a good or noble person to be a good ruler.

  • Anyone here read The Prince?

  • Athrenn.9468Athrenn.9468 Member ✭✭✭

    @Omar Aschi Popp.7496 said:
    Anyone here read The Prince?

    I actually haven't, but I've been meaning to eventually. I do appreciate Niccolò Machiavelli's framework for political theories of governance. I can't think of any examples of overtly Machiavellian themes being explored in the Guild Wars franchise but it's very applicable to stories of political drama. I've heard that G.R.R. Martin explores Machiavellian attitudes in Tywin Lannister's character so there's one good example of how it can be done in epic fantasy.

  • draxynnic.3719draxynnic.3719 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Omar Aschi Popp.7496 said:

    @Narcemus.1348 said:
    I find it interesting that in all of these conversations about whether or not Joko is. Despot, no one brought up his alleged blatant genocide of the elonian centaurs. I understand it may not be 100% true, but to claim to have made your Bone Palace out of the bones of Centaurs you would have to at least killed a lot of them. And I would say that those are not the types of actions taken by a noble leader.

    Yes, but is he bad towards his own people?

    Once you get to that point, you get to the point where you can excuse anything by sufficiently narrowing the definition of who the ruler's "own people" are.

    Genocide is genocide.

    @Athrenn.9468 said:
    We don't know how Vabbian society will be in a hundred years, but making a knee-jerk reaction to purge their government of people who hold unfavorable political opinions for the sake of short-term moral victories is a bad idea. Declaring war is not going to stop those people from starving; if Kryta wants to commit to a long-term solution, they should build an alliance with the Vabbian government and apply nonviolent diplomatic pressure when necessary to slowly bring them into alignment as allies. It's not a perfect solution, it won't result in positive change overnight, but it would be a step in the right direction. Approaching international affairs with diplomatic tact is a time-proven strategy that Tyrian governments have already learned to use through the Charr-Human Treaty negotiations and so there's no excuse for why the same strategy couldn't be tried with the Palawian regime. if it succeeds? Fantastic. if it doesn't? Less fantastic, but at least they shot for the best possible outcome first.

    France would have lost in your hypothetical. Badly. England was still allied with Prussia and the Confederacy of the Rhine at the time if I remember my history right, and we know what happened in the War of 1880 and that was just Germany and Prussia. But that's neither here nor there.

    The flaw in your argument is this: It is very likely that the Sunspears already attempted the policy you described. We don't know for sure what happened in the years between Nightfall and Joko's second invasion of Elona, but we have no evidence even of a simmering cold war with Joko, so the simplest explanation is that, at worst, Joko was left alone and diplomacy was attempted. Which Joko repaid by launching a second invasion.

    Maintaining peace and hoping for generational change can work when generational change actually happens. However, Joko now is the same Joko who offered aid to Sahlahja only to destroy it, and who invaded Elona, and being an undying lich, will continue to rule over Elona until he is removed. There is no hope for a passing of government to result in a change of policies and attitudes: Joko will be the tyrant god-king of Elona forever until he is removed.

    There is a time when diplomacy and keeping the peace can result in the desired outcome without a bloody conflict. And there are times when seeking "peace in our time" leads to the bloodiest war in human history.

    @Omar Aschi Popp.7496 said:
    Anyone here read The Prince?

    Which Machiavelli intended as satire. Think of it as the Renaissance version of the Evil Overlord List.

  • Athrenn.9468Athrenn.9468 Member ✭✭✭

    @draxynnic.3719 said:
    Genocide is genocide.

    You know, we've had this discussion before with regards to the Mursaat and your stance seemed to be in favor of the collective action (though by no means with allied intention) between the Shining Blade and Titans in exterminating them to the very end. If your stance is that genocide is bad sometimes when you're killing certain groups but not others then it's not a consistent argument.

    The flaw in your argument is this: It is very likely that the Sunspears already attempted the policy you described. We don't know for sure what happened in the years between Nightfall and Joko's second invasion of Elona, but we have no evidence even of a simmering cold war with Joko, so the simplest explanation is that, at worst, Joko was left alone and diplomacy was attempted. Which Joko repaid by launching a second invasion.

    That seems like another shaky argument to me. We don't know what happened, so we don't know what happened. It's a dark age in our current historical record that has yet to be illuminated. A lack of evidence is proof of nothing.

