Armageddon MUD General Discussion Board

General => General Discussion => Topic started by: Bebop on April 27, 2020, 03:05:30 PM

Title: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: Bebop on April 27, 2020, 03:05:30 PM
Playability vs Gameplay

Definitions:

Playability - The state or property of being playable. A measure of either the ease by which a video game may be played, or of the overall quality of its gameplay.

Gameplay - the tactical aspects of a video game, such as its plot and the way it is played, as distinct from the graphics and sound effects.

Some history about me.  I have been playing Armageddon since 2004.  I took a five year break between the years of 2013 - 2018.  I have been back approximately two years now, maybe a little under.  At present, we have many senior players returning to the game due to quarantine.  Hello!  Welcome back!

Since my return to the game, I have been struggling with the notion of playability vs gameplay.  I feel the above definitions are very important to start this discussion.

When writing a story, you can make whatever conflict you want because you’re in control of all of the characters and your job is to tell a compelling story.  The lore, the world, the stage you’re building that’s the game play.  Playability is how it all actually shakes out as a game.  When you enter that world how fun, rewarding and easy is it to actually play.  That’s an important distinction.  Things that are hard for a character, shouldn’t necessarily translate into a difficulty for the player.

The five key components to a good story are as follows:

Characters - Gameplay
Setting - Gameplay
Plot - Gameplay/Playability
Conflict - Playability
Resolution - Playability

(https://i.ibb.co/5FYXq1K/bridge.jpg) (https://ibb.co/yShmLN4)

Before we go into this it’s important to note, that resolution is defined as such:
the action of solving a problem, dispute, or contentious matter

This means there can be peaceful resolutions, tragic resolutions.  A resolution is not inherently a happy ending.  It is simply an ending to a storyline playing out.

Let's use gemmed magickers as an example.  Really could use any of the many prejudices in the game that can bring dimension to a world centered around murder, corruption, betrayal.  Prejudice can equate to conflict, which causes interest and plot.  Gemmed magickers are supposed to be on the outskirts of society, shunned and relegated to a particular part of the city.  This creates interesting characters, the gemmed quarter is the setting but once we get into plot how do we get to the point of conflict and ultimately resolution if avoidance is key?  Somehow, the gameplay elements need to lend themselves to playability elements. 

Avoidance doesn't bridge the gap.  It simply creates isolation.  I believe this challenge rears its head towards many factions in the game that end up isolated, and making the game feel more claustrophobic.  Examples?  Nobility from commoner.  Magicker and breed from society.  Merchant from average commoners.  Templarate from nobility.  Tribes far off from the rest of the world.

Complete avoidance does not render conflict and resolution.  So, in my mind some kind of plot element needs to link the two so that conflict can arise.  And not just once a real life year whenever some special plot gets ran by staff.  If the character specifications and setting do not lend itself to a plot causing conflict then gameplay elements must be altered.

I’d like to start a discussion around this for both players and staff about this, and how we can all improve our gameplay around this philosophy of story and world building.  What parts of the game can we use the plot to reconcile the game world, using the plot to benefit playability?

I think when people complain about RPTs, or pieces of the current in-game meta what they’re trying to say is that they're having an issue not with the game world but the level of playability.  Clearly, we enjoy the world we’re in but some elements of that world don’t always lend themselves to interesting plots and thus conflict/interest ceases to arise.   Or no resolution is given to conflict that does arise.  One day it just ceases to be.

I'm going to take a moment here to emphasize please don't mistake closure to say a death to resolution.  I am speaking more to large scale plots that then end up coming to close with a plop instead of a bang.

Many times, people also do not see a clear resolution to hours and months of gameplay which can lead to frustration.  There is also a difference between closure and resolution.  I think this also originates from large city-wide or world-wide plots being started where the whole city or world is privy to the conflict, but only a handful of PCs are entitled to the resolution.  I think this can be solved by ensuring all players involved receive varying levels of resolution.  City-folk are told one thing about the on-going resolution over time, while nobility or other small groups are given deeper details or “the real story” without propaganda. 

Conflict can take on many forms - inner conflict, like making a tough decision.  Combat.  Social power struggles.  Simple dislike.  A struggle for resources and so on.

What I would also like to see is a system that rewards characters and players for starting plots and conflict, even if they are on the losing side.  Arguably, you could say karma is there and often offered to players who play well.  Let’s look at the stipulations:

---Longevity
---Good communication
---Ability to roleplay
---Proven understanding of magick and its place in the game world
---Proven understanding of cultural and racial structures
---Contributes to the game
---Leadership


I would argue that some of the very things that lend itself to karma, plots and thusly conflict are the same things that will have you targeted in game.  How do we ensure that characters in game that wish to create conflict and interest aren’t immediately blasted by the mantis head?

I don’t have all of the answers, but I’m definitely interested in the player base’s thoughts on how to increase interest and playability.  Sometimes, I feel like when players complain about a lack of playability they’re told simply, “Well, that’s just how the world is.”  But the world itself is a game, a piece of art that is beholden to player and staff to shape into a game that is fun, engrossing and engaging.  The success isn’t just in building a world, but building a game world that encourages conflict.  And not just any conflict… deep, consistent, engrossing and dimensional conflict that leads to a satisfying resolution be it tragic or peaceful.

We see (what I think is) a great example of plot and world lending to playability with what’s become of Luir’s.  The plot has been tilted in Luir’s to allow for more conflict by creating an ongoing clear power struggle between the three great merchant Houses.  This is great, because there is now a process in place to allow for this.  I look forward to seeing it develop further.  Now there is an in-game power struggle dynamic that doesn’t involve the staff constantly having to pump out new and unique plots every real life week.  I would like to see more of this for factions in the game.  There are votes, there are bids, the result of coin and politicking has visible results in that vote.  The vote occurs between players, typical staff involvement is or should be at a minimum.  I really hope this kind of dynamic is built upon.  I would love to see something similar for nobility rivals and warring Templarate factions.

If you don’t have this built in conflict you run into staff having to constantly get involved and factions being overly segmented to the point conflict bubbles up as simple petty undermining and lies like a bunch of school kids being trapped in the same high school too long or in game events that end up being the same event over and over and over again.

I would love to start a dialogue with the community on this topic.  Where do you see gaps between playability and gameplay?  How can we, as players build on this and reflect a game world that we want to see and enjoy?


Conclusion for clarification since I know this post is a little windy:

I personally see areas in the world where there is a gap between gameplay (world, lore, setting, character structure) vs playability (how easy it is to play and enjoy the game.)  This manifests in a few ways.  Lack of interaction between pcs, this creates a reliance on staff to react as the game world.  The game world does not reflect the experiences of PCs, creating a lack of satisfaction and disassociation.

The karma docs encourage good game play but sometimes the game world punishes good, engrossing interaction and play.

I am asking the players - where do you see these gaps?  How can we bridge them to create a more satisfying game experience?

In conclusion things I would like to see more of (personally):

-Long-term, visible resolution to city-wide and world-wide events and plot lines.  Taking RL years to let people know what was going on in the only other city-state in the game leads to major confusion. 

-Gauge the reaction of the city and world by watching what PCs are actually saying and feeling instead of having the VNPC world's reaction be completely counter to what most PCs are experiencing, PC's shouldn't rely totally on VNPCs as to how to be told to feel.  It's really frustrating when board posts are made about what VNPCs are experiencing and there is no evidence or effect of the PCs in game.  It starts to feel like there are two cities. The one the VNPCs live in and the one PCs are actually experiencing.

-Build up lore around niches and factions, but find more improved ways for them to interact with frequency

-Build an infrastructure that creates conflict without turning staff into plot dispensing machines needing constant in game involvement

-Build deepening, nuanced conflict that is more than petty, exhausting, social squabbles - Think Game of Thrones intrigue (before it sucked) vs High School votes for classes treasurer popularity contest

-Have real resolution and effects to the aforementioned deepening conflict

-Find places in the game world that have gap between game world and playability and bridge that gap by using the plot to make clans, events, and RPTs more satisfying by having greater conflict and clear results to such

-Have a place in game for PCs that want to create conflict, otherwise you've got a bunch of PCs that live forever by being nice and mild which is not what the game is necessarily about

Important Note:  This is not a critique of staff.  In my opinion, many of the current staff are some of the best group I've experienced in my many years of playing.  They are working hard to do a lot of what I'm already suggesting, and many are trying to foster a great culture here.  These are just my personal thoughts.  There are many areas I haven't played in since my return and I think this could be a good discussion on how we as players can improve the game world.

TLDR:  How do we use the plot to bridge the game world, setting and lore structure to create a game that has good playability? (In this case meaning good conflict, deep conflict and satisfying resolution) without encouraging isolation and micro-gaming between factions across Allanak in the game world.  How do we keep player driven plot and conflict on-going as this occurs?

Edited to add formatting and some typo fixes, thanks Mansa and IsFriday for formatting suggestions to make a long post more easily readable.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: Lizzie on April 27, 2020, 03:43:28 PM
Your question: "How do we ensure that characters in game that wish to create conflict and interest aren’t immediately blasted by the mantis head?"

can't be answered. There is no solution. There are different approaches, and none of them will solve what you consider to be the problem.

In order to "ensure" - guarantee - that conflict doesn't result in immediate mantis head you have to somehow prevent players from choosing to PK characters that are new. If some new character is being a hard-core troll, pain in the neck, drama queen, and refuses to get out of MY character's face, and wastes my character's time and efforts in the limited amount of time I have available to be logged into the game, then that new character is fucking with MY plotline - and therefore has to go.

I can handle it ICly...through judicious use of plotline tools, or I can do it OOCly, through either a player complaint against them, or storage of my own PC. Either way, SOMEONE's fun with their character is going to end.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: Bebop on April 27, 2020, 03:52:41 PM
Your question: "How do we ensure that characters in game that wish to create conflict and interest aren’t immediately blasted by the mantis head?"

can't be answered. There is no solution. There are different approaches, and none of them will solve what you consider to be the problem.

In order to "ensure" - guarantee - that conflict doesn't result in immediate mantis head you have to somehow prevent players from choosing to PK characters that are new. If some new character is being a hard-core troll, pain in the neck, drama queen, and refuses to get out of MY character's face, and wastes my character's time and efforts in the limited amount of time I have available to be logged into the game, then that new character is fucking with MY plotline - and therefore has to go.

I can handle it ICly...through judicious use of plotline tools, or I can do it OOCly, through either a player complaint against them, or storage of my own PC. Either way, SOMEONE's fun with their character is going to end.

I have several points here but I think the real question would have been in my conclusion:

Quote
-Have a place in game for PCs that want to create conflict, otherwise you've got a bunch of PCs that live forever by being nice and mild which is not what the game is necessarily about

If you don't have a place in the game for "zesty" characters then you have a game that treats these characters as little road bumps on the journey and you become reliant on staff for creating the larger conflict potentially.  And I don't just mean characters that say... kill your buddy, so now you want revenge.  I'm talking about characters that aren't interested in doing something as simple as not being nice to everyone since the docs states there should be clear bias and prejudice.

If every character that isn't buddy buddy with everyone is shunned or killed, you're creating a meta where everyone has to get along (aka ignore the docs that call for clear prejudices) or at least get along at a surface level.  If everyone in Allanak is pretending to get along on a surface level and stabbing each other in the back in the shadows, well... now you've got a new version of Tuluk.

How do we go about reconciling the two extremes aka isolation of races and niche factions vs allowing them conflict that results in satisfying conflict and story/resolution?  That is my predominant question.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: Saiseiki on April 27, 2020, 04:12:07 PM
First, well thought-out and perceptive post.

-Build up lore around niches and factions, but find more improved ways for them to interact with frequency

I don't have the seniority to intelligently comment on a lot of the broad-strokes stuff that Bebop brings up.  However, I have been seriously considering the above.  Specifically, how to realistically get different groups of people together.  This is, after all, a game.  Presumably we're here to have fun and rp, even if that rp results in PK.  I'll go out on a limb and wager that the good majority of the player-base isn't wholly consumed with solo-rp (perfectly fine if you are!).  So, developing IC reasons for different factions to interact instead of splintering off is something that is inherently more dangerous than hiding in your compound, but also important to the health of the game IMO.

Still feeling this out with the current character.  I'm glad that this conversation is in the minds of the community.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: Bebop on April 27, 2020, 04:19:11 PM
First, well thought-out and perceptive post.

-Build up lore around niches and factions, but find more improved ways for them to interact with frequency

I don't have the seniority to intelligently comment on a lot of the broad-strokes stuff that Bebop brings up.  However, I have been seriously considering the above.  Specifically, how to realistically get different groups of people together.  This is, after all, a game.  Presumably we're here to have fun and rp, even if that rp results in PK.  I'll go out on a limb and wager that the good majority of the player-base isn't wholly consumed with solo-rp (perfectly fine if you are!).  So, developing IC reasons for different factions to interact instead of splintering off is something that is inherently more dangerous than hiding in your compound, but also important to the health of the game IMO.

Still feeling this out with the current character.  I'm glad that this conversation is in the minds of the community.

This is my biggest point, and I know this post was a bit long.

But how do we stop PCs and clans from just isolating and hoarding wealth and information in their respective Estates, tribes and Temples and get them out there clashing on micro and macro scale without constantly needing the staff to intervene and shake up the world like kicking over an anthill.

If we constantly need staff ran RPTs and HRPTs to get the world to come together, spend coin, tear down shit and interact there's a problem with the meta.  Those things are fun on occasion but we need gameplay that encourages good playability - meaning deep interactions instead of isolation.

We shouldn't constantly rely on staff to know how the population at large is reacting, we should see that reflected more predominantly visible through the play of the PCs.

I also see a symptom that something is wrong when players who follow the documentation are punished when they actually enter the game and the game itself is not reflective of the documentation resulting in everyone constantly turning a blind eye to player after player engaging with the exception instead of the rule.

This is not the fault of any one player or staff member.   But it does ring some bells for me that that plot is needed to bridge the game world setting and the game play that's occuring.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: Barsook on April 27, 2020, 04:21:42 PM
How do we go about reconciling the two extremes aka isolation of races and niche factions vs allowing them conflict that results in satisfying conflict and story/resolution?  That is my predominant question.

I hate to say it but getting rid of most of the great power houses in the form of the GHM's, all noble houses (minus the templars/Arm of Dragon) and the Byn. I don't really see the point of the Houses both in terms of playability and gameplay. While I do understand that the GHM's, Byn and House Oash are there for players to use as away to learn their character's crafts/magic respectively, but what do they really bring to the game world in terms of playability? I would rather see more smaller scale groups trying to get powerful.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: Bebop on April 27, 2020, 04:29:35 PM
How do we go about reconciling the two extremes aka isolation of races and niche factions vs allowing them conflict that results in satisfying conflict and story/resolution?  That is my predominant question.

I hate to say it but getting rid of most of the great power houses in the form of the GHM's, all noble houses (minus the templars/Arm of Dragon) and the Byn. I don't really see the point of the Houses both in terms of playability and gameplay. While I do understand that the GHM's, Byn and House Oash are there for players to use as away to learn their character's crafts/magic respectively, but what do they really bring to the game world in terms of playability? I would rather see more smaller scale groups trying to get powerful.

