Large-Scale Atlas Rule Reform Demands
Updated: Oct 1, 2020
The startling war between the E alliance and Kongeda alliance has spawned a large-scale reform movement, led by Lord Warden easy_beans.
The Storm After the Calm
4:30PM CDT, September 30th
Atlas's reformation movement, which had been doing poorly in the days following September 24th's "Major Stumbling Block", has been enjoying a revival in recent days, as members of the International Atheran Court were again actively discussing what were considered the two remaining duties of the "revolution": to indisputably prove the existence of the issues that it was formed to target, and to see Atlas's rules modified (for its rule-enforcement demand). With movement founder easy_beans having determined all other forms of implementation of the movement's three demands already, the remaining reformists had slowly been filling in what areas the former Lord Warden had left unfilled.
However, this new life came to a sudden halt within the space of just over one hour when, at 3:18pm CDT, Elder Ajaxan, who had been debating reformists for days, pinged everyone in the Court to announce that "the staff and Elders are leaving th[e] channel". In his justification, Ajaxan argued that the reformist movement was "not supported by evidence of issues or support for said issues", and that staff listening to the reform movement was "a lot of time...wasted". The Elder asked those with growing hostility to him and his administration not to heed banned players' arguments, and cited rule 1.2 (the controversial "assholery rule") for their punishments. Immediately afterward, Ajaxan left, and other staff members trickled out after him.
The reaction among the 34 remaining participants of the leguminous reformation was immediate and acrid. Though Ajaxan assured the revolutionaries that "[the administration] aren't slamming the door in [their] face", most reacted as to a door slam. After 67 minutes of fierce debate, whose contents were unremarkable but for their rage, Raiyoku, the owner of the Court, at the request of the reformists themselves, locked and archived the Atheran International Court for historical purposes.
With this, the reformation movement has ended. Coverage of it, too, will thus end, and this article will cease to be live. If you have any feedback on the Atheran Times's execution of a live article, please submit feedback on the Contact page.
A Major Stumbling Block
7:30PM CDT, September 24th
The Atlas "Revolution" has at last hit organized resistance. Two hours ago, Ajaxan at last presented a full-fledged response to easy_beans on his latest reform-related forum post. After days of work both by the reformation effort and the Elders to figure out their stances and one anothers', Ajaxan's largest response yet presented a swift turn from the Elder's previous positivity toward the movement. Though he stated that he "totally agree[s] with some of the things you [the reformation is] saying here" - specifically, that the three demands were, in the abstract, good things - Ajaxan argued that each demand was either already taken care of or could not be realistically taken care of. The issue of alleged "shadow rules" was met with praise of the benefits of staff discretion and interpretable rules, it was argued that transparency was already at a maximum without endangering staff, and that Atlas already "pride[d it]sel[f] on [its] receptiveness to well meaning feedback", citing the controversial staff claim that Atlas's last petition was thoroughly accepted. A lengthy argument, which this update will not bother to summarize, occurred both above and below it. Shortly thereafter, at approximately 6:00pm CDT, a similar argument erupted in the International Atheran Court, in which allegations provided by yodabird19 of shadow rules were shut down by the same Elder, who had stated but three hours before that the staff team "still want[ed] to hear what [reformists'] concerns are". This dramatic reversal in demeanor seems to have been tied to Ajaxan coming to the conclusion that the complaints presented by the reformation movement lacked "a reasonable amount of evidence to back them up", as seen in his forum post. The other Elders have not yet commented, so most have been left to assume that Ajaxan speaks for the Atlas ownership at large.
The immediate aftermath of this was even more stunning. As there is a separate article on this, it will not be thoroughly summarized here, but suffice it to say that a large portion of the Wardens of Wraithwood has elected to partially or fully quit Atlas. The reformation movement is left confused and reduced in number, but persists. When it makes its next move, it will be noted right above here on the page.
Winds of Change
10:00AM CDT, September 23rd
At 11:48pm CDT yesterday, just over one day after Ajaxan's reformist-reassuring message promised serious attention to the revolutionary movement's demands, Ajaxan sent another update to the International Atheran Court, in response to a series of messages concerning the movement's perception of its circumstances: that it was waiting to "receive a full response from the Elders". The Elder response dispelled this idea, as Ajaxan stated that "it seems [the Elders'] last message may have miscommunicated what [they] are currently doing". "We are listening", Ajaxan corrected, urging the reformists to take a more active role in the preliminary organization of Atlas's response, since "current[ly]...[the Elders] don't know what to listen for". Ajaxan made a few requests of the movement to aid the staff in their efforts to accommodate the demands, which yodabird19 succinctly summarized as:
- Specificity and examples of violation of the demands
- Solutions to the three general issues
- Some measure of active support
As of this publication, none have been fully addressed, but revolutionary yodabird19 did produce a short list of five alleged examples of "shadow rules" being used.
