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Bored

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Re: Bored

Postby radioactivejesus » Sat Mar 21, 2015 11:10 pm

honestly, I've become absolutely tired of the game as well.
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Re: Bored

Postby Brian » Sun Mar 22, 2015 10:03 am

radioactivejesus wrote:honestly, I've become absolutely tired of the game as well.


What would you like to see that you aren't seeing radioactivejesus? What would have to happen externally to your character for you to be interested again? Are there things you can do with the internal world of your character to increase your interest or is it perhaps time to try a new character or sphere?
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Re: Bored

Postby Hawkwind » Sun Mar 22, 2015 1:00 pm

RJ, migbt I suggest a break from your current sphere? It is unfair to say you are tired of the game when having occupied your current position (with a great amount of enjoyment from tbose under you) for so long and have forgotten ghe joys of being a runt and looking up and craving power!
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Re: Bored

Postby radioactivejesus » Sun Mar 22, 2015 1:26 pm

Brian wrote:
radioactivejesus wrote:honestly, I've become absolutely tired of the game as well.


What would you like to see that you aren't seeing radioactivejesus? What would have to happen externally to your character for you to be interested again? Are there things you can do with the internal world of your character to increase your interest or is it perhaps time to try a new character or sphere?

I want to see some advertising and attempts at bringing in fresh players, but most importantly I feel like we need to have some real long-term goals and activities set up for everyone. Sure we can go out and do bog runs, or get into PVP, but a lot of players don't seem to get much enjoyment from that, and for me it's starting to feel like a chore. There are some creative and awesome players out there that have managed get some exciting and fun events going, but in the long run there really needs to be coded goals and tasks, with tangible rewards for the players to work towards.
And I feel like right now retiring isn't really an option, considering the small size and fragility of the playerbase
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Re: Bored

Postby mongwen » Mon Mar 23, 2015 2:04 pm

I'm still PO'd with some recent changes certain staffers have made. They know who and what and why, I made no bones about it in a support ticket. They responded to the ticket, but their answer wasn't good enough for me and did nothing to calm me.
That's affecting my playtime along with the general low activity in my sphere and the fact that I have other games to play when one irritates or bores me, or sometimes it goes the other way where one is just providing something more interesting than another and it need not even be staff-driven. Right now, both are happening at once.
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Re: Bored

Postby Icarus » Mon Mar 23, 2015 2:30 pm

*looks through support tickets and couldn't find anything that would make someone po'd outside of bows not being able to be repaired, some change to being uncon, an ooc timer on decorating stuff, buggy prices on damaged gear. Was there something in particular?*

As for Orcs, I've a few ideas on things I can implement here in the near future. Over the past few weeks myself and Cer have been working on an enhanced mobile loader that is pretty nifty, so once that it in there should be some rather interesting stuff operating in the mines beneath you guys, as well as a few other locations in the Mirk. But I frankly appreciate your patience, this crap sucks to wait on.
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Re: Bored

Postby Rishte » Mon Mar 23, 2015 3:49 pm

And I am working on delicious Orc crafts. Be afraid.
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Re: Bored

Postby AdamBlue » Wed Mar 25, 2015 12:04 am

I lost interest in the game when it happened. I'm still generally mad about it, and despite having 3 rpp and all of the ability to make a new character that has stat boosts, I find myself asking, 'What is the point?'
I don't want to slog through the grind again.
I don't want to introduce myself to people I already know.
I really just feel like until Beta rolls around and I can play another kind of race, maybe, or the spheres change up somewhat, or something changes...
I dunno, man.
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Re: Bored

Postby Tepes » Wed Mar 25, 2015 5:47 pm

I don't want to play bog run #450, or PvP encounter 100, or crafting spam 3000.

Plot doesn't happen often, if at all from what I've seen. At least, winnable/tangible/followable plot. There's not much, if anything going on that's fun anymore.

You say go and do player-plot-stuff? That doesn't work when we're so ghastly limited on what we can do. We can't do magic crap, explore, or even find rprogs like we used to on old SOI.

