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If you'd like to help improve the game for every player

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If you'd like to help improve the game for every player

Postby jimhabegger » Wed Jun 25, 2014 9:23 am

ETA:
What I've been saying about conflicts of interest doesn't mean that I think those conflicts are disrupting the game everywhere all the time. Far from it. If anyone is getting that impression, please see this post.
(end edit)

I'll post what I might do, to try to help improve the game for every player, and I'd like to see posts from others about what you've done, or might do.

First I'll explain some of my premises:
1. I see a wide divergence of interests here (examples), some of them mutually exclusive, and I imagine there will always be unresolved conflicts between them.
2. I don't want those conflicts to be resolved by excluding or repressing anyone, with possible rare exceptions that I might discuss some other time, in some other thread.
3. I imagine most players, regardless of their interests, might agree at least in principle for people with contrary interests to have *some* relatively safe places, *somewhere* in the game world to pursue those interests. I don't mean for their character to be protected from adversity or even death, I mean for them to be able to play without having their RP broken.

My goal, in what I'll be discussing here, is for every player to have some relatively safe place in the game world to play the kind of game they thought they would be welcome to play here. I have other goals for helping to improve the game for every player, but that's the only one I'll be discussing here.

What I might do isn't really clear to me at this point, but it might be along these lines:
- try to learn more about the range of interests of the players here.
- try to imagine, for each kind of interests, how there could be room in the game world for people to play that kind of game.
- try to find ways that I can help make room for all those interests, in the game world.
- appeal to others to do the same.

ETA:
I'll be gathering together here some of the ideas that I find in the comments that follow.

- Play out coded and RP consequences with consideration to other players, and consideration towards the obvious IC consequences. (examples)
- Teach problem players consideration (examples and discussion), and publicly reward good players.
- "RPIs suffer from the fact that the code exists, and that people will rely on it as a 'fair' standard rather than it being an enhancement of roleplay. It's entirely a matter of player culture which way the discussion goes, but every time we have a conversation about it, we have a chance to assert what kind of culture we'd like and find ways to spread that culture."

(also edited to add links to examples and clarifications)
Last edited by jimhabegger on Thu Jun 26, 2014 6:17 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: If you'd like to help improve the game for every player

Postby tehkory » Wed Jun 25, 2014 10:19 am

I do truly think you are making too big of a deal of the mutual exclusivity and nonintersection of many player desires. Rivean has elsewhere made similar comments. I would quote but cannot currently, but I do plan to later.

There's too much false attribution going on here, and too much false dielmma as well.

Players exist along spectrums, and we can all get along without stepping on eachother's toes unduly. I firmly believe through play that there needs be no OOC hard feelings for any coded or RPed consequences, as long as those are both played out with consideration to me as a player and consideration towards the obvious IC consequences.

To wit: let us say a PC is snuck up upon in an entirely vulnerable position. This can go one of two ways(or rather many, but it fits us to use two extremes). The first player engages, kills, beheads, loots, and flees. The Guards nearby see none of this broad daylight fiasco. In this scenario both the Staff and the Aggressor fail the losing side abyssmally. But let's say it goes differently. The Aggressor finds the vulnerable enemy. He attacks, but to hit, not kill. He remotest, all through the murder, desecration, and robbing. Both the Aggressor and Staff make sure that the obvious IC consequences of murder immediately under the Guards' noses are given the full faith and credit they deserve. Respect and consideration rule the actions of the players, leading to an end that's both immersive and respectful of the DAYS we all put into our characters.

But that example isn't the only one on my mind. Let's talk about Alice, Bob, and Carmen. A and B are married. But on the side, A snogs C. Public room snoggging. Scenario one, A and C never make any note of it, nor do NPCs treat them any differently. In scenario two, A and C make sure rumors are spread, and Staff and players alike make sure they are looked down on by NPCs. One scenario is a failure, the other a success. The only thing that divides them is a consideration for both coded and roleplayed, immersive consequences.

There is no gap between players wants for the game that cannot be bridged. We simply need to teach problem players consideration,and publicly reward good players.
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Re: If you'd like to help improve the game for every player

Postby someguy » Wed Jun 25, 2014 10:35 am

We're all playing a RPI. We might be playing it differently, but the fact that we're all playing means that we have more in common than we don't.
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Re: If you'd like to help improve the game for every player

Postby Nyz » Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:41 am

someguy wrote:We're all playing a RPI. We might be playing it differently, but the fact that we're all playing means that we have more in common than we don't.


tehkory wrote:There is no gap between players wants for the game that cannot be bridged. We simply need to teach problem players consideration,and publicly reward good players.


Nailed it, I think.

I feel like every time I see a thread like this, these comments need to be said more often. RPIs suffer from the fact that the code exists, and that people will rely on it as a 'fair' standard rather than it being an enhancement of roleplay. It's entirely a matter of player culture which way the discussion goes, but every time we have a conversation about it, we have a chance to assert what kind of culture we'd like and find ways to spread that culture. There will always be people who jump to code too quickly, but c'est la vie.
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Re: If you'd like to help improve the game for every player

Postby jimhabegger » Wed Jun 25, 2014 5:53 pm

ETA: tehkory, someguy, Nyz, thank you for posting!

tehkory, thank you for those examples of consideration for other players, and for IC consequences.

tehkory wrote:We simply need to teach problem players consideration,and publicly reward good players.

What ways have you found to do that?

