Author Topic: Article on Not Storing Your Kickass Noble  (Read 9931 times)

valeria

  • Posts: 5318
    • I have a writing blog.
Article on Not Storing Your Kickass Noble
« on: June 09, 2015, 06:24:32 PM »
I've been working on an article off and on for a while that I'd eventually like to post in the RP Discussion forum, but I thought I would toss it up here for some feedback first.  Additions?  Suggestions?

***

This is not intended to replace Vanth's Guilde, which you can read here if you haven't already.  This is more designed for the player of the noble who has 20, 30, 40, or maybe even more days played, and whose player feels like he or she has hit the wall.  Playing a noble is the hardest leadership role in the game.  It comes with all of the responsibility of a commoner leader or templar, without as many possibilities for built-in interaction.  It is a position that attracts people that want to "do" things in the game, while also being part of a game world that is stagnant and change-averse by its very nature.

So, you have a noble.  The shiny newness has worn off and you're now into the slog of actually, truly playing a noble, and wondering if you even want to keep doing it.  This is a list of things you should do when you feel yourself starting to stagnate in your role.

Update Your List Of Goals

You probably came into this role with lofty goals and ideals.  You have probably only accomplished one or two of the very minor ones, or it's possible that you haven't accomplished anything at all.  Don't freak out.  This is normal.

Now that you have a handle on how long things take, you should re-organize your list of short (1 to 5 IC years), medium (5 to 20 IC years), and long-term (20+ IC years) goals.  You might notice that you have entirely forgotten about some goals.  This is also normal.  Either make a concentrated effort to start working on them again, or kick them off the list.  Add new goals that are based on your character's present interests.  Make sure you have a variety of goals in each category.

You will also have several old goals that you may believe are impossible to accomplish, or that you have talked to staff about and staff say are impossible to accomplish.  You have a few choices with these goals.  If the just frustrate you complete, kick them off the list.  But simply because staff has said that something is not possible or not likely, this does not mean that your character absolutely has to stop working on them.  IC 'no's usually come in the form of 'your Seniors wouldn't like that.'  You can choose to accept the consequences, or you can try to revise the goals to fit better what your Seniors would like.  OOC 'no's might come in the form of 'we don't have code to support that' or 'we think that would unbalance the game.'  Unless staff has explicitly told you an OOC no and please stop doing that, you can still work on these goals.

While you are updating your list of goals, be sure to manage your expectations.  It takes an extremely lot of work and time to get things "accomplished" in the game.  Your idea of accomplishing something might require a lot of staff work and it might receive IC as well as OOC pushback.  Try to rely on staff as little as possible when creating your goals, and communicate them to staff right away.  Try to have fun with the process, and try not to get married to your own personal vision of the end result.

You should also consult with your friends and minions and determine if they have any new goals that you can or should help them with.  You don't have to solely be a plot dispenser, you can also help others facilitate their own plots.

Make New Friends

Now that you have an updated list of goals, you should review the list of friends, minions, and enemies that you already have.  Determine which two people you are trying to rope in to helping you with any given goal.  Make sure to build redundancies into your friends list.  If you only have one person that you are relying on for the Great Knifevest Plot of 2012, if that person dies, you're going to have to start the Great Knifevest Plot again from the ground floor.  You may have already done this five or six times.

If you aren't keeping this list and attempting to "contact" all of your friends, minions, and enemies from the moment you log in until the moment you find some interaction, you should start.  A noble is the most isolated role in the game.  You have less excuses to interact with a huge portion of the playerbase (commoners) than anyone else, you have fewer places to congregate where people actually go, and a lot of your contacts are hopefully busy with their own plots (friends/enemies) or working on your plots (minions).  If you aren't contacting people regularly, this may be why you're bored.

Do you have enemies that you've stopped interacting with?  Find some reason to interact with them again.  It's very easy to fall into the "ignore your enemies" trap, but if you're ignoring them you're missing good opportunities for conflict.  Plus, you probably don't have any idea about the ways they're working against you.  Ignoring your enemies is the easiest way to keep them enemies, but it is also the most predictable and boring.

If part of the problem is that you don't have anyone to interact with, possible because your minions have all died and your friends have all stored, it might be tempting to log into the game, see that no one is around, and log out again.  Do not do this.  It is only going to exacerbate your problem, because you cannot find new friends, minions, enemies, or interaction if you're not playing the game.  The game cycles, and it is probably going to cycle back around.  Meanwhile, sit somewhere public, load up Minecraft, Wikipedia, TVTropes, or your distraction of choice, and try to force yourself to be available for an hour or two.  You might be amazed at how much of your interaction problem is simply because you're not playing.

Paint Yourself Back Out of the Corner

People rarely get frustrated for no reason.  Is there something wrong with your character that is making it hard to enjoy them?  Are you tired of playing a hard-bitten know-it-all or a complete dunce?  Map out what you would need to do to make some changes to your character to turn them into the kind of person you would enjoy playing.

If you've painted yourself into a corner, figure out how to paint a trapdoor into it.  Staff might be able to help you here.  Your clan staff is probably invested in your character and really does want to help you.

And if you think your noble would never be able to be X or Y, rethink yourself.  If your noble isn't changing and growing, your noble is a caricature instead of a person.  Keep in mind that trauma changes people, and conflict is what makes stories interesting and enjoyable.  Don't be afraid to make changes to your initial concept to make your character more enjoyable to play.  The other option is just to store, and if you didn't care about your noble, you wouldn't be reading this thread.

Sit On Storage


If you are absolutely positive that you want to store, sit in your storage request for at least a week.  Take a week off from the game honestly assess what is broken about your character and how you might want to fix it.  Decide whether the enjoyment you get out of your character is going to be worth the effort of fixing it.

Also, ask yourself if you've clearly communicated your frustrations to your staff.  Do they have any ideas?  Are you giving them the benefit of the doubt?  When you're in a negative frame of mind, it's extremely easy to put a negative spin on everything.

Ultimately, store if you are really and truly not enjoying yourself.  Do not feel guilty about this.  Playing a noble is the hardest role in the game, and it isn't for everyone.  At least you gave it a shot.
Retired from playing, but probably still lurking around somewhere.

Oh and I have a writing blog.

Barzalene

  • Posts: 7722
Re: Article on Not Storing Your Kickass Noble
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2015, 08:06:58 PM »
Excellent article.
Just two thoughts. Line 2 paragraph 6 should complete be completely? (really long work day. It might be fine and the problem is me parsing the sentence.)
The make new friends section is compelling. Can  you move it up? (Not the the first section isn't compelling, it is, but the make new friends section strikes me a more important and immediate.)
Varak:You tell the mangy, pointy-eared gortok, in sirihish: "What, girl? You say the sorceror-king has fallen down the well?"
Ghardoan:A pitiful voice rises from the well below, "I've fallen and I can't get up..."

Delirium

  • Helper
  • Posts: 11192
Re: Article on Not Storing Your Kickass Noble
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2015, 09:07:22 PM »
Certain leadership roles also require a dedication of at least 20-30 hours per week, minimum. If you can't dedicate that, save yourself the heartache and don't apply.
"Our whole lives are just stories." - Vikings

BadSkeelz

  • Posts: 8061
Re: Article on Not Storing Your Kickass Noble
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2015, 10:00:35 PM »
Please name them so I never play them.

Otherwise, good article. A lot that can be applied to any leadership role, not just nobles.
Quote from: janeshephard
You really think BadSkeelz understands the concept of Wine In Front of me? This guy shot me as a townie when he felt threatened. The man's a neandrathal.

Persona for GDB use only. Results in game may vary.

Beethoven

  • Posts: 1323
Re: Article on Not Storing Your Kickass Noble
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2015, 11:11:19 PM »
Thank you. This is relevant to my interests.

HavokBlue

  • Helper
  • Posts: 6321
Re: Article on Not Storing Your Kickass Noble
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2015, 08:08:26 AM »
Fully support this article, particularly the bit about trying to wiggle out of a bad spot and start fresh. If it works, great, time for some fun. If it doesn't, don't feel bad about discussing storage with staff.
All the world will be your enemy. When they catch you, they will kill you. But first they must catch you; digger, listener, runner, Prince with the swift warning. Be cunning, and full of tricks, and your people will never be destroyed.

whitt

  • Posts: 1541
Re: Article on Not Storing Your Kickass Noble
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2015, 09:03:54 AM »
Great Article.  Always happy to see advice for how to keep long lived characters around.  Couple of suggestions for additions?

One - A section on making sure not to underestimate the number of other characters who have plot that includes or could include the noble.  While your article goes into detail on tracking the Noble's agenda.  Having a good track on who else's agenda might be impacted by the Noble might be important too.  Having a slow down on your own plots?  Go tweak those folks in either a beneficial or detrimental way.  Etiher can, at least, get the Noble PC back into circulation and out of isolation mode.

