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Concerns and Constructive Criticism

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Re: Concerns and Constructive Criticism

Postby Alcarin » Tue Aug 05, 2014 11:54 pm

Just going to chime in here on a personal note.

I'm a brand new RPA who's been a player on this game for way too many years, now, in all of its various versions and under all of its different head staffers.

Do I think the current game and staff are perfect? Not really, but now that I'm seeing behind the curtain, I do think they're doing a better job with limited time and resources than they're getting credit for.

Mistakes have been made, and staff have been working on correcting them and making amends, even going so far as to apologize publicly on these forums and discuss things such as their greatest regrets in private... Literally two months into the game's release.

Meanwhile, the staff forums have become riddled with plot ideas and staff thoughts and discussions on how to bring the game world to life for you lot, and there's several of us newbies and some oldbies as well, all interested in carrying out some of these plots and random interactions.

I know that I, personally, would love to do more for the militia than merely clean up their paydays and watch one or two of them log in to spar.

Won't you please give us another chance in the coming weeks?
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Re: Concerns and Constructive Criticism

Postby EltanimRas » Wed Aug 06, 2014 12:42 am

Songweaver wrote:Beornings aren't Hillmen, and are open for applications with very strict guidelines, it appears.

They also don't have their own mini-sphere.

If a group is (a) open for application to the playerbase at large, (b) positioned so as to encourage rather than discourage interaction with the rest of game, and (c) beautifully documented, then I'm probably in favor.

Icarus wrote:Rules were bent, mistakes were made, attempts to roll with the mistakes were made, further ones were made. It was made clear, mind you, that special apps would be considered from the getgo. People just had to ask.

Icarus, on June 20th, wrote:From this point forward, if your character does not comply with [the two standard] roles, it will be rejected.

Icarus, on July 18th, wrote:All apps need to be standard, local Rhovanion people.

Now, I'm not claiming the rules weren't different for the twelve days between June 8th and June 20th -- clearly, these announcements were made for a reason. But I do think it's fair to say that some of us read the role guidelines as the space within which any 'special apps' were to be made. And, of course, we do have another 46 or 47 days under the 'no non-standard roles' rule for which to account.

Songweaver wrote:The best "hook" for a staff looking for players to connect with via plot is a nosy, thinking, proactive player. A player who petitions and says, "Hey, this room says that there's a bloodstain here. What can I see about its shape? Color? How fresh is it?"


Nimrod, in the kudos thread, wrote:Oh. Kudos to players who keep it in-game, never use the petition command and take everything thrown at them by other players and staff. 8-)

Emphasis mine.
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Re: Concerns and Constructive Criticism

Postby Songweaver » Wed Aug 06, 2014 1:11 am

I am almost certain that Nimrod did not mean the use of petitioning to connect to the admins in regards to trying to actually do something or investigate something that is not defined codely. I can only assume, which is always dangerous, that Nimrod was referring to obnoxious and meaningless chatty/whiny petitions which are surprisingly common when you're an admin.
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Re: Concerns and Constructive Criticism

Postby MrT2G » Wed Aug 06, 2014 1:43 am

As to the lack of documentation, I've seen mentioned numerous times on this thread. I've personally taken it as an opportunity to fill in the blanks. Part of the fun in the last couple months in the Orkish realm has been establishing our own organizational system and hierarchy.

Now, it is shifting towards establishing traditions and customs. More of the cultural side of things. This is the stuff that you'd typically see in documentation. I feel the lack of it in Alpha as an opportunity for us, as players, to establish these things and write particular clans' documentation in-game.

Furthermore, if you are the by the rules sort, there is nothing I've seen preventing anyone from submitting documentation on clans to the staff to be approved and potentially published. I, however, prefer to let things develop more organically.
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Re: Concerns and Constructive Criticism

Postby krelm » Wed Aug 06, 2014 2:03 am

Furthermore, if you are the by the rules sort, there is nothing I've seen preventing anyone from submitting documentation on clans to the staff to be approved and potentially published.