Honestly, Barsook.  You know what?  To a big degree I totally agree with you.  What is the point of noble play?  What can you accomplish?  You are there to be a mini-leader but you ultimately have almost no power.  You're just a part of the player base that's isolated away to bring some flavor in a mini-niche.  Templarate, definitely add some more structure and have more power and ability to float interaction between clans.  GMH, more often than not end up killing off the little guy and disappearing once their wealth is established.  Byn I think would be cool to be around to service/aid whatever factions are in game.  Mercenary play is universal.

Where I disagree with you is that I think instead of removing them the game play around these factions needs to be drastically improved so that they are satisfying to play, less isolated and bring actual depth to the game instead of providing he same RPTs dressed differently and basically being a source for little side quests or play executioner to the plebs from time to time.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: DesertT on April 27, 2020, 04:32:44 PM
Not every violation of your character's convenience or outlook should result in the death of that character, especially for trusted/sponsored roles.  Try something else.  Banishment, dismemberment, fining, rumor-mongering, blackmail, there are various types of harassment, anything else.  The list of tools at your disposal is as limited as your creativity.  *glares*

We talk about wanting conflict, but if someone is conflictive with us, it turns pretty rapidly to murder time!!  Even on the smallest violations, all because we're desperate for conflict, then we end up killing the conflict and asking for more when you could've had a -far- more satisfying conflict if you left the PC alive and just accepted the challenge of responding to it in other ways.

Yes, Murder, Corruption, Betrayal, but come on...  Didn't staff already post the stats for character deaths and it was something ridiculous like, 99.5% of player deaths are NOT PK.  So seriously, BACK OFF the PK if you want more conflict and find more interesting ways to ENGAGE instead of ELIMINATE!!
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: Barsook on April 27, 2020, 04:44:04 PM
Where I disagree with you is that I think instead of removing them the game play around these factions needs to be drastically improved so that they are satisfying to play, less isolated and bring actual depth to the game instead of providing he same RPTs dressed differently and basically being a source for little side quests or play executioner to the plebs from time to time.

Good point. You did bring up the recent Luir's plot and how that might affect the power play of the GMH's but that is going to staff led. It will just trickle down to the lowest of the low ranking family members of the GMHs. Maybe it would be nice to allow a trusted player to play a much higher ranked family member like Senior Agent so they can have a say and create meaningful conflict that's staff led. Yes, I'm aware of the glass ceiling problem but I think it would help to have players create the trickle down effect not the staff.

Or maybe only really have the agency and mercantile (A.K.A merchants not crafters) branch playable for all of the GHM's. Or is that a bad idea since it makes it more a niche?
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: Hauwke on April 27, 2020, 05:31:26 PM
If you all think that the GMH or the Byn or the Noble houses have no point other than to learn to play that role, you are clearly doing it wrong.

All of those roles can come with deep, enriching roleplay if you treat them correctly. A merchant is more than someone who crafts, they shape the game world's economy. They shape the equipment used to some degree. It is their place in the world, to sell and shape the world itself. The Byn? Thats there so that people can play a mercenary, it too comes with deep and enriching roleplay if you just step back and stop spamming kick and bash like an idiot and take a moment to enjoy the place. Is it for everyone? No, but it is definately more than 'spar spar spar' the clan.

If no one ever dies or loses, there is never a resolution to conflict. It is a continuation of the same conflict. Don't confuse the two.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: number13 on April 27, 2020, 06:10:11 PM
eh
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: molecricket on April 27, 2020, 06:19:01 PM
That's what people are disputing, Hauwke, whether these deeply entrenched coded clans actually have that kind of impact on the world. I haven't been playing for very long, so I can't really say whether they do or not. But from what I've seen, there really isn't a meaningful scarcity of resources, or overlaps in spheres of influence that could potentially drive conflict. You can say "they shape the game world's economy", and I'm sure that's the intent with these clans, but whether or not that's something they actually do is something that's up for debate. I'm trying to think of two open, active clans that both want a resource that isn't abundant enough for both of them to have it, and I'm drawing a blank.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: Is Friday on April 27, 2020, 06:26:55 PM
That's what people are disputing, Hauwke, whether these deeply entrenched coded clans actually have that kind of impact on the world. I haven't been playing for very long, so I can't really say whether they do or not. But from what I've seen, there really isn't a meaningful scarcity of resources, or overlaps in spheres of influence that could potentially drive conflict. You can say "they shape the game world's economy", and I'm sure that's the intent with these clans, but whether or not that's something they actually do is something that's up for debate. I'm trying to think of two open, active clans that both want a resource that isn't abundant enough for both of them to have it, and I'm drawing a blank.
That is because the traditional competitors have been removed (Tuluk.) Templars don't really have an organic reason to compete because they aspire to different Ministries -- competition is therefore built on personality conflict rather than natural conflict.

There's very little to naturally have conflict about, in the game as it stands.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: Hauwke on April 27, 2020, 06:29:52 PM
That's what people are disputing, Hauwke, whether these deeply entrenched coded clans actually have that kind of impact on the world. I haven't been playing for very long, so I can't really say whether they do or not. But from what I've seen, there really isn't a meaningful scarcity of resources, or overlaps in spheres of influence that could potentially drive conflict. You can say "they shape the game world's economy", and I'm sure that's the intent with these clans, but whether or not that's something they actually do is something that's up for debate. I'm trying to think of two open, active clans that both want a resource that isn't abundant enough for both of them to have it, and I'm drawing a blank.

Indies don't have any impact on the world at all though, none. By virtue of being independant.

By the logic in this thread we all might as well just stop playing. It will resolve the conflict and stop people playing the roles people have an issue with.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: Barsook on April 27, 2020, 06:42:33 PM
That's what people are disputing, Hauwke, whether these deeply entrenched coded clans actually have that kind of impact on the world. I haven't been playing for very long, so I can't really say whether they do or not. But from what I've seen, there really isn't a meaningful scarcity of resources, or overlaps in spheres of influence that could potentially drive conflict. You can say "they shape the game world's economy", and I'm sure that's the intent with these clans, but whether or not that's something they actually do is something that's up for debate. I'm trying to think of two open, active clans that both want a resource that isn't abundant enough for both of them to have it, and I'm drawing a blank.
That is because the traditional competitors have been removed (Tuluk.) Templars don't really have an organic reason to compete because they aspire to different Ministries -- competition is therefore built on personality conflict rather than natural conflict.

There's very little to naturally have conflict about, in the game as it stands.

Maybe it's time to close Allanak and focus on the Outpost as it seems that the recent staff led plot could be something big. But then again, world changing plots shouldn't happen often and they should linger for many RL years. We just need to rethink how things are done.

Or we are just on this part of the hate cycle.

ETA: That didn't make sense, didn't it?
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: Bebop on April 27, 2020, 07:39:58 PM
That's what people are disputing, Hauwke, whether these deeply entrenched coded clans actually have that kind of impact on the world. I haven't been playing for very long, so I can't really say whether they do or not. But from what I've seen, there really isn't a meaningful scarcity of resources, or overlaps in spheres of influence that could potentially drive conflict. You can say "they shape the game world's economy", and I'm sure that's the intent with these clans, but whether or not that's something they actually do is something that's up for debate. I'm trying to think of two open, active clans that both want a resource that isn't abundant enough for both of them to have it, and I'm drawing a blank.
That is because the traditional competitors have been removed (Tuluk.) Templars don't really have an organic reason to compete because they aspire to different Ministries -- competition is therefore built on personality conflict rather than natural conflict.

There's very little to naturally have conflict about, in the game as it stands.

I don't have the attention span at present to read this whole thread but I like a lot of Numbers ideas.

Also this stood out to me, because there's a huge difference between Templars competing with one another which is totally normal, and there being no other city-state to try to bring down so focusing ALL of your frustration at your fellow templars and nobility.  I feel like the game is... bear with me on this analogy...

... a sauce, that has been reduced.  Yes, now it's more concentrated but it's gone from a sweet juice, that's been reduced down so that it's too bitter and the servings get a bit much a bit quickly.  Something has been lost by reducing the game to one city-state.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: Bebop on April 27, 2020, 07:44:57 PM
Also, wanted to specify upon thinking about this further and how this could come across this is not in relation to the recent RPT.  I love that shit is getting smashed up and turned around.  I love that staff are giving us stuff to do during quarantine. This is not about RPTs or any one person or event so much as a discussion on how to improve gameplay and foster PC interaction instead of having gameplay that encourages clan and player isolation and hoarding with no consequence and without needing RPTs to get sections of the game to cross over.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: Barsook on April 27, 2020, 08:21:52 PM
Maybe we need to really focus on player created micro conflicts rather than the macro staff led world changing conflicts? It's something that I noticed playing my current character is I don't really care up to the Luir's plot for the big stuff, just the character development of mine and the impact that my character was creating.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: Bebop on April 27, 2020, 08:54:56 PM
I would add this to my original post but then people might miss it:

Some great examples of social clans that encourage interaction with others:

Encourages Interaction:

The Byn
The Luir's GMH dynamic
Merchants of the GMH
Tribes encouraged to sell and trade

Less Interaction:

Tribes far out and away from others
Magickers, especially gemmed
Southern hierarchy
GMH leaders who no longer need sales

Say what you will about things being "fluffy" in the north but at least there were clans that would take non-humans and encourage interaction between races an those with different socio-economic status.  Nobles didn't just have aides to serve them they were expected to patronize the culture and arts.  This helped them to use commoner PCs to outdo the others.  In some ways they were less subtle with under cutting each other than the south has become.  The non-humans were still relegated to their own Circle but they were allowed to be there.

I'm not saying Tuluk is the perfect example of encouraging player interaction, it wasn't.  There was a reason it didn't seem very "on-theme" at times.

The ironic part to me too, is that we reward players that have a good track record with leadership roles, desert elves or magicker karma... but these roles effectively largely isolate them from a good chunk of the player base.

This is where I'm saying we need to work on building a bridge between the game lore that detracts from playing and interaction.  I have a theory that when there are less opportunities for deeper interaction and conflict, shallow inner conflicts arise where they shouldn't and they do so prolifically.  It makes the pool feel shallow even when it's not because you have players so relegated to their respective niche.

Ultimately, it seems when this happens exceptions to the lore begin to arise with frequency and the meta starts to reward players for isolating, staying out of trouble, keeping to themselves and ultimately NOT creating conflict that keeps things interesting.  Sometimes players evade conflict so strongly that it begins to bend the guidelines set by the lore where their should be prejudices that cease to exist.

Then, it becomes increasingly important for staff to manifest as the game world and render plots as a distraction.

That's where I see an issue.

How can we reward player driven contact and interaction?  How can we change the gameplay to reflect that playability level?
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: number13 on April 27, 2020, 09:10:00 PM
>The ironic part to me too, is that we reward players that have a good track record with leadership roles, desert elves or magicker karma... but these roles effectively largely isolate them from a good chunk of the player base.

That is a fucking great point, that somehow never occurred to me before. Karma takes our best players and dumps them into a cave.

I deleted a long winded post that veered too far off the topic at hand, and just enumerated all the stuff I'd change if I could. The truth is, I'm unlikely to play again, at least in the near future, so it's largely feckless complaining anyway.

As Bebop originally posted, I would be cool if there was a way to reward players for generating 'good' plots. And I wish there was a way to get into the game without having to grind up yet another character for the x100th time in a row. Combining the two ideas, perhaps there should a system where meaningful kudos (both from players and staff) convert into points that can be spent on your next character to give them automatic (and significant) skill bumps, so long as the character is either mundane or touched.

To forestall circle jerks, maybe only staff kudos should apply, but player kudos are taken as a suggestion? I don't know. There could be players who just don't get their fair share of attention. There could be some wildly differing opinions on what constitutes a character that's creating good content for the rest of the player base.

....

Aside from all that, reiterating from my previous post, my continuing, decade-long belief that certain types of non-mundane abilities are bad for plots. In particular, psions, certain types of whirans, and old-school drovians (and new school drovians? I don't know) have often killed my fun, and very rarely provided any content that I would consider interesting.

That's not the fault of the players behind those characters. It's the design of problematic abilities. There's ways to fix it. For example, certain traditionally long range abilities could require that a character is in the same room or an adjacent room. Invisibility could suck a whole lot more -- with a much shorter timer. Stuff like that.

...

And a final (hopefully pertinent) thought, considering how hard it is to find interaction in the game at times, we should be looking at loosening restrictions on certain types of characters interacting with others. Why can't there be elven aides, dwarven militia soldiers, or gemmed Byn mercs? From a game play perspective, only the gemmed taking mundane roles is problematic. That could be fixed with some balance work.

Maybe a trade off of taking a gem is your spells are far weaker, but as a bonus, you get to join mundane Allanaki based organizations?
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: tapas on April 27, 2020, 11:49:36 PM
Removed because, as it turns out, snark and flaming is pretty pointless to a discussion.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: Bebop on April 27, 2020, 11:54:08 PM


Wait what?  Let's be nice to each other please and assume the best intentions.  Let's remember Draugr's post and all that.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: Lizzie on April 27, 2020, 11:58:14 PM
I'm having trouble understanding this perception. Karma players are rewarded by being "dumped" into a cave with their karma options? No one is telling them they should use the options they're given. These are opportunities for them to incorporate into their roleplay, whether they choose to make use of them or not.

If it isolates them, then it's because that's how they've chosen to play the role. I've played mostly social characters. Even when I played a pretty hard-core maxed out ungemmed whiran who never set foot in any city ever, I still had plenty of interaction with other rogue mages. It was absolutely a social game, in addition to being a coded game.

When I played a defiler, the defiler part was hidden. As far as I know, no one in the game actually ever knew my character was a mage at all. And if they did, she lived a long time in social interactions before she was killed off for political reasons, so it appears it didn't have any impact on my roleplay of her.

Indies can form groups, and often do. It's recommended that new players NOT choose to go the indie route, precisely so they have an opportunity to learn the social roleplay aspect of this game's theme and genre. Some players come in and choose to ignore that advice, and get upset when their lack of understanding and attempt to learn, bites them in the butt in short order. It's not that they "have to conform" but rather -they need to know which social conformities they are choosing to go against, so they can make intelligent decisions that will lead them to fun rather than frustration.

Things like - not bowing to a templar AND saying "I don't bow to anyone but my god" when the templar orders them to bow. If the *player* doesn't understand how profoundly wrong that is in the theme of the game, then of course they're going to be upset when the soldier drags them off to jail, and of course they're going to get upset when their character is ganked by the NPCs because he fled away from being subdued. But if they go into this knowingly, and intentionally disrespect a templar, then they can have fun being the renegade, and accept that their character might die, and there won't be any "upset" to get.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: Bebop on April 28, 2020, 12:40:38 AM
I'm having trouble understanding this perception. Karma players are rewarded by being "dumped" into a cave with their karma options? No one is telling them they should use the options they're given. These are opportunities for them to incorporate into their roleplay, whether they choose to make use of them or not.