Two - You have a section on making new friends.  Maybe more on making new enemies?  I imagine its hard making lasting enemies when you have the potential to bring the house down on anyone who crosses your path.  That doesn't mean it's not worthwhile.  If you have out-lasted your last batch of enemies, then get out there and take offense at something.  Make new enemies, preferably enemies with some backing that makes it harder for you to crush them instantly.  Do things that are in keeping with your character and house, but also that might be downright unpopular.  Don't be afraid to make powerful enemies.  If you're thinking, seriously, about storing then a powerful enemy might be just what you need instead.

Again, thank you for the great article!
Quote from: BadSkeelz
Ah well you should just kill those PCs. They're not worth the time of plotting creatively against.

HavokBlue

  • Helper
  • Posts: 6321
Re: Article on Not Storing Your Kickass Noble
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2015, 12:09:52 PM »
I think there are certainly merits to playing an antagonistic noble but I think that part of the OP was to address people who feel like storage is their only option because too many people hate them.

If you've seen what happens when the PC population of a city gangs up on one PC noble and that PC loses the ability to accomplish anything they set out to do besides being despised, you can probably imagine why that would be demotivating.
All the world will be your enemy. When they catch you, they will kill you. But first they must catch you; digger, listener, runner, Prince with the swift warning. Be cunning, and full of tricks, and your people will never be destroyed.

valeria

  • Posts: 5318
    • I have a writing blog.
Re: Article on Not Storing Your Kickass Noble
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2015, 01:14:25 PM »
Great Article.  Always happy to see advice for how to keep long lived characters around.  Couple of suggestions for additions?

One - A section on making sure not to underestimate the number of other characters who have plot that includes or could include the noble.  While your article goes into detail on tracking the Noble's agenda.  Having a good track on who else's agenda might be impacted by the Noble might be important too.  Having a slow down on your own plots?  Go tweak those folks in either a beneficial or detrimental way.  Etiher can, at least, get the Noble PC back into circulation and out of isolation mode.

Two - You have a section on making new friends.  Maybe more on making new enemies?  I imagine its hard making lasting enemies when you have the potential to bring the house down on anyone who crosses your path.  That doesn't mean it's not worthwhile.  If you have out-lasted your last batch of enemies, then get out there and take offense at something.  Make new enemies, preferably enemies with some backing that makes it harder for you to crush them instantly.  Do things that are in keeping with your character and house, but also that might be downright unpopular.  Don't be afraid to make powerful enemies.  If you're thinking, seriously, about storing then a powerful enemy might be just what you need instead.

Again, thank you for the great article!

I sort of felt like the Vanth article covered these things well enough, but I'll definitely give it another look when I get home and see if there is anything I can add from the "not getting started" perspective. Thanks for the feedback!
Retired from playing, but probably still lurking around somewhere.

Oh and I have a writing blog.

Delirium

  • Helper
  • Posts: 11192
Re: Article on Not Storing Your Kickass Noble
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2015, 01:31:37 PM »
Please name them so I never play them.

Otherwise, good article. A lot that can be applied to any leadership role, not just nobles.

Anything that requires administration and/or leadership of any sort. If you can play frequently great. If you can't, stay away.  Templars, Tor nobles, Atrium teachers, etc.

Otherwise the calvacade of "omgomgomgomg I need dis" when you log in and "omgomgomg you're never around I need dis" PMs when you're not logged in gets absolutely ridiculous.

Fastest route to burnout and storage there is, the second-fastest is ennui.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2015, 01:34:38 PM by Delirium »
"Our whole lives are just stories." - Vikings

Rokal

  • Posts: 394
Re: Article on Not Storing Your Kickass Noble
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2015, 01:47:08 PM »
THis is a nice post, honestly, I think this could apply to any character in one way or another, not just nobles. :)

Clearsighted

  • Posts: 1346
Re: Article on Not Storing Your Kickass Noble
« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2015, 08:52:11 AM »
Quote
It comes with all of the responsibility of a commoner leader or templar, without as many possibilities for built-in interaction.  It is a position that attracts people that want to "do" things in the game, while also being part of a game world that is stagnant and change-averse by its very nature.

I can't help but feel that there's something to be said for this aspect of Armageddon being tackled more aggressively. Because let's be honest. There isn't a whole lot that nobles can do in this game which doesn't basically amount to throwing a pillow around. Perhaps the paradigm needs to be tweaked to give them a bit more agency and consequences. Get Tor more involved with Academy/Militia stuff. Get Borsail more involved with slaving stuff. Get Fale more involved with social RP and mudsex.

It's always seemed to me that the only noble house that has stayed consistently on top of its game is Oash. And that's because it combines noble power, privilege and intrigue with pretty much a monopoly on magickers, and all the pathos involved in that aspect of the game. Tor doesn't have nearly as much interaction with the Militia, or Borsail with slavery.

Oash has probably had more meaningful plots surrounding or originating with them, than all the other noble houses put together.

If this could be tackled, then long-term nobles wouldn't need a guide to help them not to store out of boredom. I'd rather they store and find a new role they're invested in, then feel bound by responsibility and guilt to keep to a role they've grown extremely detached from. That just leads to players quitting once and for all. I wonder how many players of nobles have never stored or logged back in. That just drifted away out of say, embarrassment at wanting to give up a sponsored role.

Quote
You probably came into this role with lofty goals and ideals.  You have probably only accomplished one or two of the very minor ones, or it's possible that you haven't accomplished anything at all.  Don't freak out.  This is normal.

Now that you have a handle on how long things take, you should re-organize your list of short (1 to 5 IC years), medium (5 to 20 IC years), and long-term (20+ IC years) goals.  You might notice that you have entirely forgotten about some goals.  This is also normal.

I wonder how many people would app nobles if they realized just how much truth was in this statement. I'd wager that a good number of them would be scared away. 20+ IC years after all, is like 2-3 RL years. I can barely plan that far ahead IRL.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2015, 08:58:59 AM by Clearsighted »

Talia

  • Legend
  • Posts: 2084
Re: Article on Not Storing Your Kickass Noble
« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2015, 09:20:31 AM »
I can't help but feel that there's something to be said for this aspect of Armageddon being tackled more aggressively. Because let's be honest. There isn't a whole lot that nobles can do in this game which doesn't basically amount to throwing a pillow around. Perhaps the paradigm needs to be tweaked to give them a bit more agency and consequences. Get Tor more involved with Academy/Militia stuff. Get Borsail more involved with slaving stuff. Get Fale more involved with social RP and mudsex.

These are all things that nobles can do already. Noble PCs are even given specific ideas about goals and plots to pursue on their own, as well as entree into staff-run plots, and incentives to pursue plots of either kind. However, what I mostly see with noble PCs is a lack of pursuing plots, for the following reasons:

1. Just not doing it (this could be that the player is intimidated, or doesn't know how, or otherwise lacks the skills for plot management, or doesn't have enough time to run plots)
2. Active resistance to the plot by other players (happens incredibly frequently, and usually staff gets blamed for these actions even when we have nothing to do with it)
3. Passive non-participation by other players (other leaders or minions, often this is due to them storing)
4. Attempted pursuit of goals that do not make sense for the House, or for Allanak, or to the playerbase (farcical example, "I am a noble of House Rennik and I want to start a sewing academy for escaped Tuluki slaves")
5. Refusal to participate in staff plots (plot handed to player because we thought they'd enjoy it, they nope right the fuck outta there...this happens with disappointing frequency)

The combination of the above nearly always leads to the player of the noble then complaining to staff that they are bored.

Other than #4, where staff does have to sometimes say, "We will not allow and support your idea because your House is not interested in training escaped Tuluki slaves to sew," the problem with not having stuff to do is on players. My philosophy is that unless it's against documentation, even if the idea is totally stupid, we let the player pursue it. Totally stupid ideas get shot down by the rest of the playerbase with extreme accuracy; there's no need for staff to get involved there. (Though we do get blamed for it.)
Character: "I've been working on building a new barracks for some tim-"
NPC: "Yeah, that fell through, sucks but YOUR HOUSE IS ON FIREEE!! FIRE-KANKS!!

Clearsighted

  • Posts: 1346
Re: Article on Not Storing Your Kickass Noble
« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2015, 10:18:50 AM »
I can't help but feel that there's something to be said for this aspect of Armageddon being tackled more aggressively. Because let's be honest. There isn't a whole lot that nobles can do in this game which doesn't basically amount to throwing a pillow around. Perhaps the paradigm needs to be tweaked to give them a bit more agency and consequences. Get Tor more involved with Academy/Militia stuff. Get Borsail more involved with slaving stuff. Get Fale more involved with social RP and mudsex.

