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How Do We Do This Thing?

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How Do We Do This Thing?

Postby Songweaver » Wed Oct 22, 2014 7:39 am

There is some cause for alarm. The forum is becoming more and more inactive. The population of the game itself is shrinking in both peak and off-peak (particularly in off-peak) hours. The staff seem to have adopted a new philosophy on their approach to running the game, but have not really spoken about it yet. Plots have vanished. Lots of good players have stopped playing.

SOI needs to build towards BETA, and build a BETA that has more options, better systems, more appealing roles and staff-run clans, sure. Neglected crafting systems need to be finished, definitely. And so, I'm guessing, its staff has either been focusing more of their time on those things, or the staff might be burning out. Perhaps both. No matter the cause, the lack of plot and the guiding of the IG narrative is causing folks who are less interested in a crafting sandbox to slowly drift away from the game, and part of building to a BETA is building buzz and a community as well.

So, how does SOI accomplish both things?

Here's my suggestion, for whatever that's worth.

1) Put one admin in charge of the "vision" for BETA. This is a taskmaster with a global view and understanding of how systems needs to work. This staff member gets things done, inspires others to get things done, and recruits more help where need-be.

2) Put one admin in charge of the "vision" for ALPHA. This admin's job is to RPA, and more: to run plots, to guide the narrative from ALPHA to BETA, to engage the players and advertise and draw folks in. This admin has one other admin ally (preferably an off-peak hour RPA) to help them administer these things. Most importantly: this admin is not involved with the design of BETA, and is given the freedom to make ALL decisions in regards to clans, plot and design in ALPHA. No bottlenecks, or long committee discussions that they have to wait on to make decisions. They execute, and their energy drives the playerbase and builds the playerbase.

3) Clean house. If admins aren't holding up their duties, let'em go. If you need to hire more admins, hire more admins. You can't successfully design and run an RPI with a passive approach. It takes a lot, and you need an energetic, active staff to pull it off.

There are likely a lot of other suggestions that could be made, but this two-pronged approach is definitely what I would suggest to start with. I would not assume that all of the players who have left will return for BETA regardless of what happens in ALPHA, if their universal understanding is that ALPHA flopped; I don't think it's flopped yet. I think SOI3 had a very strong start. But, the current game feels like it's had the wind knocked out of it, and it's in desperate need of some air.
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Re: How Do We Do This Thing?

Postby MrT2G » Wed Oct 22, 2014 2:05 pm

I think there is plenty of opportunity for players to create their own plotlines. The Admin plotlines I've seen have been poorly-planned, counter productive, and generally nonsensical. This could be due to a number of things; biased, favoritism, split attentions, inexperience, burn out or so on. In my experience, unless it is done REALLY well, any time a Staffer inserts a plotline into the world artificially, it ends up poorly. Regardless, I think players could do more to drive plotlines instead of relying on Staff to do it.

The inter sphere conflict hasn't even been touched on. I also know when I brought up ideas for events the Staff was supportive and plans were in the works. I know the Staff has pushed for kidnappings to foster prisoner exchange RP. There is always the potential for some form of cross-sphere black market or spying. Then, ofcourse, there are politics and powerplays. I think players have gotten to used to Admins driving and creating RP for them, especially those players coming from Atonement.
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Re: How Do We Do This Thing?

Postby Erucolindo » Wed Oct 22, 2014 3:38 pm

I think some clarity might help us address your points better, Songweaver. Here are the issues I pulled out of your post, organized by category.

General: More options (Crafting? Combat? Economics?)
General: Better systems (Specifically which systems?)
RP: More staff-run clans
RP: Cohesive plot / IG narrative [Shared by MrT2G]
Economics: More appealing roles (Within those clans, I assume)
Economics: Crafting system improvements

Solutions in Progress: The economic issues entirely, and the RP issues partly, should be addressed as functional economic systems come online. This post in Staff Queries from yesterday shows us the staff are in the process of completing a system of resources that will both improve the crafting system, generate more demand for specific goods, and create resource flashpoints for RP both intra-sphere between players, and inter-sphere between blackbloods and humans. I highly recommend everyone read it. This should also address your concern of better roles, as the best roles will naturally be those that produce the most value in a resource economy (Which also means competition for them).

