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Orcish Sphere Declining?

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Re: Orcish Sphere Declining?

Postby Malik » Wed Jul 02, 2014 1:16 am

:D I had tons of fun playing an orc, who did happen to be my first character and rather shortlived, shorter than I intended. I started about five days ago, and spent 3 fulls RL hours playing that character out of those five days, yeah. So I get ingame, I like everything, the RP is good, the players are *real*. I like being the badass who plots and moves the story forward in a positive way, Orc sphere supports this, to a degree, since orcs are more carefree and lax than humans, and almost have no laws. However, my PC was killed, I feel the situation *could* have been handled better, in the way that it didn't just have to end there for good. If you leave the warband, you're killed, fullstop. Instead, let that lone PC go out and die their fatal death, if you really hated them, you'd have the satisfaction of knowing they're out there struggling. This diminished opportunity to revive a faction, the way things were standing for my PC. Human sphere doesn't support the way I like to play my chars and I've rolled a new char there now to try it out, there's no seedy factions. I noticed while playing in the orc sphere, players heavily hide behind the 'no killing another orc' policy, which is why I take my death in stride nonetheless. I came across this twice in my short stay. One char would have been ended there on the spot for acting like the little pushdug he was being and another for being brass with my PC, not the first time either, could have killed him all three times he got KO'd, but then I'd have lost my char. Which is why I feel my char was unfairly treated, said PC belonged to one of the warbosses groups, and they do all get extra leeway, because they want their lads to stick around, even if they're wrong, because the way things are structured, that warbosses say goes, you don't speak back, even if you're right, and then you have the next warboss backing that one up, and then getting the shit end of the stick, cause of one PC who gets upset when things don't go their way, to a point they don't roleplay accordingly, which caused me to just say, "Hey, wait.. I'm not going to let this happen to me, I'm going to be stubborn too" when I found myself in said circumstance. Also, the way I envision orcs is, the strongest is the best, the leader, they might not be clever, so they have another warboss second in charge who helps the main one. So when you have an orc who has rank and gives you flak, just suddenly lashing out at you for nothing, things tend to get nasty, bad energies come out and you want to settle things IC'ly, either with them or you on the floor. I'll add that said PC wasn't even directly in charge of me, indirectly supplying my char and for them to be talking to my pc like that, they should expect something to happen to them, but because of said circumstances from PC being in warbosses group, my PC was on a short leash and couldn't give lip back. I think some players in the orc sphere just need to get into the Roleplay -intense- setting more, your actions *do* have reactions, don't hide behind some damn OOC reassurance because of said IC ruling. I'd like to come back to this sphere, since I did have fun except for one or two rotten experiences, which I won't let affect all the good ones. But I think some people don't understand the harsh setting that is orc life, play a human if you can't take the punches as they roll and want some sort of code of conduct law the humans follow. Rant over. :D
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Re: Orcish Sphere Declining?

Postby AdamBlue » Wed Jul 02, 2014 2:06 am

If you are who I think you are, you had a pretty not-bad death, at least.
I made sure of that.

I really hope you saw the emotes.
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Re: Orcish Sphere Declining?

Postby MrT2G » Wed Jul 02, 2014 2:18 am

I think you are all over-analyzing it.

I think OOC mistakes were made on behalf of the staff early on, but these mistakes have not been repeated.

I also think ebbs and flows of the playerbase are natural. The Split seems to have turned a lot of players off from the Orkish sphere for the time being.

Lets be honest, the sphere is still recovering from that whole debacle. Only a matter of time until things pick back up in earnest.
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Re: Orcish Sphere Declining?

Postby Malik » Wed Jul 02, 2014 2:19 am

The death was fine, I didn't mind. It was purely IC motivated. I do however, have a problem with the events that led up to it. I could have taken down three PC's that gave me lip, but I didn't because 1) That'd be too harsh 2) I'd feel bad on an OOC level when I really shouldn't. (YES, I'd rather -not- kill someones PC because they're standing up to mine and instead let them live, get better after their beating and come back for revenge if they wanted, to settle the score) this instantly kills any chance of further RP. I have a problem with it because on an IC note, if you've beaten the character, that's enough, you've shown you're the stronger orc and on an OOC note, I'd like to disadvantage my character a little in the sense that I'm allowing more opportunity for RP to happen (I did mention I like to play a badass, so why the hell not) this *doesnt* mean I like to compare who has the longest rods. Just stir the pot in a positive way. Note how you don't disagree with me at all in my previous post aswell.. Something to think about, hmmn?
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Re: Orcish Sphere Declining?