These are all things that nobles can do already. Noble PCs are even given specific ideas about goals and plots to pursue on their own, as well as entree into staff-run plots, and incentives to pursue plots of either kind. However, what I mostly see with noble PCs is a lack of pursuing plots, for the following reasons:

1. Just not doing it (this could be that the player is intimidated, or doesn't know how, or otherwise lacks the skills for plot management, or doesn't have enough time to run plots)
2. Active resistance to the plot by other players (happens incredibly frequently, and usually staff gets blamed for these actions even when we have nothing to do with it)
3. Passive non-participation by other players (other leaders or minions, often this is due to them storing)
4. Attempted pursuit of goals that do not make sense for the House, or for Allanak, or to the playerbase (farcical example, "I am a noble of House Rennik and I want to start a sewing academy for escaped Tuluki slaves")
5. Refusal to participate in staff plots (plot handed to player because we thought they'd enjoy it, they nope right the fuck outta there...this happens with disappointing frequency)

The combination of the above nearly always leads to the player of the noble then complaining to staff that they are bored.

Other than #4, where staff does have to sometimes say, "We will not allow and support your idea because your House is not interested in training escaped Tuluki slaves to sew," the problem with not having stuff to do is on players. My philosophy is that unless it's against documentation, even if the idea is totally stupid, we let the player pursue it. Totally stupid ideas get shot down by the rest of the playerbase with extreme accuracy; there's no need for staff to get involved there. (Though we do get blamed for it.)

There's a lot of great points here. But in my own opinion, I have seen Tor and Borsail lag far behind Oash. It hasn't really changed much over the years. Oash is basically defined by its unique relationship to magickers, and it requires very little in the way of staff coaxing or assistance, to play out that aspect of Oash to the hilt. It has a lot of very attractive tropes, combining intrigue, noble ambition with various magickal perversions.

I just don't see Tor having the same kind of interplay/involvement with the Allanaki military, or Borsail with the slave trade. Not to the same level that such RP/interaction is defined by the Oash 'niche'. Not to mention, there are gemmers lining up around the block to work for Oash. No one is kicking the door down to be a Wyvern or a Scorpion. (Generally speaking. There've been periods where one, usually Tor, had an exceptional leader hanging around that managed to get real active in Templar/Militia stuff).

Maybe Borsail needs NPC slaves. More gladiator stuff. Or incentive to go slaving/raiding in the wilderness. Bring me a renegade mul for my next gladiatoral event! The noble may or may not accompany them, but by organizing such expeditions, they would get a lot of attention and RP. Maybe PCs should be allowed to be gladiators, without necessarily being slave-slaves that aren't allowed out of the pits.

Maybe a Tor noble can swing the command of some sort of semi-isolated outpost or village, which they get to govern.

There are a lot of better ways to keep these roles interesting, which simply aren't being tapped, and I'm not sure why. There's nothing to lose, really.

And yes, it's true that noble players sometimes have unrealistic agendas. But a lot of them find themselves unable to take part in, carry out, or meaningfully RP around, facets of their House which are supposed to be as core to them as Oashite gickery. I wonder how many dozens of Borsail noble characters have inquired about slaves.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2015, 10:20:21 AM by Clearsighted »

The7DeadlyVenomz

  • Posts: 8683
Re: Article on Not Storing Your Kickass Noble
« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2015, 10:36:25 AM »
Oash has it's niche, as an outlet for the players of Gemmed. I'd go so far as to say that Oash is where you go for high fantasy play. The Elites, Oash's mundane militant force, have to work with magick on a day to day basis. High fantasy.

Tor should be 'the Byn' for the Arm, for Highborn and their employees, and maybe for ranking southron GMH members. Yes, I know, staff, you don't agree currently, but I'm saying - that's where it's strength lies in gameplay terms. Also, Scorpions, when they become playable (and yes, they should be), should never be newbs or day-1s. They should have history in game already, and there should never be more than two, or three, allowed at one time. Limited, skilled representation - that's the key to Scorpions.

Fale is entertainment. They throw parties. They create the events and the be here or be square RPTS. They have their niche. These are the bards of the South. Players who loved Northron bards should be clamouring to be a Whatsit.

Borsail should be based around Arena Events. They should be throwing them often. Wild beasts, captured by Ambers, PC fighting events, etc. I'd go so far as to give a Borsail Noble the coded means to use the arena, with obvious stipulations. Yes, you can use gith gladiator #34768. Your Wyverns probably captured it. No, no. You may not use the Gaj.
Wynning since October 25, 2008.

>craft newbie into good player

You accidentally snap newbie into useless pieces.


Delirium

  • Helper
  • Posts: 11192
Re: Article on Not Storing Your Kickass Noble
« Reply #15 on: June 19, 2015, 10:40:25 AM »
I strongly disagree with the recent implementation of Tor.

But that's a long rant and a bit of a derail.
"Our whole lives are just stories." - Vikings

sleepyhead

  • Posts: 81
Re: Article on Not Storing Your Kickass Noble
« Reply #16 on: June 19, 2015, 10:41:33 AM »
Borsail should be based around Arena Events. They should be throwing them often. Wild beasts, captured by Ambers, PC fighting events, etc. I'd go so far as to give a Borsail Noble the coded means to use the arena, with obvious stipulations. Yes, you can use gith gladiator #34768. Your Wyverns probably captured it. No, no. You may not use the Gaj.

I hope it is not too IC for me to say that Borsail already has coded access to the Arena...without that PARTICULAR stipulation you mentioned.

The7DeadlyVenomz

  • Posts: 8683
Re: Article on Not Storing Your Kickass Noble
« Reply #17 on: June 19, 2015, 10:42:39 AM »
Good, sleepyhead, but the stipulations certainly should be there, plainly spelled out, so that no noble accidentally over-steps in an unrealistic fashion. Assuming that's handled, excellent.
Wynning since October 25, 2008.

>craft newbie into good player

You accidentally snap newbie into useless pieces.


sleepyhead

  • Posts: 81
Re: Article on Not Storing Your Kickass Noble
« Reply #18 on: June 19, 2015, 10:45:15 AM »
I think everyone understands that the gaj and the like aren't for your friends' impromptu parties, but major events. The stipulation that exists, I believe, is that they aren't allowed to waltz in there like templars and straight-up execute people.

Is Friday

  • Posts: 6082
Re: Article on Not Storing Your Kickass Noble
« Reply #19 on: June 19, 2015, 10:57:58 AM »
I strongly disagree with the recent implementation of Tor.

But that's a long rant and a bit of a derail.
Quote from: shadowspeak discord
did you just meet a ridiculously unfuckable psychotic female character? It's 75% likely that Is_Friday is playing it! unfuckable, unwantable, unloveable, poorly played, stereotype-driven, abusive, and shallow!

Talia

  • Legend
  • Posts: 2084
Re: Article on Not Storing Your Kickass Noble
« Reply #20 on: June 19, 2015, 11:57:33 AM »
There are a lot of better ways to keep these roles interesting, which simply aren't being tapped, and I'm not sure why. There's nothing to lose, really.

They aren't getting tapped because players aren't tapping them. Many of the specific ideas that you mentioned, especially for Borsail and Tor, have been in the player-side documentation since 2011 when I implemented additional noble titles for Allanaki clans. For example, for Borsail, here is a sampling of plot ideas that I provided at that time and which are still in effect (this is only about half of the total list):

-- Hunt down and recapture escaped mul PCs
-- Acquire a new military-operation source of slaves
-- Write one or more books detailing aspects of slave breeding, training, or upkeep
-- Recruit PCs for mul breeding, supervise the breeding
-- Recruit mutant PCs for breeding exotic slaves (e.g.: PCs with desirable skin colors), supervise the breeding
-- Acquire and develop a new non-military-operation source of slaves
-- Plan and hold a profitable slave auction
-- Sell a significant volume of slaves at a profit
-- Breed a new type or race of mount and sell it to the templarate or public at a profit
-- Loaning/renting/selling slaves at a discounted price for a time period in exchange for profits or interest in another House's project

Tor has a similar list.

All of these are effectively pre-approved player-driven plots. They don't get pursued because players don't pursue them, period, end of story. There is no issue here where staff is stomping on player-driven plots and projects, or saying no, or shrugging and saying "we don't know what you should be working on." But we cannot force players to pursue plots. We can't do more than we already do, which is provide ideas, do a significant quantity of counseling and encouraging player leaders via the request tool, animate, and then on top of all that also throw in some staff-driven plots.

I mean...really...what more is it that you think staff should be doing? I'm baffled and honestly curious.
Character: "I've been working on building a new barracks for some tim-"
NPC: "Yeah, that fell through, sucks but YOUR HOUSE IS ON FIREEE!! FIRE-KANKS!!