This is, in fact, how most of the documentation was submitted. Wargs, for example-- Wolfsong wrote some docs, I said screw it and sent them to staff, staff liked them and accepted them.
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Re: Concerns and Constructive Criticism

Postby Rivean » Wed Aug 06, 2014 4:09 am

Not to gripe, but the last time we talked documentation, the experience left Frigga and I both feeling rather shitty. However:

Icarus wrote:Stuff


I love you, man. Let me give this another try.

a) I do not believe that any of the problems presently faced by SoI, or Staff side failings, are a result of foul play. Mistakes have been made, but when does that not happen? The important thing is that we can talk about it. I applaud you all for your willingness to step up to the plate and accept responsibility and for your earnest desire to fix things.

Which is in direct contrast to certain past administrations I could name. Ahem!

b) This discussion started as a result of imbalances in the game. It's been tackled as a favoritism issue, but it really really isn't. The problem here, as bjg2k1us mentioned, is a matter of vision and game design. I really hope people read what he's written, every word of it is relevant, because it pertains to what sort of solutions one needs to fix the current woes.



c) Some concrete solutions:

1. The answer to the problems of Utterby is not that the Hillmen need to be nerfed. It is that the 'main' play areas, the 'main' clans need to be more attractive.

This does NOT mean more plot - though certainly that helps, and the lack of such attention is what birthed this thread in the first place. But attempting to generate player interest by means of top-side plot attention is a very man-power intensive process, and I feel that in this case, the fix will last only as long as the plots do - and they won't last forever.

Plot is a band-aid, but an interesting, compelling setting or narrative in which one's PC can be a part is a more lasting solution. This is not only a matter of documentation, but it's a matter of game design. I'll put it bluntly: You could not pay me enough to sign up for the Guard. There is 0 friction, there is 0 tension, there is absolutely 0 grounds for IC conflict.

I presented, in June, an alternate design that would address these issues, but the response (which was disappointing) seemed to have been, 'There's conflict there, but you don't see it!'

(To which, incidentally, the answer is, 'Conflict that is essentially invisible to the PCs and does not affect them in any persistent way is conflict that, for all game design purposes, does not exist.)

I'm not necessarily saying 'Take my idea, I'm awesome!' I'm saying, 'Take my idea, or come up with some of your own which accomplish the same ends.'

2. In a broader vein than the above, whoever's running this show needs to sit down and think about what we're doing and WHY. The point of background, and social setting game design is NOT so that it sounds cool and interesting. 'Cool and interesting' is a REQUIREMENT of setting/game design, but it is not the PURPOSE of said design. The purpose is to pull it together to make a game that is fun to play. Such games have elements of conflict, cooperation, achievement, exploration, etc.

So ask yourselves:

a) What are the sources of high-level conflict in this setting? Do we need more?
b) What are the sources of low-level conflict in this setting? Do we need more?
c) Do we need more cooperation or more conflict? How can we encourage one, the other, or both?
d) More along the same vein, re: the things I mentioned in the previous paragraph.

These are fundamental top level things to think about - methodically, systematically. Where's the juice?

3. Documentation, Rules, When to stick to them, When (and how!) to change them.

First of all, you require clear, well thought out vision of what your game is, what the principle clans/components of your game are, how they're supposed to work, etc. This is a result of point of (2) above. Then you need to put this in writing, in an easily accessible place, so that players and staff alike can see the shape of the beast they're riding - and can thus form their expectations accordingly.

The question of how to change course is a tricky one and will always remain so. "I said X, but X is not working, and even though I know a lot of you will get screwed by this, but now we're moving to Y."

Or even, "We said that you wouldn't get to play Hillmen, but oops, we now have five of them."

Never easy situations to deal with. But firstly, get your vision together. Your overall plan coupled with detailed game design. Be open to new ideas, be open to special applications, sure, but only if they don't break important elements of your game design. Decide which elements are worth breaking, and which are not.

But above all, do this DELIBERATELY. And when you do, make it a point to be the person to inform the playerbase that we're making course adjustments, and if at all possible, explain why.

ETA: On matters of game design, please, for the love of unicorns, make sure that your setting allows for viable play for as MANY DIFFERENT TYPES of PCs as possible - this 'everybody must be poor and illiterate' stuff may serve its purpose, but is stifling, restrictive, and really does nothing to make me want to play the game.
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Re: Concerns and Constructive Criticism

Postby EltanimRas » Wed Aug 06, 2014 4:29 am

Rivean wrote:Or even, "We said that you wouldn't get to play Hillmen, but oops, we now have five of them."