At 6:47am CDT, easy_beans made a forum post intended to update the greater Atlas community on the progress of the movement that he had founded. In an effort to act on the second of Ajaxan's three points, the Lord Warden proposed the following:
- The rules will be enforced as written
- Any use of staff power (any ability not granted to the general population) will be posted just like bans are now, to dispel the perception and possibility of unfairness
- Any major decision affecting the direction or gameplay of Atlas must be publicly and fairly debated. Good and necessary ideas will stand strong even in the face of opposition
Though these three proposals were not in the same order as the demands that they addressed (scroll down to see these), each was an idea for the implementation of one demand. The second of easy_beans's proposals met some resistance in the IAC as it had not been previously agreed upon, but the people present were quickly swayed when Wizardteepot revealed that "staff probably give out like [a punishment] every 3 to 4 weeks", meaning that it would be a minor concern for Atlas's staff to document this.
The movement is now in the process of discussing the first. The rules being enforced more closely to their letter - shrinking the range of staff discretion - is a major tenet of the revolutionary philosophy, but, as easy_beans himself put it, the movement will likely "need to actually write a new set of rules" for this to work properly, since the dispulsion of "shadow rules" is a major paradigm shift in Atlas's administration.
The results of the movement lay ahead still, but things seem to be gaining steam.
Movement Met with Positivity
11:30PM CDT, September 21st
A preliminary Elder response to the Atlas rules reform movement has given the Atlas community a hint at the future of the movement. At 11:03pm CDT, amidst active discussion of the reform movement and contingency-planning for a potential hostile reception, Ajaxan delivered a short update on the Elders' response to the movement. "We are here," he said, acting with calm and positivity towards the reformists, "listening and discussing. But we know you want us to take this seriously and we are taking this seriously". Thus came the promise for the future, when they stated that they "can't provide a response quickly". So, nothing is truly known of the Elders' response specifically, but Atlas and its reform movement now have a vague conception of the gravity with which the server staff intend to respond to and accommodate the demands. "We know everyone is here in this chat because your time is worth caring about Atlas", Ajaxan assured the International Atheran Court, "and that's everything we've ever wanted."
From War to Reform
9:30PM CDT, September 21st
The Atheran Times's first-ever live-updates article has gone in a completely unexpected direction. With the release of easy_beans's manifesto concerning declaring war on Kongeda came a so-called "revolution", led by easy_beans but with wide support, to alter the way that Atlas punishes its players. Due to the size of the topic of the reform movement, the topic has been given its own article: this one.
The 7:30 update in the article on the Consolidation War (the E-Kongeda conflict) reflects the picture that the world had of this development two hours ago, but this picture has now changed. Raiyoku's International Atheran Court has become the center of organization for easy_beans's initiative, and has 25 members - including three Elders - as of this publication. easy_beans, though he has stood by his forum post, has repeatedly told those who react poorly to his movement (most people, at first) that the point of the post was not truly to incite an Atlas world war, but rather to generate a discussion and get attention for the issues that he wanted addressed. Lord Warden beans stated that he "expected to get banned" for his post, and that "the fact that we are talking about this fills [his] heart with joy". The "this" in the prior quotation refers to the first of two general areas of concern in beans's incendiary declaration: Atlas's ambiguous punishment practices. Sentiment among those in the discord, which began as a neutral platform for discussion but became a hub for revolutionary action, has turned to beans's favor as the former Atlas patron rallied support for changes to the rules. beans also stated that he was "asking [his] alliance for a ceasefire", showing his laser focus on rule reform. The speakers at the International Atheran Court eventually agreed on a list of three demands. They are as follows:
- Solidification and clarification of rules, and more predictable enforcement to reflect such
- Increased receptiveness to criticism, disagreement, and petitions
- Transparency in use of staff power and rule-making
The Atheran International Court has adjourned for the time being, and its central channel has been muted. The Elders have been asked to officially respond to the claims, but those behind easy_beans (including many in Kongeda besides Rivia), have made clear their intent to continue fighting for their desires even if they meet resistance. Similarly to the war that started this, the Atheran Times will be providing updates to Atlians on this historic event.