Eurynomos

  • Legend
  • Posts: 1468
Re: Article on Not Storing Your Kickass Noble
« Reply #21 on: June 19, 2015, 12:12:07 PM »
And, as a Storyteller that ran a PC Slave auction, I can tell you that these things are possible.

I think there's quite a bit of emphasis on 'Which House Noble X is From'. Honestly, the House is mostly flavor. Nobles get bounced around from House to House via Marriage, via promotion or demotion, and so forth. Making a great Character I think is one of the most important things a player can do. Focusing on which aspects of House Oash are awesome or not, or which parts of Tor are borked or not, will lead to a trial of suffering and pain and tears. Meanwhile, focusing on plots, character development, and politicking, has lead to great success.

It's not black and white and as simple as that, but i've seen better success with Nobles that had great characters, personality, flaws, etc. They're the ones that lasted for a long time without storage.
Quote from: MeTekillot
The hoity-toity noble swiftly dodges the blue-robed templar's scathing remarks.
The hoity-toity noble comments upon the blue-robed templar's fashion sense, doing unspeakable damage

Delirium

  • Helper
  • Posts: 11192
Re: Article on Not Storing Your Kickass Noble
« Reply #22 on: June 19, 2015, 12:26:57 PM »
Or the alternative, where you have a character you enjoy playing but the situation you're in is so borked that you can't make it work for your playstyle without constantly feeling like you're not devoting enough of your life slaving away for other players' enjoyment and getting angry/whiny/impatient PSIs and PMs from people who have your clan GDB handle.

It isn't a one answer fits all siutation. And it upsets me a little that it seems like the blame is constantly shifted onto players.
"Our whole lives are just stories." - Vikings

Clearsighted

  • Posts: 1346
Re: Article on Not Storing Your Kickass Noble
« Reply #23 on: June 19, 2015, 12:27:27 PM »
There are a lot of better ways to keep these roles interesting, which simply aren't being tapped, and I'm not sure why. There's nothing to lose, really.
I mean...really...what more is it that you think staff should be doing? I'm baffled and honestly curious.

In the past, it seems to have been practically impossible for Borsail to get anything done/accomplished with slaves, which involved anything more than the purely virtual aspects of slave trading. No selling slave NPCs to other players, no enslaving other players, etc.

In that sense, it would be contrasted with Houses like Oash, or Fale, which are able to play out their niche to the hilt. Oash has all the magickal RP, and magickal employees, and interaction with gickers, and the whole world of weird, Armageddon occultism to explore. Fale can do all the parties, socializing they want.

Staying with Borsail as an example...Well. It's not so easy. A few things that you listed fall into the 10-20 IC year plot thing that Valeria mentioned, and with those, it's easy to lose momentum and progress if you take your foot off the pedal. It's not always obvious how to keep people involved.

Nothing what I said was intended as a damning indictment of staff. It's just the way they're currently set up, makes them less appealing.

I don't think it's controversial to note that historically, Borsail and Tor have not thrived. Part of this is because templars tend to monopolize anything to do with the Allanaki military, and I doubt anyone in game has ever thought they needed Tor assistance with anything in the realm of tactics, strategy or elite training. Without it being a bit of a charity, anyways. (Contrast to people having very real and rabid IC and OOC reasons to involve Oash). No one fears a Tor noble warrior for their battle prowess.

Borsail have suffered because even though the slaves/muls thing should make them formidable, it doesn't play out that way. There are dozens of gemmers that would like nothing better than to serve Oash. That gives Oashite nobles a lot of RP potential. There isn't a surplus of Borsail muls. It's a 7 karma role for one thing, and being the one PC mul slave in the House probably leads to spotty online times. Borsail needs like a whole potential stable of muls/gladiators.

It's within the current code, and without much if any, staff supervision, for an Oashite to acquire magickal knowledge or artifacts. Last I checked, it wasn't possible for a Borsail noble to sell a rich merchant a coded NPC slave. People just don't get as excited about stuff when it's virtual.

And I'm sure a lot of it has to do with shitty nobles, too. I'll simply reiterate that it's hard to stay focused on long-term goals which are technically feasible with a lot of staff help (like breeding a better war beetle) when there isn't a lot of meaningful short-term stuff to do.

The only proof I can offer to that is the relative success and longevity of Oash players, vs Tor or Borsail. Clearly one is currently realized in a more satisfying and meaningful fashion in-game.

TLDR: It's less about what staff is or isn't doing, and more about how much agency a noble in each respective house has. Oashite nobles have a lot of agency, because they deal with a lot of PCs who both want to work for and fear them, and everything they're interested in is mostly coded (find me magickal components!). Tor and Borsail, not so much. And it's for a whole host of various reasons (PCs see a lot more potential for self-gain in working for Oash, than in getting mul-bred, for example). I don't think staff is to blame. It's just how things have fallen out over the years.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2015, 12:53:39 PM by Clearsighted »

Marauder Moe

  • Posts: 12440
Re: Article on Not Storing Your Kickass Noble
« Reply #24 on: June 19, 2015, 12:41:50 PM »
I think it just seems like there's never enough staff support to really keep players in a staff-supported plot occupied.  As mentioned, Fale and Oash are successful clans because they can execute a lot of plots/activities with zero staff support.  Staff-supported plots should maybe be considered the icing on the cake.

If I were to suggest radical changes...
*Close Borsail
*Either re-open the Scorpions or close Tor
*Open Rennik and Sath

valeria

  • Posts: 5318
    • I have a writing blog.
Re: Article on Not Storing Your Kickass Noble
« Reply #25 on: June 19, 2015, 12:45:55 PM »
So what I'm hearing is... add a section, or at least explore more thoroughly, how to pursue PC plots.

I didn't put that section about time and stagnancy in there to be discouraging, I put it in there to manage expectations.  In my experience, nobles have plenty to do if they get out there and do it.  The discouraging part is how often plots fail.  And they do fail extremely often, and they do take a lot more time than you'd think they should. 

You sort of get an idea of this playing a minion for any noble character, but I learned this hard when I played my first noble and stored within six months.  It's frustrating, but it's not something about the game that can just be changed.  The nature of Armageddon is that your valuable and important minions are going to die, the people your minions are relying on are going to die, other nobles are going to work against you, you are only going to get staff feedback the equivalent of once every half-month or so so anything that involves changing anything is going to take IC years.  Period.  You are going to get discouraged.  It's something you have to recognize and deal with.

Having multiple plots going at once is a way to deal with it.  Setting aside frustrating plots to work on the ones that are working, and then coming back to those plots that didn't work later, is a good way to deal with it.  Having a lot of goals that you are working toward and periodically reviewing those goals for interest and relevance is at least in my experience the best way to combat the discouraging nature of plots failing.

And especially if you go into the game world thinking "oh wouldn't it be cool to make a Tor and bring Tor Scorpions back," you are going to get discouraged.  Tor Scorpions aren't open right now.  They might be open at some point in the future, but if you're basing your whole concept around trying to get staff to change a policy, you are going to get frustrated.  I'm just picking on Tor, but the same thing could be said for the Amber Wyverns, the Oashi Elite, the Fale... okay, maybe not the Fale.  You have to manage your expectations.

If you can't think of plots to pursue or goals that would be appropriate, that's where talking to your storytellers comes in.  Let staff help you paint yourself out of the discouraged corner you've painted yourself into.  Talia just rattled off a whole list of things that a Borsail noble could pursue.  If they aren't appropriate for your character to pursue, maybe look into changing your character.

... anyway, that's sort of a rough draft on that.  I'll look at adding it into the article once it's percolated and condensed itself in my head.

I think there's quite a bit of emphasis on 'Which House Noble X is From'. Honestly, the House is mostly flavor. Nobles get bounced around from House to House via Marriage, via promotion or demotion, and so forth. Making a great Character I think is one of the most important things a player can do. Focusing on which aspects of House Oash are awesome or not, or which parts of Tor are borked or not, will lead to a trial of suffering and pain and tears. Meanwhile, focusing on plots, character development, and politicking, has lead to great success.

It's not black and white and as simple as that, but i've seen better success with Nobles that had great characters, personality, flaws, etc. They're the ones that lasted for a long time without storage.

I think this is kind of covered in the original Vanth article, at least to the extent of making a great character.  I could try to touch on this a bit more in the painting yourself back out of a corner section.  Making tragedy happen to your character can be a great vehicle for change, for instance, or response to IC events.  They can even be IC events that you as a player have set into motion with the deliberate purpose of changing your character.  I'm not really sure I could do a how-to on that, though, because it seems to be different for different players.
Retired from playing, but probably still lurking around somewhere.

Oh and I have a writing blog.

Clearsighted

  • Posts: 1346
Re: Article on Not Storing Your Kickass Noble
« Reply #26 on: June 19, 2015, 12:46:13 PM »
I think it just seems like there's never enough staff support to really keep players in a staff-supported plot occupied.  As mentioned, Fale and Oash are successful clans because they can execute a lot of plots/activities with zero staff support.