    Maintaining peace and hoping for generational change can work when generational change actually happens. However, Joko now is the same Joko who offered aid to Sahlahja only to destroy it, and who invaded Elona, and being an undying lich, will continue to rule over Elona until he is removed. There is no hope for a passing of government to result in a change of policies and attitudes: Joko will be the tyrant god-king of Elona forever until he is removed.

    King Sahlahja is an NPC from the quest A Deal's A Deal. In this very same quest, the Sunspears (player character included) made a deal with Joko: we help him reclaim his palace, and he helps us kill Varesh Ossa. He kept his side of the bargain.

    Does this mean that Joko can always be trusted? Obviously not, but the same quest that you're referring to has equal proof that he can swing either way depending on what he is interested in. Any relationship between Palawian Elona and another nation would need to be one of caution. If he does provoke an unnecessary war of conquest then the nations standing in opposition to him will at least have more time to gather intelligence and formulate a strategy. Diplomacy doesn't need to last forever, just as long as it's in the best interests of the parties involved.

    Which Machiavelli intended as satire. Think of it as the Renaissance version of the Evil Overlord List.

    That's an incredibly revisionist view of history that has strong evidence against it. Namely from his letter to Francesco Vettori which was written on December 10, 1513:

    "I have discussed this little study of mine with Filippo and whether or not it would be a good idea to present it [to Giuliano], and if it were a good idea, whether I should take it myself or should send it to you. Against presenting it would be my suspicion that he might not even read it and that that person Ardinghelli might take the credit for this most recent of my endeavors. In favor of presenting it would be the necessity that hounds me, because I am wasting away and cannot continue on like this much longer without becoming contemptible because of my poverty. Besides, there is my desire that these Medici princes should begin to engage my services, even if they should start out by having me roll along a stone. For then, if I could not win them over, I should have only myself to blame. And through this study of mine, were it to be read, it would be evident that during the fifteen years I have been studying the art of the state I have neither slept nor fooled around, and anybody ought to be happy to utilize someone who has had so much experience at the expense of others. There should be no doubt about my word; for, since I have always kept it, I should not start learning how to break it now. Whoever has been honest and faithful for forty-three years, as I have, is unable to change his nature; my poverty is a witness to my loyalty and honesty."

  • @draxynnic.3719 said:

    @Omar Aschi Popp.7496 said:

    @Narcemus.1348 said:
    I find it interesting that in all of these conversations about whether or not Joko is. Despot, no one brought up his alleged blatant genocide of the elonian centaurs. I understand it may not be 100% true, but to claim to have made your Bone Palace out of the bones of Centaurs you would have to at least killed a lot of them. And I would say that those are not the types of actions taken by a noble leader.

    Yes, but is he bad towards his own people?

    Once you get to that point, you get to the point where you can excuse anything by sufficiently narrowing the definition of who the ruler's "own people" are.

    Genocide is genocide.

    @Athrenn.9468 said:
    We don't know how Vabbian society will be in a hundred years, but making a knee-jerk reaction to purge their government of people who hold unfavorable political opinions for the sake of short-term moral victories is a bad idea. Declaring war is not going to stop those people from starving; if Kryta wants to commit to a long-term solution, they should build an alliance with the Vabbian government and apply nonviolent diplomatic pressure when necessary to slowly bring them into alignment as allies. It's not a perfect solution, it won't result in positive change overnight, but it would be a step in the right direction. Approaching international affairs with diplomatic tact is a time-proven strategy that Tyrian governments have already learned to use through the Charr-Human Treaty negotiations and so there's no excuse for why the same strategy couldn't be tried with the Palawian regime. if it succeeds? Fantastic. if it doesn't? Less fantastic, but at least they shot for the best possible outcome first.

    France would have lost in your hypothetical. Badly. England was still allied with Prussia and the Confederacy of the Rhine at the time if I remember my history right, and we know what happened in the War of 1880 and that was just Germany and Prussia. But that's neither here nor there.

    The flaw in your argument is this: It is very likely that the Sunspears already attempted the policy you described. We don't know for sure what happened in the years between Nightfall and Joko's second invasion of Elona, but we have no evidence even of a simmering cold war with Joko, so the simplest explanation is that, at worst, Joko was left alone and diplomacy was attempted. Which Joko repaid by launching a second invasion.

    Maintaining peace and hoping for generational change can work when generational change actually happens. However, Joko now is the same Joko who offered aid to Sahlahja only to destroy it, and who invaded Elona, and being an undying lich, will continue to rule over Elona until he is removed. There is no hope for a passing of government to result in a change of policies and attitudes: Joko will be the tyrant god-king of Elona forever until he is removed.