If it isolates them, then it's because that's how they've chosen to play the role. I've played mostly social characters. Even when I played a pretty hard-core maxed out ungemmed whiran who never set foot in any city ever, I still had plenty of interaction with other rogue mages. It was absolutely a social game, in addition to being a coded game.

When I played a defiler, the defiler part was hidden. As far as I know, no one in the game actually ever knew my character was a mage at all. And if they did, she lived a long time in social interactions before she was killed off for political reasons, so it appears it didn't have any impact on my roleplay of her.

Indies can form groups, and often do. It's recommended that new players NOT choose to go the indie route, precisely so they have an opportunity to learn the social roleplay aspect of this game's theme and genre. Some players come in and choose to ignore that advice, and get upset when their lack of understanding and attempt to learn, bites them in the butt in short order. It's not that they "have to conform" but rather -they need to know which social conformities they are choosing to go against, so they can make intelligent decisions that will lead them to fun rather than frustration.

Things like - not bowing to a templar AND saying "I don't bow to anyone but my god" when the templar orders them to bow. If the *player* doesn't understand how profoundly wrong that is in the theme of the game, then of course they're going to be upset when the soldier drags them off to jail, and of course they're going to get upset when their character is ganked by the NPCs because he fled away from being subdued. But if they go into this knowingly, and intentionally disrespect a templar, then they can have fun being the renegade, and accept that their character might die, and there won't be any "upset" to get.

No one is saying magickers have to go in a cave, or that nobles have to stay in their estates or breeds have to go live on a dung heap (heh, heh.)  What I'm saying is I'd like to see a meta that rewards players for roleplaying, putting themselves out there and I'd like to see more world building that encourages world interaction between clans and player driven friction --- especially since we're down to one city state.

Right now we have a meta that encourages clans to 1) isolate from one another 2) rewards safe play, undermining the prejudice and conflict the game needs to thrive without constant staff involvement.

I'm not saying the game is in an absolutely terrible state.  It's definitely not.  But I do think this is an area we could improve.  I don't want to see less conflict or prejudice, I want to see more of it.  But some how we need a meta that makes those paths cross.  Somehow, and again I don't have all of the answers, I want to see players rewarded for keeping prejudices, starting conflicts but also I want there to be less inherent isolation.

Also, as it happens karma, trusted roles do often inherently have a bit of isolation built into them.  Nobles have social restrictions, as do gemmed, muls, magickers, etc.  Restrictions I think we need to keep.  But as I posted above, the meta is encouraging a low level of risk and high insulation.  I feel like in part the conflict between the two city states would have people seeking out allies on one side of the fence or by sitting on it.  We don't have that now world wide.

With Tuluk around you knew to some degree you had to get out of your hole and start working it because at some point one side was probably coming for the other, and they'd be using the Post in the middle as access to get at each other.  There were a lot more opportunities to bring the game world into the fold.

I feel like I'm repeating myself but it's like how do we keep the prejudice and potential for conflict without creating these niche little worlds withheld from the public at large.  I think with Tuluk gone that's more of an important topic than ever.  I don't want to re-emphasize what I've already posted but yeah.  I'm not sure your response really addresses what I'm talking about here.

How do we reward players for taking risks and fostering interaction between clans and story lines?

This is what I'm saying... if you're playing a gemmed or undesirable and people aren't isolating you to some degree the world is failing you because the docs make it clear about where these groups stand.  But... on the other end of the spectrum, because safe play is increasingly rewarded with longevity, coins and accolades you have people ignoring prejudices so that they don't become a target.  So we have a game world encouraging prejudice but a meta that doesn't do much to encourage that.

To me, that's something wrong with the meta when people can not interact, and can not engage with player driven conflict without death or exclusion that should be reserved for actual undesirables.  It's creating a meta where instead of staff flavoring the game with their plots, PCs are desperately reliant on staff run plots because it's difficult to jump start player created conflict.  Over the past two years I've seen this obstacle again and again.

Tuluk being gone is a huge loss to player run conflict.  Then you take the fact that you've created got a ton of niche groups with their own locations and social norms peppered throughout the game.  Now, with no other city you've made a lot of factions super insular.  When a group has to look internal instead of external for conflict, you're going to get a very shallow story line and people killing each other over petty reasons.  This is going to reinforce the idea that player conflict is unwise if you want to keep your character, and the longevity of characters that take few risks, or don't uphold prejudices further lends itself to the idea that the current meta is play it cool, engage in staff ran plots, just try to get along with everyone.  That is counter to the game lore.

We need factions to better overlay.  We need built in motivations for PCs to engage with the rules that don't involve isolating away from each other and playing it safe.  And part of that playing it safe comes with the pendulum swinging the other way.  Being safe means allowing absolutely NO conflict that would permit any risk.  Meaning, again petty PKs and shallow plots arise over and over because PCs are forced to look inward to their clans or to the same few meager places to get it and have been trained to not tolerate any modicum of threat or insult no matter how petty or small.

I'm by no means saying the game is shit right now, it's not.  I love, love, love some of the changes taking place.  But if Tuluk is gone we need something to take it's place.  Some kind of dynamic, or place or we need it to reopen newer and better than before.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: number13 on April 28, 2020, 01:12:06 AM
You don't need a second city state for conflict. There's Rinth vs Allanak, GMH vs GMH, rebel ginkers vs. everybody.

What you need for conflict is conflicting interests and a means of interaction.  Probably not what you want to hear, but given how low the actual player counts are (players actually playing, versus people just idling on their mortal PCs) we're back to the situation as it was at the dawn of the MUD, where you really had to work super hard to find anyone to even talk to. Expanding out that play area to a second city state compounds that problem.

It's demotivating. I know [place I was last in] is a ghost town with few players. I don't know where (if anywhere) make a character that could actually end up with buddies to hang with and enemies to fight. Where would I go to do that? The fact that I don't know is a problem. A second city state would exacerbate that problem.

The player base needs to be concentrated, not spread out. It could be facilitated by maybe drawing up two warring sides, and telling players, "If you want in on the fun, go to this area and join one of these two factions. If you want to be on the sidelines doing your own thing, be elsewhere."

One of the nice things about the old end of the world plots is I could just type into my background, "Has heard of [big threat] and wants to join in." I mean, it helped that we could hit 90 on peak, so no matter where you were, there were probably going to be some PCs.

Right now, I have no fucking clue where I would go to get in on whatever stuff is maybe (or maybe not) happening. I guess Luirs? The answer, sadly, is going to be 'find out IC', which in 2020, is a pretty weak answer.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: Greve on April 28, 2020, 06:36:27 AM
given how low the actual player counts are (players actually playing, versus people just idling on their mortal PCs) we're back to the situation as it was at the dawn of the MUD, where you really had to work super hard to find anyone to even talk to. Expanding out that play area to a second city state compounds that problem.

While I was never particularly fond of playing in Tuluk and wouldn't go out of my way to campaign for its reopening, I think the situation you describe can be attributed in large part to the city's closing. There are players online, there's just too few who make themselves available for roleplay, as you noted. That was a problem that began when the loss of one of the game's two city-states* took away many of the things that brought people out of their clan compounds and apartments. There's every chance that reopening Tuluk again would reverse this stagnation to some extent. It also might not, of course; but I think it's too simplistic to say that we can't have X because there's Y, even though Y was caused by a lack of X.

*and the subsequent lack of any real follow-up to such a major change

What the game needs is something big and impactful that causes something meaningful to happen, something that lasts instead of petering out again as soon as the fireworks are over. That doesn't need to be a return of Tuluk, but since a lot of the current issues can arguably be traced back to its closure, I think it's an obvious possibility. There are other options as well, but those would probably take a lot more work than something that revolves around game assets that already exist.

It also solves the elephant in the room that is the fact that the entire northern half of the game world is currently a bit pointless. The grasslands, the Grey Forest, the scrublands, the gypsy valley and surrounding mountains, these are some of the most interesting and well-made areas of the whole playing field but currently serve as nothing more than occasional hunting grounds for people who visit for half an hour to kill a few animals and then leave. Without a start location in the top half of Zalanthas (Morin's hardly counts), it's just empty space for the most part.

So yes, if we imagine a world where Tuluk reopens but nobody returns to the game and noone's playstyles change at all, that would have been a bad move. I just don't think that would be the outcome. If it reopens with some fanfare, like a declaration of war, I think it might be the very thing that this game is starved for.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: Harmless on April 28, 2020, 09:24:16 AM
Important discussion thus far has yet to find a crux argument people seem to agree on. We are devolving to our usual foibles like open Tuluk. Don't open Tuluk. Etc.

Oh and if this discussion leads to somehow taking away magickers or nobles or any other isolating role I promise I will quit and never come back. I need isolation to enjoy the game at all because that fits my playstyle.

I think what the key point is that we have a learned helplessness when creating drama. We have a very open world but it feels like every choice of ACTION leads to PREDICTABLE consequences that are generally plot ending.

The question of "I can do this, BUT..." usually discourages.

I can mug them, BUT I will be seen and then later recognized and hunted down, so instead I will kill them. (this problem is addressed in my PvP debate thread that focuses partly on restoring identity hiding abilities to foster conflict

I can get a warehouse BUT then I will become a target for GMH and bribe-demanding templars and be sucked bloodless. (There can be ways to redesign the high barriers to warehouse based indie groups, there might be incentives added to make it worth doing this; they conceivably exist like eventual minor house creation but at such huge cost of time and effort and with no guarantee, no minor goals, no actual tangible benefit in the short term. Just work work work and very deadly competition is gained.)

I can talk to this magicker BUT it will cost me politically and their own role restrictions will prevent them from ever helping me. (Maybe magickers need more freedom to do freelance work. Maybe the stigma needs some relaxing in a way. Maybe the pursuit of magickal power in Nakki culture can be more normal. Oashis do it but they are Oashis so nobody questions them -- but they keep that RP almost fully within Oash. I noticed a few other players trying to gain power via using magickers but I feel like it got discouraged out of happening due to the political backlashes or role restrictions.)

I can sell spice BUT it doesn't do anything good for the users and just creates risk. Again what is the point here? The Guild will hunt you if you are not Guild and if you are Guild your options of what or who to sell to are restricted.


.. i dunno if I am making sense here but what I am trying to say is that people are stopping conflict before it starts based on discouraging factors, depending on what venture we are talking about, which we might be able to change by changing norms of behavior, mechanisms of crime RP or incentives to hard work and lofty goals.

Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: Lizzie on April 28, 2020, 09:32:58 AM
What I'm seeing from some of you is this, in Lizzie-speak:

"I love the game, but I hate everything about it. Let's change the theme, change the code, change the dynamics, ditch the murder corrupt betray, get rid of permadeath, and give roleplay points for roleplay which lets people skillup better."

There are already games that do all of that very well. They don't have as robust a roleplay engine and instead rely mostly on canned socials to interact, and others have little to no combat code at all.

This topic comes around the cycle every so often and the message is the same. This game is what it is, because that's how it was when it attracted a niche group of gamers years ago and made it successful then. It still attracts the same type of niche group, and as such it is the oldest still-running RPI in mud history.

The meta reward for good roleplay and leading fun plots is a better game. You're not looking for meta rewards. You're looking for skillups and shinies and points. That's not the point of Armageddon AT ALL.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: Narf on April 28, 2020, 11:05:41 AM
To the original poster I would like to say I strongly encourage this line of thought, but I think it would be constructive to come up with concrete ideas for individual players to pursue to improve the game world. Large scale code and world changes take a lot of time even if you manage to convince the preponderance of people in charge that they're desirable and worth dumping what they're currently working on to work on instead.

On the other hand a bored player could initiate a change in their behavior or begin a personal addition to the world tomorrow, and if it was seen as desirable by the player base it would likely be imitated and spread without costing efforts elsewhere.

One idea among probably a sea of others: Brainstorm more ways and reasons for conflict to have nonlethal consequences. One way a PC could do this is by starting a for-hire organization that harasses people, but for whatever reason doesn't or doesn't often take contracts to kill. If the organization managed to acquire enough influence to have the powers that be look the other way, and enough people that you couldn't end the harassment just by killing that one guy, it could serve to allow players to lighten up the stakes of a conflict. Obviously you'd have to do some finagling to figure out why your organization doesn't just knife all its problems when that's what everyone else does, but I think any creative storyteller could likely come up with something if they put their mind to it.

In the long run I would like to see some non-lethal consequences coded into the game, but I expect that would be a long time coming. I personally like the idea of making someone a pariah in a certain area, preventing NPC interaction scripts for a time within that area. (No I won't sell you those armguards, no I won't stable your mount, etc...).
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: Brokkr on April 28, 2020, 11:46:49 AM
given how low the actual player counts are (players actually playing, versus people just idling on their mortal PCs) we're back to the situation as it was at the dawn of the MUD, where you really had to work super hard to find anyone to even talk to. Expanding out that play area to a second city state compounds that problem.

While I was never particularly fond of playing in Tuluk and wouldn't go out of my way to campaign for its reopening, I think the situation you describe can be attributed in large part to the city's closing. There are players online, there's just too few who make themselves available for roleplay, as you noted. That was a problem that began when the loss of one of the game's two city-states* took away many of the things that brought people out of their clan compounds and apartments. There's every chance that reopening Tuluk again would reverse this stagnation to some extent. It also might not, of course; but I think it's too simplistic to say that we can't have X because there's Y, even though Y was caused by a lack of X.

*and the subsequent lack of any real follow-up to such a major change

Gone are the days of players being in college computer labs, unable to tab out of their UNIX telnet app, spending 100% of their attention on the game, the entire time they were logged in, except for infrequent trips away from the keyboard for various needs.

Gameplay changed with the adoption of tabbed gaming environments on computers, where you could tell if something was happening in the game with a little flashing tab, but could otherwise be doing something else.

In the last decade another change in gameplay has occurred, with people playing from smartphones.  On inquiry why certain roles were basically AFK all the time in restricted areas, the answer I got multiple times was folks were on their phones.  They wanted to be available in some way, so they log in on a phone somewhere safe, and are basically just there to get psionic messages.

To some extent and most visible with Templars/Nobles/Sponsored GMH, folks not hanging out in public places like Traders Inn waiting for interaction, and thus open to a wide range of interaction types, to a shift of them hanging out in isolated spaces and waiting for psionic contact to initiate interaction, which limits the range of interaction types, can be attributed to gameplay differences due to different real world technology levels.  That is not going to be fixed by opening Tuluk.

My personal theory is that this has knock on affects to how thing play out in the game.  If you are idle a high percentage of time, I would guess you would use PK as a first resort more often, because you are vulnerable often.  If you aren't available for a wide range of interaction types, the creativity and quality of RP interaction suffers.  And so on.

Technology isn't swinging the pendulum back the other way right now, which means it is up to player behavior to do so, which I am sure game theory would predict issues with.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: Barsook on April 28, 2020, 11:51:06 AM
To some extent and most visible with Templars/Nobles/Sponsored GMH, folks not hanging out in public places like Traders Inn waiting for interaction, and thus open to a wide range of interaction types, to a shift of them hanging out in isolated spaces and waiting for psionic contact to initiate interaction, which limits the range of interaction types, can be attributed to gameplay differences due to different real world technology levels.  That is not going to be fixed by opening Tuluk.