There's really nothing else to do right now.
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Re: Bored

Postby Brian » Wed Mar 25, 2015 8:28 pm

The current state of things doesn't strike me as terribly different than many times in SoI that was particularly, or long stretches of time in other Muds that I've played. There weren't often particular objective substantive goals that could be achieved by players that I can think of aside from things like the mini Fort system and even with that once the novelty wore off it seemed like people grew tired of it too. What are these goals that people are looking for to be achievable that aren't there now? In the old days you knew you weren't going to breach the gates of Minas Morgul or Minas Tirith and raze it to the ground or anything. It seems to me that outside of large scale imm plots we've always had to provide our own reasons for playing. Is the only difference at this point less plot activity or am I missing things?
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Re: Bored

Postby Oblivion » Wed Mar 25, 2015 9:04 pm

In my not-so-humble opinion, I think it all basically boils down to there being so -few- players at all.

On average these days I can log in and see... five or six people. I notify my sphere and maybe two or three are on. That's half the pbase. And chances are, you've interacted with those people any number of times already and things are probably growing stale with the same 'Hey Bob, what's new? Not much, found a pack of wolves I killed and scraped some peat moss for iron... What's new with you? About the same, killed a couple boar and scraped some peat moss for bog iron... ... Well... See ya.' ...

The same faces in the same places doing the same things. We need new life.
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Re: Bored

Postby tehkory » Wed Mar 25, 2015 9:14 pm

Brian wrote:The current state of things doesn't strike me as terribly different than many times in SoI that was particularly, or long stretches of time in other Muds that I've played. There weren't often particular objective substantive goals that could be achieved by players that I can think of aside from things like the mini Fort system and even with that once the novelty wore off it seemed like people grew tired of it too. What are these goals that people are looking for to be achievable that aren't there now? In the old days you knew you weren't going to breach the gates of Minas Morgul or Minas Tirith and raze it to the ground or anything. It seems to me that outside of large scale imm plots we've always had to provide our own reasons for playing. Is the only difference at this point less plot activity or am I missing things?

I'm not sure if we're just different players, Brian, or something, but Tepes' post(besides the magic part) speaks for me as well.

It's not that there's anything dislikeable about SoI in its current state. It's just that there's not any long-term reasons to play. I'm a pretty proactive player, and I've made fun for myself/my clans out of nothing more than once. But between a minimal player account, no real reason for sustainable conflict, and little variety...this isn't a sandbox MUD that's been created, whatever people want to say. Tolkien's world isn't a sandbox world, either. Parallel was my last hurrah for clanleading, I like to tell myself, but if I ever ended up doing that over here...I don't think I could last a week.

The gameworld's -dead-, because there is nothing to make Utterby anything more than a sketch, nothing to make it interesting. Staff refuse to give lore/laws, refuse to put any lore in when written for them, refuse to get down and color the world's lines in(human-side, at least). Utterby's a stock-fantasy joke. Goblin/orc-side's been getting a fair bit of love, I'm told, and sees the lion's share of players I know and respect these days by far, so kudos for actually doing things there. I'd like to play a warg someday, maybe. We'll see.

Humanside? Culture's nonexistent. They've given us a coloring book and a number two pencil. I know they do good work when it comes to crafting/building, but...this isn't anything close to Angost, and it never will be, until someone topside actually bothers to give this corpse the breath of life. And that's what Utterby is. It's skeletal, and dead, and while we might be able to tug on the strings and see it jerk, nothing good's going to come from it as is. Staff are either going to have to fix it, or wait 'til 'Laketown' comes...and it's pretty painful to imagine that getting Utterby's treatment, but with how long Utterby's been left to sit stagnant, I'm pretty sure that's what we'll see happen.

You make comparisons to SoI-That-Was, but in any meaningful way, SoI-That-Is falls short. In Angost, the location wasn't storied enough to live on its own, so rules and laws and cultures were put forth to MAKE it interesting, as in Tur Erendur. As with the Balchoth. In Osgiliath, and Minas Tirith, the setting was storied and lore-rich enough that it drew people in. But Utterby's nothing but a shade. We're playing in Sheol, compared to any of the settings and themes I've played in before.

