Author Topic: A reasoned discussion of the current state of Armageddon vis-a-vis Olden Times  (Read 34031 times)

Taven

  • Helper
  • Posts: 2185
Probably best not to air it publicly then, right?  (Out of respect for the player.)  Just to help you out a bit, the complaint concerned a series of events, all of which I viewed as -- and which were --- negative and discouraging, to the point where I no longer have any desire to play.

For what it's worth, I think there's a fair amount of players who have been in that spot in the past. I've been there before. It's not a fun spot to be in.

I agree with you that tone matters. I agree with Jave that text is a terrible medium for tone. I've had situations where I feel like staff took what I felt was an objectively bad tone with me, and it upset me greatly.

Sometimes when I've been that upset that it hampers my enjoyment of the game, I've just taken a break for awhile. Gone away, done something else, and then come back. It's a way to get some distance and feel refreshed.


As of February 2017, I no longer play Armageddon.

nauta

  • Posts: 2335
Probably best not to air it publicly then, right?  (Out of respect for the player.)  Just to help you out a bit, the complaint concerned a series of events, all of which I viewed as -- and which were --- negative and discouraging, to the point where I no longer have any desire to play.

For what it's worth, I think there's a fair amount of players who have been in that spot in the past. I've been there before. It's not a fun spot to be in.

I agree with you that tone matters. I agree with Jave that text is a terrible medium for tone. I've had situations where I feel like staff took what I felt was an objectively bad tone with me, and it upset me greatly.

Sometimes when I've been that upset that it hampers my enjoyment of the game, I've just taken a break for awhile. Gone away, done something else, and then come back. It's a way to get some distance and feel refreshed.




Presumably, the reason why staff has the policy of not airing staff complaints is, at least in part, because you don't get the full story.  In this case, you don't even get part of the story.
as IF you didn't just have them unconscious, naked, and helpless in the street 4 minutes ago

Taven

  • Helper
  • Posts: 2185
Presumably, the reason why staff has the policy of not airing staff complaints is, at least in part, because you don't get the full story.  In this case, you don't even get part of the story.

You're right, I have no context. I don't know what the issue is, or what it surrounds, or what the circumstances are. I know that you wanted a better tone, though, from your own words. I can tell you that I agree with you that tone matters, and I can tell you that while right now, staff have been amazing in my interactions with their tone, that this hasn't been true all the time. In the past, I've been upset about it.

I hope my last response didn't make it sound like I was belittling your situation, because that wasn't at all the intent. It just sounds like you're in a hard spot, and a spot I can relate with. You filed a complaint about it, and so presumably staff are considering it and working on a resolution. But you're upset, and I'm not saying "oh go away!!" I'm saying "hey, it can help to get some space and distance--I know because it's helped ME before". And I guess there's just not a lot more advice I can give, past that.

There was a long time ago when staff didn't have a firm policy about not airing complaints. Essentially, a player was complaining on the GDB about an issue they had with staff, and a staffer got sick of it. They got tired of not responding. So, they posted the full request and situation on the GDB. There were a lot of different reactions to that. A lot of people agreed with the staff choice in the request, but a lot of people also really disagreed that it was okay to just drag up player's situations like that. I don't know if the rules were changed directly after that or not, but that's part of the history of the reason for the change. Staff doesn't do that anymore out of regards for the players. That's my take on it.

As of February 2017, I no longer play Armageddon.

Jave

  • Legend
  • Posts: 339
Probably best not to air it publicly then, right?  (Out of respect for the player.)  Just to help you out a bit, the complaint concerned a series of events, all of which I viewed as -- and which were --- negative and discouraging, to the point where I no longer have any desire to play.

I'm sorry if you feel as though I was touching on something in your actual staff complaint. That was not my intent. My reply was in reference to this:

The 'perception' here is one that players have developed from actual writings we've seen written to others (my original post on the issue pointed out that there were cases of namecalling and snarkiness in a much publicized case out there on mudconnect) and written to ourselves (while I've had wonderful interactions with some staff, with other staff I've received some really demotivating and discouraging comments).  In my view, denial only fuels the fire.