And none of them are jdidds'. :P

More constructively, yes, I think the slowly increasing variety of character types, roles, and origins (of which the Beornings are the currently outstanding example) should help to move us toward the increased [setting-based] complexity and conflict you're looking for.
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Re: Concerns and Constructive Criticism

Postby jdidds » Wed Aug 06, 2014 5:36 am

EltanimRas wrote:
Rivean wrote:Or even, "We said that you wouldn't get to play Hillmen, but oops, we now have five of them."

And none of them are jdidds'. :P

More constructively, yes, I think the slowly increasing variety of character types, roles, and origins (of which the Beornings are the currently outstanding example) should help to move us toward the increased [setting-based] complexity and conflict you're looking for.


Nope, I can confess. I do not play a "Hillman".
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Re: Concerns and Constructive Criticism

Postby Frigga » Wed Aug 06, 2014 7:42 am

Not to gripe, but the last time we talked documentation, the experience left Frigga and I both feeling rather shitty.


That's likely more a personal thing than anything. As noted, for me - writing up a suggestion of changes (IE - I think this a slightly better version, take a peek!) is easier to ponder on than a list of things that need to be changed. But you know me, Rivean, I've mentioned that before. :lol:

In the end, I feel your suggested changes to the Ongull documentation were spot-on and I'll be peeking at them and putting them (or the larger portion of them) in.
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Re: Concerns and Constructive Criticism

Postby Holmes » Wed Aug 06, 2014 8:18 am

Songweaver wrote:- The Vok.
- The Lothlorien Elves/Rangers.
- The Ration Factory Coalition.
- The Battalion of Eradan.
- Heren Carnatalion.
- Gothakra.
- The Twisted Eye.
- The list could go on and on.


The difference, and I feel like the fact that you don't realize this shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the entire dialogue on your behalf, is all of these clans were created by staff to be central focuses of the game. They were not created by a player who needs to be special and can't play within the rules of the game world, and they weren't allowed by a staff who has repeatedly stated those very rules.
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Re: Concerns and Constructive Criticism

Postby Rivean » Wed Aug 06, 2014 8:49 am

Frigga wrote:But you know me, Rivean, I've mentioned that before. :lol:


You are a dear, dear lady, madam, which makes such things much more bothersome than if I'd ruined say, Kite's day.

Also, to add to Holmes' point, adding one more staff supported clan (though factual correction: The Vok were never meant to the be the center of anything other than their own mini-culture) to SOI2 is sort of like adding one more leg onto the centipede - nobody cares.

Plainly, the situation in Utterby is not at all comparable.

Also, on a more personal note, I get the feeling that Songweaver, like a lot of intelligent people I know, tends to (after having already considered the arguments in his own mind) come to a conclusion and skim through other people's responses, and sometimes misses nuance or even complete arguments which might otherwise change his mind or soften his positions.

Either that or, like mine, his responses come across a whole lot more 'You're totally wrong about this and are probably an idiot' than he intends :P
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Re: Concerns and Constructive Criticism

Postby Songweaver » Wed Aug 06, 2014 9:34 am

Holmes wrote:
Songweaver wrote:- The Vok.
- The Lothlorien Elves/Rangers.
- The Ration Factory Coalition.
- The Battalion of Eradan.
- Heren Carnatalion.
- Gothakra.
- The Twisted Eye.
- The list could go on and on.


The difference, and I feel like the fact that you don't realize this shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the entire dialogue on your behalf, is all of these clans were created by staff to be central focuses of the game. They were not created by a player who needs to be special and can't play within the rules of the game world, and they weren't allowed by a staff who has repeatedly stated those very rules.


No. Many of the above clans were player-created, and almost none of them were created to be central focuses for their respective games. I feel the most frustrated at arguments made with blatantly wrong information, and there is a lot of that in this thread. It's like watching Fox News do a story on Obamacare, that's how jaw-gaping some of what I'm reading is.

Rivean wrote:Also, on a more personal note, I get the feeling that Songweaver, like a lot of intelligent people I know, tends to (after having already considered the arguments in his own mind) come to a conclusion and skim through other people's responses, and sometimes misses nuance or even complete arguments which might otherwise change his mind or soften his positions.