Plot Issues: This is an entirely different issue that MrT2G also raises, and coincides with your points about better roles and a cohesive narrative. This issue, to my mind, has two possible solutions:

- Player Driven Plots: This will take care of itself once a proper economic system is created that fosters conflict. Setting up that one system right will allow players to develop their own stories within the framework of the world as they vie for better gear, more money, and valuable territory just as in real life!

- Admin Driven Plots: Here I defer to the experience of those who have played longer. If a plotline for both Orcs and Humans could be developed that leads them to interact in response to a mystery or potential reward, that occurs over several in-game weeks or months, that would be ideal. Yet maybe as MrT2G says, it would be best if the players created the plots instead of the admins. This is up for spirited debate!

My opinion on plots: I've only been around for the forest plot for the humans, and I'm interested to see how it develops. Furthermore I enjoy one-off plots / events and find them quite fun, but I see where others may disagree.

I've seen your (Songweaver's) posts around the forum, they're always lengthy and insightful. Looking forward to you expanding on what systems / options you want to be improved, and your thoughts on the effect a resource economy will have on SoI in terms of RP.

Edit: Couldn't get the List forum code to work, if anyone has tips.
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Re: How Do We Do This Thing?

Postby BoogtehWoog » Wed Oct 22, 2014 5:35 pm

I stopped playing not because there was anything wrong with the game, but because I simply lost interest in gaming. In the time I did play people were really pulling out all the RP stops and staff were great. I hope things go well with this game! I want to be able to check in and see it flourishing for years to come.
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Re: How Do We Do This Thing?

Postby Mavinero » Wed Oct 22, 2014 7:53 pm

I think that the players also need to try and get along with the staff as well. The staff can only do so much, until others that are in game decide that they need to be stand-offish and aloof from the rest of the non-elite cattle actually begin to harm things as a whole.
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Re: How Do We Do This Thing?

Postby Nimrod » Wed Oct 22, 2014 9:48 pm

The pervasive fiction of elite players has always kind of rubbed me the wrong way. Especially when it's spoken of among players and it makes good roleplayers feel like they're inadequate in some way. I think everyone brings something to the table, no matter their roleplay style or skill. If you're giving it your all, I will give you my all.

If a 10 wpm typist can create a character that fits in with the mythos of this game and enjoy themselves, I'm happy. It's the quiet player that logs in day in and day out, head down, plodding forward with their character that's the real hero to me. There are a number of these unsung heroes playing this game and I am thankful for them.

When someone can take what we serve up as admins and give it their all to make the best of it, that gives me goosebumps. I love that character and will weep when he/she is killed performing some heroic act. I've wept for many and pray I will weep for many more in the future.

As far as the OP. Time will surely tell.
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Re: How Do We Do This Thing?

Postby Sabrelon » Wed Oct 22, 2014 10:42 pm

Nimrod wrote:The pervasive fiction of elite players has always kind of rubbed me the wrong way. Especially when it's spoken of among players and it makes good roleplayers feel like they're inadequate in some way. I think everyone brings something to the table, no matter their roleplay style or skill. If you're giving it your all, I will give you my all.

If a 10 wpm typist can create a character that fits in with the mythos of this game and enjoy themselves, I'm happy. It's the quiet player that logs in day in and day out, head down, plodding forward with their character that's the real hero to me. There are a number of these unsung heroes playing this game and I am thankful for them.

When someone can take what we serve up as admins and give it their all to make the best of it, that gives me goosebumps. I love that character and will weep when he/she is killed performing some heroic act. I've wept for many and pray I will weep for many more in the future.

As far as the OP. Time will surely tell.


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Re: How Do We Do This Thing?