Do you think it's how huge the game world is or is it another problem?
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: Brokkr on April 28, 2020, 11:57:51 AM
To some extent and most visible with Templars/Nobles/Sponsored GMH, folks not hanging out in public places like Traders Inn waiting for interaction, and thus open to a wide range of interaction types, to a shift of them hanging out in isolated spaces and waiting for psionic contact to initiate interaction, which limits the range of interaction types, can be attributed to gameplay differences due to different real world technology levels.  That is not going to be fixed by opening Tuluk.

Do you think it's how huge the game world is or is it another problem?

Not sure how you get there from what I said, so not sure I understand the question.  People are going to squirrel themselves away in isolated places if they are only looking at their phone once every fifteen minutes and only spending five minutes out of every hour engaged with the game, for instance.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: Barsook on April 28, 2020, 12:02:23 PM
Good point, times have changed.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: number13 on April 28, 2020, 02:38:00 PM
Oh and if this discussion leads to somehow taking away magickers or nobles or any other isolating role I promise I will quit and never come back. I need isolation to enjoy the game at all because that fits my playstyle.

It's not so much about taking away isolated roles as it is opening up the possibility of interaction between active players.

To a certain extent, it can't be helped. A rebel sorc in a cave can't join the Byn and still be a rebel sorc in a cave. An Oash who idles all day in their estate isn't going to be popping down to the Mantis to slum with elves.

But there's no inherit narrative reason to disallow gemmed elementalists from joining Allanaki based clans. In the narrative, that's practically a flip of a switch -- you just say, "Grand Lord Templar Amos has declared that certain loyal gemmed now have leave to do X, Y, and Z." Speaking to a gemmed character doesn't have to be completely taboo.

There's no great reason to disallow dwarves from joining the militia, or elves even. In the kayfabe, you could just say whatever unit is active in game is the special reserves that are allowed to take in semi-useful garbage people.

Even in the Rinth, those mugger NPCs could be moved off to be deeper in the alleyways, and allow a 'safe' path for PCs to wander to a couple points of interest. (of course, the Rinth would then need some teeth for it's natives to be able to fight back against armored dwarves strolling around killing everything, but that's always been a problem.)

I don't know if those are specifically good ideas. Just saying there's artificial RP barriers set up that maybe could be knocked down a little. These barriers didn't exist at the very dawn of the game, nor did they really exist in the source material.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: Bebop on April 28, 2020, 02:42:59 PM
My personal theory is that this has knock on affects to how thing play out in the game.  If you are idle a high percentage of time, I would guess you would use PK as a first resort more often, because you are vulnerable often.  If you aren't available for a wide range of interaction types, the creativity and quality of RP interaction suffers.  And so on.

Technology isn't swinging the pendulum back the other way right now, which means it is up to player behavior to do so, which I am sure game theory would predict issues with.

I don't think this is a technology issue when you have players and clans self-isolating.  It isn't just sponsored roles either.  The taverns have busy moments through happenstance and arranged RPTs but even the taverns are often bare.

Could this be because nobody feels safe in the taverns where interaction could take place?  The is a gameplay issue effecting playability.  The code makes it so people are afraid to go to places where they can interact.

Merchants that graduate to Crew Leader, Overseer, and Agent suddenly stop interacting on a lot of levels.  They have too much money, they often can buy their way of any disrespect they sling.  This is a game play issue.  There is not a reason for them to interact, and there is a reason for them to break social norms.

The Sun Runners are across the world, they can't come to Allanak because in all likelihood they'll die on the way or die once they get there.  The game world sets interaction up for failure.

You play a gemmed magicker, you can't really make non-gemmed friends easily.  There isn't much for you to do but cast, do work in Oash or turn up for a war.  The gameplay isn't lending itself to playability.

You play a noble.  You have no real objectives other than "do good in your House."  You aren't supposed to interact heavily or obviously with non-humans or other undesirables.  You can easily be murdered if you go out to a tavern to interact with "desirable" commoners because the code lends itself to you getting murdered before it lends itself to you getting to interact.  So let's say you do go out, and you act entitled and above the law.  There's no code to support that.  No one has to be afraid of you.  You RP'd prejudice?  Good job.  Here's the target for your back.

You're playing a Templar.  You have no war to fight with other PCs across the game world.  So now, you're bickering in Allanak with Templars.  But not like mildly, it's kind of all you have to do.  Unless you can scrounge a PVE war with the staff which is involved.  And takes forever.  Otherwise, you (like the nobles) are involved in high school level popularity squabbles that encourage being nice over being your character.

And in all of these cases its up to the players to just come up with reasons to interact a lot of the time.

These are not technology issues. They are areas the gameplay is failing to make the game more playable aka more enjoyable.

If people are isolating the game needs to do something to encourage them to stop.  There's an array of ways to go about this by creating incentives and consequences for those that aren't abiding by lore, aren't getting out to engage, and creating reasons built in that clans have things to do and need to cross paths and get resources from one another by building it into the plot and bridging that gap.

What I am seeing more and more is that characters that isolate, play nice with everyone (surface level or no), hoard resources are the characters that are permitted a place in the game.  Ironically, Allanak is becoming more and more like Tuluk because of this too.  This isn't a one off either, I could list numerous examples where the social norms are subverted and those trying to drive player conflict are shafted.  To me that states the obvious --- this has become the exception not the rule.

What reason would a desert elf have to come to Allanak?  What reason would a non-gemmed have to befriend a gemmed?  What reason does a noble have to do anything?  Templar same question?  To get a title?  And do what with it?  And how.  What's an Agent supposed to do when they become an Agent?  What reason do they have to interact anymore with anyone other than nobility here and there?  To build some stuff?  That's great, but it doesn't always translate into plot.  Why should someone with 100K coins in the bank care if Amos gets his bone sword?  When you peel it back there aren't a lot of clear objectives or enemies.  So everyone just ends up in-fighting, bickering and finding stupid reasons to PK.

There aren't enough reasons in the game for clans to clash, go to each other resources, or care about interacting with one another.  The world needs to build those.  I could easily play a desert elf that never went into a single civilization.  Same with any stalker really.  I could play a merchant or noble who never left my estate.  Right now the game is coddling and encouraging a lack of interaction instead of encouraging cross over and player driven conflicts.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: number13 on April 28, 2020, 02:47:08 PM

Could this be because nobody feels safe in the taverns where interaction could take place?  The is a gameplay issue effecting playability.  The code makes it so people are afraid to go to places where they can interact.

That's almost certainly a problem. Apartments and taverns should be much, much safer for both person and property. I have no idea how to engineer it as such, but the current situation makes both locations almost useless for their intended functions.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: Barsook on April 28, 2020, 02:55:43 PM
Or, at least, in Allanak's case too many taverns/apartments splitting the PC population. But that's for gameplay reasons as it's a setting point not a playability point.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: Narf on April 28, 2020, 02:58:42 PM
As to the tavern thing, I would actually ask people why they don't RP in taverns as much. The majority of us play nobodies who have no reason to worry about being taken out in a tavern. I've been playing nobodies in this game over twenty years and the only time I've ever lost a character in a tavern was because they were actively being pursued by the law before they went into the tavern.

As for others, I've seen more characters die in taverns because they typed "kick" instead of "hit" than I have due to ganking attempts.

I understand it's different for nobility, at least from what I've heard, but most of us don't play nobility so a lack of presence in taverns can't be explained solely by that.

That said, one thing I would like to see is a code change to make it impossible or extremely difficult to shoot arrows/throw knives through places that have tons of VNPCs (such as taverns).
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: Bebop on April 28, 2020, 03:02:23 PM
As to the tavern thing, I would actually ask people why they don't RP in taverns as much. The majority of us play nobodies who have no reason to worry about being taken out in a tavern. I've been playing nobodies in this game over twenty years and the only time I've ever lost a character in a tavern was because they were actively being pursued by the law before they went into the tavern.

As for others, I've seen more characters die in taverns because they typed "kick" instead of "hit" than I have due to ganking attempts.

I understand it's different for nobility, at least from what I've heard, but most of us don't play nobility so a lack of presence in taverns can't be explained solely by that.

That said, one thing I would like to see is a code change to make it impossible or extremely difficult to shoot arrows/throw knives through places that have tons of VNPCs (such as taverns).

It's been a year now so I can talk about this.  My first character when I came back was a rinther.  A rando who I had never met, barely been playing the character a few days tossed throwing knives into the Gaj at a few people.  When my character ran they chased me all around town and almost killed me.  Don't know why.  But I do know my character wasn't safe in the Gaj or Red's and had to run to the gates since there were soldiers there.  Why would anyone sit at the taverns alone and wait for someone to show up when you can easily be killed within seconds and the current meta has devolved into PKing everyone for the most minute reasons possible.

My experience since my return has been pretty consistent with this kind of thing.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: Brytta Léofa on April 28, 2020, 03:18:22 PM
Throw/shoot in populated areas should probably cause a crimflag. (I'm assuming it doesn't at present.)
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: Brokkr on April 28, 2020, 04:50:41 PM
stuff

I'm not saying that it is the only reason, but people absolutely go idle and barely play the game at all in protected spaces.  Lots.  More than lots.  Like with some roles I know with about 90% certainty which room they will be in if one of 5 other characters isn't on, without even looking, lots.  And that contributes to the other stuff.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: Krath on April 28, 2020, 05:04:55 PM
A lot of things I agree with.

What she said. Seriously.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: number13 on April 28, 2020, 05:38:02 PM
I can mug them, BUT I will be seen and then later recognized and hunted down, so instead I will kill them.

There's ways around that. Lots. Believe it or not, bribes actually work. And being picky about your targets. And a few other tricks I can think of.

Think like an elf, and you can plunder a city blind, with few serious repercussions. It's actually too easy.

Quote
I can get a warehouse BUT then I will become a target for GMH and bribe-demanding templars and be sucked bloodless.

Maybe, but that's not the real problem you face. Dealing with GMHs and Templars is actually the fun half of the equation. Warehouses in Allanak are just big apartments, with the same security problems, and you can't even strike a deal with the Guild/whatever garbage elves are around to make it secure, because it's too easy for a criminal to come in from outside Allanak.

Any case, there's other places you set up warehouses, aside from Allanak itself, if don't want to deal with the templars/GMHs.

Quote
The Guild will hunt you if you are not Guild...

Unlikely, and that's actually a problem. The Guild has no teeth, unless staff specifically intervenes or a player has twinked up backstab.

There's absolutely a way to make spice smuggling (sort of) work in game. You just have to fit yourself into the established order of things (that doesn't necessarily mean joining the Guild). Sad to say, but it's a find out IC thing. Make a Rinthi and get to know how things work...even that is probably too much advice.

Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: Bebop on April 28, 2020, 08:44:55 PM
I think the point Harmless is trying to make is that there are numerous dynamics that discourage player driven plots and I tend to agree.  Yes, there are exceptions to every rule.  But I get what they are generally saying.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: Dresan on April 29, 2020, 08:26:24 AM
-There was a time when staff supported player run plots only. This led to absolutely nothing noteworthy to happen in the world. People complained.
-When the staff was actively involved in massive out of this world plots. It felt like we were just by-standards with absolutely no way to shape the world. People complained

Previous experience has shown its a balancing act. And not an easy one. The staff need to be able to enact higher level plots that at the same time help facilitate personal plots and player drama. After the flood, Tuluk was dealing with the Kryl, there was a need for expeditions to cull the nests, or the need for resources to build fortifications and rebuild, it generated a lot of plots.

I think it has been mentioned before that with Tuluk in hibernation it has felt like there is no real threat for Allanak.  This makes some really cool plots seem rather lackluster and feel no different then just a random spider nest.

There have been a few solutions proposed but in general:
1. Allanak is too powerful, the VNPC power ceiling needs to come down to about Red Templar level to allow for allanak surroundings to pose more of a threat.
2. Bring Tuluk back. (Not necessarily open the city, but make it a much more visible source of conflict in the world (eg. bring back a couple tuluk nobles to luirs,etc)

Regardless of what approach is taken, it will allow plots to more easily generate demand and a feeling of threat if a demand is not met. That demand can take many forms as well, either demand for spies, thieves, raiders,crafters hunters and gatherers.

I believe to pretending a demand exists with no real goal or purpose tends to bore players, at least it does me. Take spice for example, without changes to make it more convenient and useful to players demand just feels imaginary at best. Sure, we still RP as if people (VNPCs) want it and such and some PC do buy it from time to time but for me it feels like a job without a real in-game purpose at the moment because we know its not something worthwhile to use.

Some final thoughts:
- I don't think GMHs need hunter/gather groups. Indy groups tend to form naturally when there are support and interesting reasons to do so.
 -I've always believed that Allanak's politics does not support indies or its groups very well. I see some effort being made, and not saying it needs to turn into Tuluk but political world and commoners  might as well exist in different games. The gap needs to close a bit.
- Much more love needs to be given to places such a redstorm and luirs to ensure they are worthwhile havens for people that have conflict in allanak. I also think the environment around Redstorm can be updated (with high magick if required) to better help playing in this area
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: Malken on April 29, 2020, 11:02:01 AM
I thought about giving the game another shot (haven't played in years) but this thread is definitely making me reconsider. Especially the most people are just idling in their private rooms part. Meh.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: Brokkr on April 29, 2020, 11:09:46 AM
Not most, but certainly certain types.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: th3kaiser on April 29, 2020, 11:22:23 AM
Don't let this thread make it so you don't try Malken! You know how the GDB is, just because people are complaining about a thing doesn't mean the game isn't a ton of fun or that they're even remotely correct.

Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: Lizzie on April 29, 2020, 12:19:07 PM
Malken - once in awhile, if I know I can only be logged in for 1/2 hour or an hour, I'll sit in relative isolation and use that time to craft, or use the Way to "catch up" on things with people, deliver messages, receive messages, etc.

And sometimes, if my character's head is filled with people waying her, I'll put her in relative isolation so that *I* can pay attention without constant screen scroll of other people doing stuff.

And sometimes, I might just sit in relative isolation because I want to be available "just in case" but not feeling very sociable that day, as a player.

Most of the time though I'm interacting with folks. I think this is true even of many people who appear to be idle.

And then as Brokkr says - some people (a limited number) spend a lot of their time truly idle. Which, to me, means they're tabbing back and forth a lot and not really paying any attention to the game at all.

I don't see this as a regular thing, or a thing involving all that many players.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: Halcyon on April 29, 2020, 03:08:24 PM
I cant help but see the magicker in a cave, the unsociable northern hunter, and the estate bound noble as the same behavior.  All three have learned that the only way to survive the fellow player is to sometimes avoid them.

I would like to suggest we need more options to make impactful choices to a plot than just killing another pc.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: Bebop on April 29, 2020, 03:33:05 PM
I cant help but see the magicker in a cave, the unsociable northern hunter, and the estate bound noble as the same behavior.  All three have learned that the only way to survive the fellow player is to sometimes avoid them.

I would like to suggest we need more options to make impactful choices to a plot than just killing another pc.