    There is a time when diplomacy and keeping the peace can result in the desired outcome without a bloody conflict. And there are times when seeking "peace in our time" leads to the bloodiest war in human history.

    @Omar Aschi Popp.7496 said:
    Anyone here read The Prince?

    Which Machiavelli intended as satire. Think of it as the Renaissance version of the Evil Overlord List.

    My point and also my personal opinion is this;
    I don't care who is in charge and how they do it as long as there is personal peace, personal liberty, and order.

    As long as I can live, work, play, sell and buy stuff, and persue hobbies/learnings... I don't care if my despot does morally questionable things.

    Are trains running on time? Cool.
    Can I get good produce at the store? Sweet.
    Can I work to pay for the quality of life I want. Great!

    Did my despot have to murder 621 anti-government protesters in the street because they were congesting local traffic? PRAISE JOKO

    If you take personal feelings, opinion, sentiment, and bias away... is the state( and the people in it) properous? Is the state wealthy, is the state in good infrastructural and logistical standing? Is crime at baseline low? Is the state safe and secure?

    If yes to all of those, who cares if you cant vote.

    Joko take me now.

  • Torolan.5816Torolan.5816 Member ✭✭✭

    I always thought that Palawa Joko is a petty skritthole, and I still do. He´s like an undead version of Adolf H and Goebbels cobbled together, and the awakened and loyal living soldiers are his SS and Weapons SS respectively, the "Elite of the Herrenmenschen" .

  • draxynnic.3719draxynnic.3719 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited October 27, 2017

    @Athrenn.9468 said:

    @draxynnic.3719 said:
    Genocide is genocide.

    You know, we've had this discussion before with regards to the Mursaat and your stance seemed to be in favor of the collective action (though by no means with allied intention) between the Shining Blade and Titans in exterminating them to the very end. If your stance is that genocide is bad sometimes when you're killing certain groups but not others then it's not a consistent argument.

    That's less a case of taking them out simply because of who they are, but because of what they've done and, quite likely, what Glint knew they were planning to do. Genocide is genocide, but if you're talking about an entire race of immortal would-be despots... you're not wiping them out because they happen to be mursaat. You're wiping them out because every one is a significant threat and because, in Glint's case, she likely knows that diplomacy is impossible (long-range mind reader, remember?).

    Joko has been hunting down the Ossans simply because of who their ancestor was. He made a point of wiping out the centaurs (or claiming to) simply because they had four legs rather than two - when the centaurs had, to all evidence (including LS2 material) been living at peace with the Kournans when they weren't themselves being oppressed. It's possible that this was a "We will never surrender" situation whereby wiping them out was the only way to prevent the fighting... but it's still his aggression that created that situation.

    The flaw in your argument is this: It is very likely that the Sunspears already attempted the policy you described. We don't know for sure what happened in the years between Nightfall and Joko's second invasion of Elona, but we have no evidence even of a simmering cold war with Joko, so the simplest explanation is that, at worst, Joko was left alone and diplomacy was attempted. Which Joko repaid by launching a second invasion.

    That seems like another shaky argument to me. We don't know what happened, so we don't know what happened. It's a dark age in our current historical record that has yet to be illuminated. A lack of evidence is proof of nothing.

    >
    Sure, we don't have a clear history, but given Joko's propaganda machine, if there was coordinated action to bring him down before his second invasion, don't you think we would have heard about it? He'd be crowing to the rooftops about how he only attacked in response to Sunspear aggression. Instead, his vilification of the Sunspears seems to be based on their resistance since (one man's terrorist is another's freedom fighter and all...)

    Maintaining peace and hoping for generational change can work when generational change actually happens. However, Joko now is the same Joko who offered aid to Sahlahja only to destroy it, and who invaded Elona, and being an undying lich, will continue to rule over Elona until he is removed. There is no hope for a passing of government to result in a change of policies and attitudes: Joko will be the tyrant god-king of Elona forever until he is removed.

    King Sahlahja is an NPC from the quest A Deal's A Deal. In this very same quest, the Sunspears (player character included) made a deal with Joko: we help him reclaim his palace, and he helps us kill Varesh Ossa. He kept his side of the bargain.

    Only while it benefited him, it seems. [SPOILER] was also part of the bargain, and the only reason he didn't kill [SPOILER] out of hand right away is because of [MORE SPOILERS OF WHICH I ASSUME YOU KNOW ABOUT, AND IF YOU DON'T, YOU'LL KNOW IT WHEN YOU SEE IT].

