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Concerns and Constructive Criticism

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Re: Concerns and Constructive Criticism

Postby Jeshin » Tue Aug 05, 2014 2:56 pm

So we've fixated on a few problems. Mostly that staff set guidelines here and then ignore them over there. But as is required at some point in all constructive criticism is a solution.

Should staff write a unified RP and game documentation for both Utterby and the orc sphere (if it doesn't exist already)?

Should the Beornings be re-evaluated as an RPP race before they are allowed in game?

Should they do any number of other things behind the scenes to fix their internal communication and outward policy making to the playerbase?

Solutions people, start throwing out some solutions.
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Re: Concerns and Constructive Criticism

Postby Throttle » Tue Aug 05, 2014 3:00 pm

Anyway, I think all it takes is a shift of the game's focus onto the things that actually involve the majority of the playerbase and can be reacted to without jumping through hoops. The game doesn't seem particularly broken or anything, it just hasn't evolved very much because, it seems, of divergent elder staff visions. It's not as though SOI has been ruined, it simply needs to get started properly. With all these new RPAs, this shouldn't be a problem.
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Re: Concerns and Constructive Criticism

Postby tehkory » Tue Aug 05, 2014 3:04 pm

Matt wrote:that's not exactly what happened. Pof Bjarndyr wasn't the leader of the original hillmen group. He was the one that wrote the docs and was a pretty well-known hillmen PC in the past, yes. But just because everyone knows the PCs the fingers are pointed at him.

Also Bjarndyr wasn't supposed to be the current clan lead, Haearn was. But he stopped playing for whatever reason.

Which doesn't change the fact that rules are being bent, and a person is apping in from clanlead/clan-officer status to clanlead/clan-officer status in a group that ought to be closed, when Staff created clear guidelines that that wasn't supposed to happen. (And I'm sure RPP were handed out for this rulebreaking, too. :roll:) You can say "Oh, he wasn't the President, he was the General, and -now- he's the President," but it's still leadership to leadership. It's even -worse- this way, because it goes from "X Leader of X Clan" to "Y Leader of Y Clan, and Y Clan takes over X Clan and makes it Y Clan 'cause all of his Y buddies are coming in."

We've got a situation where shit's being excused because it's X player, where Special Applications are being allowed without Admins even owning the snarfagle up and saying "We take special applications."

Jeshin wrote:So we've fixated on a few problems. Mostly that staff set guidelines here and then ignore them over there. But as is required at some point in all constructive criticism is a solution.

Should staff write a unified RP and game documentation for both Utterby and the orc sphere (if it doesn't exist already)?

Should the Beornings be re-evaluated as an RPP race before they are allowed in game?

Should they do any number of other things behind the scenes to fix their internal communication and outward policy making to the playerbase?

Solutions people, start throwing out some solutions.

The vision and documentation need to exist, or else Staff need to release what exists, or else Staff need to own up to that they're going to do whatever the Hell they please with whomever the Hell they please, yes. Communication, documentation, and a Code of Conduct. There are public rules for players. There ought to be public rules for Staff, too.
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Re: Concerns and Constructive Criticism

Postby Tiamat » Tue Aug 05, 2014 3:07 pm

The vision and documentation need to exist, or else Staff need to release what exists, or else Staff need to own up to that they're going to do whatever the Hell they please with whomever the Hell they please, yes. Communication, documentation, and a Code of Conduct. There are public rules for players. There ought to be public rules for Staff, too.


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Re: Concerns and Constructive Criticism

Postby Matt » Tue Aug 05, 2014 3:09 pm

No, going from being a member in said clan to being dead. Then rolling a Guard PC and dying. Then rolling a member of said clan with a special background is a little different then what you're saying. Becoming clan lead because the leader disappears and the choices are the Beorning or Toki Thorstein the new dude isn't anyones fault. Like I said I can definitely see where you're coming from but the actual timeline and events are a little different. Special application, yes, that's true. But why not use an excellent player that proposed an excellent idea in the role of bringing some mysteriousness and different angle of RP into the game?
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Re: Concerns and Constructive Criticism

Postby hobbitboots » Tue Aug 05, 2014 3:41 pm

Good fences make good neighbors, as the saying goes. Yeah, rules and documentation would help prevent disputes or at least provide a framework for resolving them. This is something that needs to be done carefully, but certainly also something that needs to be done eventually.