Exactly.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: number13 on April 29, 2020, 03:35:57 PM

2. Bring Tuluk back. (Not necessarily open the city, but make it a much more visible source of conflict in the world (eg. bring back a couple tuluk nobles to luirs,etc)


Luirs as Babylon5 could be interesting. Beyond just GMH and representatives from each side of a Tuluki civil war, there could be a gith ambassador, a mantis ambassador, a couple of leaders representing elven tribes, and maybe even some stranger ambassadors from Arm2.0 cities.

Like there could be a whole minigame where each ambassador/GMH player is given X virtual wealth to play with, including U, V, W resources, and each have goals to accomplish that affect the game world. The Tuluki civil war, for example, could play out virtually, with the results of the war determined by the success of the Tuluki ambassadors at gaining support.

Allanak could suffer some sort of event to make it not so much of the big kid on the block...like the Dragon (or corpse thereof) stirs and defiles the life force of all the black robes, most of the red robes, and a lot of the VNPC and NPC gemmed. You might contrive an Allanaki cold civil war out of that, with the various survivors of the ministries trying to promote their top guy as the new Highlord, and the Guild trying to smash the whole system and assume control for their shadowy controlling families (which is probably House [redacted]).

So the opposing Allanak factions could have ambassadors in Luirs as well, trying to gain support from outside factions.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: BadSkeelz on April 29, 2020, 03:37:36 PM
Gith ambassador, what
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: Dresan on April 29, 2020, 03:38:56 PM
I cant help but see the magicker in a cave, the unsociable northern hunter, and the estate bound noble as the same behavior.  All three have learned that the only way to survive the fellow player is to sometimes avoid them.

I would like to suggest we need more options to make impactful choices to a plot than just killing another pc.

Exactly.

ehhh...I doubt this is the main reason people idle.

It take time, and effort to RP a scene and sometimes you don't have that time or feel like putting that effort.

You have two choices, log out or idle.

I think what you would find is that the alternative to idlers will just be people logging out all together which is an overall loss to the game.

If you want to make an argument too much PKing like in that other pking thread that is fine, but this makes no sense to me. In terms of roles, there are no roles that require you to be anti-social, perhaps keep secrets, but if you play your role geared for open conflict then that its what the player is signing up for...
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: DesertT on April 29, 2020, 03:46:13 PM
I cant help but see the magicker in a cave, the unsociable northern hunter, and the estate bound noble as the same behavior.  All three have learned that the only way to survive the fellow player is to sometimes avoid them.

I would like to suggest we need more options to make impactful choices to a plot than just killing another pc.
Agreed.  Engage conflict instead of Eliminating it.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: Harmless on April 30, 2020, 10:11:23 AM
Minion survivability is important to plot maintenance. If your minions can't survive then you can't move or involve them in plots over the timeframes needed to feel accomplishment.

You have limits to how many minions you can ever gather and playtime mismatch and RL will mean minions get to interact with each other maybe once a week. Every organization feels small and isolated when we are supposedly serving big Houses that feel 90% virtual. The plot focus shines brightly when a single clan or House reaches that critical point of population when fun dynamics set in, like a scheming betrayer or a jerk who antagonizes others in or out of the house or an ambitious sub-leader. If the group never makes it past 3-5 characters then you have more of a family dynamic.

The constant scarcity of players also means there is almost always a heavy slant to hire instead of fire or reject. If a clan sits at 4 minions, 2 of which log in regularly, you will hire almost anyone. This leads to a shift in power balance from employer to employee. Those who RP pickiness about their minions suffer. Advancement in a clan is almost always just a matter of "sticking around long enough." The only clans really where I felt there was competition for promotions are Byn and Arm. Who would be the next First Trooper or Corporal is always a fun subplot. Wish there was more demand for advancement because of feeling crowded in by other bastards to compete with.

So people who die and the limits of reality on our time and limits on how we can coordinate (limited to official clans with GDB communication tools) limit how antagonists (and protagonists and antagonists within typically protagonist groups) can survive and interact and stir.

I base these comments on how much rose tint there is on glasses looking "back" at the "golden age." 10 or so fighters in a combat clan, multiple ranks of aides and servants, a House Kurac that had an active merc division, merchant division and spice agent division. A Byn that functioned truly as a hired army instead of being stuck in personal escort missions. An indie group that had a few indie holdings going on with MCB within the group.

Lately I feel like artificial restraints on what players get to do is a problem. If we are all slotted evenly into our roles they feel fixed and precious. Open up player organizations to be how they want. If a clan got absurdly big like 12 active players then get them some RPTs to thin them out or beef up a major enemy to them, concerned at their growing influence. It'll spur action instead of the status quo of trying to make ends meet (in terms of active group membership).

Also Byn sergeants really need to die less. I find it disrupts a lot of plot progress. I have seen a lot of plots stop happening due to poor Byn availability. Maybe we need to look at how to support our movers and shakers more, both good guys and bad guys.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: triste on April 30, 2020, 11:34:22 AM
I cant help but see the magicker in a cave, the unsociable northern hunter, and the estate bound noble as the same behavior.  All three have learned that the only way to survive the fellow player is to sometimes avoid them.

I would like to suggest we need more options to make impactful choices to a plot than just killing another pc.

Exactly.

People have agreed with this many times, and I just want to echo times people have proposed solutions.

Example: the maiming code Metekillot mentioned wanting before he left. Often roleplayed attempts to maim people in game devolves into combat code, which devolves into death. If we add mechanisms like maiming, public pillories, or literally any non-lethal option beyond combat code, you are going to see more and better roleplayed options besides murder.

I've seen people TRY to roleplay violent punishments non-lethally, and I think 2/3 times I've seen someone have mercy off, "accidentally" kill the person the Sarge told them to merely break the arm of, to which everyone replies some in game variant of "Ooooooops!" Is this good roleplay? Hell no, it is directly contrary to the intent of the scene and often terminates with a collective "Oh well," that hearkens to people's OOC discomfort at the outcome the code -- rather than any well roleplayed reaction. Does this happen a lot? I've seen it maybe 5 times which is intolerably too much IMO. Half of the time it isn't even the player's fault and NPC guards are a factor [adding to the "WTF this is bad roleplay" feeling]. Is a tacky combat-code-PK the roleplay the majority of players wanted in this scene? No. People wouldn't have chosen death, they would have chosen the non-lethal option if it elegantly existed, because it is exactly what the Sarge asked for here from a roleplay perspective. The code is failing people and even when people WANT to provide "more options to make impactful choices to a plot than just killing another pc" I think it is fair to say code limitations are a factor, and multiple people have asked for more options here.

You can always try to negotiate and be creative but at the end what are our coded mechanisms and their common outcomes?
- kill: common outcome is death or someone escaping, AKA plot evasion or plot termination.
- flee: common outcome is someone escaping, plot evasion.
- mercy on: the lovely toggle that can lead to a non-lethal outcome, but not fail safe and often still leads to death [see above].
- subdue: common outcome is someone spam fleeing, which devolves into the kill or flee scenario above
- sap: same as kill
- backstab: same as kill
- throw: same as kill
- bash, charge, any other relevant coded combat skill: same as kill
- use of machines/rooms like the spike pit: same as kill, but with death and plot termination 100% inevitable
- poison: often the same as kill, but I HAVE seen people use peraine to roleplay great scenes such as taking hostages. I have kudosed these players enthusiastically. But most often? Posion/perain has the same result as kill, plot termination and death.
- imprison: essentially incurs a time delay before any of the coded options above
- talking through it: ideal, but any of the options above could be sent in a twitch reaction and throw it all to hell

All but four of more than ten coded options mentioned here, inevitably and by definition, lead to plot termination [death] or plot evasion [fleeing]. These four options are closer to the ideal of "resolving conflict non-lethally," but are very, very frequently interrupted by one of the coded combat options above. We want good roleplay, yet death/evasion is a coded outcome that is far easier to arrive at than non-lethal plot generating outcomes; it can be thought of simply in terms of decision trees and probability. All role-playing games have this problem inherently, which is why Dungeons and Dragons also incorporates gameplay elements like the "Maze" spell just to add variety to combat and plot outcomes. What games like DnD have realized is that this is a technical problem with a technical solution: the solution may be to support more coded outcomes so that people do not continue to funnel into the small handful available. To tie this in with the original poster's concept of gameplay and playability, yes, good gameplay involves playability; indeed, in most cases code defines gameplay and playability, even in an RPI, and while many here agree existing code can stand to be tweaked [see question quoted below as an example], there might also be room to invent, like the maim code Metekillot proposed.

We can all generate ideas on how to adjust the code that defines the boundaries of gameplay and roleplay. For example an idea I sent to staff was to have more objects like public pillories or cages that will expose and humiliate criminals -- a completely non-lethal option that is ONLY conductive to making plots by shaping the reputations of characters. Non-lethal punishments like this are EXTREMELY COMMON in ANY society, human OR primate, because if as a species murder was the most common punishment was death [as it is in Armageddon], we wouldn't really persist as a species at all! Even chimpanzees will often maim members of opposing pods or their own pod, short of murder, because murder is not good for their species. I've examined an older version of the DIKU codebase as well and I don't see anything prohibiting the implementation of something like non-lethal pillories [besides volunteered time spent building features for which I am always thankful]. Societies have invented non-lethal punishments across the board so I see absolutely no argument for why these mechanisms should not exist in Zalanthas; if they exist in a way supported by code, they are also more likely to be leveraged.

Throw/shoot in populated areas should probably cause a crimflag. (I'm assuming it doesn't at present.)

Saw this while skimming. It does trigger crimflag, like any other attack, if you shoot or throw at a human, but not a rat. I agree leveling a crossbow to shoot a rat in the middle of the bar is not ideal roleplay and would get you arrested in any modern society, but I am willing to tolerate it because if shooting rats triggered crimflags we would have approximately 98 dead newbies by now. But this is a good question that gets at the exact point made here, that our options are defined by the code as frustrating as that may be.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: triste on April 30, 2020, 11:46:15 AM
to further elaborate on the throwing and crimflag question, I am not sure what happens if you miss [because I always hit my mark ;)]

But throw in particular often comes up precisely because it does feel like an unbalanced skill, it has the potential to bring people down in one hit, and you inherently have 1-8 positional options with throw (same room, up, down, north, south, east, west, inside/outside) as opposed to only one (same room) with sap or backstab. To have a skill that has more strategic range while also having equivalent DPS/lethality to a skill with less strategic range is of course unbalanced! We all know it, and we have these conversations about tweaking certain skills endlessly.

Again, always feel free to submit your ideas to staff because sometimes they act on it! I would love to see more coded options where the objective is not [as it often is with something like throw or backstab] death.

Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: triste on April 30, 2020, 12:01:41 PM
One more idea, since I am spitballing, is make combat more realistic to add incapacitation. I've seen this come up in the "crawl" code discussion. It is a terrifying and awful topic, but violence in real life is rarely instantly fatal the way we experience it in game. In machete fights, people are often chopped up and left for dead once they've been wounded "enough." These people are often left nearly dead on the ground, sometimes able to speak, sometimes not, sometimes surviving, sometimes not.

We can get really creative with code, and we have models in game, such as poisons that intermittently make you unable to speak. Maybe add a second incapacitation state before complete unconscious death where you can "sort of" talk with a fail check that leads to an echo like "You try to speak but do not have the strength to." Maybe also add a very slow move rate crawl ability too so that you can drag yourself back to town if needed [again this crawl part was previously proposed by players besides me]. This would only enhance gameplay and playability and in no conceivable way harm it because it would still let attackers choose if they want to be merciful or "finish the job."
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: Narf on April 30, 2020, 12:37:36 PM
I cant help but see the magicker in a cave, the unsociable northern hunter, and the estate bound noble as the same behavior.  All three have learned that the only way to survive the fellow player is to sometimes avoid them.

I would like to suggest we need more options to make impactful choices to a plot than just killing another pc.

Exactly.

You can always try to negotiate and be creative but at the end what are our coded mechanisms and their common outcomes?
- kill: common outcome is death or someone escaping, AKA plot evasion or plot termination.
- flee: common outcome is someone escaping, plot evasion.
- mercy on: the lovely toggle that can lead to a non-lethal outcome, but not fail safe and often still leads to death [see above].
- subdue: common outcome is someone spam fleeing, which devolves into the kill or flee scenario above
- sap: same as kill
- backstab: same as kill
- throw: same as kill
- bash, charge, any other relevant coded combat skill: same as kill
- use of machines/rooms like the spike pit: same as kill, but with death and plot termination 100% inevitable
- poison: often the same as kill, but I HAVE seen people use peraine to roleplay great scenes such as taking hostages. I have kudosed these players enthusiastically. But most often? Posion/perain has the same result as kill, plot termination and death.
- imprison: essentially incurs a time delay before any of the coded options above
- talking through it: ideal, but any of the options above could be sent in a twitch reaction and throw it all to hell


I'm 100% for adding more methods of non-lethal conflict, but that said this very much is not a complete list. One of the best means of attacking a player nonlethally that currently exist in the game is to simply take their stuff. Templars, Militia, Burglars, Pickpockets, even warriors with the disarm skill can all use this to inflict consequences on a character without killing them. And if you're not one of those things you can hire one.

I wanted to bring that up not to argue against the need for more codededly nonlethal conflict, but rather the remind people that it exists as a path in game that's very functional for inflicting consequences on an opponent.

There's an old joke that's been floating around for decades: Who's more terrifying than a sorcerer? A pickpocket. It's an exaggeration of course, but if you're in a conflict right now and looking for a way to implement a less lethal solution don't forget about theft/confiscation. It works under the current code and can be very effective at creating conflict that doesn't have an immediate end to itself and all peripheral plots of one of the involved parties.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: triste on April 30, 2020, 12:45:37 PM
I'm 100% for adding more methods of non-lethal conflict, but that said this very much is not a complete list. One of the best means of attacking a player nonlethally that currently exist in the game is to simply take their stuff. Templars, Militia, Burglars, Pickpockets, even warriors with the disarm skill can all use this to inflict consequences on a character without killing them. And if you're not one of those things you can hire one.

I wanted to bring that up not to argue against the need for more codededly nonlethal conflict, but rather the remind people that it exists as a path in game that's very functional for inflicting consequences on an opponent.

There's an old joke that's been floating around for decades: Who's more terrifying than a sorcerer? A pickpocket. It's an exaggeration of course, but if you're in a conflict right now and looking for a way to implement a less lethal solution don't forget about theft/confiscation. It works under the current code and can be very effective at creating conflict that doesn't have an immediate end to itself and all peripheral plots of one of the involved parties.

100% agree with all of this, and kudos to the players who do set up plots like this and use mechanisms like this
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: Dresan on April 30, 2020, 01:01:41 PM
I think what you guys will find is that people are going to begin avoid getting into conflict and generate less meaningful plots because they are afraid that someone will end up dead and then cry about it on the forums.

Guess what if you introduce maiming, exile and other forums of "punishment" it will still lead to people complaining and storing/suicide.

You can't even rob people's apartment or inventories before they begin to complain that the game is filled with pure griefers. This alone can become so bad that even staff begin to investigate whether enough hemote were performed before some virtual coins were swiped. 