Yes. That's exactly it. I don't think it has anything to do with staff not encouraging nobles enough or not animating enough for them. It's merely to do with the potential for self-agency.

valeria

  • Posts: 5318
    • I have a writing blog.
Re: Article on Not Storing Your Kickass Noble
« Reply #27 on: June 19, 2015, 12:48:57 PM »
Clearsighted, I think you may have some legitimate points, but this thread is about what players of nobles of existing Houses can do to help themselves stay in the role, not about pursuing sweeping staff changes to noble houses.  I think you may have some legitimate points, I'm just not sure what they have to do with the article?  Maybe you can help me out here and tell me how you think that this can be addressed from a player to player perspective?
Retired from playing, but probably still lurking around somewhere.

Oh and I have a writing blog.

Clearsighted

  • Posts: 1346
Re: Article on Not Storing Your Kickass Noble
« Reply #28 on: June 19, 2015, 12:52:04 PM »
Clearsighted, I think you may have some legitimate points, but this thread is about what players of nobles of existing Houses can do to help themselves stay in the role, not about pursuing sweeping staff changes to noble houses.  I think you may have some legitimate points, I'm just not sure what they have to do with the article?  Maybe you can help me out here and tell me how you think that this can be addressed from a player to player perspective?

I was responding to Talia's question.

Delirium

  • Helper
  • Posts: 11192
Re: Article on Not Storing Your Kickass Noble
« Reply #29 on: June 19, 2015, 12:55:00 PM »
Quote
Either re-open the Scorpions or close Tor

Yep. Tor without scorpions or at least a couple other Tor/Bastard noble PC instructors is like asking a single PC to do the job of 3 PCs

Simply put Tor cannot draw on the resources it has without having to resort to staff support, and the whole idea is to allow PCs to be able to do things autonomously of staff. So you end up resorting to really weird things like hiring commoners under the table or trying to convince the militia to do stuff for you with mixed results, when that shouldn't even be an issue in the first place because you're SUPPOSED to have Tor Scorpions, but you don't, because staff edict. Plus you need more than one Tor noble at the very least, one for the Academy and one for plotting. Then commoners don't really want to work for you because they want to be in an actual military clan with military training and instead it's this weird psuedo-military clan that discourages sparring (WTF??) for some reason - even though being in Tor should be all about getting that extra training as well as strategy, instruction, etc.

So it gets ridiculously stressful and I have a real problem with people just assuming that nobles who retire did so out of a lack of creativity or staying power.

Maybe they just got burnt the fuck out by unrealistic expectations.

There is a HUGE problem with the way the gameworld is set up when Oash has more resources and can get things done faster because of their gemmed than a regular military mundane clan can, because they don't have mundane military PCs to draw upon. I would really rather ask a PC ranger to go scout instead of asking the local Oashi to get a magicker to scout but when your options are limited what can you do? Mages = almost 0 risk and can immediately have answers, Rangers = have to actually go out there, risk getting caught, etc.

Imma stop myself there because it's really hard not to go into full-blown rant mode.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2015, 12:58:40 PM by Delirium »
"Our whole lives are just stories." - Vikings

valeria

  • Posts: 5318
    • I have a writing blog.
Re: Article on Not Storing Your Kickass Noble
« Reply #30 on: June 19, 2015, 12:56:42 PM »
Right, but I was hoping you might have some ideas on things players can do, because it seems like you've maybe been frustrated by the noble experience before.  Was there anything you did, learned, would have been helpful to know going in?
Retired from playing, but probably still lurking around somewhere.

Oh and I have a writing blog.

valeria

  • Posts: 5318
    • I have a writing blog.
Re: Article on Not Storing Your Kickass Noble
« Reply #31 on: June 19, 2015, 12:59:53 PM »
So it gets ridiculously stressful and I have a real problem with people just assuming that nobles who retire did so out of a lack of creativity or staying power.

I don't think that's the assumption at all.  A lot of people get burned out on nobles, and fairly quickly (my shortest noble experience was 1.5 months from start to storage, and I don't think I'm uncreative or lack staying power).  Hence why I thought there should be a thread about what you as a player can try to do to combat the burnout that seems to happen to every single noble player and is almost certainly going to happen to you, if you're playing a noble.
Retired from playing, but probably still lurking around somewhere.

Oh and I have a writing blog.

Delirium

  • Helper
  • Posts: 11192
Re: Article on Not Storing Your Kickass Noble
« Reply #32 on: June 19, 2015, 01:01:17 PM »
The problem is, Valeria, there is only so much players can and should be expected to do. The fixes have to come from staff actually understanding what the problems are and implementing a solution which provides actual support and ability for players to act autonomously, rather than just shrugging and saying "It's the players' fault!"

I've sent in constructive feedback with the hopes of discussion before and all I got was a single sentence "hokay, sure" sort of reply.
"Our whole lives are just stories." - Vikings

Talia

  • Legend
  • Posts: 2084
Re: Article on Not Storing Your Kickass Noble
« Reply #33 on: June 19, 2015, 01:04:30 PM »
Please tell the players of Oash and Fale nobles for me that they apparently no longer need staff support for their activities! Yes, that was tongue-in-cheek. If you think these players are not requesting and receiving staff support for their plots and activities, you are wrong. In fact, in the past RL month, the majority of the staff support done by the southern clan group was for these two clans. They want to pursue non-coded things or activities that require staff support just as frequently as other player leaders do; that demand is based simply on the individual players in those roles, not on the House itself.

Also I think that you are confusing player longevity with PCs who get things done and stay involved. Those are not the same thing. The fact that some dude/ette has been around a while doesn't necessarily mean they are doing anything. I have not seen any correlation between plot activity level and longevity. There are PCs who live forever and do nothing, PCs who live forever and do all the things, PCs who burn short and bright, PCs who store after two weeks of doing nothing. It runs the gamut.

The problem is, Valeria, there is only so much players can and should be expected to do. The fixes have to come from staff actually understanding what the problems are and implementing a solution which provides actual support and ability for players to act autonomously, rather than just shrugging and saying "It's the players' fault!"

I've sent in constructive feedback with the hopes of discussion before and all I got was a single sentence "hokay, sure" sort of reply.

We didn't agree with your assessment. We understand what you said your problems were, but that doesn't mean they are problems that we consider fixable or problems that we want to fix in the way you want to see them fixed. If you have further issues that you want to try to resolve, you're probably best off actually taking the discussion back to staff in the request tool rather than half-venting them here. Or keep venting here, I guess that's up to you.
Character: "I've been working on building a new barracks for some tim-"
NPC: "Yeah, that fell through, sucks but YOUR HOUSE IS ON FIREEE!! FIRE-KANKS!!

Delirium

  • Helper
  • Posts: 11192
Re: Article on Not Storing Your Kickass Noble
« Reply #34 on: June 19, 2015, 01:10:04 PM »
Then why not express that to me and discuss things instead of just shutting me down without any indication one way or the other?

You can't expect us to try and communicate if you don't want to communicate back. It's a two way street you guys. Otherwise you just end up alienating and frustrating the people who have actually stress-tested your ideas and have feedback from actual experience by making them wonder why they even took the time to try and communicate in the first place.
"Our whole lives are just stories." - Vikings

Talia

  • Legend
  • Posts: 2084
Re: Article on Not Storing Your Kickass Noble
« Reply #35 on: June 19, 2015, 01:15:49 PM »
Then why not express that to me and discuss things instead of just shutting me down without any indication one way or the other?

You can't expect us to try and communicate if you don't want to communicate back. It's a two way street you guys. Otherwise you just end up alienating and frustrating the people who have actually stress-tested your ideas and have feedback from actual experience by making them wonder why they even took the time to try and communicate in the first place.

I really can't respond to you here about your particular issues. If you want to discuss, please take it to the request tool. You can do that as a clan-related question/request if you want to talk to me, or as a staff complaint if you want to talk to a Producer.

Please note that this is not an attempt to shut you down, it's an attempt to move discussion of your issues to the correct place for them to happen. Which isn't the GDB, since we have a staff policy about not discussing players' specific issues on the GDB.

Other than that, my only response about communication is that we do try, sometimes that works out to players' liking, sometimes it doesn't.
Character: "I've been working on building a new barracks for some tim-"
NPC: "Yeah, that fell through, sucks but YOUR HOUSE IS ON FIREEE!! FIRE-KANKS!!