Mirkwood RPI could be so powerful, but as-is...it's not what you or I hoped for, and I doubt Laketown's going to get any better treatment.
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Re: Bored

Postby Songweaver » Wed Mar 25, 2015 9:16 pm

I think the central problem is two-fold.

1) There is no visible ongoing, long-term plot that folks can see. The few plots that have been run either were abandoned, or didn't melt together in a coherent enough way to suggest that they were part of a bigger story. People who play RPIs want to be a part of a bigger story. This has been the case in the past too, at points in SOI's history, but the problem is doubled when coupled with the next.

2) PCs are less empowered in the current incarnation of SOI than they have been in the past. There aren't intrigue roles, or complex politics, or thieves, or brigands, or social issues (high born vs commoners), or magic, or the Vok, or the hillmen, etc, etc. Empowering players to tackle these roles created a more dynamic gameworld in the past. PCs may be able to form their own clans now, but the guidelines in which they must do so is very restrictive.

What's left is a game with two vanilla military clans facing each other in a conflict that neither side has the power to truly win beyond skirmishes, little overarching story from above, and general crafting/social roles without the mysteries and complexities of the best clans of the past.

The good news is that these are all issues that SOI, its staff, and its players are capable of addressing. If they do, then the great thing is that SOI has always proven that it is capable of drawing back players that have stopped playing when it takes strides forward.
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Re: Bored

Postby cfelch » Wed Mar 25, 2015 11:06 pm

For me it seems that things are too combat-centric.
You want meat? Kill it.
See someone from the opposite faction? Kill em.
Get bored? Go kill something.

I mean, crafting is great and all, but for the most part even that requires risking having to kill something to get all the resources you need.

I am tired of the hack'n'slash mentality.
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Re: Bored

Postby bjg2k1us » Wed Mar 25, 2015 11:35 pm

I think SW outlines the specific problems pretty well, but Kory hits the nail on the head when he says that the setting really is really the catalyst for those issues. There's not a lot of room for intriguing roles and plots and conflicts because the setting just doesn't lend itself to them.

Just think about the character and plot concepts that spring to mind when you think of SOI's settings:

Ye Olden SOI: Be a master craftsman, be a Gondorian soldier, be a Haradaic scoundrel, be an Orcish grunt, be a spy and saboteur, be a slummer...if you ran out of ideas for a PC it certainly wasn't for a lack of options. There was a war, there were class divides, there were treaties and secret missions! Granted, it developed over years we haven't had yet in Mirkwood, but the possibility for all of those things was implied from the first mention of the setting.

Angrenost: 'Be a soldier' was all that was allowed in the brief life of SOI-that-never-actually-was, but there was mystery and commerce and politics and intrigue and secrets all wrapped up into the very idea of playing in and around Isengard.

Laketown: Dwarves and Elves and Lakemen and a DRAGON! (or is he even alive anymore? Old wives' tales!) Shipping and merchants and bandits and Easterlings and who lives in Dorwinion anyways? I wonder what's left in Dale these days... surely some old treasure or trinket buried in the ashes and rubble, if you had the nerve to go look for it! Right? Who's going to be the next Master? Do you think there's still any gold under the Mountain?

Utterby: You're a person - perhaps even a Beorning - who, for reasons known only to yourself, is going to seek their fortune chopping wood or mucking for bog-iron in the most spider infested woods of all time. OF ALL TIME. There are some orcs here, too, and their grand plan is 1) to have a cave and 2) kill the people who have already chosen to throw their lives away in search of those most rare and precious natural resources, wood and low-quality metal, if the spiders don't eat them all first. Maybe they can be friends and go halvsies with the spiders? Also they already have the cave. You could hunt for treasure in the woods, I guess, if you were the sort of person who thought that getting eaten by spiders was legal tender. Ok, you can be a warg? That's pretty ****ing cool, I'm not even going to try and take a jab at that one. I'd play a warg if I played enough to have any RPP - but it's Utterby, so that's incredibly unlikely, plus my RPP got wiped and I still cry about it.