Postby Tiamat » Wed Oct 22, 2014 10:50 pm

Mavinero wrote:I think that the players also need to try and get along with the staff as well. The staff can only do so much, until others that are in game decide that they need to be stand-offish and aloof from the rest of the non-elite cattle actually begin to harm things as a whole.


I don't know what you're referring to, so I can only agree on the generality of this statement. Generally speaking, if players are doing something that the majority of players do not like, and Staff has explicitly taken a stance against whatever negative behavior that is, then it behooves Staff to do something about it.

Staff are supposed to lead the charge in the behavior they want to see. If there's rampant misbehavior (whatever Staff define misbehavior as), it is up to Staff to do something about it. The onus is on the players in an RPI to create stories, and interactions within that sphere of approved behavior.

In other words, I agree, but with a few caveats; Staff can do a whole lot. However, it's on the players to interact with what's been laid before them.

As far as this thread goes, there's talk upstairs about what's up and what's down. Time will tell if the directions are straightened out!
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Re: How Do We Do This Thing?

Postby BoogtehWoog » Thu Oct 23, 2014 4:02 pm

That's one of the biggest issues I've seen. I think players really need to take a step back and examine what they are saying and if they would say these things to someone IRL, especially to someone that is essentially volunteering their time to help them have a good time. I wasn't always great with staff either (before this incarnation of SOI) and did a lot of things I regret. Just have a bit of self-awareness and ask yourself how you'd feel in their shoes.

Just keep in mind these are all other people coming together to create a game for everyone to enjoy. Without that cooperation, this all falls apart.
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Re: How Do We Do This Thing?

Postby Raukran » Thu Oct 23, 2014 4:26 pm

As long as the staff are active, I'll do my best to stir up my own fun on the game. As long as I'm having fun, I'll keep playing. I do feel like I've gotten my money's worth from SOI. ;)
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Re: How Do We Do This Thing?

Postby Gobbo » Thu Oct 23, 2014 6:55 pm

I just wrote a huge multi-point post but decided I needed to condense things down to a more simple story.

Back in Shadows of isildur I made a character. I decided he would be an entrepreneur, I named him Senu. This is his story.

Senu had an idea. He recently came to Minas Tirith from Pelargir. He had heard that up in the northern town of Angost there was iron to be found. So using the mechanics in place Senu spent months traveling to Angost to check out the prices of iron, and spent months traveling back to Minas Tirith with a goal in mind.

Senu didn't have an idea anymore, he had a plan now. He went to the government of the Pelennor region. He asked for a loan to start a business. They gave him a modest sum of coppers to get started because the government was promoting businesses in the area. With this money he bought a wagon and some gear. Senu then went to Minas Tirith's main armorsmith, he also secured an order for cheap iron from Angost. He earned a partial payment for the order upfront which he needed for seed money.

Senu then made a partner. This partner had acquired some storage space for a wagon and goods on a farm owned by a highly placed staff N(PC). With his partner, Senu headed north to Angost with his wagon, his partner and his starting money.

Angost came under attack by orcs, the local guild was packing up to flee. So Senu bought up their iron stocks they couldn't transport. The price was even better than he had planned. Senu would surely make bank.

Senu fled Angost with the rest of the population to Caolafan. As soon as the barges were ready he went back to Minas Tirith with his over-loaded wagon. He fulfilled his order, had more than enough funds to repay his loan. He bought a brilliant stallion and even got himself a wuldane pup while in Angost, quite an expensive prize. He even had his partners shop-front to sell the extra iron ingots in.

Unfortunately due to his partners errors, the noble who had leased the farm to him had thought Senu was trespassing. This lead to Senu's unfortunate death when he tried to save all his hard earned wealth from being ceased.

<End of the good story>

This is what was possible in the old Soi. You could do almost anything, despite Soi's flaws you could be anyone and do anything you put your mind too. You can't do anything even remotely like this in Utterby or the orc setting.

Mechanics wise I believe the Economy needs to be made functional and should work in favor of people who are clever and hard working. There is no economy right now.