Clearsighted

  • Posts: 1346
Re: Article on Not Storing Your Kickass Noble
« Reply #36 on: June 19, 2015, 01:21:23 PM »
Please tell the players of Oash and Fale nobles for me that they apparently no longer need staff support for their activities! Yes, that was tongue-in-cheek. If you think these players are not requesting and receiving staff support for their plots and activities, you are wrong. In fact, in the past RL month, the majority of the staff support done by the southern clan group was for these two clans. They want to pursue non-coded things or activities that require staff support just as frequently as other player leaders do; that demand is based simply on the individual players in those roles, not on the House itself.

I don't think that at all. In fact, I'm not surprised in the least. (I am surprised that you thought I was asserting otherwise).

It goes back to what I said before. Having more satisfying short-term plots, interests and potential, is what provides a foundation for people to get involved in and plan for longer-term objectives, and stay interested in their character. All the staff encouragement and animation in the world is merely a drop in the bucket if people can't self-entertain.

A Borsail noble does not get much interaction with slave muls, gladiators, and people dying to be Wyverns, on a nightly basis. They might have interesting long-term plots they can pursue, but things are more shallow on a night to night basis. Playing a Borsail might be more fun, if you had various gladiators competing for your attention or patronage.

Oash is a fully realized House. Its main pursuits can be effectively and easily pursued in game. This keeps people active and engaged, and is what leads to making more requests to staff. Its nobles are actually treated like nobility, because they have such powerful minions, and so many competing for their patronage.

Fale is basically the go-to house for socialite types, which fulfills the same niche that parts of Tuluk once did. I will not touch on Tor.

I'm inclined to believe that the quality of the noble player is roughly equal among Tor, Borsail and Oash, but Oash simply has more to work with. It's also nice to actually be treated like a noble. People tend to fear Oashite mage minions. No one gives a shit about Lord Borsail or Lady Tor.

Delirium

  • Helper
  • Posts: 11192
Re: Article on Not Storing Your Kickass Noble
« Reply #37 on: June 19, 2015, 01:25:17 PM »
The problem is that the pervasive feeling based on years of communication is that taking the time to try and enunciate my ideas in a clear and thoughtful manner is just going to result in a lot of wasted time because nothing is going to change and staff is going to insist that I'm wrong or that things simply aren't going to change because of x y and z reasons.

It's really hard to want to bother when I know that nothing is actually going to change or be genuinely considered. Why would I spend my time arguing a lost cause?

You've already stated that you disagree with me (which I had already inferred, but was more than was even indicated in that request), and historically, staff has never backed down when I've argued a case that they disagreed with - so why would I take the hours it would take to consider and write up all of my ideas to fix what doesn't seem to be considered a problem?
"Our whole lives are just stories." - Vikings

BadSkeelz

  • Posts: 8061
Re: Article on Not Storing Your Kickass Noble
« Reply #38 on: June 19, 2015, 01:27:58 PM »
The problem is, Valeria, there is only so much players can and should be expected to do. The fixes have to come from staff actually understanding what the problems are and implementing a solution which provides actual support and ability for players to act autonomously, rather than just shrugging and saying "It's the players' fault!"

I've sent in constructive feedback with the hopes of discussion before and all I got was a single sentence "hokay, sure" sort of reply.

I would try just ignoring Staff, honestly. If your PC is really rocking the boat the worst they'll do is load in a superior to kill you.
Quote from: janeshephard
You really think BadSkeelz understands the concept of Wine In Front of me? This guy shot me as a townie when he felt threatened. The man's a neandrathal.

Persona for GDB use only. Results in game may vary.

The7DeadlyVenomz

  • Posts: 8683
Re: Article on Not Storing Your Kickass Noble
« Reply #39 on: June 19, 2015, 01:30:08 PM »
I played a Tor noble for around 3 years a while ago. At that time, the Academy worked the way I thought such a place should have, aside from the fact that my noble broke a lot of social mores in order to try to get it to that state. Some of my Scorpions managed to have some neat stories to tell, as well, as we went and did Tor stuff.

The thing I would have changed would have been membership for a Scorpion.  I probably would have focused on filling the ranks with veteran PCS in most cases,  ex Sergeants, ex militia, old Byn leaders, etc.

Some of what I managed to do had to do with staff involvement, but a lot of it had to do with having a team of common ers running around.
Wynning since October 25, 2008.

>craft newbie into good player

You accidentally snap newbie into useless pieces.


Talia

  • Legend
  • Posts: 2084
Re: Article on Not Storing Your Kickass Noble
« Reply #40 on: June 19, 2015, 01:31:25 PM »
Delirium: Your choice, up to you. Do whatever you feel.

BadSkeelz: Thanks, super-constructive.

valeria: I do like your idea for this thread. I'm sure you'll come up with something useful for the playerbase.
Character: "I've been working on building a new barracks for some tim-"
NPC: "Yeah, that fell through, sucks but YOUR HOUSE IS ON FIREEE!! FIRE-KANKS!!

Is Friday

  • Posts: 6082
Re: Article on Not Storing Your Kickass Noble
« Reply #41 on: June 19, 2015, 01:33:38 PM »
I was told in my request after months of trying to work through issues via communication that "usually the best option when someone is unhappy or frustrated with staff as long as you have been, the best option is to store".

I saw the writing on the wall after that.

That's fine I guess, I just won't play a noble again.

BadSkeelz: They sure will do that. They sure will.
Quote from: shadowspeak discord
did you just meet a ridiculously unfuckable psychotic female character? It's 75% likely that Is_Friday is playing it! unfuckable, unwantable, unloveable, poorly played, stereotype-driven, abusive, and shallow!

valeria

  • Posts: 5318
    • I have a writing blog.
Re: Article on Not Storing Your Kickass Noble
« Reply #42 on: June 19, 2015, 01:39:52 PM »
I think I may add some tips on communicating with staff into the article.  That is clearly a huge part of playing a noble and apparently one of the more frustrating parts. 

I'm going to have to brainstorm about that a bit though.  There would have to be just general effective communication tips, as well as Arm-specific ones, I think.  One of the things I have noticed is that having a request closed when you aren't done discussing an issue feels kind of like having a door slammed in your face, or someone walking away when you're still trying to talk to them.  For me, at least, that's the most frustrating feeling.
Retired from playing, but probably still lurking around somewhere.

Oh and I have a writing blog.

Talia

  • Legend
  • Posts: 2084
Re: Article on Not Storing Your Kickass Noble
« Reply #43 on: June 19, 2015, 01:58:31 PM »
One of the things I have noticed is that having a request closed when you aren't done discussing an issue feels kind of like having a door slammed in your face, or someone walking away when you're still trying to talk to them.  For me, at least, that's the most frustrating feeling.

Probably this was/is not intentional. Often what happens is that a report hangs open for a couple of days, there's no response from the player, then the staffer closes it up because s/he assumes dialogue is complete. If you don't feel dialogue was complete, there's no reason not to politely open it back up again in another request. No one on staff will be offended by a player doing this, assuming the prior result wasn't something along the lines of, "Discussion on this topic is closed."

We don't psychically know that the player doesn't feel something is resolved if that's not said. Players with extreme frequency will just not respond to staff comments, and so...we close things up. We can't see in the request tool the difference between "player hasn't responded because s/he is busy at work for a few days," or "player hasn't responded because s/he is satisfied." We have a workload that we're churning through and requests will sometimes get closed up when they maybe shouldn't be yet, but that's not personal.

Here is an edit of some advice I recently gave to a player of a noble specifically about communication:

-- Frequency of reports is requested to be once a week. Clan-related question/requests can be sent in for urgent issues between reports. (But please use sparingly.)

-- Watch formatting in reports. Bullet points are helpful; very long paragraphs are not helpful. Liberal use of bold is not good, judicious use of bold is good.

-- Sometimes reports have a lot of detailed information but we can't really tell what the point is. Is it just information? Are we supposed to take action? The new leader format reports have helped with this, but it's something to remain aware of.

-- Distinguishing in reports between IC and OOC character thoughts and actions is very helpful. It's helpful to us especially to know whether frustration is IC or OOC, or both.

-- Using much more think and feel in game is helpful. There are many instances when we are left wondering, "Does the character really believe this? Is this a lie? What is going on here?" Think and feel help staff understand what you're doing.

-- Operating from a baseline belief that "what is happening in game is IC, not OOC" is helpful to your play. Often, situations are  100% created by the PCs involved. It is very frustrating staff-side to get blamed for situations that PCs have created, and tends to result in us spending a lot of time problem-solving and soothing ruffled OOC feathers, which isn't a productive use of our time.

-- Sometimes you may ask to be able to do things that we give you the go-ahead to try doing, and then other players will not be interested. This may frustrate you, and it may be tempting to perceive it as a staff-side issue when it is not. There is nothing we can do to make players participate in things they are not interested in participating in.

-- Sometimes you may ask to do things that would require a large investment of staff time, and when we say no, become frustrated. We do not say no to player initiatives whimsically; we have good reasons for doing so. If we don't have the time to do something, then you need to trust that that is the truth and isn't because we don't want to, or because we aren't working hard enough.