Part of it is that it isn't just about being 'polite', but about being 'positive' -- I should feel that you can communicate with staff without entering into a hornet's nest of negativity -- and it is also about feeling encouraged, even inspired, to develop characters, get things going, run plots, tell stories, and so on, and not discouraged.  Yes, staff has to say 'no' a lot, and yes they have to even punish players for doing things wrong, in game or out of game.  I can't say it's a job I'd want, but ultimately the game is supposed to be about having fun in a harsh desert landscape -- the out of game experience shouldn't feel equally if not more harsh.  And it does, at least to me.

Emphasis mine. Please take my reply as a response to those points, rather than any specifics of what you wrote in your particular complaint.

However, since you did make it clear that you had recently filed a complaint yourself about the points you raised above:

I've sent some suggestions in a recent staff complaint about cultivating an environment that is encouraging, and I applaud staff who are doing just that.

I did reference your complaint in my own reply tangentially, but in an attempt to assure you that I was familiar with and understood where you were coming from, before going into the broader concept you raised in your post and what my thoughts on it were. Mainly: Perceptions of tone can differ wildly from person to person in a text format without either party being "the one who did something wrong".

Please take my reply in that light.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2015, 01:05:48 AM by Jave »

Nyr

  • Red Fangs
  • Posts: 9033
There was a long time ago when staff didn't have a firm policy about not airing complaints. Essentially, a player was complaining on the GDB about an issue they had with staff, and a staffer got sick of it. They got tired of not responding. So, they posted the full request and situation on the GDB. There were a lot of different reactions to that. A lot of people agreed with the staff choice in the request, but a lot of people also really disagreed that it was okay to just drag up player's situations like that. I don't know if the rules were changed directly after that or not, but that's part of the history of the reason for the change. Staff doesn't do that anymore out of regards for the players. That's my take on it.

I can think of three times in particular.  We don't do it anymore.  Here's why.

4)  Not only would it be better for this to be brought up in a request, that's also the only way this will ever get addressed for a specific player; it's not a matter of staff opinion but a matter of policy that we're in discussion on at this time.

Adhira mentioned that we were discussing that earlier, that we'd not bring up player account related issues on the GDB.  That has been done before a few times.  Even if brought up by players first each time, it doesn't really serve a purpose for us to provide context to someone's claims about their account or how they were treated by staff.  It never ends well, it looks more vindictive than intended (providing a defense against someone's accusations they chose to make public), and it just drags everyone else down.  However, since we're going to be looking at a specific policy on that, I don't know how we can address your point here at all because it cuts both ways. 

We can't and won't discuss someone else's account issues with you.  Not here, not via request, not via e-mail.  That's between them and us.

Now, if you snipe at staff repeatedly on the GDB over stuff (whether it's settled or completely made up), we'll just ban you from the GDB.
Paint on a mustache and be a dude for a day. Stuff some melons down my shirt, cinch up a corset and pass as a girl.

With appropriate roleplay of course.

Desertman

  • Posts: 9490
I think one good change might be the equivalent of a "No-Wish" lock being put on accounts who can't responsibly use the request tool.

If someone is a penis-head in their requests and attack staff repeatedly to the point it would get them banned from the game, instead, we should put a "No Request" lock on their account.

(Presumably you would also get banned from the GDB obviously.)

That way you can't submit requests. You can't post on the GDB.

But so long as you still play your characters responsibly in the game and play them well you can still play the game (obviously just not roles that require requests....of which there are many).

If the problem isn't their play but is instead their OOC personality then we could continue to let them play without subjecting staff to their OOC abuse.

Just a thought.