Ahem.

My long-winded and overly sarcastic point is that Laketown still has a chance to be incredibly special and fantastic and remind us why we loved SOI so much to begin with, but I really, really don't think Utterby ever will. The sooner we're able to play in a setting that actually supports adventure and intrigue and conflict and complexity by virtue of its very existence, the sooner the players whose bread and butter is doing that sort of thing will find their way back, and the sooner I'll be able to occasionally do my limited impression of a decent RPer beside them, basking in the warm glow of their awesomeness.


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Re: Bored

Postby radioactivejesus » Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:04 am

bjg2k1us wrote:
Utterby: You're a person - perhaps even a Beorning - who, for reasons known only to yourself, is going to seek their fortune chopping wood or mucking for bog-iron in the most spider infested woods of all time. OF ALL TIME. There are some orcs here, too, and their grand plan is 1) to have a cave and 2) kill the people who have already chosen to throw their lives away in search of those most rare and precious natural resources, wood and low-quality metal, if the spiders don't eat them all first. Maybe they can be friends and go halvsies with the spiders? Also they already have the cave. You could hunt for treasure in the woods, I guess, if you were the sort of person who thought that getting eaten by spiders was legal tender. Ok, you can be a warg? That's pretty ****ing cool, I'm not even going to try and take a jab at that one. I'd play a warg if I played enough to have any RPP - but it's Utterby, so that's incredibly unlikely, plus my RPP got wiped and I still cry about it.

If we really want to drive home the fact that things are boring, it should be mentioned that there aren't even spiders out and about in the forest right now.

We can't pretend that our current locations don't have the -potential- to be interesting, however. It's just that the storyline has been left hanging, and never really been followed up with. I don't know enough to give a synopsis of human side, but I can for orcs.

Currently the Necromancer is rebuilding his strength, and laying the groundwork for his actions in the hobbit. He needs to bend northern mirkwood to his will, as the area is strategically important for hostile actions against laketown and the lonely mountain. Unfortunately without his iron will controlling them, the orcs of the region have descended into dozens of petty and chaotic tribes, constantly warring between eachother for little gain. Northern mirkwood must be united through bloody conquest, and the population enslaved to build the Necromancer an army worthy of Dol Guldur.

Sounds like it would definitely make a more exciting story than 'have mountain. Disregard hematite. Get bog ore.'
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Re: Bored

Postby Frigga » Thu Mar 26, 2015 5:54 am

I'll take a stab that most of your post is addressed to me, Kory. So ... I'll ask, when lore has been written that wasn't allowed in?

A great amount of player written lore has actually made it into game, even if that's not readily apparent. People might have to actually stop long enough to listen to someone to hear it. ;)

There was actually a great deal of new lore I was going to add to the wiki indeed, player written ... but there was a forum explosion and I'm waiting for some items to be resent.

Also, lore has been written. We could use more. But, people also, need to be open to embracing it, which ... doesn't always really seem the case. We wrote lore and put it into game eating wargs was a cultural no no for people, there was pushback about how that was a waste. (Which, lol, if you see how much meat is usually laying around.)

The lore for Laketown is currently spread across multiple documents many pages long.
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Re: Bored

Postby bjg2k1us » Thu Mar 26, 2015 6:39 am

radioactivejesus wrote:We can't pretend that our current locations don't have the -potential- to be interesting, however.


This is completely true, and my hyperbolic digs at Utterby aside, it's certainly not impossible to craft a story around the setting. But I do think it's fair to say that the opportunities for epic storytelling simply don't and won't come as naturally to Utterby as they would to Laketown proper. And beyond the black/white struggle of men vs. orcs and the black/black struggle of orcs vs. other orcs, there isn't a lot of room to expand the implied narrative that you mentioned. Is it possible? Of course. Does the setting spark the imagination the way the other iconic settings of SOI do? I just don't think so.