-- Participating in staff-led plots is part of what sponsored roles are expected to do when we run them. If you don't like staff-led plots, then you probably will be frustrated at this requirement, and may want to re-think playing this role or find a way to become comfortable with it. Sponsored roles are not just about getting to do what feels fun or productive to you personally, they are also about cooperating and teaming up with staff to bring forth an outcome for the game.
Character: "I've been working on building a new barracks for some tim-"
NPC: "Yeah, that fell through, sucks but YOUR HOUSE IS ON FIREEE!! FIRE-KANKS!!

Marauder Moe

  • Posts: 12440
Re: Article on Not Storing Your Kickass Noble
« Reply #44 on: June 19, 2015, 02:00:39 PM »
This could be an entirely separate article, heh.

My thoughts are you really should approach communication with a work-like mentality.  You have to be polite, even if you feel the other side isn't.  Especially if you feel the other side isn't.
*Always start with a salutation ("dear staff", "hello", "hey guys"), always end with a closing ("thank you", "cheers", "-<yourname>").  This helps keep you in a cordial mindset.
*Do not ever reply while angry/upset.  Sleep on it first if at all possible.
*Before making any request, realize that "no" is always a possibility.  Have a plan for dealing with that.
*Never interpret malice while any other possible motives remain.

Talia

  • Legend
  • Posts: 2084
Re: Article on Not Storing Your Kickass Noble
« Reply #45 on: June 19, 2015, 02:09:57 PM »
Great advice from Moe.
Character: "I've been working on building a new barracks for some tim-"
NPC: "Yeah, that fell through, sucks but YOUR HOUSE IS ON FIREEE!! FIRE-KANKS!!

valeria

  • Posts: 5318
    • I have a writing blog.
Re: Article on Not Storing Your Kickass Noble
« Reply #46 on: June 19, 2015, 02:11:05 PM »
I get that the door-slam feeling thing is not intentional.  I think it's important to note that just because a request gets closed, does not mean that you can't or shouldn't bring the issue up again if you still have issues.  That is how I would approach it from an advice standpoint.
Retired from playing, but probably still lurking around somewhere.

Oh and I have a writing blog.

Talia

  • Legend
  • Posts: 2084
Re: Article on Not Storing Your Kickass Noble
« Reply #47 on: June 19, 2015, 02:14:43 PM »
I get that the door-slam feeling thing is not intentional.  I think it's important to note that just because a request gets closed, does not mean that you can't or shouldn't bring the issue up again if you still have issues.  That is how I would approach it from an advice standpoint.

I totally agree.
Character: "I've been working on building a new barracks for some tim-"
NPC: "Yeah, that fell through, sucks but YOUR HOUSE IS ON FIREEE!! FIRE-KANKS!!

BadSkeelz

  • Posts: 8061
Re: Article on Not Storing Your Kickass Noble
« Reply #48 on: June 19, 2015, 02:22:58 PM »
BadSkeelz: Thanks, super-constructive.

Talia, my goal is to avoid stuff like this

I was told in my request after months of trying to work through issues via communication that "usually the best option when someone is unhappy or frustrated with staff as long as you have been, the best option is to store".

I saw the writing on the wall after that.

For me, the best plots a player can start are ones that don't require any staff animation at all. If Staff do animate, great, at least I "know" they're doing so because they feel like participating (whether from genuine interest or just because you've reached the point where World Reaction is required). But my (limited) experience suggests that if your plot depends on getting staff approval beforehand and having to run huge requests chains, the difficulty and frustration are going to increase exponentially with no guarantee of increased enjoyment for anyone, PC or staff.

My ideal of player plots are plots that can be enhanced by Staff if Staff so choose. The antithesis are ones whose running (never mind success) depends on staff involvement.

Some of the Borsail ideas you mentioned sound like great candidates for minimal animation. Others, not so much.

Quote
-- Acquire and develop a new non-military-operation source of slaves - Can't think of any sources that are currently in the game world that you could just ride out and get, so this would take planning.
-- Plan and hold a profitable slave auction - No PC slaves so would have to work out a rolecall or get NPCs spawned in.
-- Breed a new type or race of mount and sell it to the templarate or public at a profit - Problematic if the client actually wants to see a new war slave (N)PC
-- Loaning/renting/selling slaves at a discounted price for a time period in exchange for profits or interest in another House's project - See above

These all sound like they'd need animation, so I wouldn't even consider starting them unless Staff gave marching orders to that effect. I'd rather respond to Staff orders than request things of your time.

When I suggested to Delirium that she could try ignoring Staff, I was speaking mostly in terms of Tor not being allowed to have Scorpions. She alluded to one potential solution in her post: hiring commoner partisans who are equipped and trained much like, but are totally not called, Scorpions. Her not wanting to use that path towards getting Tor a mundane paramilitary capacity is her prerogative, but I would have supported her if she chosen otherwise.

So my advice to leaders (noble or otherwise) would be to think smaller and aim for objectives that are obtainable in the current gameworld. It'll let all of us build up a network of developed characters with histories and skills and personalities that we can then sacrifice in grandiose fashion to the next big Staff Plot.
Quote from: janeshephard
You really think BadSkeelz understands the concept of Wine In Front of me? This guy shot me as a townie when he felt threatened. The man's a neandrathal.

Persona for GDB use only. Results in game may vary.

Talia

  • Legend
  • Posts: 2084
Re: Article on Not Storing Your Kickass Noble
« Reply #49 on: June 19, 2015, 02:37:06 PM »
These all sound like they'd need animation, so I wouldn't even consider starting them unless Staff gave marching orders to that effect. I'd rather respond to Staff orders than request things of your time.

To reiterate, these are effectively pre-approved player-driven plots. Staff has already said "we will support you in running these plots" by virtue of posting these as examples in the player-side documentation. It's not our general policy to order players to pursue plots; we can encourage and invite, but marching orders nearly never happen. We will only give orders if there is something that must be done in order to maintain the integrity of the game world; and even then, we give them sparingly.

So if you're waiting around for orders, you are going to just be waiting, mostly.

Having played leadership quite a bit myself, and involved in staff-led plots as well as stuff I drove and stuff other players drove, I get it that it can seem daunting to request staff time. And frustrating when you really want to do something and it seems like staff support is not going to be provided. But player-driven plots are a priority for us; we want to support the things that players want to do, especially if they are things that are going to involve other clans and other players. In my clan group, there are no arbitrary NOs; there are discussions between players and staff about what to pursue and how to do that; there are discussions about how much staff time is currently available and what we can realistically schedule. There's a back and forth. I see this happening in other clan groups too.

When I suggested to Delirium that she could try ignoring Staff, I was speaking mostly in terms of Tor not being allowed to have Scorpions. She alluded to one potential solution in her post: hiring commoner partisans who are equipped and trained much like, but are totally not called, Scorpions. Her not wanting to use that path towards getting Tor a mundane paramilitary capacity is her prerogative, but I would have supported her if she chosen otherwise.

Tor has the option to hire per noble the same number of commoners (two) to do "whatever" that every other noble clan does. If a Tor noble wants to play soldier with those commoners, while realizing OOCly and ICly that this does not mean that the Tor Scorpions are open for play, I guess that's OK. That's not something that has been requested or done.
Character: "I've been working on building a new barracks for some tim-"
NPC: "Yeah, that fell through, sucks but YOUR HOUSE IS ON FIREEE!! FIRE-KANKS!!

The7DeadlyVenomz

  • Posts: 8683
Re: Article on Not Storing Your Kickass Noble
« Reply #50 on: June 19, 2015, 02:45:28 PM »
I'd certainly say my current staff is excellent at communication, and I'm glad this is a trend across staffdom.  I had exceptional communication with my staff during my noble tenure as well, and even when they told me no, it made sense (of a sort).

If staff has a predefined list of projects they are ready to tackle in terms of animation and workload, that's pretty cool too.
Wynning since October 25, 2008.

>craft newbie into good player

You accidentally snap newbie into useless pieces.


TheWanderer

  • Posts: 1435
Re: Article on Not Storing Your Kickass Noble
« Reply #51 on: June 19, 2015, 03:07:17 PM »
I don't think you guys are on point. It's harder to play a minion for three years than it is to play a noble.




The current system is fine. It just needs some forethought before play. You see, leadership roles are of the roles where you're in charge of whether you have downtime or not; you've been gifted tools, and you're mainly restricted by your own creativity. Do I have to play within the bounds? Duh. You should know that before joining - I mean, damn, it's the GDB's third cycle. Minions who play the way a good minion plays - one who's not gonna go get himself/herself fucked in the ass by an angry horde of rioters and set back your plots, for instance - are not in the same boat. Do you feel a little stressed that they're counting on you? You should. I hate it when people claim they're not responsible for your fun as a leader. It slowly eats away at me that I don't have anything for you to do.

