I don't think this is exactly the problem. Speaking as someone who is
using the military option, I'm not doing it to drive anyone else from
the game, or to ruin anyone's enjoyment of the game (regardless of
what Wally thinks :-).
Players in Olympia can have a variety of goals:
* build an empire
* become rich
* explore the world
* learn all the skills
* become the greatest mage
To achieve these goals they need various resources. Most importantly,
they need money and NPs. They can get these through various plans:
* build a castle and garrison
* trade goods between cities
* kill monsters
* wait (for more NPs)
* capture money/NPs from other players
The issue is that many players see the last plan as the best.
Certainly if you want NPs fast you're going to have to capture them
from some other player. And as players become richer, easier to find,
and easier to beat than monsters, then the last plan becomes more
desirable. To make matters worse, there's also conflict over fixed
resources, most notably taxes. So the "build a castle" plan tends to
also lead to military conflict. The result is there's a lot of
inter-player conflict, and I think it is only going to get worse.
On the other hand, I'm not convinced that this is a problem. Like
David, I wonder what the point of a multi-player game is if the only
certain "nice" interactions are permitted between the players. Isn't
the game in a sense more interesting because there are people like
Dr. Pain or MAFOC in it?
Suppose that a bunch of the "roleplayers" got together on an island,
agreed to a mutual defense pact and each contributed to the building
and maintenance of a standing army. I believe they could protect
themselves from the "wargamers" and go on about their roleplaying. If
they choose not to -- if they choose to wander around in small groups
through areas where wargamers are active -- then I view that as a
failure for the players, not a failure of the game.
-- Scott T.