Either that or, like mine, his responses come across a whole lot more 'You're totally wrong about this and are probably an idiot' than he intends :P


I read everything. I don't skim. I won't deny that I can be rather stubborn, though.

I'm a little bit older, and a little bit more prickly, than I used to be. Years of being responsible for complicated, fickle, wonderful, inherently demanding things we call RPIs can take its toll on you. So, if I come off as condescending ever, it's not because I don't like you. It's because I sometimes get frustrated at the "us versus them" mentality of this community.

We've survived into the year 2014. There is technology now that can allow paraplegics to walk again. There is technology now that allows a man in a chair to fly a three foot robot thousands of miles, aim a guided laser, and shoot a missile in war. There is technology now to wear a device behind your ear and send your thoughts in the form of commands to a computer. There is the technology now for actual virtual reality.

And we're still roleplaying away at this thing we call an RPI, together. We've still chosen to be here. People are still working full-time job hours to try to make this work and keep this community together.

I'm just tired of watching us try to tear ourselves apart.
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Re: Concerns and Constructive Criticism

Postby Oblivion » Wed Aug 06, 2014 11:14 am

Haven't we already discovered/witnessed/experienced that too many 'Spheres' is a detriment to the overall well-being of the game?

'They tore my legs off and threw them over there, they tore my arms off and threw them over there'

You can't do much, can't experience much, when everything is scattered about and focus is difficult. Especially with a player-base that barely breaks the thirties on a good day, and fairly well split between two spheres.

You can have all the cultures/races you want, sure all fine and dandy, but don't allow them to go off and create their own 'Safey-Safe' hideaways where they can go to be awesome with themselves.

Don't let humans into the Orc sphere, and then allow them to build a place where only humans or those who hobknob with them can go and see what's going on/get involved.

Don't go making multi-cultural humans in the Human sphere and then let them splinter cell off into the wild where nobody but them and those they allow can get in and hang out.

All that does is bring about these thoughts, whether founded or unfounded, of favoritism. Of 'ooc cliques'. Of 'what did -they- do that -I- didn't do right?'. Of 'How are -they- better than -me-?'.
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Re: Concerns and Constructive Criticism

Postby Songweaver » Wed Aug 06, 2014 11:24 am

I don't entirely disagree with you, Oblivion. Have you experienced human-side recently? Do you feel like the clan that's in question here is far removed and non-interactive with the rest of the humans, any more so than the Lodge is removed and non-interactive with the Guard?

In my experience, all of the clans in the human sphere right now interact the most with themselves - which is to be expected - but also have regular dealings with the other groups, whether it be social interaction, training, patrolling, or trade. The literal distance in terms of number of rooms between the Guard/Inn and this camp clan is the same as the distance between the Guard/Inn and the Lodge, and all of the clans have locked doors.

Do any active players feel like they never get to interact with this camp clan's characters in-game? I don't feel like this is the case. I don't feel like there are two separate human spheres.

But, I do absolutely agree with you about being wary of adding humans into orc-side. On other-thread, that's why I've said that I feel like wargs or spiders would be a more accessible race to add to the evil sphere, if another race is to be added. That's neither here nor there, though.
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Re: Concerns and Constructive Criticism

Postby Oblivion » Wed Aug 06, 2014 11:48 am

Sorry, I haven't had a chance to experience Human sphere as of yet. So my post was more a generality based on what I've been reading here.

I haven't quite been as active as I used to be, so I'm only on my second character in this incarnation of SoI. heh.
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Re: Concerns and Constructive Criticism

Postby Real » Wed Aug 06, 2014 11:53 am

you're honestly not going to get a productive discussion out of beating it to death.

I'm not sure when the last constructive thing that got added to this conversation was, but...

This is becoming "everyone chime in on how they find the Hillmen unfair, and why"

Please, someone propose something resembling a solution instead of this counsel of despair. I'm not sure that the proper answer to "something bad happened and the human playerbase is leaning to one side" is to burn out the people in the proactive clan with accusations of "needing to be special". Do you want them all gone? The players in the clan gone? I suppose we should retcon the existence of the group completely and people who mention it ingame explode on-spot. Or we could just kill them all in a nice warging and burn the camp down arbitrarily.