    Joko didn't break the "we'll free you in exchange for help fighting against Varesh" because it was in Joko's interest. He had a grudge against Varesh, and the world being destroyed would be bad for him too. Doesn't mean his word can be trusted when he keeps a bargain that's entirely in his interest.

    There's also this thing about trust. If you want people to trust your word, you need to have odds of keeping it that are a lot better than 50%.

    Does this mean that Joko can always be trusted? Obviously not, but the same quest that you're referring to has equal proof that he can swing either way depending on what he is interested in. Any relationship between Palawian Elona and another nation would need to be one of caution. If he does provoke an unnecessary war of conquest then the nations standing in opposition to him will at least have more time to gather intelligence and formulate a strategy. Diplomacy doesn't need to last forever, just as long as it's in the best interests of the parties involved.

    Palawa's tactic, every time, has been to strike in such a way that by the time the target realises what's happened, they're too weak to resist.

    Sahalaja? He came in the guise of aid and stabbed them in the back.

    Vabbi, first time around? Sneak attack using a route through the Vehjin Mines that allowed him to conquer Vabbi before anyone realised what was happening.

    Second time around? Diverting the Elon north of Vabbi.

    Palawa Joko simply doesn't attack in a way that allows his opposition "time to gather intelligence and formulate a strategy". That's not how he operates. He attacks in a way that ideally gives his target no opportunity to fight back effectively. The only reason Elona beat him the first time is the fluke of having someone who could beat him in single combat and Joko being arrogant enough to accept a duel.

    If Joko decides to attack a Tyrian nation, you can guarantee that it will not be in a visible manner that allows "time to gather intelligence and formulate a strategy". It would be because he's found a weakness that allows him to effectively eliminate all centralised resistance from at least one nation before anyone can react. Because that's what he does. Which is what makes him dangerous, and why his neighbours, if they're smart and paid attention to history, would be looking to find ways to make sure that he doesn't have the opportunity to find such a weakness.

    Which Machiavelli intended as satire. Think of it as the Renaissance version of the Evil Overlord List.

    That's an incredibly revisionist view of history that has strong evidence against it. Namely from his letter to Francesco Vettori which was written on December 10, 1513:

    "I have discussed this little study of mine with Filippo and whether or not it would be a good idea to present it [to Giuliano], and if it were a good idea, whether I should take it myself or should send it to you. Against presenting it would be my suspicion that he might not even read it and that that person Ardinghelli might take the credit for this most recent of my endeavors. In favor of presenting it would be the necessity that hounds me, because I am wasting away and cannot continue on like this much longer without becoming contemptible because of my poverty. Besides, there is my desire that these Medici princes should begin to engage my services, even if they should start out by having me roll along a stone. For then, if I could not win them over, I should have only myself to blame. And through this study of mine, were it to be read, it would be evident that during the fifteen years I have been studying the art of the state I have neither slept nor fooled around, and anybody ought to be happy to utilize someone who has had so much experience at the expense of others. There should be no doubt about my word; for, since I have always kept it, I should not start learning how to break it now. Whoever has been honest and faithful for forty-three years, as I have, is unable to change his nature; my poverty is a witness to my loyalty and honesty."

    I'm not familiar enough to argue this point, but I will say that a) I find that letter inconclusive (it's basically saying that 1) I hope I get a job again (the Medici princes in question had just destroyed the republic he had previously worked for), and 2) my work shows that I understand how things are done, with no indication that he thinks that's how things should be done) and b) the idea that he intended The Prince to actually be a guide to how nations should be run seems to be discordant with other things he did.

    Even if we were to suppose that Machiavellianism is an appropriate approach for rulers to take, here's a page from that playbook:

    If a foreign government presents a threat or is causing you inconvenience, decrease their ability to do so through employing deniable assets to provoke insurrection in their own nation, thereby distracting them and reducing their ability to cause problems for you.

    I don't know if this was in Machiavelli's original book, but it's certainly a common tactic of Machiavellian statesmen in the last century. Therefore, even by your own arguments, for the Tyrians to act to destabilise a rival regime is entirely justified?

    Unless you want to say that only the tyrants are allowed to act in this manner. That it's perfectly justified for Joko to divert a river and starve a nation as a means of subjugating his enemies (where the evidence we do have indicates that Joko was the aggressor), but the nations of Tyria, no, they're never allowed to do anything underhanded, they always have to keep extending the hand of diplomacy no matter how many times Joko has shown that he'll bite it off the moment he thinks it's in his interest to do so?