At the risk of sounding like a squawking parrot... it's alpha! :D

To be a bit more constructive, we -could- try suggesting some rules for the game here or in perhaps another spin-off thread, just to get the ball rolling.

My rule would be: all characters, regardless of race, role or anything else, must be statistically equal sum to within a small randomly determined range.
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Re: Concerns and Constructive Criticism

Postby Saellyn » Tue Aug 05, 2014 3:49 pm

Utterby is a testing ground for the primary game. That's all it is. That's my opinion of it. So what if some guys worked and got a camp, right? They worked for it, they earned it. If you have a problem with that, bust your own ass and work for something else. I've seen stuff done in the Orc Sphere on player work that was -made- coded by staff because we put our asses into it.

If all you want to do is complain, then sit back and let the others discuss. The Hillmen got a fort. Know what that says to me? If I work my ass off, someday, I might get a clan and a fort and a place to do things out of. It says that a group of players wanted to put themselves forth and bring something new into the game to spark life into it. And you want to take that away? This isn't Armageddon where change is incredibly difficult. This is a game where fluidity is key.
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Re: Concerns and Constructive Criticism

Postby MrT2G » Tue Aug 05, 2014 3:56 pm

Saellyn wrote:If all you want to do is complain, then sit back and let the others discuss. The Hillmen got a fort. Know what that says to me? If I work my ass off, someday, I might get a clan and a fort and a place to do things out of. It says that a group of players wanted to put themselves forth and bring something new into the game to spark life into it. And you want to take that away? This isn't Armageddon where change is incredibly difficult. This is a game where fluidity is key.


I tend to lean towards this perspective. It is how I want things to be anyways, I am keenly aware that favoritism is and will always been a potential issue in on-line games like this, but that is the nature of the beast.

So far I've been largely happy with the staff and how the game has been ran. My largest concern was the large OOC groups that were app'ing in together. This seems to have been resolved, at least from my perspective, but will always remain a potential issue that has to be watched.
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Re: Concerns and Constructive Criticism

Postby Tiamat » Tue Aug 05, 2014 4:06 pm

hobbitboots wrote:At the risk of sounding like a squawking parrot... it's alpha! :D


While valid in the context of testing features and the rough nature of them thereof, this is not a valid argument in the face of the definition of Alpha, in our case. While we aren't investors, I think this describes what Alpha means:

Alpha is a risk-adjusted measure of the so-called active return on an investment.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alpha_(investment)


How can we say that it's just ALPHA, when we don't even know what we're testing against? What is the main game supposed to be? If ALPHA is supposed to be a risk-adjusted measure related to an ROI (the main game) ... it doesn't even work as an ALPHA when you don't understand what the main game is supposed to be like.

We're blundering our way around, and currently working on vNPC sales and room rentals, two months into the game. We have at least three craft suites that haven't even been touched yet. I'm not saying that vNPC sales and room rentals shouldn't be a feature in the main game, but nowhere is it stated that it's a feature that will be available later in Laketown. To me, it seems that SOI doesn't know what they're even testing for, in an ALPHA.
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Re: Concerns and Constructive Criticism

Postby Letters » Tue Aug 05, 2014 4:09 pm

Saellyn wrote:Utterby is a testing ground for the primary game. That's all it is. That's my opinion of it. So what if some guys worked and got a camp, right? They worked for it, they earned it. If you have a problem with that, bust your own ass and work for something else. I've seen stuff done in the Orc Sphere on player work that was -made- coded by staff because we put our asses into it.

If all you want to do is complain, then sit back and let the others discuss. The Hillmen got a fort. Know what that says to me? If I work my ass off, someday, I might get a clan and a fort and a place to do things out of. It says that a group of players wanted to put themselves forth and bring something new into the game to spark life into it. And you want to take that away? This isn't Armageddon where change is incredibly difficult. This is a game where fluidity is key.


The people you're calling out have a fantastic track record for being proactive and busy.

"Alpha" isn't much of a good thing if all it does is deter players. Doesn't matter if you dress it up like that - this is how the game's being shaped, and it's two months in and still feels like it's at square one, being straight up honest.
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Re: Concerns and Constructive Criticism

Postby krelm » Tue Aug 05, 2014 4:12 pm

Letters wrote:The people you're calling out have a fantastic track record for being proactive and busy.


Then why all the complaining, and none of the doing?
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Re: Concerns and Constructive Criticism

Postby Fulgrim » Tue Aug 05, 2014 4:16 pm

I main issue here, which I'm not really condemning anyone for, is that there is no strong leadership that says, Fulgrim, you're doing this today, even if you don't get it done today, just keep hammering at it until it gets done.