The threat of death, betray and corruption is what makes this game fun. Characters are supposed to live for ever, in fact when you make the character most of the time you are just telling a story about how it died.

Instead of preventing people from killing each other by OOC means, i would strongly look at increasing IC consequences for murders and assassinations. Finding justice for socialites and reputable merchants should probably become more of a priority to templars/nobles looking for worthwhile people to continue working for them.

However even this is a slippery path, remember controlled murders was one of the things that made playing in Tuluk sometimes feel quite stagnant.     
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: triste on April 30, 2020, 01:12:14 PM
Instead of preventing people from killing each other by OOC means

Definitely not saying people should be prevented from killing people. Adding more options would not preclude or limit the existing kill-happy options.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: Lizzie on April 30, 2020, 01:19:56 PM
I'm 100% for adding more methods of non-lethal conflict, but that said this very much is not a complete list. One of the best means of attacking a player nonlethally that currently exist in the game is to simply take their stuff. Templars, Militia, Burglars, Pickpockets, even warriors with the disarm skill can all use this to inflict consequences on a character without killing them. And if you're not one of those things you can hire one.


This is only effective if the person you're taking the stuff from cooperates. If a Byn Sergeant tells his runner "give up that dagger, you're on latrine duty for another month for pissing on the Salarr contract AGAIN" and the runner says "but he started it, it's my dagger, I don't wanna, it was a gift, my dog ate it, you're being mean, my feelings, wah..." sometimes you just gotta bash a skull.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: Narf on April 30, 2020, 01:25:31 PM
I think what you guys will find is that people are going to begin avoid getting into conflict and generate less meaningful plots because they are afraid that someone will end up dead and then cry about it on the forums.

Guess what if you introduce maiming, exile and other forums of "punishment" it will still lead to people complaining and storing/suicide.

You can't even rob people's apartment or inventories before they begin to complain that the game is filled with pure griefers. This alone can become so bad that even staff begin to investigate whether enough hemote were performed before some virtual coins were swiped. 


In the last year or two I've encountered people with some very interesting and non-griefy ways of taking my stuff, and I was very much impressed with their technique. I do think there's a difference in people's minds between targeted theft and random pillaging. I'm willing to bet most of the player base is going to be a lot more accepting of having their apartment burglarized if there was a plain and obvious reason why it was burglarized beyond "I wanted the stuff in it."

In short: I think taking/destroying someone's possessions as the result of a spelled out conflict is going to be /much/ better recieved than just random burglary.

Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: Narf on April 30, 2020, 01:30:08 PM
I'm 100% for adding more methods of non-lethal conflict, but that said this very much is not a complete list. One of the best means of attacking a player nonlethally that currently exist in the game is to simply take their stuff. Templars, Militia, Burglars, Pickpockets, even warriors with the disarm skill can all use this to inflict consequences on a character without killing them. And if you're not one of those things you can hire one.


This is only effective if the person you're taking the stuff from cooperates. If a Byn Sergeant tells his runner "give up that dagger, you're on latrine duty for another month for pissing on the Salarr contract AGAIN" and the runner says "but he started it, it's my dagger, I don't wanna, it was a gift, my dog ate it, you're being mean, my feelings, wah..." sometimes you just gotta bash a skull.

Actually you don't "gotta." You could, but you don't have to.

It would be quite easy in that sort of scenario to simply have them knocked out and robbed. And if they resist take far more than the dagger.

I'm not saying this as a mandate, but your claim was that you "gotta" kill them. That claim is factually inaccurate, there are several other avenues you could pursue if you felt the inclination.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: triste on April 30, 2020, 01:33:22 PM
I think what you guys will find is that people are going to begin avoid getting into conflict and generate less meaningful plots because they are afraid that someone will end up dead and then cry about it on the forums.

Guess what if you introduce maiming, exile and other forums of "punishment" it will still lead to people complaining and storing/suicide.

You can't even rob people's apartment or inventories before they begin to complain that the game is filled with pure griefers. This alone can become so bad that even staff begin to investigate whether enough hemote were performed before some virtual coins were swiped. 


In the last year or two I've encountered people with some very interesting and non-griefy ways of taking my stuff, and I was very much impressed with their technique. I do think there's a difference in people's minds between targeted theft and random pillaging. I'm willing to bet most of the player base is going to be a lot more accepting of having their apartment burglarized if there was a plain and obvious reason why it was burglarized beyond "I wanted the stuff in it."

In short: I think taking/destroying someone's possessions as the result of a spelled out conflict is going to be /much/ better recieved than just random burglary.

This gets at exactly why non-lethal conflict is awesome. Since I first played Arma 10 years ago or so, there have been crime syndicates in Allanak and Tuluk who try to make theft more controlled and role-play oriented. FOIC, etc. But it's just like mob protection IRL: pay, or be terrorized. If you're a competing thief that's not cooperating with the protection ring, you might get taken out [lethally or non-lethally] for it.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: number13 on April 30, 2020, 08:09:44 PM
This gets at exactly why non-lethal conflict is awesome. Since I first played Arma 10 years ago or so, there have been crime syndicates in Allanak and Tuluk who try to make theft more controlled and role-play oriented. FOIC, etc. But it's just like mob protection IRL: pay, or be terrorized. If you're a competing thief that's not cooperating with the protection ring, you might get taken out [lethally or non-lethally] for it.

There is absolutely no way for the Guild or garbage Rinthi elves to control theft or murder in Allanak, unless they have a few dedicated players who devote their entire real lives to tracking down random criminals.

It could be fixed, but it would be an ugly fix that more or less closes off the idea of an independent criminal. The game could give a Wanted flag to anyone who does any sort of theft or lock picking in Allanak and associated apartments...unless they have Guild or c-elf tribe membership. And if the perpetrator is not an Allanaki or Rinthi citizen, the Wanted flag is permanent.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: triste on April 30, 2020, 08:27:45 PM
This gets at exactly why non-lethal conflict is awesome. Since I first played Arma 10 years ago or so, there have been crime syndicates in Allanak and Tuluk who try to make theft more controlled and role-play oriented. FOIC, etc. But it's just like mob protection IRL: pay, or be terrorized. If you're a competing thief that's not cooperating with the protection ring, you might get taken out [lethally or non-lethally] for it.

There is absolutely no way for the Guild or garbage Rinthi elves to control theft or murder in Allanak, unless they have a few dedicated players who devote their entire real lives to tracking down random criminals.

It could be fixed, but it would be an ugly fix that more or less closes off the idea of an independent criminal. Yhe game could give a Wanted flag to anyone who does any sort of theft or lockpicking in Allanak and associated apartments...unless they have Guild or c-elf tribe membership. And if the perpetrator is not an Allanaki or Rinthi citizen, the Wanted flag is permanent.

You have a good point here about triggering crimflags for burglary and I always thought it odd it never happens under any circumstance. We'd of course want exceptions to this for Militia as they sometimes need to break into apartments for justified reasons and also will use lockpicks at times.

Also, it's a bit FOIC, but it's not only the guild enforcing protection rings usually, collusion is often healthy and required to enforce things like this in game and I have seen it done effectively more than once.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: number13 on April 30, 2020, 08:45:20 PM
Militia (beyond the first starter rank) won't get crimeflagged to begin with, for any reason, afiak.

> collusion is often healthy

There's two philosophies of thought on that. I've gone down the robe pet route, and tattled out competitors. I've gone down the "never speak to templars ever, unless it's to tell them to fuck off" route. Option #2 is a lot more fun. Option #1 is a lot more effective.

In either case, in order to really figure out who is stealing what, you have to be around 24/7 watching out. It's not possible for a player to do this, so the code should take over.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: BadSkeelz on April 30, 2020, 08:53:22 PM
Militia PCs can get themselves crimflagged, or at least draw aggro from fellow soldier PCs in unusual and difficult to replicate circumstances.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: Dresan on April 30, 2020, 09:53:48 PM
First lets state one fact: Murders and assassination for absolutely no reasons are rare. Accidents happen in the game and the staff do something about people pking just for kill count.

Assuming the above is true then lets say every time someone with social status is killed in allanak, then all those involved(with the killing, not the people paying for it) would eventually get perma-crim'd in Allanak and  even large bounty on their sdesc and name placed on them for all time.  Social status basically means works for noble or Templar, or in cases of merchant be associated with one of them while i good standing.

ICly it would be assumed Templars investigated using all sorts of neat and perhaps magickal means to identify the cause and then ensures justice is served.

I am not suggesting the above would stop squishy socialites and merchants from being murdered,that is not the intent, but clearly if they were killed in allanak then OOCly even if they don't know the IC reason they know someone is paying a large OOC price to murder them.  Further more they know their death is bringing about more game play even if its for the buff bounty hunters.

I have suggested this because a buff hunter getting killed by arrows is well part of the risk he took when leaving the walls. Everyone knows that other places require people to be tougher and be able to defend themselves. But merchants and socialites in allanak at least should be afforded more protection based on their RP.

Basically I'm more pro IC enforcing harsher consequences, rather than OOCly trying to motivate people to be less ruthless whenever the heck they feel they can be.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: number13 on May 01, 2020, 12:58:36 AM
^this. Murder should be an automatic permaflag and bounty, unless pardoned by a templar.

Except! The Guild should have free reign to murder, and only get a traditional temp flag. The kayfabe reason for it is, there are NPC templars that on the Guild's payroll, and they eventually get around to pardoning Guild members.

This has a few beneficial side effects:

1: The Guild becomes the premier criminal organization in Allanak, as it should be, enforced by a coded truth.

2: People who are afraid they might be assassinated can pay up to the Guild for protection. That protection can be betrayed if the contract buyer can twist the Guild PCs' arms. Good opportunities for meaningful rp and conflict.

3: There's an IC exit hatch for killer PCs who are doing too much wet work. The Guild can just say they are too hot and disassociate themselves from the assassin. They get a perma-Wanted flag. Or they get splattered, if their targets were extra heavy (like a templar or templar's most favorite pet).

Adding an autoflag for successful pickpocking and lockpicking attempts (by non-Guild members) in 'Nak has similar benefits.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: Lotion on May 01, 2020, 05:39:45 AM
i hate rinthy elves ahahaha, let's take away a LOT of fun things they can do southside
Seems like a bit much tbh
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: number13 on May 01, 2020, 02:16:43 PM
i hate rinthy elves ahahaha, let's take away a LOT of fun things they can do southside
Seems like a bit much tbh

Personally, I think staff should either 1) open/promote a c-elf clan, which would have the same super power of avoiding the perma-Wanted flag or 2) allow c-elves into the Guild, in some capacity.

The problem with c-elves is once they are in a tribe, it's hard to justify kicking them. Whereas the Guild could police itself.

I'm far more worried about outsiders or completely unaffiliated characters coming in and doing criminal stuff in Allanak. It makes it impossible to have certain interactions be meaningful. You can't pay for protection for your apartment/your pockets/your life and expect that payment to have any real effect, since a criminal can easily operate outside of the Rinthi power structures.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: Dresan on May 01, 2020, 03:31:37 PM
My idea is literally geared towards a very specific type of character that should actually be 'worthy' of receiving some justice.

If some grebber dies in their apartment, no one should care. Similarly no one should care about petty crime for the most part (unless someone steel ring gets swiped or something)

If someone who works for a noble, is fucking a templar and is a reputable merchant to society is murdered then it should warrant an investigation with some more severe IC and very loudly broadcasted consequences.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: Heade on May 01, 2020, 04:39:29 PM
Instead of using existing crimflags for non-guild thieves that rob apartments, maybe use an alternate type of crimflag that just crimflags them to guild NPCs. Then, add some guild enforcer NPCs in the rinth, rooftops, and other shady areas that generally patrol around hidden looking for people who have been identified as messing with guild business.

Different apartments in different areas could report witnessed breakins to different organizations. Higher end apartments might get you crim flagged with the arm, while lower end apartments might get you crim flagged with the guild. Others might be both. I think it'd be cool if the description of the room and area immediately around it mattered. If you break into an apartment from a high-traffic, high visibility area, or if it is easy for people outside to see into the apartment through open windows or something, being observed and thus crim flagged would be more likely. It would encourage people to read all of the descriptions for areas a bit more closely, and make the world feel a bit more alive.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: Dresan on May 01, 2020, 04:58:11 PM
I can live with 'VNPC'  way to help certain guilds and organization to better enforce protection money.

Though there are two conditions:

1. Protection money must have been paid
2. The victim must have reported it before its looked into.

Thus if the person has 100 hides and someone broke in to steal 1 hide, then there is a chance the victim wouldn't even notice and report it to whomever he is paying to protect their virtual goods.

Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: number13 on May 01, 2020, 05:58:01 PM
There's no easy way for code to figure out how much value you took, or if you're authorized to be in the apartment even.

But lockpicking is concrete, clearly shady event.

Maybe it could be like a message pops up, "[You have done X. It's possible you were noticed. The militia might be notified via the Way.]

Then, after a random delay, there's a random chance that a VNPC witness informs a VNPC templar/guard. The chance could be based on the room in which the crime occurred. If you break into a fancy apartment complex meant for merchants and/or aides, then the alarm could be almost certain (like 90%), and occur pretty quickly, and any online PC templars get informed as well.

If it's a shitty low cost apartment, the alarm chance might be only 20%, and only occur after several minutes have past (if at all).

Same with pickpocketing. On the streets, at night, the chance is close to 0%. In shitty tavern, the chance might be 40% with a few minutes of lead time. In a fancy tavern, the chance could be 90% and happen within a single minute, with an additional broadcast to PC templars.

For attacking someone in an apartment, the chance of notification is nigh certain, with a lead time based on the location. To handle sparring, there could be some safe sparring rooms added to the game.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: Blur on May 01, 2020, 06:09:24 PM
Not sure all this needs to be coded but that is just me.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: Lotion on May 01, 2020, 06:59:50 PM
The problem with c-elves is once they are in a tribe, it's hard to justify kicking them. Whereas the Guild could police itself.
If a member of a tribe is acting in their own self interest at the detriment to the tribe then the tribe would "police itself" much in the same way The Guild does
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: mansa on May 01, 2020, 10:25:42 PM
I don't think Playability and Gameplay are .. well..  defined enough to my likeness.

Quote
What parts of the game can we use the plot to reconcile the game world, using the plot to benefit playability?

I personally see areas in the world where there is a gap between gameplay (world, lore, setting, character structure) vs playability (how easy it is to play and enjoy the game.)  This manifests in a few ways.  Lack of interaction between pcs, this creates a reliance on staff to react as the game world.  The game world does not reflect the experiences of PCs, creating a lack of satisfaction and disassociation.

The karma docs encourage good game play but sometimes the game world punishes good, engrossing interaction and play.

I am asking the players - where do you see these gaps?  How can we bridge them to create a more satisfying game experience?


Let me reiterate if I understand it correctly.  Why do I enjoy ArmageddonMUD, if the gameplay often hampers my full enjoyment?  Is that right?


Quote
But how do we stop PCs and clans from just isolating and hoarding wealth and information in their respective Estates, tribes and Temples and get them out there clashing on micro and macro scale without constantly needing the staff to intervene and shake up the world like kicking over an anthill.