ETA: Nyz, same question. What ways have you found to teach problem players consideration, and publicly reward good players?
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Re: If you'd like to help improve the game for every player

Postby Nyz » Wed Jun 25, 2014 10:12 pm

From the MUDs I have played, the best way to teach players is to play by example. Having some guidelines is useful, but having more experienced players set the tone is best. I used to jump right to code the first time I ever played SOI (oh, the Ithilien, how I miss being constantly mauled by bears... oh wait!) until the corporal leading the patrol insisted I 'wait for his signal', and led some RP'd posturing versus a harad patrol.

Most people probably just never thought that was an option, we're so used to games that rely on code as the only method of conflict, and reward the use/misuse of the game system to win. D&D is an excellent example of this. Min/maxing is so rampant in many groups, and that mentality moves with players to other games. If we want to encourage RP, we need to do more of it.

Agreements between the leaders of pRPTs might be a good way of putting it into practice, that there will be some posturing, and members know to expect it. Outside of those instances, sure, it'll be more chaotic, but that's just fine and dandy. As a previous poster said, in those situations there are thinks and other hidden emotes that may or may not happen, so we can't really judge the RPness of it, and it is after all, a game.
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Re: If you'd like to help improve the game for every player

Postby EltanimRas » Fri Jun 27, 2014 2:19 am

jimhabegger wrote:- try to imagine, for each kind of interests, how there could be room in the game world for people to play that kind of game

I'm a bit late to the thread, but I think this idea touches on a key difference between the RPIs and other games.

Fundamentally, for all the many and varied aspects of the game that we may, as players, enjoy, only one protected/privileged activity exists: roleplaying through the stories of our characters' lives in one small corner of Tolkien's world.

This doesn't, incidentally, mean that those stories will necessarily play out in the ways that we as players hope for them to -- just as in real life, we control our (or, in-game, our PCs') actions, but not the actions of others nor the broader circumstances with which we (or they) are confronted. Our would-be wealthy traders may wind up broke and unemployed, our clever thieves hanged, and our heroic soldiers slain by mischance in their first battles. Such is the nature of the game.

What it does mean is that whenever my desire to engage in some in-game activity conflicts with the plausibility of the overarching story and the immersion of my fellow players, no one needs to 'make room' for that activity. Rather, it's my responsibility to engage in it only when, how, and to the degree that I can sensibly fit it into the larger story.

Is this absolutely black-and-white? Almost. We do have some suspension of disbelief here and there, for playability purposes. We have craft timers to limit production to reasonable rates, rather than insisting the players of crafting PCs spend RL hours emoting every detail of their job. Healing is generally faster and more complete than in the real world, because convalescent RP can get dull, especially when all your PC's friends are off on grand adventures.

But by and large, everything else 'makes room' for the story, or it should.


[ETA: In fact, even the above-noted 'exceptions' can be seen not as plausibility giving way to playability, but rather as simulationism giving way to story, much as it would in a novel.]
Last edited by EltanimRas on Fri Jun 27, 2014 4:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: If you'd like to help improve the game for every player

Postby EltanimRas » Fri Jun 27, 2014 3:49 am

jimhabegger wrote:I imagine most players, regardless of their interests, might agree at least in principle for people with contrary interests to have *some* relatively safe places, *somewhere* in the game world to pursue those interests. I don't mean for their character to be protected from adversity or even death, I mean for them to be able to play without having their RP broken.

Incidentally, RPI players are notorious for holing their characters up behind locked doors, most often in small groups of 2-4 PCs.

I understand the current Alpha state of SoI offers fewer lockable doors than is generally typical, but while this solution has its drawbacks -- it can make it difficult for new players to find RP, for example -- it does lend itself to a very natural, IC separation of story threads and scenes.

Sorry for the double post!
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Re: If you'd like to help improve the game for every player

Postby Rivean » Fri Jun 27, 2014 4:35 am

EltanimRas wrote:Incidentally, RPI players are notorious for holing their characters up behind locked doors, most often in small groups of 2-4 PCs.


Guilty as charged!

tehkory wrote:Rivean has elsewhere made similar comments.


I pretend to be a man of letters, sir, and have said many things in many places, some of them even true!

But to address Jim - let me reiterate what others have said. The fact that different sorts of players get different things from the game does not in any way or form imply that it is in any way needful to 'protect' or create a 'safe space' for people to pursue their different interests or goals. I suspect that you feel this need partially because you come from an MMO background which is vastly different from an RPI.

There has never been a time in SoI, at least human-side, where you could NOT play a crafter/socializer/combat PC or any other sub-type that you happen to prefer playing. One does not need 'safe' areas for these roles, because these roles are not and never have been endangered.

Typically, barring extraordinary misfortune, those PCs not on the front lines or involved in combat organizations are not exposed to personal threat of injury or death - though this is very different in the orc sphere. There is more than enough space for all sorts of playstyles, granted only that all playstyles conform to the IG reality. So if anyone wants to play a faery in a purple dress with rainbow wings - that's not going to happen. However, barring that, and aside from specific restrictions based on Alpha, if your character concept makes sense for the given setting, you will have every chance of playing said character. And if you had actually played the game, you would most likely have known this already.

(Restricted roles and races and RPP are another matter entirely, but also essentially follow the same general trend, provided you have the credentials)

I really think Jim, that these discussions would be a whole lot more fruitful if you based your questions/concerns/ideas more on the actual game than simply the OOC conversations on the forums which are nothing but secondhand reflections of something that you have yet to personally experience.

My suggestion to you is to play the game before forming any conclusions (or even inviting others to present their conclusions) about the game's needs and how best to meet them. Your desire to play a positive role in the community and the development of the game would be greatly bolstered by your continuing acquaintance with the game itself.
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