Postby Songweaver » Wed Jul 02, 2014 2:36 am

I have not played an orc, but for what it's worth:

I think that everything is too micromanaged and restricted at the moment, human-side. If it's even more that way orc-side, that would deter me from playing it.

Without dangerous plots or a lot of conflict, the gradual evolution of the PCs who have survived thus far (which always happens in every new sphere/RPI) means fewer deaths. This means folks trying the human sphere aren't returning as quickly to the orc sphere.

More plots. More death. Less micromanagement and restriction. Ebb, freedom and flow.
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Re: Orcish Sphere Declining?

Postby kestrel » Wed Jul 02, 2014 8:28 am

If the Orkish RPAs are on vacation, I think it's a fantastic opportunity that shouldn't go to waste. If you're an enterprising player in the Orkish sphere and you want to see it grow, just make it damned fun for your peers and it'll start to have a ripple effect. I've seen clans in other RPIs that had been left for dead start to flourish again simply because one character was mixing it up and making things happen. If you've got a long-lived orc with decent skill levels then it's even easier; you can do so many things that both ICly and OOCly motivate other orcs' players to show up.

Some specific examples that require no staff assistance:


1. Coax them into regular hunting sessions (whether it's hunting deer or wolves or humans) where the OOC reward when it's done is a brief training session to raise sole-wield or dual-wield. Those skills are harder to boost, and new PCs start with them relatively low. Knowing that showing up for the hunt means a chance at boosting a hard-to-boost skill is a good OOC lure.

2. Have regular events that people know will happen at day/time X every week, even if no one else shows up. If they know that there's something you have planned and it's stable and guaranteed to happen, you'll start seeing players show up for it more and more, and then other players will start showing up because they know that's a popular RP time.

3. Make a "hunt" more interesting. One example - have a contest to see who can desecrate the humans' gate the best. Everyone stays hidden except the desecrating orc, who gets to use blood, entrails, feces, human body parts, animal body parts - mix and match for fun! And you take turns, and the best "sculpture" gives that orc some prestige for the day. Take home point here is that a regular hunt or patrol is ridiculously boring, so find ways to make it less so.


I could come up with a dozen of these. I'll bet you could too. And the main point here is that if players were dissatisfied with staff decisions, I'll bet a break would do both players AND staff some good, and it's a great time to establish the sort of IC and OOC lures that naturally draw players to play areas. That's how you "fix" a low-population sphere.
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Re: Orcish Sphere Declining?

Postby MarcusSaint » Wed Jul 02, 2014 9:21 am

Good post Kestrel!!

As for me, I know I'm rather new to this game, only been playing for a few days now. Please don't take any of this as complaints, just casual observations. A few things I'd like to point out:

I think it's difficult to expect a big turnout for an event that seems to have been planned the day before. Also, I think having three to five (maybe six) players for an event like we had last night would be enough. Once you get to six and beyond, then it just causes more confusion and people waiting on each other or not wanting to take initiative or omote'ing over someone else's omote. People trying to take turns while others try to type up a response, then by the time they get it all typed in, two others have already moved the plot forward. Anyway, to me, just seems like last night we had a good number AND good fun. :mrgreen:

When threads start out "Big event thing!" and then start the next day, that doesn't really give everyone time to put it on their calendar or make sure that they're able to participate. Another thread stated plainly, "Running Some Crap Tomorrow". I'm not against this at all, but just stating that for planning purposes, it'd be better to give folks three days or so, iron out some details, put out a solid start time and such, but then again, I like smaller RPT groups anyway, unless we're raiding. :D

I can't check the forums at work and it wasn't until after I already had an approved player that I discovered where the forums -really- were. I kept finding the old forums. :( Anyway, I can't check these throughout the day while at the office and once I get home from work, I have a large family, so some days I'm not really able to check the forums of even log into the game. Announcing an RPT the day before it happens isn't always going to allow me enough time to plan or respond to the thread. :/

Next, when you have three players or so logged and ready to go, then sitting around and waiting for a certain player to show up is a morale killer as well. If you have a start time, stick to it and let the other players catch up. Or once you have three to four players, go do great things. We were near enough last night to the login point that we could have started earlier rather than sitting there and waiting. Just an observation. :)

I agree with what some others have said about the Orc sphere being a niche. Myself, since this game is new to me, when I die, yes, I'll be tempted to try the Human sphere, simply because I haven't tried it yet. That won't mean that I have something against the Orc sphere, just that I've tried it and now want to try a different part of the game. That's all. :) That, and maybe if we had some Swedish bikini orcs.... J/K!! :lol:

As for how to improve, I agree with Kestrel in that folks -do- like to improve their skills when they can. While yes, this is an RPI Mud, there is still a skill list and folks do still like to "train" their character up so they can feel useful. The other day, I meandered around the tunnels hunting rats. Couldn't even really land a hit on one. Boy, does that make you feel useless, especially when you've designed your character to be a combat-focused one. :D On the same hand though, please don't take this as me saying I want to kill, kill, kill every chance I get. No, but hosting regular hunting times or maybe spacing them out so it's starting at 6 CST on Mondays and Thursdays, 7 CST on Tuesdays and Fridays, 8 CST on Wednesdays and Saturdays, this way you can (hopefully) cover most people's peak times.