They might stick around for another year. Play a few indie rangers or whatever. Forget about whatever it was that made them angry so long ago, and once they got unbanned they would still be a valued player who has still been playing and is now cooled off enough to use the request tool responsibly.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2015, 10:25:34 AM by Desertman »
My phone now autocorrects "damn" to Dman.
The young daughter has been filled.

nauta

  • Posts: 2335
Probably best not to air it publicly then, right?  (Out of respect for the player.)  Just to help you out a bit, the complaint concerned a series of events, all of which I viewed as -- and which were --- negative and discouraging, to the point where I no longer have any desire to play.

I'm sorry if you feel as though I was touching on something in your actual staff complaint. That was not my intent.

Oh, ok.  I had thought you were commenting on the staff complaint.  I'd say if you want to follow-up on the complaint-y part of the complaint, blast me something privately -- I had wanted to point you to the positive suggestions part of it.
as IF you didn't just have them unconscious, naked, and helpless in the street 4 minutes ago

Riev

  • Posts: 5595
When I first starting playing this game (Almost Olden Times, Halaster WAS still around but... eh) I was told how great the game was, and how you could "do anything". One example was that my mentor at the time was playing a fire elementalist, and someone was chasing them, so they wished up and explained the situation and that they wanted to jump out of a window in the room description, and got some aid.

I'm NOT saying that can't happen now, because I know it can. The difference is, back then someone saw that wish, came down immediately and helped along the story. Now, there's so many plots that people are aching to be a part of, that any staff attention at all is seen as "staff pets" and the red tape is duct tape. If I were to say there's a major difference between the two times, that is it.

I remember stories of people making virtual deals that legitimately had Half Giants bringing in chests FULL of obsidian coins, and I remember bringing in wood for Ourla's Templar who, I found out later, was using it to set traps for the Copper Wars or something equally awesome.

Lately, the stories I remember are "Well, we killed some spiders again" and "I guess that gith was kinda neat".
Masks are the Armageddon equivalent of Ed Hardy shirts.

seidhr

  • Administrator
  • Posts: 561
When I first starting playing this game (Almost Olden Times, Halaster WAS still around but... eh) I was told how great the game was, and how you could "do anything". One example was that my mentor at the time was playing a fire elementalist, and someone was chasing them, so they wished up and explained the situation and that they wanted to jump out of a window in the room description, and got some aid.

I'm NOT saying that can't happen now, because I know it can. The difference is, back then someone saw that wish, came down immediately and helped along the story. Now, there's so many plots that people are aching to be a part of, that any staff attention at all is seen as "staff pets" and the red tape is duct tape. If I were to say there's a major difference between the two times, that is it.

I remember stories of people making virtual deals that legitimately had Half Giants bringing in chests FULL of obsidian coins, and I remember bringing in wood for Ourla's Templar who, I found out later, was using it to set traps for the Copper Wars or something equally awesome.

Lately, the stories I remember are "Well, we killed some spiders again" and "I guess that gith was kinda neat".

Uh, stuff like that does still happen.

bcw81

  • Helper
  • Posts: 3069
When I first starting playing this game (Almost Olden Times, Halaster WAS still around but... eh) I was told how great the game was, and how you could "do anything". One example was that my mentor at the time was playing a fire elementalist, and someone was chasing them, so they wished up and explained the situation and that they wanted to jump out of a window in the room description, and got some aid.

I'm NOT saying that can't happen now, because I know it can. The difference is, back then someone saw that wish, came down immediately and helped along the story. Now, there's so many plots that people are aching to be a part of, that any staff attention at all is seen as "staff pets" and the red tape is duct tape. If I were to say there's a major difference between the two times, that is it.

I remember stories of people making virtual deals that legitimately had Half Giants bringing in chests FULL of obsidian coins, and I remember bringing in wood for Ourla's Templar who, I found out later, was using it to set traps for the Copper Wars or something equally awesome.

Lately, the stories I remember are "Well, we killed some spiders again" and "I guess that gith was kinda neat".

I remember the story of a Tuluki army that raided the fortress of Ten Serak and eventually razed the Allanaki encampment there because of PC initiative. That was less than 6 months ago.

