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Plots and Availability

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Plots and Availability

Postby tehkory » Sun Sep 14, 2014 11:24 am

I'm rather astonished that anyone dubs these events as being exclusive in any fashion. They were not. They were posted on the forums a week in advance. BOTH TIMES. They were talked about. The people who showed up were from all different areas of Utterby, not just the Lodge and the people who reaped the rewards of such efforts, again, were not all part of a single clan. Many people did have considerable impact across the board and throughout different times.

The only people that have been complaining are those who were unable to be present. Which is regrettable, but understandable. It happens.

Code: Select all
 
  264: April 28-2912 N - Staff Post: SECOND RPT SUCCESSFUL
  263: April 28-2912 N - Player post: SECOND RPT SUCCESSFUL
  256: Enderi, 2912 NP - Player post:FIRST RPT NOTICE

Right, I didn't attend. But I again say: the reason that many people "weren't able to attend" is because this game oughtn't require that you log in to the forums to be aware of RPTs. This second RPT was advertised by neither Staff nor the players involved, not ICly, not publicly. That's it. It's a fact. It changes how 'open' this plot was. Because in the end, if it's not publicly posted about until after it's over and resolved, it isn't public. 'Half' of this was public, sure. The first half. The second was not. Not all of us are going to be aware that, in a thread that titled 9/6/14 RPT availability, there's information about other RPTs. I missed it. I'm sure others did. I'm sure some players never logged onto the forums.

Which is regrettable, but understandable.

In this case, yes, it's utterly understandable that people missed that there was a second RPT on 9/13/14(9/12/14?) given there was only notice on the forums in a thread titled "9/6/14 RPT Availability." You are correct. It is solely regrettable that IC events need to be heard about on the forums, rather than ICly, for people to be pre-aware enough to be able to attend. I'm making it very clear, perhaps insultingly clear, what I mean. What I believe others mean. If there's any insult taken, just forgive me my brusque nature. I'm seeking clarity.

Since this plot has taken place with no foreseeable followups (for now) I am going to lock this thread. There are enough complaint threads describing how poorly thought out and ill planned this was when it was free for anyone to join in on, as opposed to other plots that have been in progress or completed.

If I've overstepped my boundaries by re-opening this, that's fair. But I was concerned enough that I saw fit to. I'm not trying to pick fights with Staff. I'm not trying to jump up and down and yell "so unfair." I'm still 90% pleased with my gameplay experience. I'm simply shocked at the response, given what seems to me polite, sincere concerns. You guys forgot to make it open to people, but that doesn't mean we hate you.
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Re: Plots and Availability

Postby Hawkwind » Sun Sep 14, 2014 11:30 am

This is all player related, turn your ire on those that kept it secret. The staff did their part by putting it in a public venue that we can all view. People thought not too, their loss.

>edited, please keep things more constructive and positive, you don't have to air out your conflict with another player in public<
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Re: Plots and Availability

Postby Smooly » Sun Sep 14, 2014 11:35 am

To be fair, it wasn't really exclusive at all. Found it pretty easy to jump on. Though Tehkory may have a point about ic posts. Also when leading a rpt, one may want to wait maybe 5-10 minutes before starting it. Always a few latecomers
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Re: Plots and Availability

Postby Matt » Sun Sep 14, 2014 12:52 pm

Also you know.. locking the door to get into the RPT with the only key able to get in makes it a little exclusive.
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Re: Plots and Availability

Postby krelm » Sun Sep 14, 2014 2:47 pm

Just throwing this out there, whenever I'm clanleading and schedule an RPT (big RPTs, that is), I always make a post IG as well as a forum post, because I know that not everyone reads the forums.

Just, you know, something to keep in mind. Probably only 30-40% of players actually read the forums on a daily basis.
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Re: Plots and Availability

Postby EltanimRas » Sun Sep 14, 2014 3:39 pm

krelm wrote:Just, you know, something to keep in mind. Probably only 30-40% of players actually read the forums on a daily basis.

Only the worst sort. :P
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Re: Plots and Availability

Postby Songweaver » Sun Sep 14, 2014 4:28 pm

Not super happy the other thread was locked. It was pretty respectful and logical. Here, let me repost:


Good example of a major plot design: Giant Ants, led by Magnar the Ant Lord, are invading Utterby. They have a giant ant farm spread over the Heathlands, and progs/crafts can be used to smoke out the ants to empty the farm, then collapse the tunnels and effectively end the threat. This is good design, because anyone at any time can gather up people and go have an impact on this plot.

Bad example of a major plot design: Vampire King Bojack is feeding off of local residents and turning them into vampires. He's also got a thing for explosives, and keeps blowing parts of Utterby up. Soon, if he's not stopped, he will become so powerful that he destroys the entire town with an ancient ritual. His lair is in a crypt in the graveyard, mired in traps and puzzles, but the only way down into the crypt is to unlock the crypt door with a magical key that only one PC in Utterby has. This is bad design, because even though Bojack can effect everyone in the sphere's personal story, the ability to deal with Bojack in a satisfactory way has been put into the control of one person, and anyone who can't sync up with this one person is left on the outside-looking in. Everyone knows the crypt is there, and they know that it may hold the key to defeating Bojack, but they are literally locked out of doing anything about it because they are not the one.


What I'm saying is that there is a lesson to be learned here. We've had two major Utterby sphere-effecting plots recently, and I feel like one was handled really well, and the other one less well. And the difference is that one was codely open to anybody who wanted to be proactive about dealing with it, and the second one was super-controlled. If this RPT hadn't been so important to literally everyone in the sphere, but had been more focused on say a specific clan or small group of players, I wouldn't have an issue with it. Nine PCs attending what's arguably the most important RPT of the human-sphere to date is not a good turn out. Something obviously went wrong, and it's worth addressing.