In a way, the situation reminds me of what Angost could have been, if it hadn't been quickly populated by knights and elves and rangers and traitors and spies and villains. It didn't have any lore besides what was written for it (and it opened with quite a bit more than Utterby, if I recall). It ran the risk of being a simple black/white scenario, but it was the complexity and wildly varying cultures that kept it from being so binary. I think people would remember the Northlands a lot less fondly if it had just been 'northmen vs. orcs'. I think that's what Utterby has fallen into, and it's not that people can't come up with interesting concepts and stories in the setting, it's that they aren't being inspired enough to bother doing so, because it becomes tedious to have to constantly inject all the color into a monochrome world.
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Re: Bored

Postby Songweaver » Thu Mar 26, 2015 7:14 am

I think that's what Utterby has fallen into, and it's not that people can't come up with interesting concepts and stories in the setting, it's that they aren't being inspired enough to bother doing so, because it becomes tedious to have to constantly inject all the color into a monochrome world.


Moreso than this, it's also that they have been actively discouraged not to come up with those concepts.

The wargs are a good counter-example, but the wargs weren't fully implemented. Their combat issues (code-wise) have yet to be completely addressed, they lack the ability to do crafts, and while their documentation is superior to the other current clan documentation, they have little more that they can do besides romp around in the wilderness and social roleplay with the other wargs. Because of this, a clan of eight or so good players has mostly gone inactive. This follows a trend of partial implementation that is disconcerting for me in this incarnation of SOI.

Building a new setting alone won't fix SOI. After about a year of live development, there are numerous empty/broken craft-sets, buggy or only partially implemented features, dropped plots, lack of means to interact with the wilderness/explore, lack of documentation, roles, etc. If the same approach and mindset is taken to Laketown, then it won't matter if the new location has more potential, because it simply won't live up to it. And if the move to Laketown is executed in such a way that it seems as though the staff are saying, "Utterby never mattered. Its story never mattered", then there's another problem too. SOI's done that in the past, and it's always been a slap in the face to folks who genuinely invest in their characters.

Few people are as interested in skipping through the sandbox to play Sim-Tolkien, as they are interested in being a part of a story about the time when little Utterby mattered to the rest of Middle-Earth. And of all of the missing things, that's what's missing the most.

Any setting can work, more or less, for an RPI. One hundred rooms and no crafts can work for an RPI. It's all about the story.
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Re: Bored

Postby bjg2k1us » Thu Mar 26, 2015 8:43 am

I think you'll find that a lot of the people who enjoyed old SOI liked doing exactly that, SW: just playing an immersed character in an immersive setting, even when there wasn't a stunning plot or cunningly-wrought story with twists and turns driving them on every step of the way. Now that's not to say they didn't need story and metaplot, because they did, and SOI would have failed miserably without it. But they also needed all the rest of it - the crafts and the social structure and the history as a backdrop - and they needed it more often than they needed a plot twist. Story matters, a lot, but I'll vehemently disagree that an RPI is only about the plot and metaplot. It's limited by the quality of the story, certainly, just as it's limited by the inherent novelty of the setting, the playability and depth of the crafting and combat, and the variety and intrigue offered to players in their roles.

Walking Dead may have a great story. Mad Men may have had a great story. Wuthering Heights may have had a great story (spoiler alert: it didn't). But that's just it: what interests one person may not interest another; and for most people, no amount of clever writing or carefully crafted and intricate plot is ever going to overcome the initial impression they get when you try to sell them the premise in ten words or less - because that impression dictates whether they will bother exploring your story enough to find out if it's any good or not.

So do I think SOI needs a good overarching story? Yes, I do. But I think it needs the other things you mentioned (crafts/features/exploration/roles) just as much, and it really does need a compelling setting to draw players in so they can actually experience them all. I think Laketown has the potential to do that in a way Utterby doesn't. Does that mean we shouldn't fix the other stuff? Absolutely not. That's what ALPHA is for, by staff's own decree, but I'm saying that the sooner they iron out the major wrinkles so that BETA can get off the ground, the better off the game will be.