Think about the next plot while the first one is in motion. If I'm ever stumped on what to do next, I blame myself more than anyone else.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2015, 12:15:41 AM by TheWanderer »
Quote from: Robert Bloch
Despite my ghoulish reputation, I really have the heart of a small boy. I keep it in a jar on my desk.

Quote from: Alejandro
You will not survive here. You are not a wolf, and this is a land of wolves now.

The7DeadlyVenomz

  • Posts: 8683
Re: Article on Not Storing Your Kickass Noble
« Reply #52 on: June 19, 2015, 03:09:44 PM »
Oh, I feel eternally responsible for my minions. It eats at me. I have to force myself not to obsess sometimes.
Wynning since October 25, 2008.

>craft newbie into good player

You accidentally snap newbie into useless pieces.


whitt

  • Posts: 1541
Re: Article on Not Storing Your Kickass Noble
« Reply #53 on: June 19, 2015, 03:12:32 PM »
This could be an entirely separate article, heh.

My thoughts are you really should approach communication with a work-like mentality.  You have to be polite, even if you feel the other side isn't.  Especially if you feel the other side isn't.
*Always start with a salutation ("dear staff", "hello", "hey guys"), always end with a closing ("thank you", "cheers", "-<yourname>").  This helps keep you in a cordial mindset.
*Do not ever reply while angry/upset.  Sleep on it first if at all possible.
*Before making any request, realize that "no" is always a possibility.  Have a plan for dealing with that.
*Never interpret malice while any other possible motives remain.

Yep an article on assuming best intent, and etc... that the corporate world is inundated with might be a good thing.
Quote from: BadSkeelz
Ah well you should just kill those PCs. They're not worth the time of plotting creatively against.

BadSkeelz

  • Posts: 8061
Re: Article on Not Storing Your Kickass Noble
« Reply #54 on: June 19, 2015, 03:25:08 PM »
These all sound like they'd need animation, so I wouldn't even consider starting them unless Staff gave marching orders to that effect. I'd rather respond to Staff orders than request things of your time.

To reiterate, these are effectively pre-approved player-driven plots. Staff has already said "we will support you in running these plots" by virtue of posting these as examples in the player-side documentation. It's not our general policy to order players to pursue plots; we can encourage and invite, but marching orders nearly never happen. We will only give orders if there is something that must be done in order to maintain the integrity of the game world; and even then, we give them sparingly.

So if you're waiting around for orders, you are going to just be waiting, mostly.

My feeling is that even if they're pre-approved they're going to require planning via the request tool to execute. This adds time, which increases the chance of one or more valuable pieces to the plot falling off a cliff, setting the whole thing back who knows how long. It also suggest that the objective isn't something that can be achieved through normal code means. I just feel that if a PC leader can't log in, grab a sufficient number of people and do whatever it is they're wanting to do right then, they're over-doing things.

I'd want to keep my clan busy and entertained with the fairly busy and entertaining game world we have, preparing for that time when Staff do ask us to participate in a staff plot.


Quote
When I suggested to Delirium that she could try ignoring Staff, I was speaking mostly in terms of Tor not being allowed to have Scorpions. She alluded to one potential solution in her post: hiring commoner partisans who are equipped and trained much like, but are totally not called, Scorpions. Her not wanting to use that path towards getting Tor a mundane paramilitary capacity is her prerogative, but I would have supported her if she chosen otherwise.

Tor has the option to hire per noble the same number of commoners (two) to do "whatever" that every other noble clan does. If a Tor noble wants to play soldier with those commoners, while realizing OOCly and ICly that this does not mean that the Tor Scorpions are open for play, I guess that's OK. That's not something that has been requested or done.

Personally, I would have violated the letter of the 2 Employee rule to try and maintain the spirit of Tor (i.e. Noble house with paramilitary assets), but it sounds like Staff don't want that to be the spirit anymore. So, yeah, probably good to have agreement between players and staff over what the role should be aiming for before the character even enters the game.

Oh, I feel eternally responsible for my minions. It eats at me. I have to force myself not to obsess sometimes.

Managing minion-assets is easily the most frustrating part of being a leader.

Quote from: janeshephard
You really think BadSkeelz understands the concept of Wine In Front of me? This guy shot me as a townie when he felt threatened. The man's a neandrathal.

Persona for GDB use only. Results in game may vary.

Tuannon

  • Posts: 1283
Re: Article on Not Storing Your Kickass Noble
« Reply #55 on: June 20, 2015, 09:17:50 AM »
"I don't think you guys are on point. It's harder to play a minion for three years than it is to play a noble."

As one of the last slaves in the game as a PC, I can confirm this.

What do you do when a commoner is trying to outdo a slave?

Tetra

  • Posts: 584
Re: Article on Not Storing Your Kickass Noble
« Reply #56 on: July 17, 2015, 12:24:54 AM »
Or the alternative, where you have a character you enjoy playing but the situation you're in is so borked that you can't make it work for your playstyle without constantly feeling like you're not devoting enough of your life slaving away for other players' enjoyment and getting angry/whiny/impatient PSIs and PMs from people who have your clan GDB handle.

It isn't a one answer fits all siutation. And it upsets me a little that it seems like the blame is constantly shifted onto players.


There is a candle in your heart, ready to be kindled. There is a void in your soul, ready to be filled. Can you feel it?  Can you?
- Rumi

boog

  • Posts: 9987
Re: Article on Not Storing Your Kickass Noble
« Reply #57 on: July 23, 2015, 10:43:17 AM »
That's always my situation. I have a great concept, it works for a while, then bam. Real life slaps me in the face.

Time to just red shirt it up forever.
Case: he's more likely to shoot up a mcdonalds for selling secret obama sauce on its big macs
Kismet: didn't see you in GQ homey
BadSkeelz: Whatever you say, Kim Jong Boog
Quote from: Tuannon
There is only one boog.

Suhuy

  • Posts: 833
Re: Article on Not Storing Your Kickass Noble
« Reply #58 on: July 28, 2015, 05:38:19 AM »
Good stuff, valeria! Thanks for sharing it. I especially liked the Paint Yourself Back out of the Corner part. It's good to create a flexible concept that does not become pointless if your primary ambition is no longer feasible.

Maybe the only thing I'd add, and stress the importance of, is what expectations a noble player should reign in from day one (though I guess your article is more for nobles who have some play time under their belts and are not brand spanking new). Namely, the use of skills. There are exceptions, of course, but by and large you will be playing a relatively skill-less character. Make sure you're okay with this before you embark upon this new role. There's something of a trend for nobles fresh out of character generation to express an interest in sparring. I've done this before as well. It's my opinion that if you're interested in pursuing these activities on a regular basis, you might need to rethink the noble concept you had in mind. Many of you will reply and say yeah but I knew this one noble who used to... or I knew this other noble who always... I'm talking about what you can expect to do with your noble on a day to day basis and how you will be spending the majority of your time with him or her. And it won't be in a sparring hall or out hunting tregils (that's what your underlings are there for). This should be at the forefront of our thoughts as we contemplate creating a noble character. Understanding and accepting this will likely prevent us from instances of submitting a noble and storing a week or two later.

Though I think sticking with your role for even 7 or 8 months is a decent commitment. It depends what opportunities you create for others in that time, really. As Talia said, longevity does not equal success. But let's distinguish IC from OOC success. Even if senior ranks still existed, climbing to one does not equate success in my book. Neither does having a bunch of awards and medals for your character's "feats" at different RPTs. These should be seen as decoration more than anything. You won these things because you were in the right place at the right time. If you couldn't log on the day of an HRPT (and therefore not receive the award, or fancy title, or whatever) it doesn't make your character any less successful. To me successful characters don't even have to be chummy with their senior ranking family members. Hell, they could even be hated by them! They have to be providing opportunity for others, however large or small. And here I'd love to name some past nobles as examples of who I felt were successful characters, but it may be too IC. If you're lucky enough to be able to play on a day there's an RPT and get to help save the city from gith, or whatever, that's not success to me. Spend a solid 6 months assigning accomplishable goals for your underlings and others, have an active involvement with the player base, and whether you have 10 silver medals or 0, I think you did your time and deserve a pat on the back. You were a success. And no one's going to sigh if you feel it's time to store and pursue different roles at this point (though they may be sad to see you go just the same -- which if they do feel that way is also a success in its own right, one far more valuable than fancy titles and awards and saving cities from disaster).

What I hope can be deterred more frequently are instances of storing a few weeks after starting the new noble. If you've done your time and you feel you've had enough, no need to carry on. For those wishing to continue, but feel stuck in a rut, I'd view valeria's article as a check list to make sure I'm doing everything possible on my end, before considering storage. Thanks again, V.