Play wise I believe the roles need to be blown wide open in both spheres, we need characters of all types, the evil sphere needs humans because players simply want to play something with humanity. In the human sphere we need traders, business owners, guards, soldiers, farmers, hunters, musicians, politicians, leaders, etc...
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Re: How Do We Do This Thing?

Postby Songweaver » Fri Oct 24, 2014 7:39 am

Note: I'm not admonishing. I like this staff. I like these people. They've done some great things early on, but the lack of staff present currently in the game (and the lack of recent activity on the forum before this thread) are of concern to me, and I wanted to share my advice. It's just advice, worth whatever you think that advice from me is worth.

That said, some responses below.

MrT2G wrote:I think there is plenty of opportunity for players to create their own plotlines [...]

I think players have gotten to used to Admins driving and creating RP for them, especially those players coming from Atonement.


Absolutely. I'm a gigantic proponent of players driving their own plots and do what I can to lead the charge in this. However, when you design a game to rely on admin NPC leadership, and begin a bunch of plots as RPAs that then are set aside, it can get frustrating for some folks. All of the sudden, your development and roleplay can become bottlenecked, and you find yourself forced to act in OOC ways that are rather immersion-breaking in order to make sense of why your character won't go out and deal with <insert establish-then-removed plot>.

Additionally, I get the sense that you, MrT2G, are a sandbox-oriented player. That's great. Most of the players remaining are sandbox-oriented players, and there's nothing wrong with that. But a large number of RPI players don't just want a sandbox. They want a structured narrative that they help to take part in and shape, they want admin plots, and I think that the fact that the setting of this game is so close to the locale and time period of The Hobbit, that the basic design for ALPHA further encourages this expectation more than most settings.

Erucolindo wrote:I think some clarity might help us address your points better, Songweaver. Here are the issues I pulled out of your post, organized by category.

General: More options (Crafting? Combat? Economics?)
General: Better systems (Specifically which systems?)
RP: More staff-run clans
RP: Cohesive plot / IG narrative [Shared by MrT2G]
Economics: More appealing roles (Within those clans, I assume)
Economics: Crafting system improvements


I'd avoided clarity in some of the points above to focus on my main point: a suggestion for how to divide admin duties to allow for both BETA design progress and the simultaneous success of ALPHA. I also wanted to encourage cleaning up the staff roster and potentially hiring on some more new staff if that's what's needed. As to the rest of it:

More Options: I'm talking about more unique roles (Grave Diggers, Bards to run events at the Inn, Dol Guldurian spies, etc), a continued loosening of the odd restrictions on where characters must originate from, etc. This is a big part of encouraging player retention over multiple characters, and creating an immersive, exciting, dynamic environment.

Better Systems: Mostly, I refer to unfinished craftsets. I feel that a lot of attention has been paid to weapons and armor and woodcraft and cooking, but that many other craftsets have sort of gotten the shaft. Hunting crafts are not what they should be (they don't even make sense, and are absolutely not needed to make a living off of hunting). Farming basically doesn't exist. Also, in general, I feel that there are too many craft skills to allow for an economical game. Being a successful crafter in most skillsets demands other skillsets, and there's just no way that your new player is going to be as effective as they'd like to be unless they get lucky.

More Staff-Run Clans: Actually, what I was suggesting was better staff run clans. Clans with actual, and compelling, documentation. With active NPCs to create intrigue and drive player proactivity (otherwise, what's the point to having an NPC-run clan?) I really, generally, prefer systems of player-created/run clans, but if we're going to have the Guard and the Lodge type clans in BETA, better design out of the gate and vastly improved documentation is going to be a must to hold onto the players that are more story focused and require more of a guiding hand to be proactive.

Cohesive Narrative: I've said enough on this. Players who prefer a crafting sandbox may not care much about this, but many, many, many players do. I'm one of them. I want a good story, and as capable as I am of creating and driving my own plots, RPAs make an RPI's story work, because they're ultimately the ones with the final say on what happens.