    @Omar Aschi Popp.7496 said:

    @draxynnic.3719 said:

    @Omar Aschi Popp.7496 said:

    @Narcemus.1348 said:
    I find it interesting that in all of these conversations about whether or not Joko is. Despot, no one brought up his alleged blatant genocide of the elonian centaurs. I understand it may not be 100% true, but to claim to have made your Bone Palace out of the bones of Centaurs you would have to at least killed a lot of them. And I would say that those are not the types of actions taken by a noble leader.

    Yes, but is he bad towards his own people?

    Once you get to that point, you get to the point where you can excuse anything by sufficiently narrowing the definition of who the ruler's "own people" are.

    Genocide is genocide.

    @Athrenn.9468 said:
    We don't know how Vabbian society will be in a hundred years, but making a knee-jerk reaction to purge their government of people who hold unfavorable political opinions for the sake of short-term moral victories is a bad idea. Declaring war is not going to stop those people from starving; if Kryta wants to commit to a long-term solution, they should build an alliance with the Vabbian government and apply nonviolent diplomatic pressure when necessary to slowly bring them into alignment as allies. It's not a perfect solution, it won't result in positive change overnight, but it would be a step in the right direction. Approaching international affairs with diplomatic tact is a time-proven strategy that Tyrian governments have already learned to use through the Charr-Human Treaty negotiations and so there's no excuse for why the same strategy couldn't be tried with the Palawian regime. if it succeeds? Fantastic. if it doesn't? Less fantastic, but at least they shot for the best possible outcome first.

    France would have lost in your hypothetical. Badly. England was still allied with Prussia and the Confederacy of the Rhine at the time if I remember my history right, and we know what happened in the War of 1880 and that was just Germany and Prussia. But that's neither here nor there.

    The flaw in your argument is this: It is very likely that the Sunspears already attempted the policy you described. We don't know for sure what happened in the years between Nightfall and Joko's second invasion of Elona, but we have no evidence even of a simmering cold war with Joko, so the simplest explanation is that, at worst, Joko was left alone and diplomacy was attempted. Which Joko repaid by launching a second invasion.

    Maintaining peace and hoping for generational change can work when generational change actually happens. However, Joko now is the same Joko who offered aid to Sahlahja only to destroy it, and who invaded Elona, and being an undying lich, will continue to rule over Elona until he is removed. There is no hope for a passing of government to result in a change of policies and attitudes: Joko will be the tyrant god-king of Elona forever until he is removed.

    There is a time when diplomacy and keeping the peace can result in the desired outcome without a bloody conflict. And there are times when seeking "peace in our time" leads to the bloodiest war in human history.

    @Omar Aschi Popp.7496 said:
    Anyone here read The Prince?

    Which Machiavelli intended as satire. Think of it as the Renaissance version of the Evil Overlord List.

    My point and also my personal opinion is this;
    I don't care who is in charge and how they do it as long as there is personal peace, personal liberty, and order.

    As long as I can live, work, play, sell and buy stuff, and persue hobbies/learnings... I don't care if my despot does morally questionable things.

    Are trains running on time? Cool.
    Can I get good produce at the store? Sweet.
    Can I work to pay for the quality of life I want. Great!

    Did my despot have to murder 621 anti-government protesters in the street because they were congesting local traffic? PRAISE JOKO

    If you take personal feelings, opinion, sentiment, and bias away... is the state( and the people in it) properous? Is the state wealthy, is the state in good infrastructural and logistical standing? Is crime at baseline low? Is the state safe and secure?

    If yes to all of those, who cares if you cant vote.

    Joko take me now.

    "First, they came for the Socialists..."

  • Narcemus.1348Narcemus.1348 Member ✭✭✭
    edited October 27, 2017

    @Omar Aschi Popp.7496 said:

    @Narcemus.1348 said:
    I find it interesting that in all of these conversations about whether or not Joko is. Despot, no one brought up his alleged blatant genocide of the elonian centaurs. I understand it may not be 100% true, but to claim to have made your Bone Palace out of the bones of Centaurs you would have to at least killed a lot of them. And I would say that those are not the types of actions taken by a noble leader.

    Yes, but is he bad towards his own people?

    Using that sort of logic is like saying you can't use the Holocaust to judge "A certain german leader who's name gets kittened" 's leadership, because he didn't view the Jews as his people.

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