There is no strong leadership that says, builders, we need this built. Hammer away at building this until it gets built. There is no strong leadership that says, crafters, make these crafts today, and hammer away at this until it gets made.

Forget talking points, we have some untrained and inexperienced new blood on staff finding their bearings and hoping to make their spheres fun, but in the end SoI's fundamental problem is lack of insight given to the playerbase, because the staff haven't the insight to give. Admittedly we do have stories brewing and in the works and in progress, but if we're talking about how to bring gamestate 1 to gamestate 2 with code and progs and crafts and building you're nuts.

Because it hasn't been discussed yet. I'll get back to you when it has.

In the meantime, log in. Encourage the RPAs to spread the plot around, and give ins to get into them. If you want to construct something, go get the materials, put them in the same room, RP building them, and send in the logs, and I'm pretty sure something will come of it. Pissed off one group of players got stuff? They aren't worth your time in being angry over, and they certainly aren't getting -as much- attention as is being implied of them, just marginal attention compared to no attention that Utterby is getting, which I'll admit needs to change, but not by procrastinating what we as individuals are capable of doing on our own.
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Re: Concerns and Constructive Criticism

Postby hobbitboots » Tue Aug 05, 2014 4:17 pm

Tiamat wrote:
hobbitboots wrote:While we aren't investors, I think this describes what Alpha means:

Alpha is a risk-adjusted measure of the so-called active return on an investment.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alpha_(investment)



You're right, we're not investors! :D

This is what I meant, and what I think most people around here mean when they say that SoI is in alpha stage. It's the game development cycle meaning.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alpha_release#Alpha

Which is to say, the game is ready for software testing, but it's not feature complete.

So yeah, staff let us start playing with the understanding that not everything is in place yet... including all of the rules and documentation! In fact, anybody who has been involved in software development professionally will know that documentation often comes last and sometimes never at all, depending on what kind of software it is.
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Re: Concerns and Constructive Criticism

Postby Throttle » Tue Aug 05, 2014 4:19 pm

krelm wrote:
Letters wrote:The people you're calling out have a fantastic track record for being proactive and busy.


Then why all the complaining, and none of the doing?


In fairness, a lot of the early doers were mightily shat upon when it came time to recognize their efforts.
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Re: Concerns and Constructive Criticism

Postby Letters » Tue Aug 05, 2014 4:21 pm

krelm wrote:
Letters wrote:The people you're calling out have a fantastic track record for being proactive and busy.


Then why all the complaining, and none of the doing?


I tried my damnedest, then got shot down by staff, on an OOC level, because I didn't move in one of two approved OOC circles.

That's not even hyperbole.
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Re: Concerns and Constructive Criticism

Postby krelm » Tue Aug 05, 2014 4:22 pm

Throttle wrote:
krelm wrote:
Letters wrote:The people you're calling out have a fantastic track record for being proactive and busy.


Then why all the complaining, and none of the doing?


In fairness, a lot of the early doers were mightily shat upon when it came time to recognize their efforts.


Letters wrote:The same thing.


Being one of those early-doers, that wasn't a Hillman, I got everything I asked for with appropriate RP, logging said RP, and showing those logs to staff. The only thing they said no about was no-take crafting materials, and I even got those, eventually, after a week or so of RP building them.
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Re: Concerns and Constructive Criticism

Postby Throttle » Tue Aug 05, 2014 4:26 pm

And several of the others were not so lucky.
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Re: Concerns and Constructive Criticism

Postby Ava » Tue Aug 05, 2014 4:27 pm

My biggest concern is that it's hard to find people to play with in Utterby. I see about twenty players on, and I'm not sure if I'm just looking in the wrong places, but I can't find more than about five players.

Is everyone clearing out of Utterby? Can we centralize somehow? Can I go where people are actually going to roleplay?

That would be nice.

ETA: I know some of those twenty are orcs, but still.
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Re: Concerns and Constructive Criticism

Postby Tiamat » Tue Aug 05, 2014 4:28 pm

You're right, we're not investors! :D

This is what I meant, and what I think most people around here mean when they say that SoI is in alpha stage. It's the game development cycle meaning.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alpha_release#Alpha

Which is to say, the game is ready for software testing, but it's not feature complete.