If we constantly need staff ran RPTs and HRPTs to get the world to come together, spend coin, tear down shit and interact there's a problem with the meta.  Those things are fun on occasion but we need gameplay that encourages good playability - meaning deep interactions instead of isolation.

And....   How do we get other players to play together?

Quote
... people absolutely go idle and barely play the game at all in protected spaces.  Lots.  More than lots.  Like with some roles I know with about 90% certainty which room they will be in if one of 5 other characters isn't on, without even looking, lots.  And that contributes to the other stuff.

Why do players stay in protected spaces?  I assume it's because they can be killed very easily, and it's one of the more popular gameplay aspects, as 'injury' requires staff intervention.  That goes down the conversation about different coded abilities of conflict.


Quote
I think what the key point is that we have a learned helplessness when creating drama. We have a very open world but it feels like every choice of ACTION leads to PREDICTABLE consequences that are generally plot ending.
Quote
We can all generate ideas on how to adjust the code that defines the boundaries of gameplay and roleplay.

One thing that I feel the culture of ArmageddonMUD is missing is the published stories of what is possible.  I feel we are missing out on sharing some of the storylines that we've have experienced, and I feel that if we shared some of the adventures in a polished format, players will be able to know what is possible out there. 

In my opinion, our website could use a fresh update, allowing some of the community aspects to be front and center of what the game can do for you.  I think players have a lack of options because they just don't know what's possible.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: Barsook on May 01, 2020, 10:31:02 PM
One thing that I feel the culture of ArmageddonMUD is missing is the published stories of what is possible.  I feel we are missing out on sharing some of the storylines that we've have experienced, and I feel that if we shared some of the adventures in a polished format, players will be able to know what is possible out there. 

In my opinion, our website could use a fresh update, allowing some of the community aspects to be front and center of what the game can do for you.  I think players have a lack of options because they just don't know what's possible.

Well said. As I already said, in another thread, the history and stories from a Kings Age feels lost.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: NinjaFruitSalad on May 02, 2020, 10:24:11 AM
Unfortunately, there's this thing about not being able to post about a character or events until a RL year has passed. And by then, who has the motivation to write something? Let alone remember all the details.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: RogueGunslinger on May 03, 2020, 04:12:33 AM
It seems to me that people isolate and avoid interaction to avoid death. When did everyone become so afraid of death in this game? I think everyone who liked playing multiple characters and getting into crazy scenarios with the risk of sudden death burned out on that. And everyone else left over are just the hardcore players who have only had 5 characters across 15 years of playtime.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: Harmless on May 03, 2020, 09:13:28 AM
Instead of using existing crimflags for non-guild thieves that rob apartments, maybe use an alternate type of crimflag that just crimflags them to guild NPCs. Then, add some guild enforcer NPCs in the rinth, rooftops, and other shady areas that generally patrol around hidden looking for people who have been identified as messing with guild business.


I like this idea, not sure how the subtleties can be coded but the idea of it is great. It might get me to play a burglar type again, after being so bored with the idea of them for many years.

It seems to me that people isolate and avoid interaction to avoid death. When did everyone become so afraid of death in this game? I think everyone who liked playing multiple characters and getting into crazy scenarios with the risk of sudden death burned out on that. And everyone else left over are just the hardcore players who have only had 5 characters across 15 years of playtime.

If I am not constantly staring at the screen I die because my character needs me as a player to be there to control their actions to be realistic. I have asked for things like automatic fleeing, a more complex engagement system besides >kill being an instantaneous act and such to help players who just can't maintain constant vigilance over a text based game. If you want players like that in game at all, either accept that they are going to join clans to hide in while they are less than fully attentive or just accept that they're not going to play a game where one moment of idleness lands them the permanent loss of their character and their story.

I isolate to CONTINUE interaction, yes, and in doing so prevent an unsatisfying death.

I guess what I am saying is I agree with you, RGS, it is bad to isolate all day. But the code doesn't allow me, as a player who the community has labeled "casual" over these habits, to do much else and still tell the story. If I don't mind a story coming to an abrupt halt then I relax those habits, but since my characters' stories are almost always soon entwined with that of others I do as I do.

My pvp gripe threads address the 'whys' in isolating behavior more with codeable solutions.

Finally please note that just because I do this idling doesn't mean I don't RP and get PKed. In fact I can happily report the majority of my deaths over the last two RL years were to PK. When I get PKed I consider that a sort of "win" as it usually builds on the plotlines going around more than NPC death or storage.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: Riev on May 04, 2020, 09:54:13 AM
It seems to me that people isolate and avoid interaction to avoid death. When did everyone become so afraid of death in this game? I think everyone who liked playing multiple characters and getting into crazy scenarios with the risk of sudden death burned out on that. And everyone else left over are just the hardcore players who have only had 5 characters across 15 years of playtime.

Overall culture changed when some people were told (or are of the idea) that plots will not be given the support they need from staff, unless the PC in question is "established". It matters less what you've done in your first month of play, and more that "You need to be around longer before staff puts forth the effort to assist with that".

I am of that idea, because I have seen it, in writing, from a staff who said "It does not matter what you've done, you need to be around, as a PC, for longer than you have been. We don't know if you'll die in the middle of the plot".

So now it is less that I need to be codedly capable of handling the combat, but I need to be a staple in the PC community before staff will assist me. Is that true? Not 100%, some staff will help you right out of chargen. But it powers my desire to not interact with people who may want to kill me until I am at a point where staff might notice me, senpai.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: triste on May 04, 2020, 10:39:56 AM
It seems to me that people isolate and avoid interaction to avoid death. When did everyone become so afraid of death in this game? I think everyone who liked playing multiple characters and getting into crazy scenarios with the risk of sudden death burned out on that. And everyone else left over are just the hardcore players who have only had 5 characters across 15 years of playtime.

Overall culture changed when some people were told (or are of the idea) that plots will not be given the support they need from staff, unless the PC in question is "established". It matters less what you've done in your first month of play, and more that "You need to be around longer before staff puts forth the effort to assist with that".

I am of that idea, because I have seen it, in writing, from a staff who said "It does not matter what you've done, you need to be around, as a PC, for longer than you have been. We don't know if you'll die in the middle of the plot".

So now it is less that I need to be codedly capable of handling the combat, but I need to be a staple in the PC community before staff will assist me. Is that true? Not 100%, some staff will help you right out of chargen. But it powers my desire to not interact with people who may want to kill me until I am at a point where staff might notice me, senpai.

"Is that true? Not 100%"

Yeah I just want to echo this isn't 100% the case and it hasn't been true for me. Ironically my longest lived characters seem to get stonewalled plot wise the most, and the only character I've had who permanently changed the game world was only in play 1 IRL week.

To speak to how this character managed to change things with just one week of play -- she was just in the right place at the right time and was able to fill a niche. In the end, I genuinely believe that staff want to support plots that "make sense," and given their limited volunteer time available to do things like NPC animations they probably consider other factors such as the number of players who will be influenced by or benefit from a plot, etc. In this case only being in play a few IRL days didn't prohibit my involvement because all the other pieces were there (the plot made sense and tied in well to a larger plot, it involved a number of other players, etc).

Therefore:
- being "long lived" is a function that often results in being "established" and "mattering more"
- being "established" is a function often resulting in more people being involved in your plots, AKA "successful plots" involving lots of people.
- However, "successful plots" involving lots of people are not only achieved by longevity and being established per example above.

At the end of the day I am a little concerned that we all are getting too hung up on the "right way" to play which is why I am glad Riev brought up this point and framed it that way. More experienced players often have internalized rules like "You need to be around longer before staff puts forth the effort to assist with that," but where do these rules come from? Nowhere, they aren't actual rules.

Last note is I do not think it is a coincidence that two of the most successful Byn Sergeants I've known in game were actually played by new players who didn't really have the mechanics mastered at the time. They probably didn't have internalized and not-always-true notions like "You need to be around longer before staff puts forth the effort to assist with that," and when you think about it there isn't really any utility to having a mindset like this. Per OP, focusing more on story telling and how to tell good stories should be our goal.

Last note is, to be fully transparent, that longevity IS a criteria for sponsored roles, I have been consistently denied roles recently for this reason. After getting this feedback, I admit my thought process was "time to play a boring, risk averse character!" So it's funny to get a critique about longevity from staff [especially as someone who often plays villains], and then to come here and see players say "actually, boring risk averse characters suck, here is a whole thread about it." At the end of the day we have no clear guidelines around getting leadership roles, we have no clear guidelines getting plot support, etc, leading to multiple mega-threads on the GDB and Discord about it. Currently the only way to get clarification on criteria for plots and roles is to submit a request: when in doubt, submit a request, you have maybe a 20% chance of your plot coming true or getting that role you always wanted; the odds of getting staff support here aren't terrible compared to basically any other application process IRL.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: Lizzie on May 04, 2020, 04:21:51 PM
You don't have to be risk-averse, to have a long-lived character. I don't know where this comes from. Most of my characters have taken some pretty serious risks, and lived to tell about it. But, if by "risk" you mean "playing an asshole whose purpose in life is to piss people off" - then yeah I definitely try to avoid playing that kind of character. If by "risk" you mean "playing an idiot who spends all their starting coins on a silt skimmer and sails off hoping to find fame and fortune without a game-plan" then sure - I avoid those kinds of risks too.

You don't have to play the snowflake, in order to play an interesting, interested character who gets involved in plotlines and lives through them. The staff needs to know that a sponsored role applicant is CAPABLE of having their sponsored role last awhile. The best way to measure their capability, is to look at their past. If they've had a couple of long-lived characters in the past that actually got involved in things, then that player is going to get a closer look. If your longest-lived character was a RL month and only because you were on a cruise ship for 2 weeks and couldn't play, then probably not so much.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: triste on May 04, 2020, 04:38:17 PM
You don't have to be risk-averse, to have a long-lived character. I don't know where this comes from. Most of my characters have taken some pretty serious risks, and lived to tell about it. But, if by "risk" you mean "playing an asshole whose purpose in life is to piss people off" - then yeah I definitely try to avoid playing that kind of character. If by "risk" you mean "playing an idiot who spends all their starting coins on a silt skimmer and sails off hoping to find fame and fortune without a game-plan" then sure - I avoid those kinds of risks too.

You don't have to play the snowflake, in order to play an interesting, interested character who gets involved in plotlines and lives through them. The staff needs to know that a sponsored role applicant is CAPABLE of having their sponsored role last awhile. The best way to measure their capability, is to look at their past. If they've had a couple of long-lived characters in the past that actually got involved in things, then that player is going to get a closer look. If your longest-lived character was a RL month and only because you were on a cruise ship for 2 weeks and couldn't play, then probably not so much.

I don't think accusations of "snowflake," "asshole," characters played by people riding cruise ships pertains to anyone who's posted in this thread.

At the end of the day what matters is engaging stories and plot lines. Proscriptions of "how to roleplay" often aren't helpful at all. Again I've seen brand new players rise to leadership positions and do better than veterans sponsored to do the same role because at the end of the day we care about good stories and good story telling. Good roleplay is our primary metric for karma accrual, etc. Longevity is one of those metrics, but there are many. And even given the existence of these metrics, they should not (ideally, per OP) shape or limit story telling, because storytelling and RP are our main goal here. If laws and proscriptions defined the creative process more generally, we wouldn't have the novels we have today; same applies here.

The beauty of Armageddon is the limited subset of rules and policies, and the creative flexibility surrounding that.

I dread to think players might ever think "Oh, I shouldn't do this thing even if it is completely in character because I want this character to survive for OOC reasons like karma accrual." Focusing on the plot and characters ultimately leads to a more meaningful experience for all involved.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: Is Friday on May 04, 2020, 04:42:45 PM
I've been turned down for sponsored roles before because I was considered to be "high burn out". Meaning that my leader PCs burn brightly for 3-6 RL months before either self-destructing or getting ganged up on and made dead.

But then they accepted someone who died within a RL month instead of me so I chuckled about the irony.

Overall, though -- I've played a lot of leaders. I'm pretty sure simply because I apply a lot, so by virtue of probability.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: BadSkeelz on May 04, 2020, 05:32:25 PM
#1 criteria for sponsored roles is playtimes anyway. Staff don't care how good or bad you are, so long as you're online consistently.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: triste on May 04, 2020, 06:29:10 PM
Overall, though -- I've played a lot of leaders. I'm pretty sure simply because I apply a lot, so by virtue of probability.

And frankly this mindset and interpretation is better than a lot of interpretations of what "one must do" to succeed with whatever role or plotline you are going for.

My friends/family/colleagues all make fun of me for being an "overachiever," and people who like to achieve generally like clear parameters for success. However after trying to get these parameters it became clear they are not strictly defined for a reason. An applicant known "burn out" like you mention here might still be the best pick in a set of applicants. Therefore shaping your roleplay to satisfy imagined criteria might just mean shooting yourself in the foot.

We are here to have fun and the only way to "win" is to help create good stories. I would rather see a variety of character concepts rather than a limited set of cautious concepts. Focus on the roleplay, not OOC concerns like "But if my rogue gick stops being iso people will sniff her out and kill her!" Yes, they probably will, but if your gick is also a humanoid and maybe she can't sit in that cave all the time and she needs to leave the cave to get some sunlight and some god damned vitamin D. It is like the phenomenon of people carrying 10 logs to maximize their encumberance for sweet skill gainz; staff saw this and adjusted the code. But the awesome thing is code adjustments aren't even necessary in some cases, you can just... focus on good RP and storytelling instead!

#1 criteria for sponsored roles is playtimes anyway. Staff don't care how good or bad you are, so long as you're online consistently.

And again even this varies, as some role calls mention off peak or lower playtimes are OK, etc.

I have told a few new players this but: have fun, focus on building fun plots with fun people; karma, roles, and all that crap will come as a side effect.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: NinjaFruitSalad on May 04, 2020, 10:19:22 PM
You don't have to be risk-averse, to have a long-lived character. I don't know where this comes from. Most of my characters have taken some pretty serious risks, and lived to tell about it.

But by definition, if your characters have taken some pretty serious risks, then clearly, you have had some pretty extraordinarily good luck befall you ..  or, those risks might not be so dire as you make them out to be. In any case, this just sounds like anecdotal evidence.

---

Actually, there's been a lot of anecdotal evidence around discussions in the GDB. These aren't valid arguments. Just because you happened to be lucky enough to have X happen to you, or pull something off, that hardly matters when the vast majority of people have experienced something different.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: Lizzie on May 04, 2020, 10:56:00 PM
You don't have to be risk-averse, to have a long-lived character. I don't know where this comes from. Most of my characters have taken some pretty serious risks, and lived to tell about it.

But by definition, if your characters have taken some pretty serious risks, then clearly, you have had some pretty extraordinarily good luck befall you ..  or, those risks might not be so dire as you make them out to be. In any case, this just sounds like anecdotal evidence.

---

Actually, there's been a lot of anecdotal evidence around discussions in the GDB. These aren't valid arguments. Just because you happened to be lucky enough to have X happen to you, or pull something off, that hardly matters when the vast majority of people have experienced something different.