We've concluded, soundly, I think, that there was a mistake made and it won't happen again (trust me, after this discussion I'm sure they'll be hesitant to implement any clans henceforth) but for this topic to be constructive we can't be just talking down what happens ingame, we need to be looking toward the future.

With the Merchant Guard, people complained and instead of incentivizing joining the group with cool plot hooks or something it became that they have the only (incredibly reliable) means of sparring and spam-healing in town. I don't agree with that but I'm not gonna expound on it for paragraph upon paragraph because...I don't feel the need to reduce the enjoyment of the guard players because "me too", although I do play a combat PC ingame in Utterby. They can have fun, and so can I, and I'm not gonna get mad if their skills end up a bit better than mine.

Look at the net gain that the clan currently provides the pbase and come up with solutions/results that can increase the pull of the others if you find the situation unfair. You can focus on it and say "it's too interesting in relation to the rest" but that argument makes little sense in a roleplaying game because by the very nature of "interesting stuff" it tends to draw people in and they want to take part.

They don't need to grow smaller to be in line with the others, the others need to be given the time to shine alongside. Look at it like a poll on player interest. Clearly, this venue of RP interests a broad demographic. Staff are doing a big test here, and it's as easy as looking at where the pieces fall to learn where they should be focusing their efforts in the future, and what works.

To conclude... If you feel excluded by the hillmen, you might find that the situation changes abruptly if you go up and knock on their gate. If it suits you to boycott them instead because life is unfair to you, that's fine, but it's exactly the same as if you just ignored the Guard or whatever. They're an entity ingame and they will continue to be and I, at least, am glad for it. I think the dynamic they bring is more interesting than if we just had Utterby, but I understand I'm the minority here.
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Re: Concerns and Constructive Criticism

Postby Brian » Wed Aug 06, 2014 11:57 am

MrT2G wrote:Unpopular opinion warning...

Personally, I don't think the staff should be wasting their time on PCs, plots, and other rubblish. It is Alpha. We are here to be testing and balancing as far as I'm concerned.

The focus should be on setting up the full suite of crafts, progs, getting the resources sorted out, getting skill levels sorted out, get races sorted out, etc.

An important part of this, is figuring out policy in regards to players, player-led groups, and OOC/IC crossover. I've seen mistakes made and corrected. This, to me, is encouraging and I applaud the staff for recognizing themselves as fallible. True mistakes are only those you don't learn from.

Of course, as a player, I want to see plots. I want to see cool items and proper clans, but those things aren't essential for the development of the game overall.

Maybe, it is just the orc in me, but making due with what you have can be made part of the fun. Grimy bandage squat ftw! :mrgreen:


I think this post should be highlighted again, because I think MrT2G is exactly right. I will openly state here that I haven't played in weeks, didn't know there are hillmen or beornings, so I can't comment on any of that. However, it doesn't seem like dispensing plots, and who is getting what, and building special areas for clans should even be a factor right now. I believe the purpose of an ALPHA (and we're not even in a beta right now) is to take a broken version of what we hope to have and fix it -- this will eventually include plot distribution and stuff, but that's more BETA than ALPHA. ALPHA is finding bugs, balancing fundamental systems, all the stuff MrT2G said. Seeing as this game isn't even about Utterby at all and this is a test area for the eventual Laketown, I think that anything that doesn't bring us closer to opening Laketown is probably a waste of time. ALPHA isn't about players having fun -- if they do, that's great -- it's about finding out everything that needs to be fixed so we can fix it and move forward. The technical side comes first, skills, stats, bugs, room mapping errors, etc. Once that feels very stable and functional, maybe we worry about plot and such.
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Re: Concerns and Constructive Criticism

Postby Letters » Wed Aug 06, 2014 12:00 pm

Songweaver wrote:
Holmes wrote:
Songweaver wrote:- The Vok.
- The Lothlorien Elves/Rangers.
- The Ration Factory Coalition.
- The Battalion of Eradan.
- Heren Carnatalion.
- Gothakra.
- The Twisted Eye.
- The list could go on and on.