Beyond that, like Kory said, the second one was hush-hush IG. Most players don't read every forum thread.

My experience would've been the same no matter how this had been designed for multiple reasons both OOC and IC. It doesn't piss me off that I missed an RPT. What makes me angry is poor design coupled with unwillingness to listen to valid and well-presented arguments.
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Re: Plots and Availability

Postby Tiamat » Sun Sep 14, 2014 5:43 pm

Matt wrote:Also you know.. locking the door to get into the RPT with the only key able to get in makes it a little exclusive.


This may or may not have been true, but it is what it is. Perception is truth. I think the takeaway here is to make it clear there are different options for players to engage in. If such an attempt was made, then well and good. As an RPA, there's a large gray area that you and the players work and play in, and sometimes intentions don't come off as intended, and either party can take it somewhere that wasn't planned.
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Re: Plots and Availability

Postby Alcarin » Mon Sep 15, 2014 11:17 am

Unfortunately, sometimes staff tries to be very open and welcoming to all in our plots, and it doesn't necessarily come across that way.

Sometimes, staff think we are being very open and welcoming to all in our plots, and it doesn't necessarily come across that way.

Sometimes, everybody forgets that the things that are plainly obvious to you are not plainly obvious to everyone and anyone else.


All of this occurred in the most recent plot example. In addition to that, players did a few unexpected things too, like locking one of the entrances to the plot (Note: I did say ONE of the entrances. There are/were others, though they are much less known).

In the future, staff will continue trying to be open and welcoming to all in our plots, but obviously we cannot promise or guarantee that 100% of the playerbase will be involved in (or even aware of) 100% of the plots. Sometimes, a plot requires a scene with just one person behind a locked door, sometimes a plot requires a scene with every PC logged in in an outside room, and sometimes a plot just doesn't get communicated as well as it could have been.

So with all of that said, please recognize that immediately posting multiple angry threads reiterating your disappointment and disapproval does not encourage staff.

Speaking for all of the staff members I've personally talked to, we all still want to do better and make the game more enjoyable and keep players happy and engaged, regardless of the feedback we receive. But having a plot received with an overwhelming majority of, "Well these are all of the things you got WRONG." posts and threads just kills morale. It is not constructive criticism, it is merely criticism. It is not debate, it is merely argument.

So, at this point, is there anything more that needs to be said?

Unfortunately, not every player and PC was aware of something that seemed blatantly obvious to both PCs and Staff whom were involved. Not because anyone maliciously decided not to involve others, but because people make mistakes and that was one of them.

In the future, staff will continue trying to do better. I only hope that players will continue trying to give feedback in a more positive manner.
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Re: Plots and Availability

Postby Songweaver » Mon Sep 15, 2014 11:29 am

So with all of that said, please recognize that immediately posting multiple angry threads reiterating your disappointment and disapproval does not encourage staff.


My apologies if my feedback seemed negative. I felt negative. I usually swallow my complaints and try to give the benefit of the doubt, but a perfect storm of successive issues struck a raw nerve with me, and while I stand by my suggestions on how to think about plots in the future, I didn't mean to make anyone feel discouraged.

But know that players can get discouraged too, and therein always lies the age old issue of burn-out, for both players and staff. And SOI really can't afford either right now.

Thanks for an even-handed response, Alcarin. For what it's worth, I think the RPAs have been doing a really nice job overall, and suspect most folks would agree with that.
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Re: Plots and Availability

Postby Alcarin » Mon Sep 15, 2014 11:37 am

Songweaver wrote:But know that players can get discouraged too, and therein always lies the age old issue of burn-out, for both players and staff. And SOI really can't afford either right now.


QFT, there. It's absolutely the balance we have to strike.

But regardless, thanks for the feedback guys (and girls). Even if some were discouraged on both sides, I think we can definitely make forward progress. :)
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Re: Plots and Availability

Postby Rivean » Mon Sep 15, 2014 11:54 am

Alcarin wrote:...obviously we cannot promise or guarantee that 100% of the playerbase will be involved in (or even aware of) 100% of the plots.


I hope that nobody expects that this can (or even should) ever be the case. I honestly feel that amid a lot of valid complaints about this issue, there IS at least some level of 'I didn't get what I wanted and why does he have it?' as if all players, all PCs, at all times, will be in exactly the same situation - I hope the absurdity of that idea is not lost on some members of our playerbase.

Conversely, I also hope that nobody on the staff assumes that that is what is asked for here - the real complaint is about communication and availability, I think, and not some absurd demand that everybody always have access to everything that happens ever.
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Re: Plots and Availability

Postby pinocchio » Mon Sep 15, 2014 12:08 pm

I can't speak to the big picture (and I have no idea what the IC or OOC thought behind the re-locked door might have been -- that sounds like it could have gone very badly for the people on the inside!), but I will say this: In the last 30 minutes or so leading up to the RPT, I got repeated notifies from at least two key PCs involved, despite neither being among my regular RP partners and the absence of any IC reason for my PC's attendance to have been expected.

I can think of no explanation other than the players' OOC desire for inclusivity.
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Re: Plots and Availability

Postby Bri » Wed Sep 17, 2014 2:15 am

I honestly don't see that there was any intentional leaving out of folk from the most recent plot. Even as a non-com/loner type, my pc was aware of what was going on. Perhaps not exactly when it would happen though. So I can agree that more board posts about expected trips would have been helpful. I happen to be one of those people that, while I come to the forums daily, I rarely find information about plots and stuff as I'm horrid at surfing anything beyond the Green Griffon normally.
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