Some thoughts on troupes, as far as I see 'em--
Troupes are an OOC construct. Yeah, they're meant to be occupied by a group of characters who live/love/work/hate/die together, but functionally they're an OOC construct, a way of organizing people who play together and want to build their histories together. They're our online equivalent of regular gaming groups, the kind who huddle up around a table with dice and a pizza. We may not have the pizza, but the dice we got.
So in order for troupes even to develop, there really needs to be some kind of communication between players - a gathering area, a way to find out who's around, who you might want to play with regularly, test a few things out. This is something we need to develop, and I'd like to hear feedback and thoughts on how that could work. Do you want an OOC area on the game with... whatever might be useful tools for the purpose? What would be useful tools for the purpose? The boards serve for communication, but perhaps not sufficiently, or in the wrong direction.
I've heard complaints that troupes eliminate risk. It's true, outside the troupe boundaries (and/or the inter-troupe agreements), the name of the game is consent. You take on as much risk as you agree to. Within troupes, you take on the level of risk to which that troupe plays - and that is the point.
On a game like Dark Metal, where there are characters around with thousands of XP and a decade or more of invested time, there's never going to be a balance. We've considered and discarded the idea of a character wipe; it punishes people for no good reason. Attempting to reach a balance that way also means having to limit character power out of chargen, and we've all (most of us) played the low-level characters, time and again. What's more interesting is getting to start your story where you want to, and continue it the way you choose - with whatever danger level you want that character to face. That's why we'll grant anyone whatever they ask for out of chargen, and why outside of troupes things are consent-only.
But without risk, there's frequently less fun. So if you're the kind of player who wants danger at every turn, that's the kind of troupe you need. If you want to play a ridiculously powerful character, you need risks and peers who suit that purpose. What are thoughts on ways to match up people with the kind of danger and level of power they're interested in? The Fate levels really weren't very useful for that - some better approach would be awesome.
... temporary lack of further thoughts. Y'all chip in, this is a thing that has to be developed communally.