The difference, and I feel like the fact that you don't realize this shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the entire dialogue on your behalf, is all of these clans were created by staff to be central focuses of the game. They were not created by a player who needs to be special and can't play within the rules of the game world, and they weren't allowed by a staff who has repeatedly stated those very rules.


No. Many of the above clans were player-created, and almost none of them were created to be central focuses for their respective games. I feel the most frustrated at arguments made with blatantly wrong information, and there is a lot of that in this thread. It's like watching Fox News do a story on Obamacare, that's how jaw-gaping some of what I'm reading is.


Eradan's Battalion, Gothakra and the Twisted Eye were all staff-created. The Heren Carnatalion was created in collaboration with staff as an option for people wanting to play noblemen with the Battalion who weren't part of the rank and file, and spent a large portion of its existence as an auxiliary force for the Battalion. The Vok spent quite a while camped out in Ithilien until staff built a proper region for them west of the Anduin. Don't know what the deal with elves and rangers is.


As to technical balance: I don't know why the way it was set up for Atonement was left behind and think the new stat and skill set-up is a bit off in comparison, especially with the potentially huge disparities in starting skills that we saw at opening, and now seemingly the really low skills. The only real positive change is that dexterity's no longer completely useless. Don't have much more to add, except that, as per that PvP thread, PCs need proper armour.
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Re: Concerns and Constructive Criticism

Postby Rivean » Wed Aug 06, 2014 12:08 pm

Real wrote:
you're honestly not going to get a productive discussion out of beating it to death.

I'm not sure when the last constructive thing that got added to this conversation was, but...


Precisely 10 posts before yours. You're welcome. :)

Real wrote:[More stuff]


In brief: I have absolutely no problem with the Hillmen and, regardless of the mistakes that have happened topside, I feel that they will add a tremendous amount to this game - provided that they are somehow forced back into Utterby, and therefore actively contributing to improving the game environment for everybody.

Else, all that awesome is going to waste.

Brian wrote:[Stuff about how ALPHA is not about plot distribution]


You, sir, have known me long enough to know that I couldn't care less how many admin plots are thrown my way (and no offense, my lovely administrators, but I'm usually happier making my own :P), but despite the loud grumbling in this thread, this issue is not, and never has been (at least for me) a matter of favoritism.

It's a matter of game design. I'm intensely interested in how, aside from plot, the human sphere can be made productive and entertaining. And that, I believe, is ALWAYS of relevance, and MUST be perfected in ALPHA.

A poorly designed but perfectly coded game is no good to anyone.
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Re: Concerns and Constructive Criticism

Postby Brian » Wed Aug 06, 2014 12:13 pm

Rivean wrote:
A poorly designed but perfectly coded game is no good to anyone.


ALPHA goals vs BETA goals would be my opinion on that one. Right now we're supposed to be running around and breaking everything that can be broken. Once we can't break anything anymore, then we've earned plots.

You make a good point about game design though and how will entertainment be fueled beyond staff supported plots. That will definitely be relevant, but I've always found it easier to accomplish goals and finish tasks by focusing on one thing at a time. I think trying to fix bugs and balance skills and all that would be really hard to do while also managing player expectations, running plots, etc. Also, how many times has an RPT that has been painstakingly prepared for and designed by staff or players gone fizzle when the server starts crashing over and over? I've seen my fair share! Get rid of those things and the creation and implementation of plot will be so much easier.
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Re: Concerns and Constructive Criticism

Postby bjg2k1us » Wed Aug 06, 2014 12:27 pm

The only counter I have to MrT2G and Brian's posts is that, as Icarus said, Alpha is for the staff too. Figuring out how to set up clans and infrastructure on a smaller scale will be integral to getting Laketown off the ground, and I would argue that the mistakes made have already (hopefully) provided object lessons in that regard.

I mean, if we're talking about a traditional Alpha test... they've already said they're not doing much of anything to the code at this point, so there's no real 'testing' to be done there. Bows are weird, so is trauma, combat skills aren't really what they'd ideally want them to be, etc., but that's known and there won't be much of anything happening on that front unless another coder decides to throw his or her hat into the ring. We can test room design and submit typos, so there's that, but that isn't really something that will carry over to the next phase, as most of the building will be new. They said they aren't writing progs yet. The only thing that's really being sussed out at this point from a pure game engine standpoint is the crafting, and that will continue as more suites and qualities are added.