Also, leaders, let underlings do most of the killings. It's no fun when somebody OOC's "everyone stop fighting" just to have one of the leader PCs kill the rat. Everyone wants to kill the rat!! So why not let the underling characters do it? And if it takes them five minutes to kill the rat, then we can all mock or cheer, whichever, but at least it'll be more RP. Having one person do the slaying just to get it over with isn't all that great.

I play on another Mud that, when a hunting party gets together, it usually seems that the stronger character/s do the actual killing. They do the hunting to spot the creature, then when we get there, they kill the critter in three hits, without even allowing the new or underling character even a chance to hit it. THAT is no fun. So basically, all my character becomes is a wallflower, a tag-along that gets to watch somebody else flex and show how awesome they are. -yay- :/ Let underlings put their skills (or lack thereof) on display and let them feel like a real contributor to the RP.

So before this gets too long-winded, I'll try to wrap it up.

1. Set a solid start time days in advance and stick to it.
2. Allow underlings to actually get in on the "action" scenes.
3. Keep RPT groups with only 3-5 players (unless raiding).
4. Set-up a daily schedule like above for hunting parties and/or training, whatever. Doesn't have to be daily, but you get the idea. :D
5. Allow for players to "get away with" things so long as they are far enough away from the camp to do so.

Sorry, I feel like I need to explain that last point. On another game I play, whenever I've tried to play a sneaky character, if I do something the imms aren't happy with, then they "magically" find a way for someone to find out about it and soon I have authorities on me. That dark alley that was abandoned? Well, there just HAPPENED to be someone hiding behind a wooden crate who just HAPPENED to be a snitch for the militia, even though my character is operating somewhere the militia doesn't have jurisdiction, now all of a sudden, they are taking a negative interest in me.

So yeah, imms, if somebody does something that's against the IC rules, but they do it away from the camp or whatever, please don't play the omniscient leader and magically "know" about what transpired because there was an orc sneaking in the woods that saw what you did, or whatever. Just let them get away with it and wait for the next time they break the IC rules, only within an area that they can legitimately be observed by others doing so. It'll happen. And if it doesn't, that just makes it all the more challenging for that character and fun for the player to keep their IC Illegal activities concealed. If two or three orcs go out hunting and one of them doesn't come back, sure, it's fine to ask what happened to the other orc, but let the players try to come up with a convincing explanation. It'll be more fun and a couple of times or more, it'll be noticeable to the leadership that whenever somebody goes hunting with a certain orc, they haven't been coming back to the camp. What are the odds?!?! :D NOW we have something to look into and stir up more RP. There are a number of ways to handle this.

Finally, so needless to say, I've -really- been enjoying my time with the Orcs. It has been some fun and interesting RP. Keep up the solid work and don't take this post as a bunch of negativity. It was asked why the small turn-out and then what could be done to better the numbers and get people to stick around. I hope that you feel I've answered both of those questions without being negative or snarky.

No leader is perfect, and if they are, then it's because they don't have any followers. :D

CHEERS!!
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Re: Orcish Sphere Declining?

Postby radioactivejesus » Wed Jul 02, 2014 10:05 am

MarcusSaint wrote: It's no fun when somebody OOC's "everyone stop fighting" just to have one of the leader PCs kill the rat. Everyone wants to kill the rat!! So why not let the underling characters do it?

the "everyone stop fighting" OOC message was due to a desire to prevent a sudden gore-fest of pvp from breaking out rather than the desire to be the only guy killing a rat. Turns out when I emote standing by the sidelines and help corner the rat, then type guard e to try codedly reflecting that I'm blocking off the eastern exit, the code decides to default the command to guard Emaciated rat instead of guard east, and my pc suddenly gets the urge to protect cute little critters from all those mean orkish bullies. So yeah, this whole thing was totally my bad... Then after nearly getting myself killed over a rat, I really wanted to make the damn thing go splat as payback
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Re: Orcish Sphere Declining?