In the here and now, though, I'd agree that SOI probably needs even more solid story and plot than it otherwise might just to keep it interesting and alive, because setting isn't here yet and features take time to build.
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Re: Bored

Postby Songweaver » Thu Mar 26, 2015 8:54 am

I'd agree, particularly in the case of SOI. It's always branded itself as an RPI with a great crafting system, and social options for players. If you created an RPI that took place in slave warrens beneath a gladiatorial arena, where the players were all basically waiting to die, crafting might not be so important. But that's not the case with SOI.

But, the one thing that all RPIs need, is a strong core story. Not everyone will wrap themselves up in it, but the players who are generally movers-and-shakers, the ones that elevate an RPI and generate electricity, they almost always care first-and-foremost about the story.
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Re: Bored

Postby bjg2k1us » Thu Mar 26, 2015 9:13 am

Agreed, with one caveat: story is still beholden to the setting. You could make that RPI about gladiators in a cave, and you could write a fantastic and compelling storyline about oppression and rebellion and love in captivity, and you'd still have to overcome the fact that it's gladiators in a cave, and that's what someone would have to be interested in if they were ever going to play long enough to be captivated by your narrative.

But I will absolutely agree that a strong story is very important, vital even. SOI has had times in the past where the narrative stalled and sputtered, and the crafting and combat wasn't always enough on its own to keep it interesting. Story is almost always an effective immediate way to keep people engaged, and when done properly, keep them engaged for a long time. But SOI in particular needs to be interesting enough on its own merits to attract the people who aren't necessarily 'movers and shakers', and keep them engaged and around so that the A-listers have someone to shine for as they move the story along. Some people really do just want to be a baker in Middle-Earth, and a lot of them used to play SOI, and it was better for having them.

In other words, I agree to mostly agree. :)
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Re: Bored

Postby ThinkTwice » Thu Mar 26, 2015 9:54 am

Without the staff, there would be no game, and they have shown an incredible amount of dedication to keep this going as long as they have with as little encouragement as they've gotten. That said:

Icarus:
in the near future
once that is in there should be some rather interesting stuff

Rishte:
I am working on

Frigga:
not readily apparent
was going to
I'm waiting for
currently spread across multiple documents many pages long.


This is obviously cherrypicking, but it was a common enough theme that I felt it still worth pointing out. There is perpetually a lot of Really Cool Stuff on the way, in development, being discussed amongst staff, and will be implemented Soon(tm). The last staff announcement that I was really excited for was Alcarin's mob-loading nest system, dated August 14th, 2014. Not to sound ungrateful, I've loved the plots that my character was involved in, but I feel that my experiences were the exception moreso than the rule.

I believe that most disagreements/frustrations between players and staff originate from different expectations. The problem I see right now is that the players have been told repeatedly that Super Cool Things are almost here for a long time; those expectations have not been fulfilled. It seems like to resolve player frustration, either Super Cool Things need to arrive or staff needs to release a statement that this is Alpha/Beta, Utterby is a sandbox, and it will remain as-is until Laketown. Expectation is an awful thing when it isn't fulfilled. Once we know nothing's coming, we can expect nothing, and sit comfortably until Laketown.
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Re: Bored

Postby Patty » Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:05 pm

The orc sphere has actually been poppin' off the last couple of days. If people would log on and hang out for a bit, they'd see it. Lots of players being proactive and staff is chipping in where they can. It is still alpha guys and gals.
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Re: Bored

Postby radioactivejesus » Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:09 pm

Patty wrote:The orc sphere has actually been poppin' off the last couple of days. If people would log on and hang out for a bit, they'd see it. Lots of players being proactive and staff is chipping in where they can. It is still alpha guys and gals.

yea, that's true. Seems like players are turning things around. And I'm totally pumped to see what Icarus has in store for us :)
A really bad sword with a short blade lies here.
look sword
This sword hardly even a sword. It's kind of really just a piece of metal bent like a sword. Its blade is rather short. Kind of pathetic, really.
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radioactivejesus
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