It's definitely a magical time as we approach the eve of the URPG's 15th anniversary. I'll have been in this crazy, wonderful dreamscape with all you lovelies for officially two years in just a month, and I thought there was no better time than now to ask this question.
What do I do in the URPG if I don't like battling?
The answer seems obvious: write stories, enter park runs, draw portraits, join contests! But all of these rewards from these activities, Pokemon, money, and items, ultimately all goes towards a system geared towards battling.
I accumulate wealth and Pokemon from what I do participate in. The system for battling that it's designed for, the amount of hard work for the specific Pokemon or item, is just perfect! But I end up donating most of my stuff through the Gift Stations just because I don't like battling and I want others to enjoy the system for what it currently is. That has always been my choice and has ALWAYS been a joy, but I begin to wonder if I've reached my URPG end-game.
I'm not saying there's a flaw in the system. I'm thinking that there's an entirely different system that could run in conjunction with the one we have now, one whose extrinsic incentives don't go towards battling. A system that capitalizes on the specific talent that the URPGer brings to the game.
Think about: the extrinsic motivation for winning the SWC/WWC, the pinnacle of achievement for URPG writers in the competition that most closely parallels battling's Champion Battle, is a Legendary Pokemon meant for battle. I think it's absolutely wonderful! It's the result of fifteen years of tradition and is the greatest honor. I just think that it doesn't inherently capture the nature of the victory or propel the writer forward, internally, towards writing itself.
What new system am I talking about, one whose rewards don't go straight to battling? I'd feel terrible leaving without a possible solution, so here's part two!
It centers around this: URPG's outward expansions have always inspired me. I wonder what incredible things would occur if we expanded inward together, uniting the Art, Story, and RP sections.
Imagine a separate section where you propose a plot-line for a story. Another author comes in, and two artists decide to join in to illustrate the story at intervals involving the Pokemon. A team of curator and grader unite, using their specific skills to not only award or decline the team based on the awesome standards we have now, but also on how cohesive the final product was considering such different talents. Everyone benefits; perhaps the author who proposed the storyline excels at making storylines but the author he works alongside is a master at description. Maybe the artist had no muse until that moment and decided to step up to the challenge. This isn't even counting the actual rewards yet.
Imagine that for just a moment, the concrete role of Zorayda or a certain 80-year-old-beloved-Grandma as ranger are dropped for just a moment. And in that place, ranger and trainer work together to create new characters that they made together for a specific plot that they put together themselves. Or imagine that they mirror what's being written and illustrated in the above-mentioned project. It's complicated, but I think it'd potentially be more rewarding / exciting / engaging /challenging for everyone involved.
Envision a system where you pay an artist to commission a piece of artwork for your story. A system where elder rangers are paid to mentor voluntary new rangers in the park. A system where the creator of that plot-line mentioned above gets paid additionally for having the original idea, and everyone else does too for teamwork. A system where you accumulate currency for a craft's domain based on how much you specifically put towards that craft.
And this system flows alongside the system we have now - double the rewards, the same amount of effort?! It just makes me wonder how many more artists, authors, and RPers would come to URPG specifically for that craft, and not just the battling. It makes me wonder if they'd stay, with a new way to measure their achievement without Pokemon or items. It makes me think that battling would increase dramatically too - more Pokemon being acquired, more battles, more growth. The convergence of talents and ambitions in a community whose members already care so much for each other would lead us on an even sweeter path. I think we could walk that path together.
1. I have all this money and all of these mons, but I dislike battling! What do I do now? Is this my URPG end-game?
2. consideration of opportunities to unite the Story, Art, and RP Boards to make URPG a more interconnected game
I was going to write this on PWN but I'm not sure how the community would respond to my Deadpool gif