Solutions in Progress: The economic issues entirely, and the RP issues partly, should be addressed as functional economic systems come online. [...] This should also address your concern of better roles, as the best roles will naturally be those that produce the most value in a resource economy (Which also means competition for them).


I disagree that the most compelling roles (at least to me and some other players), in a fantasy Middle-Earth setting designed to be a prologue to such an established epic as The Hobbit, are the roles that are economically based. Again, for folks who just need a crafting sandbox to be happy, these things are great; for folks who want an epic story, these things are just a foil to the guts of the narrative that seem to be absent currently.

Plot Issues:


Again, player driven plot is very important. But it can't tell the story that this setting begs to be told on its own. That requires someone (an RPA/s) with an active vision working in a dedicated manner towards telling the story of ALPHA. And as I suggested in my OP, one or two people can tackle an ALPHA in this way (re: ARPI), while the rest of the team develops BETA and Laketown and takes what we've learned from this setting's successes/failures to heart to create the SOI of the future.
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Re: How Do We Do This Thing?

Postby sagachi » Fri Oct 24, 2014 12:29 pm

I am coming into this discussion a little later than I want but I have to agree with several points made. I too have noticed a huge dropout of players ingame. And with the economy still almost purely based on PC supplies, things have ground to a -complete- standstill. Now, players are having to wait rl weeks to get a few minutes with the -few- remaining player leaders to do anything. Or remaining crafters. Armor is now almost impossible to get because we don't have the players with the skills to get the oils, or the hides, or tan them, and the one player that does is so backlogged and has no supplies to work with.

Shops are carrying only player made items. And, sadly, most of them were made by me. Yes I looked. Nearly 80 percent of the items in the lodge shops, (the few exceptions being a few tools, admin loaded dyes, and a handful of higher-skill armors) were made by Sagachi's characters. And subsequently bought back by sagachi's characters in need because no one else seems to be making anything for the general public.

The guard is down two Strife, and two privates. They couldn't survive inter sphere conflict now. A 0rpp newb swordsman can thrash the lot of them. It's shameful. And there's no incentive to join them. Why? Because the leadership is nonexistant. Attempts to lead is frowned upon. And you're like as not to get kicked out before you see your first paycheck if you even survive that long.

Lodge is still, despite the doors being opened a inner circle of friends that do everything free for each other and if you aren't with them, you're screwed or have to pay a large sum (which you don't have because the only other income option is the guard or healers at this point) So really, the economy is -worse- now than it was back in July. In july I was easily able to assemble a Hawk and Dove type org of mercs and run them out of a Inn room. Now I can't even find a person to help me take down a boar.

The life has gone out of the game in a means of loss of interest. That much is plain. I mean june 8th we had 50 people online. Now we're lucky to get 12 at peak. It isn't about a lack of crafts, why? We did fine with the crafts in June. There was cash flow. Materials were easily able to be found. And just yesterday, the hunting system got overhauled where things will now get scarcer, from what I understand. People gonna run out of food quickly since there's really only one hunter in human sphere right now. And he generally doesn't do much hunting.

All this being said I feel that staff has tried to make this focus too much on player supported economy, when any rpi really relies on a vNpc enonomy to fill the gaps because most rpi's simply don't have a high playerbase. That we had 50 on our opening day was a jaw dropper.

Even I, an avid SoI fan and diehard, have been turning more to Harshlands to get my rp fix because I see a sinking ship here right now, and I ain't the captain, so MAN THE LIFEBOATS. I am however still trucking. With my current pc's situation, I can't really do anything. I'm stuck in a spot where I will slowly lose everything because of a lack of options for work. The hunting rework was my crippler.
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Re: How Do We Do This Thing?

Postby Gobbo » Fri Oct 24, 2014 2:03 pm

I prefer a player run economy IF the mechanics are in place to make it work. The key mechanic missing right now is caravans which were planned. Also money needs to trickle down to all PCs. I fear money from caravans will end up in the clan coffers who run the caravans.
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Original Intent

Postby Bones » Fri Oct 24, 2014 8:19 pm

I feel I'll wade in here.