So yeah, staff let us start playing with the understanding that not everything is in place yet... including all of the rules and documentation! In fact, anybody who has been involved in software development professionally will know that documentation often comes last and sometimes never at all, depending on what kind of software it is.


Oh, good on you. I was lazy and just came across a good enough definition of ALPHA. Thanks for the link. My point was just that throwing up our hands and saying it's ALPHA isn't terribly productive because we aren't even sure what "software" we're testing.

As for the rest of the people that are going back and forth on favoritism RE: Guardsman leadership, can we please stop? This is hardly productive to the discussion and you look petty (at least to me), instead of well-meaning, when you engage in it. Your complaints can't be addressed in this thread if you're still salty over it. There's no point pulling them out every time a discussion relating to the Hillmen is conducted.
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Re: Concerns and Constructive Criticism

Postby Fulgrim » Tue Aug 05, 2014 4:30 pm

If centralization and consolidation is such a big deal, I don't see why we don't slam the hillmen back with the Utterbites and kicking anyone holding up inside their clanhalls out of them and telling them to go do work via NPC leadership that we have but aren't using.

ETA: What point of reference do I have for people being doers and then being ignored? How do I investigate this? Has it been answered on a public format? Have Elder Staff had anything to say about this? This information is useless to me without these answers, and as far as I can tell "being a doer" right now isn't useless, I think it's commendable and you should be rewarded with results by being it. If you aren't, then it should be investigated.
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Re: Concerns and Constructive Criticism

Postby Throttle » Tue Aug 05, 2014 4:31 pm

If people are being attacked for "not doing anything" and then point out that they were ignored when they tried to be doers, you can't then attack them for mentioning that.
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Re: Concerns and Constructive Criticism

Postby Jeshin » Tue Aug 05, 2014 4:32 pm

If you argue back and forth about this situation or that situation you will accomplish nothing. In the end putting yourself up as an example of what is wrong is less helpful than proposing solutions.

No matter how much you think there isn't a problem. You can't deny that RP documentation and some more clear guidelines from staff would be beneficial to the game.

Try not to bicker!
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Re: Concerns and Constructive Criticism

Postby Letters » Tue Aug 05, 2014 4:40 pm

The argument was made that nobody outside of a certain group of players has actually tried to do anything. It was refuted. Hardly bickering.
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Re: Concerns and Constructive Criticism

Postby hobbitboots » Tue Aug 05, 2014 4:47 pm

Tiamat wrote:Oh, good on you. I was lazy and just came across a good enough definition of ALPHA. Thanks for the link. My point was just that throwing up our hands and saying it's ALPHA isn't terribly productive because we aren't even sure what "software" we're testing.


Your point is well-taken. My earlier squawk about alpha was partially tongue-in-cheek, but what I meant is that people should exercise patience and expect things to be missing when you're playing software that is in an alpha state. I didn't mean to say that people shouldn't complain about missing issues - I would imagine that player complaints are a useful (if masochistic) barometer of what needs to be worked on for the staff. I just meant to say that we shouldn't be surprised or disparaging about it... because alpha.

If I may make take a guess, it sounds like what you are wishing to see is the plan for what the game needs and maybe a timeline of how we're going to get there. This is what a good project manager would have, bare minimum, so that they can effectively manage their people. I actually consider this a separate issue from the game rules and documentation I was writing about earlier. As a mere player, I wouldn't expect to get to see the plan, really, but it would be neat. As a player, the best I think we can do in terms of alpha testing is to submit bug reports and complain about stuff on the forums. :D
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Re: Concerns and Constructive Criticism

Postby Songweaver » Tue Aug 05, 2014 5:00 pm

The five things SOI needs the most right now:

1) More plots, all around. It's easy to feel jealous when you're fighting over scraps. That said, I've seen Guard-specific plots, full Utterby plots, orc plots, etc, so let's not make wild generalizations here.

2) More players to be proactive and make things happen in-game in a cooperative way with the staff.

3) The staff to continue to keep an open mind and open dialogue with the players. I'd be more upset if the staff weren't willing to change their mind two months into the opening of their game because of something they posted before the game ever opened.

4) People to chill out. Some of the venom in this community is a big part of why the community has shrunk over the years. It's a big part of why so many staff members have resigned. I'm all about righting wrongs, but this is grasping at straws without even having correct information first.

ETA:

5) More documentation for players on culture and the gameworld, providing inspiration and options for new characters. Absolutely.

I feel like the game is moving in the right direction with most of these things.
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