But when someone says "you have to" X "in order to achieve" Z and at least one person has experienced something contrary to that statement, then the statement ceases to be true. You don't "have" do do that, in order to achieve this.

Extreme risks: I played a Red Fang for over 6 RL months. It doesn't get much riskier than that. I played an ungemmed rukkian who was found out by the Red Fangs (before I ever played one), and ended up allied with them instead of being killed by them. I played an ungemmed whiran who was discovered by not one, but TWO defilers - and not only lived to tell about it, but ended up getting sucked up into some amazing adventures, lost her affinity to Whira, got the spells back but had to gather in order to use them, and STILL lived (until I landed one day in front of a spider den because I miscalculated). I've also played dozens of political roles, and just playing those roles are risky, by definition.

Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: Lotion on May 05, 2020, 01:49:17 AM
people are extraordinarily lucky
I have definitely survived some things I definitely shouldn't have on one character because something impossible happened. If a small miracle can enrich the story told by a PC's life I think it's a case of one of those million to one things that will happen every single time.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: Shabago on May 05, 2020, 10:38:22 AM
Pretty cool thread, all and all. I'm game to jump in for a bit more staff perspective ala OP request. - Good a place as any to start:

Quote
This is my biggest point, and I know this post was a bit long.

But how do we stop PCs and clans from just isolating and hoarding wealth and information in their respective Estates, tribes and Temples and get them out there clashing on micro and macro scale without constantly needing the staff to intervene and shake up the world like kicking over an anthill.

If we constantly need staff ran RPTs and HRPTs to get the world to come together, spend coin, tear down shit and interact there's a problem with the meta.  Those things are fun on occasion but we need gameplay that encourages good playability - meaning deep interactions instead of isolation.

We shouldn't constantly rely on staff to know how the population at large is reacting, we should see that reflected more predominantly visible through the play of the PCs.

Well, on the most basic of levels - you can't. You can't make someone 'share', because it ties right back into the 'Want to win' mindset. If X PC knows about Y and no one else does, they have power. They like power. It makes them feel important or superior. As staff, we get a choice. We can either make that information leak in some fashion, if ICly sensible (VNPCs overhearing/seeing) or we can hope the PC in question goes about sharing in one way or another to include more people in the story.

Sometimes, staff bleeding said information results in blowback. Why? Because said PC was 'Planning to use said information for Y' or 'We've taken away some of their influence' or a stack of other reasons. Sometimes, PCs attempting to share said information gets them killed/end of story or sometimes it's not spread 'fast enough' to the liking of other players, etc etc. Days end, it really won't matter which option is picked on this level, as someone isn't going to be happy.

The onus, once things get to a point in whatever plot or story line, 9/10 will fall on staff by way of RPTs/HRPTs when it involves things over and above the 'Daily drama' of any PC against another imo. Example;

= House Oash has come across a powerful artifact that has the ability to negate the powers/kill a Red Robe. Only one PC knows about it/found it/wants to use it.

- At this stage, staff can't or shouldn't do anything. Leave the player time to form their plot/plan/story.

= Said PC has actively begun to tinker with said object and is likely half-way down the path to using it.

- At this stage, the PC should've let something leak. They have another PC (or three) that were brought in for their experience/knowledge on said item to help (or hinder). If not, this is where staff generally need to step in. Where was/is the item stored? Did a guard see and whisper to another Noble/Aide? Does the thing radiate some sort of magickal power that a Templar may detect? Does it make people sick to be around? Something that would feasibly cause the thing to be known beyond 1 single PC.

= Said PC is about to use said item.

- At this stage, there has been time for 3-4 wagging tongues to whisper to their best-pals/concubines/aides and now 10 to 15 players know that something is up. If not, at this point staff need to start further spreading some sort of realistic push-back, while supporting said plot. Chances to be caught/discovered, that VNPC has now told his cousin over a bottle of Brown and that cousin works for a Templar who comes sniffing about. Rumor post, perhaps, to further show the ripple affect of said whispers. - Same outcome of various PCs 'in the know'.

= Item is used/prevented from being used by player agency.

If used - Staff assisted RPT. If not used/prevented by other players - Losing is still a story and a bunch of players had a blast along the way.

Quote
I also see a symptom that something is wrong when players who follow the documentation are punished when they actually enter the game and the game itself is not reflective of the documentation resulting in everyone constantly turning a blind eye to player after player engaging with the exception instead of the rule.

If people are getting flak for following the documentation, that should absolutely be reported to staff so it can be addressed.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: Shabago on May 05, 2020, 10:56:18 AM
Quote
If you don't have a place in the game for "zesty" characters then you have a game that treats these characters as little road bumps on the journey and you become reliant on staff for creating the larger conflict potentially.  And I don't just mean characters that say... kill your buddy, so now you want revenge.  I'm talking about characters that aren't interested in doing something as simple as not being nice to everyone since the docs states there should be clear bias and prejudice.

If every character that isn't buddy buddy with everyone is shunned or killed, you're creating a meta where everyone has to get along (aka ignore the docs that call for clear prejudices) or at least get along at a surface level.  If everyone in Allanak is pretending to get along on a surface level and stabbing each other in the back in the shadows, well... now you've got a new version of Tuluk.

Agreed.

If it isn't bad enough to warrant a death, then a death shouldn't be happening. I've not seen and really hope I will continue to not see people getting PK'd over IC bias/racism, etc. I will, however, gleefully get a bag of popcorn to watch a few AoD/Byn members pound the ever loving crap out of someone in a Gaj brawl, because they were seen kissing some breed (gross), or a viv and ruk utterly shunning a Krathi for being seen to work with a Nilazi outside the gates, or a thief getting their hand cut off/exiled from the City, or a lippy PC getting their lips stitched shut for an IG week or two/whipped/cuddled until their arms pop out of the sockets and so on and so on.

I will further applaud a /PK/ when it meets a realistic bar in the day to day life of a PC attempting to survive in the harsh Known that exists. If someone is actively trying to kill you/killed your pal/is just plain deranged and on a kill spree in some regard - Nuke 'em. You're trying to raid and they get all badass at you? Dead. One small resource needed to survive and they keep coming back after you warned them/beat them/chased them off - Dead. Too stupid to learn.

Reinforcing the above - killing is absolutely appropriate when realistic for your PC. Could you let that would-be badass survive during your raid attempt? Sure. Should you? Probably not. Why? What raider in the Known would realistically ride up on someone, give them chances to comply/live and then take a barrage of abuse/disrespect, smile and ride off? Nicest one I've ever seen. Nice doesn't really apply in the game-world.

Hate being raided? Hell, who doesn't? Consider using your brain over your mouth, toss your coin pouch over and then go back to the city, round up your pals and then go be as lippy as you like when you beat them into dust and take your stuff back. (Plot/conflict?) rather than you being a corpse.

Sure, I can see where some will say 'But the raider could've just beat them down and took it for being lippy and left them to crawl back to the city for a plot/story.'

Also valid and true. They could. They also don't have to, because the game is harsh and if their PC would realistically turf someone mouthing off? Then they should stay in character.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: triste on May 05, 2020, 11:12:02 AM
The onus, once things get to a point in whatever plot or story line, 9/10 will fall on staff by way of RPTs/HRPTs when it involves things over and above the 'Daily drama' of any PC against another imo. Example;

= House Oash has come across a powerful artifact that has the ability to negate the powers/kill a Red Robe. Only one PC knows about it/found it/wants to use it.

- At this stage, staff can't or shouldn't do anything. Leave the player time to form their plot/plan/story.

= Said PC has actively begun to tinker with said object and is likely half-way down the path to using it.

- At this stage, the PC should've let something leak. They have another PC (or three) that were brought in for their experience/knowledge on said item to help (or hinder). If not, this is where staff generally need to step in. Where was/is the item stored? Did a guard see and whisper to another Noble/Aide? Does the thing radiate some sort of magickal power that a Templar may detect? Does it make people sick to be around? Something that would feasibly cause the thing to be known beyond 1 single PC.

= Said PC is about to use said item.

- At this stage, there has been time for 3-4 wagging tongues to whisper to their best-pals/concubines/aides and now 10 to 15 players know that something is up. If not, at this point staff need to start further spreading some sort of realistic push-back, while supporting said plot. Chances to be caught/discovered, that VNPC has now told his cousin over a bottle of Brown and that cousin works for a Templar who comes sniffing about. Rumor post, perhaps, to further show the ripple affect of said whispers. - Same outcome of various PCs 'in the know'.

= Item is used/prevented from being used by player agency.

If used - Staff assisted RPT. If not used/prevented by other players - Losing is still a story and a bunch of players had a blast along the way.

Staff feedback like this is always great, and specifically players have asked for an outline of "how to have a successful player run plot" like this so thank you!

This also gets at the main thing I was trying to say and back up in OP's comments -- that our goal should be telling good stories and involving players. I like the parts of this outline talking about parts of the plot that gets "leaked" and how that this can and should lead to a greater number of players knowing. Doing stuff, like revealing parts of your plot, can be risky, and get you PKed. But ideally it won't so the onus is in large part on us as players to fight the instinct to hoard and hide away and actually involve people. That is how you can even eventually get support behind your plot [if not from staff, then from other players].
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: Shabago on May 05, 2020, 11:32:44 AM
#1 criteria for sponsored roles is playtimes anyway. Staff don't care how good or bad you are, so long as you're online consistently.

Quite false.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: Pew Pew on May 05, 2020, 12:30:03 PM
Good to know
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: Harmless on May 05, 2020, 01:30:57 PM
reliable is probably the right replacement for that statement. Since playtimes do tend to build reliability, playtimes help. But not all with good playtimes are reliable in their roles. It's a ven diagram.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: BadSkeelz on May 06, 2020, 05:37:20 PM
#1 criteria for sponsored roles is playtimes anyway. Staff don't care how good or bad you are, so long as you're online consistently.

Quite false.

(https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/321140884697776128/706984283772026920/unknown.png)
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: Is Friday on May 06, 2020, 05:47:40 PM
= Said PC has actively begun to tinker with said object and is likely half-way down the path to using it.

- At this stage, the PC should've let something leak. They have another PC (or three) that were brought in for their experience/knowledge on said item to help (or hinder). If not, this is where staff generally need to step in. Where was/is the item stored? Did a guard see and whisper to another Noble/Aide? Does the thing radiate some sort of magickal power that a Templar may detect? Does it make people sick to be around? Something that would feasibly cause the thing to be known beyond 1 single PC.

= Said PC is about to use said item.

- At this stage, there has been time for 3-4 wagging tongues to whisper to their best-pals/concubines/aides and now 10 to 15 players know that something is up. If not, at this point staff need to start further spreading some sort of realistic push-back, while supporting said plot. Chances to be caught/discovered, that VNPC has now told his cousin over a bottle of Brown and that cousin works for a Templar who comes sniffing about. Rumor post, perhaps, to further show the ripple affect of said whispers. - Same outcome of various PCs 'in the know'.

Addressing the bolded parts. I have seen staff step in to "spread the news" when greedy leaders have attempted to monopolize information "unrealistically" or without regard to our theme. I have still many times had to deal with the blowblack of my PC or an ally receiving the criticism of "sharing information" when realistically there's no reason to hoarde information. Usually, there's almost no way to prevent people from inferring your plans if they just watch who you are meeting with, anyway.

Just as leaders or veterans want to criticize new players for not respecting the virtual world in regards to thievery, crime, or murder -- veterans tend to ignore the virtual population when it comes to plots or social activities. This leads to independents or others getting crushed for minor disrespect or flavorful disagreements, etc. E.G. Why are nobles involved in commoner politics without specific reason? What does a GMH leader care if some dirty indie is selling some half-rate swords?
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: number13 on May 06, 2020, 06:50:11 PM
\Why are nobles involved in commoner politics without specific reason? What does a GMH leader care if some dirty indie is selling some half-rate swords?

Content. Conflict.

If the GHM doesn't care of some dirty indie is selling half-rate swords, it's then that indie can be an infinite money printing machine with no connections to the overall narrative. That's boring. You might as well just set up a program on your own computer that increments a number by 1 every 1/10th of a second, and leave it running. The gameplay loop is identical.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: Shabago on May 06, 2020, 08:51:21 PM
#1 criteria for sponsored roles is playtimes anyway. Staff don't care how good or bad you are, so long as you're online consistently.

Quite false.

(https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/321140884697776128/706984283772026920/unknown.png)

I dunno, I read the part that says "It's not #1 but it's up there."

As this needs further clarification:

Kindly do not be discouraged from applying to leadership roles if you can "Only" play an hour/two a day/night. If your concept and your ability to play the role compellingly and consistently is there, and you have some pretty attractive goals for Clan X - you're getting the role over someone who can play 10 hours a day.

Are play times important? Of course. Being able to be on/accessible and generate the plots/plans/goals that come along with said role for as many other PCs in the game world is obviously a plus.

App1:
I can play 40 hours a week!

Goal: Sit idle in the estate for 3 hours and maybe way two PCs
Goal: Mudsex for the 2 hours after that.
Goal: Randomly yell at a PC for not bowing for an hour.
Goal: Yell at a Merchant for somehow not producing 300 items inside 30 seconds for me.

App2:

I can play 15 hours a week!

Goal: Use this portion of the clan to further reach into Y area.
Goal: Operate with clan A B and C to get Z done/achieved in game.
Goal: Make contacts with Rinthers (secretly) - dirty commoners and noble alike to include each level of 'society' in storyline X and plan Y
Goal: Aim for the title of Lord/Lady <insert here> so that I can then start planning on the further goal of X down the road.

Guess who's getting the role?
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: BadSkeelz on May 06, 2020, 09:43:59 PM
In my experience? App 1 80% of the time.

edit: to be fair, I assume most apps that get approved are written much better than what actually makes it in to the game.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: Alesan on May 06, 2020, 10:18:46 PM
Quote
App1:
I can play 40 hours a week!

Goal: Sit idle in the estate for 3 hours and maybe way two PCs
Goal: Mudsex for the 2 hours after that.
Goal: Randomly yell at a PC for not bowing for an hour.
Goal: Yell at a Merchant for somehow not producing 300 items inside 30 seconds for me.

App2:

I can play 15 hours a week!

Goal: Use this portion of the clan to further reach into Y area.
Goal: Operate with clan A B and C to get Z done/achieved in game.
Goal: Make contacts with Rinthers (secretly) - dirty commoners and noble alike to include each level of 'society' in storyline X and plan Y
Goal: Aim for the title of Lord/Lady <insert here> so that I can then start planning on the further goal of X down the road.

This just looks like one of those expectations vs reality things you see all the time, like when a burger looks delicious on an ad and then you order one and all the toppings are all sloppy and you only got half of what you paid for.
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: DesertT on May 07, 2020, 12:18:56 PM
This just looks like one of those expectations vs reality things you see all the time, like when a burger looks delicious on an ad and then you order one and all the toppings are all sloppy and you only got half of what you paid for.
Somebody’s been ERP’ing with my character!!
Title: Re: Playability vs Gameplay
Post by: Barsook on May 08, 2020, 11:37:29 PM
This thought creeped up in my mind for awhile, but aren't most of the coded clans niche role-based?