The original (when I staffed, all the way to the end) intent was to relocate to Isengard, in its earlier days when it supported an entire culture. There were hundreds of pieces of literature written. Organizations, clannings, ranks, rosters, guilds, background. It was all there. I personally wrote several long pieces on field medicine to be used.

It was thrown away. I didn't know why, and I wasn't invited to weigh in on the subject. That is neither here, nor there.

Many players were involved in putting this together, and many of them expected us to go to this Isengard-esque civilization, where we would have an army, Fellowship equivalents, and harsh environs with which to go up against. I saw the wiki info on the original stuff. It was quite lovely.

Those players were scorned I think, along with me. What was promised did not come, and what did come took a great deal of time to do so. The last real activity I had here as a staffer was in 2011, when the game was coming to its final end in MT. Or was it late 2010. Not sure, I was in Afghanistan, or something getting shot at. Memory goes fuzzy.

Regardless. What came, with zero blame laid upon the coding staff, or admin/RP staff, took a -very- long time to return. When they arrived back, there was a massive -rush- to chargen, without any real thought I feel, to how to support all of these players.

Granted.. This is early days. And in the early days of Original SoI, I ran through fifteen throwaway characters before I got into the swing of things. But that's because I'm stubborn, a jerk, and I'm not cowed by my own stupidity.

Other players are not so forgiving. They were thrust into a very dangerous world (Evil and dangerous. Kudos Nimrod and Co.) without really the means to defend themselves. They died by the dozen, to the point that much of the gold in peoples pockets came by.. Looting the corpses of course! Hell, I've made a few hundred gold picking purses from unarmored corpses that ran headlong into wolves etc. Even when we did band together, more often than not we got slaughtered. Well, I didn't. I played it smart this time and tactically retreated (ran the hell away) from bad things. I learn. Eventually.

Now many of you might feel this is a rant, that has no place in this thread. It is not, I assure you. Let me outline the issues I've seen, which have, and have not changed since I chargenned in.. July? August? Dunno. Maybe earlier, or later.

1. Intentionally or not, the Inn became the hub of activity and commerce. Literally. Trading between players should happen, but we were all so poor that the Inn was pouring its own coin into the economy so that we wouldn't all starve. This unfortunately, allowed them a ridiculous amount of power and discretion in how they chose to RP. Elite RPers? I wouldn't classify them as such. They acted a bit elitist though. They cut and restarted coin flow as it fancied them, depending on brawls and the like. Or mood. Or brigands kidnapping the stewards.

Solution? - I feel that Staff (maybe I just didn't see it) should take these organizations in hand. Firmly. If we are all guests in this town, and all of these places, the Lodge, the Inn, the Merchant Guard (or whatever their name is now) are owned by the wealthy elite, then have -their- policies in place. Not at the discretion of the players, who could have easily questionable intentions and motives. It allows one or two people to grip down on the player populace, with little recourse.

2. The Lodge - While lovely and cheery and supplying everyone's goods.. It doesn't seem like it's conducive to players making much coin. There may be a mistake with my comprehension, but I was under the impression this was some sort of Boom town, where we all came to ply our trade. Now I know a couple broke the mold and stepped away from the Lodge to sell their goods. God was that amazing to watch. But now it's impossible to do. The very dangerous (Kudos Nimrod and Co.) wildlife, and seemingly unfair (partially my fault, I'm pretty sure I caused it) removal of the Bog Iron ease of gathering has resulted in, from what I can see, stagnation. One armorer. One brewer. Maybe a weaponsmith. Pretty much all either beholden to the Lodge, or the Merchant Guard et- Retinue.

Solution? - A basic form of Fellowships.. I really think these need some sort of comeback here. Otherwise, a monopoly is in place. Forget players maybe having to wait a few months to afford that sword, or a new pair of boots. At current prices, it could take upwards of a year just to afford a gambeson.. which could be the death of a hunter, or sellsword. Give access to those goods again in decent order. The core of loyal players left, is working hard on those palisades. Give us back the ability to semi-survive gathering iron ore. And something done about these spiders that can see through stealth and hidden stuff.. That's just creepy, and fairly unfair. (But EVIL, so I approve).

