Are we in Alpha?

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twitchyweasel
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Are we in Alpha?

Post by twitchyweasel » Fri Aug 14, 2015 2:53 pm

In light of the recent newsletter that says we're pulling back on RPAing... Why, I must ask? I know that we are in 'alpha' and building Laketown, but every other aspect of the game is treated as a full game. We have real PCs IG that are trying to tell real stories. We don't do rezzes, we adhere to keeping things IC, and we have special roles, and races. That isn't alpha...

I appreciate all the work the staff is doing to push towards Laketown. Just trying to get a clearer expectation of what is going on,what is expected of players, and what staff is wanting to accomplish with this 'alpha' phase.

ETA: to quote the newsletter, "Trying to tell a compelling story when we do not have a complete gameworld is pointless at this time." Players are trying to tell a compelling story IG. Are we saying those efforts are futile?

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Nimrod
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Re: Are we in Alpha?

Post by Nimrod » Fri Aug 14, 2015 4:23 pm

To clarify: For staff to try to tell a compelling story at this time is pointless. We welcome, and encourage, players to tell their stories. We love the fact that you have the tools to do this right now. Your play is not pointless if you and others are enjoying it.

Yes. This is Alpha, and we will remain in Alpha until we open Laketown, when we will enter our Beta Phase, which should be an extremely short phase.

Why am I insistent on the fact that we're in Alpha and that our RPA's will not be as active as some of you may wish?

Simply put, we refuse to be rushed, or pressured in to things that we are not ready for. We are not trying to slap together a gameworld that is just good enough for us to tell a nebulous story that climaxes and then leaves us all saying 'Now what?'.

We are playing the long game, we ask that you try to enjoy the journey, as we are trying to.

We've gone through two cycles of staff members getting ahead of themselves and departing from the overall plan that was agreed upon at the very beginning. This rogue-like approach, though fun for a particular group of players, is at an end and I hope to never repeat it.

Shadows of Isildur is not, nor will ever be, a game of constant, in-your-face admin plots and action, action, action. Ours is a slower, more considered game where you may make plans and reach for your goals over time. Of course we will continue to have pvp and pve excitement for our adrenalin junkies, but they are not our sole focus, or even our main focus.

If a player cannot enjoy our game unless he is being entertained by one of our administrators then I encourage them to take a step back to consider what, exactly, it is that they want from our game. It's been proven time and again that when players depend on staff for their entertainment that they will invariably be disappointed and staff will burn out or become disillusioned.

So... instead of asking what the game can do for you, ask what you can do to make the game better with your roleplay. Slow down. Take pleasure from a well-crafted emote. Enjoy the little things. Tell your character's story.

You can tell a great story while we're in Alpha. Many have, and many still are.
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twitchyweasel
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Re: Are we in Alpha?

Post by twitchyweasel » Fri Aug 14, 2015 4:35 pm

Nimrod wrote: Simply put, we refuse to be rushed, or pressured in to things that we are not ready for. We are not trying to slap together a gameworld that is just good enough for us to tell a nebulous story that climaxes and then leaves us all saying 'Now what?'

I don't see how having ongoing plot in this phase of the game is anything like that. Plot can extend into beta, even. We are in a gameworld right now where we are extremely limited in what plots players can run, especially without admin support. I am pretty burnt out right now myself, specifically from trying to make things interesting for players and getting limited help from admins. Combat PCs are a huge part of the game, and exploring and killing warg #18903 is only fun for so long.

And that 'specific group of players' who want plot I think is going to be the majority of your playerbase. RPTs have always drawn good numbers to the game.

To add: I'm not looking for in your face action. I'm looking for long, ongoing plot that gives my PC a reason to keep telling his story.

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Real
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Re: Are we in Alpha?

Post by Real » Fri Aug 14, 2015 6:58 pm

twitchyweasel wrote: And that 'specific group of players' who want plot I think is going to be the majority of your playerbase.
A large part of the capability to run things as players left when...well, players left.

Even the recent, interesting additions to the gameworld are nigh-on suicidal because...

well...

the players left..

The proactive people stop being proactive when it becomes an uphill battle.
I would invite someone to think of an active combat lead ingame right now. Just one. Who logs on, say, two or three times a week and leads a patrol. Not unclanned/private-level soldiers who are working to see that something ever happens, a genuine clanlead, a corporal or something. Player, non-staff PC.

They might even have chainmail if they know how to work the system enough. Doesn't help much when you ring the bell to muster and get a handful, if that, of lightly/unarmored characters.

If the fact that most (read: almost all) of the older combat players have already left/grown jaded and inactive is not a red flag then I don't think there's a chance of recovery with this way of looking at things. It's like SOI is designed for people that don't play it. Not just the combatants either, tons of the craftsmen have quit/gone mia.

Furthermore, if clanleads are not appearing, why are we keeping the candle lit. Demote, promote active characters and ensure that the game works...The Inn went unran for months. It took someone apping in as a corporal to see the last sergeant replaced...These things do not fix themselves, and the offhand approach has driven a lot of clans into the ground. (One semi-active/quitting player can induct into the Militia, for example)

Lodge Foremen.

?????????????

We should set up a rule where if you disappear from your position for so long, it passes on to the next in line. Otherwise you end up with nonfunctioning clans and newbies waiting forever to join groups that they physically can not.

The Sergeant/Foreman/Shopowner that you never see is really not a good look.

There was another big concept going around right at the beginning that was lost more recently. It was 'player feedback will help us design this game'. How can players be more clear in their feedback than "well this stopped being fun, so I'll stop logging in".

There's a significant difference between 'refusing to be rushed' and 'refusing to patch a boat before it sinks'. It seems more like the goal is "alienate as many players as possible and hope putting in a large town with lots of rooms brings a large amount of them back"

It's so okay to "not care about player numbers", as long as you're okay with your player-supported infrastructures crumbling and the functionality of most clans waning to unplayable levels. If we're gonna play Ghost Town RPI at least load some gear in the Lodge shops, maybe give the Guard some of the gear they've always needed and never had anything close to.

Even now, in Alpha, the game needs maintenance, it needs staff paying attention to things like "well, this clan can not do its job because of x' but I mean we can ultimately ignore all that nonsense and we'll have something, right? If you build it, they will come. Right?

The design philosophy shifted, from for the players to for the staff.
It sounds a bit like "something that's fun for a particular group of players", just a different group.
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Melkor
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Re: Are we in Alpha?

Post by Melkor » Fri Aug 14, 2015 8:20 pm

Well said, Real.
“If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things.”

― René Descartes

MrT2G
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Re: Are we in Alpha?

Post by MrT2G » Fri Aug 14, 2015 8:23 pm

My opinion on this is that when pro-active players are put into leadership positions clans will flourish and those players will find things to do.

Promote pro-active players and allow them to create plots. Admin plots are awesome too, but players should be the engine driving any plot.
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