crayon wrote: If players require a certain degree of statistical inflation in order to tell a story on your game, then you've got bigger things to be worried about than standardization. Moreover, points regarding standardization only grow in merit because if your ability to tell a meaningful story is bound to your capability to do the things you need to with code, then granting access to statistics outside the expected range of what your usual character is likely to achieve is tantamount to telling the playerbase that you can only tell a grassroots story if staff taps you on the shoulder to do it. You're shooting yourself in the foot, and that's concerning! Either statistics aren't important, and people shouldn't care how standardized or subjective boosts are for invited roles, but those roles shouldn't need them, really, anyhow, or they are important, and you can't really feign surprise when players are concerned about subjective boosts.
A really great post, Crayon. I'll do my best to explain my position and theories I am using to move forward.
I've literally read this first paragraph you posted 15 times. Yes. I agree that we've got bigger things to worry about than standardization, Crayon. Those worries will only be alleviated with time and players playing. I'm not trying to be snarky in my responses, just brief.
We will not be granting access to levels of skills that are outside the expected range of what the usual character can attain. (I'll add) ... through play. (i.e. they won't normally roll n with the same level, but it is attainable through practice and play.)
The importance of statistics is not simply a binary issue. I don't believe I feigned surprise at player's concerns. They have a right to be concerned, thus this thread.
I also agree that not being able to tell a grass-roots story without the stats to ensure your own safety is concerning. In a perfect world and with perfect play from all players, someone would be able to engage in pvp quite often. Unfortunately we are dealing with an imperfect system, filled with imperfect staff and imperfect players and thus are faced with the conundrum: Do we want to help push for better pvp roleplay by giving a trusted entity the stats to deal with the combat and ask them to push roleplay, or do we just continue with past practices by trying to correct players and hope for the best?
SoI has tried the latter solution for a decade and it has not gotten any better on the whole. I believe it's time to try a new solution and am hoping that those involved in pvp roleplay will slowly become accustomed to roleplaying more prior to engaging because of the boosted individual's ability to stand in the pocket, if you will, and set the example.
We've asked players for the last ten years to be the one to set the example and show the way. Previous administrations have spent considerable amounts of time on writing up vast documentation that became the Rules of Engagement. Those staff member's hearts were in the right place, but I think the outcome of that is fairly clear. Example makers died and lost everything with little thanks for their efforts. Giving example makers a little security will allow them to set the example without dying every time they run in to just a bit too much opposition. They may be defeated, but they will not pay for it with their character's life, and thus they may return the next day to engage in pvp again and continue the slow process of changing the basic concepts of pvp from insta-gank to roleplay.
That is my hope anyway. The investment to attempt this is extremely low. Rolling in a few characters, boosting stats somewhat, giving some direction and letting the player wade in. A relatively cheap investment that has the potential for huge returns in my opinion.
Crayon wrote:I think that's a mistake! Directly limiting and tying a character's ability to effect their world, and essentially, their player's agency, based on the character's race or RPP-on-creation is a bad idea.
I do agree that player agency is super important, hence my drastically opening up player's abilities to create their own clans and establish their own businesses. I am pro-player choice, so long as the perks are not just handed out for free. Giving away things for free cheapens that which is given, and we're not doing that.
Perhaps I chose my wording on the worth of a single orc poorly. Your post has seen me review what I said and re-think it. I think a better way of putting what I was trying to get across would be that players may consider their character's a cut-above the norm, but that they must realize their foe would also consider their character a cut above the norm, hence rendering their specialness moot for all intents and purposes.
An orc who considers his group a cut above the rest, while considering that elf normal is reducing the player of the elf's worth and we must take that in to consideration as well. In the end, comparing average to average is the same as comparing above-average to above-average. To state otherwise is to deny player agency to one or the other, is it not?
So... in the end, my point still stands, though it may have been worded poorly. I apologize if my wording caused any angst. It was not my intent.
Crayon wrote:This problem has nothing to do with races, roles, RPP, elves, Brian, orcs, or really much of anything but combat code and conflict on the RPI engine and the game systems as a whole lacking proper incentivization or requirement of roleplay to go hand-in-hand with code. You have a point regarding giving players a model for roleplay-intensive conflict, but I think the approach is far off of the mark. Moreover, why should an invited role telling a story receive some sort of protection and extra consideration vis a vis PK twinks that a grassroots player with zero RPP and no contact with staff doesn't? Besides, don't you want everybody to handle PvP with grace and a focus on storytelling?
To answer your last point... Yes, I do want everyone to handle pvp with grace and with a focus on roleplay.
It appears that you are saying that the problem pvp suffers is with the combat code, incentives and requirements. The last two working hand in hand with code. (If I've misrepresented your paragraph above, please correct me. I did read the paragraph at least 10 times and re-read the first sentence at last 10 more times to try to understand your point.)
Your conclusions may very well be correct and no one has stumbled across the correct balance yet. I would offer a different conclusion though and point out that the code has been modified, the incentives have been scrutinized very carefully, and requirements have been put through their paces with all the iterations of Rules of Engagement. These issues have been tried over the last ten years through all iterations of SoI.
I would posit that instead of the problem being either of these three things, that it is player expectation and the sum of experience that is to blame. It is typically either the experienced, disenfranchised player, or the in-experienced and scared player that initiates combat without roleplay. And how do we change that behavior? My theory is to simply show them by introducing a few characters that are able to withstand the onslaught of instant attacks and that will roleplay with them in dangerous situations. Of course this player will have much power, but will be expected to avoid taking advantage of his power and instead concentrate on roleplay.
Crayon wrote:From what I've heard of the situation, didn't the orcs RP-lessly respond to an RP-less engagement via archery? It's kind of silly to expect somebody to get shot and then walk in and immediately pull back from code to get to roleplay on this codebase, unfortunately. Moreover, I think this is a universal problem that has nothing to do with boosted elves versus less-powerful elves. Frankly, if people refuse to engage in roleplay alongside conflict with anybody you have problems. Only addressing this issue in the specific case of invited roles and elves is just really bad design/administration. No offense in that, I imagine you're trying to get people to do the best thing for story, and it's like herding cats, but there are good ideas and there are bad ideas.
We are addressing the issue of 'arrow means permission for instant combat'. This is not the norm that I condone and will be working with staff and players to try to solve the issue. It is a sticky wicket and another thread has been opened to discuss that particular topic. Please feel free to weigh in, your input is encouraged and welcomed.
I respect your opinion and you're free to believe that the plan is a bad one. If you have any 'good' ideas to take the place of the one in place, please feel free to share. I'd be very interested in hearing your ideas on how to make the situation better.
How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.