3. Transparency/Plots - Maybe I'm just not seeing it.. But players aren't really doing much more than fulfilling the status quo at this point. Granted we're hard charging to do palisades.. Dealing with attempted murder, foul mouths etc.. But there's no real transparency as to what is possible, what can be done, and what's happening. I was told in no uncertain terms that if it wasn't buyable or available in the game, you couldn't have it. This was when I wanted a stall to sell goods at. I was told no buildings were being built. Not two days later, the Hillmen started building a camp. I thought 'Hey.. that'll be awesome.. They'll always have to patrol it.. Rp there.. This is.. Wait.. wait.. They get a structure? That is secured? But I.. But.. You said.. But.. BLARGH'. I was a bit upset. I wasn't told there was a due process to get things like this. I imagine many players get grumpy when they are told no, and then see another player doing said task they wanted and reaping the benefits. It isn't -really- fair. And we know little of plots, which seem to start and die off a bit.

Solution? - Bring back those Town Hall meetings more often.. Once? Twice a month? I might not be seeing them.. But I watch the forums. I might just miss posting for them. We all get that staff are busy. I love all the staff (Except Evil Overlord Nimrod.. Well.. Even him) We want to hear a bit more from you guys. RPTs? The watchword for 'EveRYONE LOG IN AND GET SOME FUN'. The encouragement most needed to pop in. Then they'd see players they had fun with.. Talk some more.. Log in more and more.


This is just a basic rundown of my thoughts. Feel free to call me a ranting arse. I welcome comments.
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Re: How Do We Do This Thing?

Postby Nimrod » Fri Oct 24, 2014 10:05 pm

I'm not going to comment on a lot of these things, but I'll weigh in with a few comments, which I trust will spark a little hope.

Elder Staffers are currently discussing a major proposal. The talking points have been mostly hammered out, we await final approval and the announcement.

I know nobody likes hearing it, but this is Alpha. We knew going in that there were going to be problems and we would work on solving those problems. Unfortunately, or fortunately for players, it depends on your perspective, the game warped forward into an almost 'full open' state and players treated it as such. We were ill-prepared to handle this and all of us made mistakes. We were swept up in the grandness of how well things were going and for various reasons many staff members were working in varying directions without a clear, unified vision. We all carry varying degrees of blame for this.

As for number of players and active staff, yes, the numbers have dipped. I don't think that's inherently a bad thing at this time, nor the kiss of death, especially when one considers the work yet to come and the overall mission of staff. I know I speak for many other staffers when I say we're not even close to the death so many claim to see.

Are we at a key turning point? Absolutely. We opened for Alpha with a bang, a lot of people had a lot of fun. But now it's time to roll up our sleeves, make some difficult decisions and start the real work of making this game more than just a flash in the pan. Our unified goal is to continue the tradition started by Traithe. Provide a fully immersive gameworld steeped in the mythos of Middle Earth, encourage awesome roleplay and take the long view.

What can players do to support us and help us? Remain positive. Immerse your character in the mythos of the gameworld we are building. We understand, and appreciate, how many of you are passionate about SoI. So are we. We want you to have an amazing experience, to roleplay scenes that you'll remember and talk about for a decade.

You're all lucky I'm not in charge. :P

I would encourage everyone to take a deep breath, exhale, keep playing the game and let the wheels turn. We're on it.
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Re: How Do We Do This Thing?

Postby MrT2G » Sat Oct 25, 2014 3:05 am

Nimrod wrote: Our unified goal is to continue the tradition started by Traithe.


Hearing things like this keep me optimistic in the overall path.

I have bore witness to a plethora of mistakes on the behalf of the staff thus and have not, nor will be in the future, shy about voicing my opinion or perspective on such. However, I feel (or hope) that some or all those at the driving wheel are steering things in the right direction.
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Re: How Do We Do This Thing?