But Alpha is also here to test the meta-design of spheres, and how you set up clans and design their interactions to control the economy and feed players the plot is very much a part of that. Songweaver is right: the game opened with the Guard and the Lodge in a very unfinished and undocumented state of being, and with some design flaws that caused immediate problems. It left them playing second fiddle to other groups that, admittedly, had some glaring flaws of their own in their implementation. And since that horse has been pretty well beaten into the dirt throughout the course of this thread, there's little else to be said there - but that doesn't mean that bringing it up in the first place was somehow not in line with what players are meant to be doing during Alpha. Because unless Beta is going to be a total sandbox, the decisions the staff makes when it comes to their official clans is going to matter, as Alpha has already shown.
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Re: Concerns and Constructive Criticism

Postby EltanimRas » Wed Aug 06, 2014 12:32 pm

Real wrote:To conclude... If you feel excluded by the hillmen, you might find that the situation changes abruptly if you go up and knock on their gate. If it suits you to boycott them instead because life is unfair to you, that's fine, but it's exactly the same as if you just ignored the Guard or whatever.

Wellll. Even if I roll up one of those PCs who happens to feel intimidated by dark woods and spiked orc-heads, I can still park him between the guardhouse and the gate, which gives me pretty decent odds of meeting a whole lot of PCs -- and requires minimal creativity on my part to justify.

Now I grant that player creativity is a Good Thing, but I still think that from a game design standpoint, I'd favor making interaction unavoidable over making it possible.

[As has been mentioned elsewhere, I have playtime issues, so I'm probably not the person whose experience you want to judge by, but I've literally never seen an identifiable Hillman PC in-game.]

Rivean wrote:In brief: I have absolutely no problem with the Hillmen and, regardless of the mistakes that have happened topside, I feel that they will add a tremendous amount to this game - provided that they are somehow forced back into Utterby, and therefore actively contributing to improving the game environment for everybody.

Else, all that awesome is going to waste.

Again, my experience is presumably at one extreme of the range, but this would certainly address it. (Although I might still wish it were possible for the occasional interested player not part of the original group to roll a Hillman concept, even if unrelated.)
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Re: Concerns and Constructive Criticism

Postby Brian » Wed Aug 06, 2014 12:39 pm

Good point, big2k; I was unaware that code work was limited at the moment. If there isn't much happening code wise perhaps there isn't much that can be done on a traditional ALPHA avenue, and other tweaks are being worked upon.
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Re: Concerns and Constructive Criticism

Postby Songweaver » Wed Aug 06, 2014 1:00 pm

To note is that there haven't really been hillmen PCs active in the game for some 5-6 weeks or so. It's been long enough per-the-rules that I will admit to having played one of the original Hillmen PCs, so that you can take my word as more than just speculation. This is the real reason why you don't see Hillmen running about. There aren't any left, really.

Beorning roles have just been opened at large, and so it will likely take some time before you can start easily spotting multiple Beornings/Veidreborg (the same distance from Utterby as Southglain, geographically) running around.

From what I've seen, most of the faces living at the camp, the active members of the clan in question, are prominent PCs native to the area (like all of the other PCs in the human sphere) and you are very likely to see them regularly in Utterby itself because they are very active in the Utterby economy, politics, social-scene and co-work with the Guard.

A lot of the uproar here seems rooted, primarily, in lack of understanding and speculation.

ETA:

In agreement with BG and others here, in that there is a good lesson to be learned. BETA implementation of staff-created clans will likely be approached differently now, and I have faith that the staff have figured out how to better design them. There is some good to take away from this conversation, beyond finger-pointing and scapegoating.
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Re: Concerns and Constructive Criticism

Postby EltanimRas » Wed Aug 06, 2014 1:08 pm

Songweaver wrote:A lot of the uproar here seems rooted, primarily, in lack of understanding and speculation.

Or in the classic complaint that you can't tell things from the IG boards that you'd logically expect your average vNPC to know and gossip about, like whether there is or isn't a sizable encampment of Hillmen just outside the town gates. :P

[ETA: Then again, I'm still not sure how many people live in Utterby!]
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