Postby radioactivejesus » Wed Jul 02, 2014 10:13 am

MarcusSaint wrote:I play on another Mud that, when a hunting party gets together, it usually seems that the stronger character/s do the actual killing. They do the hunting to spot the creature, then when we get there, they kill the critter in three hits, without even allowing the new or underling character even a chance to hit it. THAT is no fun. So basically, all my character becomes is a wallflower, a tag-along that gets to watch somebody else flex and show how awesome they are. -yay- :/ Let underlings put their skills (or lack thereof) on display and let them feel like a real contributor to the RP.


On most patrols and combat-y events, it's usually first come first served on who gets into combat. The code caps things so that only 4 pc's are allowed to be attacking an npc at once, this often results in the buffed up old orcs who would wreck the enemy too quickly sitting things out, and giving other players plenty of time to get some combat in should they be quicker to dive in.
Staff also made the fun decision to have the most common npc enemies to form their own groups. When there's 6 different foes attacking at once, it's hard to not find a target regardless of your pc's skills or your ooc reaction time.

MarcusSaint wrote:1. Set a solid start time days in advance and stick to it.
this can be hard for me, as my rl schedule can be pretty chaotic, with things starting up with only a day of advance notice. I'm worried about scheduling something for a week down the road and then not being able to show up to my own RPT or having to reschedule when rl gets in the way. Will do my best to give you guys a better heads up though, can always give another pc the rundown on plans if I'm not able to personally attend
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Re: Orcish Sphere Declining?

Postby krelm » Wed Jul 02, 2014 1:57 pm

Turns out when I emote standing by the sidelines and help corner the rat, then type guard e to try codedly reflecting that I'm blocking off the eastern exit, the code decides to default the command to guard Emaciated rat instead of guard east


Yeah, just as an off-topic side-note here, you should always always always spell out the entire direction, if that's what you're trying to guard.
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Re: Orcish Sphere Declining?

Postby tehkory » Wed Jul 02, 2014 4:16 pm

krelm wrote:
Turns out when I emote standing by the sidelines and help corner the rat, then type guard e to try codedly reflecting that I'm blocking off the eastern exit, the code decides to default the command to guard Emaciated rat instead of guard east


Yeah, just as an off-topic side-note here, you should always always always spell out the entire direction, if that's what you're trying to guard.

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Re: Orcish Sphere Declining?

Postby Forceknight » Wed Jul 02, 2014 8:30 pm

I recently made an orc character and I've found way more roleplay (especially proactive roleplay leaders) in this sphere than in the human sphere. Its a noticably smaller playerbase, but the players that are there are really great at starting and including everyone in their RP.
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Re: Orcish Sphere Declining?

Postby MarcusSaint » Wed Jul 02, 2014 9:51 pm

Forceknight wrote:I recently made an orc character and I've found way more roleplay (especially proactive roleplay leaders) in this sphere than in the human sphere. Its a noticably smaller playerbase, but the players that are there are really great at starting and including everyone in their RP.

Concur, except for the part about the human sphere.

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Re: Orcish Sphere Declining?

Postby Icarus » Wed Jul 02, 2014 9:53 pm

I personally find orcs particularly rewarding.
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Re: Orcish Sphere Declining?

Postby Pallando » Thu Jul 03, 2014 7:05 pm

Hi folks,

Sorry that it has taken some time for me to get around to this thread. There are some important concerns raised here that we will be looking very carefully at. A few things to note:

- Don't be too concerned about overall numbers. This is by far the most orcs I've ever seen at once in my 10+ years at SoI, and you can't expect they will stay as high as the game's opening. People go elsewhere, they change spheres.

- I'm sad about some of the micro-management issues that occurred while I was away and I'm sorry this upset people. Please be re-assured that this won't be happening again. I'm personally very aware of how animations and general RPA interaction affects the game world - when I was growing up as a player here it was held to very high standards.

- RPTs are coming! We have some incredible storylines planned which are soon to be in play.

Please also bear with the staff while we go through some tough times ironing out the game in its early stages, the loss of a very talented friend and colleague, and a shortage of staff in general. We're all here to test and improve the game, so let's keep that in mind!

For any specific concerns, or for a chat on any of the issues raised here in the sphere, I'd love to chat to you on AIM. Please add me up using: pallando@middle-earth.us
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Re: Orcish Sphere Declining?

Postby Snapdragon » Fri Jul 04, 2014 12:55 am

You know, I've always really appreciated the air of diplomacy you have, Pallando and this is a prime example of why I respect you. Just wanted to get that out there



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