Postby soiacc » Sat Oct 25, 2014 12:40 pm

Nimrod wrote:You're all lucky I'm not in charge. :P



Frigga wrote:As such, Nimrod, our ever faithful coder and vanguard shall not only be returning to Elder Staff, but taking on the role as sole Lead Staffer...



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Re: How Do We Do This Thing?

Postby Pallando » Sat Oct 25, 2014 12:49 pm

May the gods protect us from this inevitable reign of doom and destruction.
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Re: How Do We Do This Thing?

Postby BoogtehWoog » Sat Oct 25, 2014 7:45 pm

Good luck, Nimrod!

And thanks, Frigga and Icarus, for all your hard work.
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Re: How Do We Do This Thing?

Postby mongwen » Mon Oct 27, 2014 2:06 pm

I think my comments may well be taken wrong, but here goes. I'm not worried about seeing only a few PCs online at any given time. SoI, during the time I played it, never had huge numbers except on nights of major RPts, when people who generally are not on at the same time or generally only log in for big combats or whatever reason logged on. I swear, just looking at the number list, people must have popped out of the woodwork. Fifty was a fluke brought on by the excitement for the return to middle-earth. If I'd known exactly when it opened, I might have made it 51. My thing is, give me a core, three or four reliable people to count on being there. We don't even have to be doing anything grand. Much of life is drudgery unless you're playing a hack'n'slash. So I'd rather have nine hardcore PCs, just using a number I've seen on the who list before randomly, than 25 sometimers, half of whom quit when they get bored from the lack of a major plot, and they get bored in two weeks. It's human nature to make sure you're around for the big stuff and sometimes blow off the small stuff, but it's the core RPers, be they the craft sandbox types or the PC leaders, that keep things moving on the day to day basis. Major staff plots are rare because staff has many other things to be doing, so I look to my own small sphere. I'm not a leader, but I'll go along with the PC who is. That's enough for me.
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Re: How Do We Do This Thing?

Postby teepu » Mon Oct 27, 2014 2:28 pm

50 showed the potential in SoI, if nothing else.
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Re: How Do We Do This Thing?

Postby Eru » Mon Oct 27, 2014 3:36 pm

There are those select few PC's that are still committed to furthering their own storylines whilst keeping the game moving along without the need for staff assistance or plots. You'll find them if you spend enough time online. Kudos to those players.
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Re: How Do We Do This Thing?

Postby Pallando » Mon Oct 27, 2014 8:12 pm

mongwen wrote:I think my comments may well be taken wrong, but here goes. I'm not worried about seeing only a few PCs online at any given time. SoI, during the time I played it, never had huge numbers except on nights of major RPts, when people who generally are not on at the same time or generally only log in for big combats or whatever reason logged on. I swear, just looking at the number list, people must have popped out of the woodwork. Fifty was a fluke brought on by the excitement for the return to middle-earth. If I'd known exactly when it opened, I might have made it 51. My thing is, give me a core, three or four reliable people to count on being there. We don't even have to be doing anything grand. Much of life is drudgery unless you're playing a hack'n'slash. So I'd rather have nine hardcore PCs, just using a number I've seen on the who list before randomly, than 25 sometimers, half of whom quit when they get bored from the lack of a major plot, and they get bored in two weeks. It's human nature to make sure you're around for the big stuff and sometimes blow off the small stuff, but it's the core RPers, be they the craft sandbox types or the PC leaders, that keep things moving on the day to day basis. Major staff plots are rare because staff has many other things to be doing, so I look to my own small sphere. I'm not a leader, but I'll go along with the PC who is. That's enough for me.


I'm sure when Nimrod sees this he will agree 100% with you :)
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Re: How Do We Do This Thing?

Postby Nimrod » Tue Oct 28, 2014 8:50 am

I do.

I'm working on the overall plan right now. I had the broad strokes already in my head before stepping up to Lead, and now I'm working on translating those broad strokes to a more user-friendly version. I'll continue working on the staff-side of things to unify our vision and once that's done I'll be sharing it with the public.
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