Quote
A female voice says, in sirihish:
     "] yer a wizard, oashi"

BadSkeelz

  • Posts: 8411
Going further back, there was PC-driven Allanak attack on the Tuluki cottonfields that would have involved a dozen PCs and upwards of a hundred (V)NPC soldiers riding in to battle.

Of course, all the PC-initiative in the world doesn't do much good if there isn't a single person (PC or NPC) in the Arm of the Dragon with direction sense.

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.

Miradus: He's not some weird mental abomination. He's just a guy on the internet.

Riev

  • Posts: 5595
I'm NOT saying that can't happen now, because I know it can.
Uh, stuff like that does still happen.
Masks are the Armageddon equivalent of Ed Hardy shirts.

seidhr

  • Administrator
  • Posts: 561
I'm NOT saying that can't happen now, because I know it can.
Uh, stuff like that does still happen.

So I just want to make sure I understand...

Your post is saying that you are unhappy that this stuff doesn't happen, but when reassured that it does still happen, you quote your own post and make it clear that you understand it can happen?

 ??? ??? ???

wizturbo

  • Posts: 2489
Cool things can happen today, as evidenced by numerous posts.  But it requires work to make it happen.  Want to get a plot off the ground?  The quote box below is a fairly brief synopsis of what's required in my experiences:  

(skip the quoted section if you don't care about reading about process and want to cut to the heart of my argument)

Quote

1)  Staff Supported Idea

To get staff support on an idea, this is generally what's needed:
  • The idea needs to be ICly appropriate to the setting, that means it has to get past the staff round table without any objections
  • The idea has to be ICly something your in-game superiors would support, unless it's something you're doing without their support, or if you have no superiors
  • The idea has to include enough players that it's worth the time investment to work on it
  • The idea has to feasible to support with whatever resources are available

2)  PC Leadership

At least one person needs to initiate the idea in-game.  Be it hiring/commanding people to do things, or suggesting things be done to someone who can.  These leaders basically become both IC and OOC project managers for "the idea", handling all of the scheduling with players and staff, coming up with detailed plans on what is or isn't going to be done, ectera.  It's akin to planning a party across multiple time zones, using nothing but text messages, and if you're lucky, a message board where you can post extremely vague things.  

"Party on Saturday night!  At the place you might know about.  Bring shovels." -FML Sponsored-Leader-Guy

And then after the project management stuff goes down, these are also the people who have to lead ICly.  They need to make sure the group doesn't get separated because Amos the newbie doesn't have a ride skill to keep up.  They need to way 15 people to get them to do X and Y and Z things.  They need to make sure the right things are done in-game before/after/during the event in question.  It feels something like actually throwing the party I referenced above, through nothing but text messages.

3)  Staff Leadership

After all of these things have happened, at least one staff member has to take up the project and do all the staff work behind the scenes.  That work might be as simple as creating a single echo in a room somewhere, or might be as complicated as building new rooms and NPCs, and controlling those NPC's in a combat situation.  The staff leadership also has to come at the right scheduled time, and they have to communicate with each other and players in order to make it all go off without a hitch...  Oh, and about the "hitch"...  If something goes wrong during "the idea" they're the ones that have to deal with the aftermath.  A PC dies to less-than-ideal code?  They get to spend hours writing messages back and forth with the affected players trying to smooth things over.  A PC chooses to do something they didn't expect, and now they have a bunch of work to do to set up the next phase in "the idea" to account for it.


4)  Players Participating

And lastly, after all this work, players have to show up and participate.  Scheduling helps for this, but all kinds of things can get in the way of player attendance.   They show up, they have fun (hopefully) and then they wonder when the next shindig is...  Or they don't show up, and all the work above was essentially wasted, or postponed to try again.  This section also includes the possibility that someone ICly kicks over your sandcastle and wrecks the project sending it back to the drawing board or cancelling it.  


^^^^
Is what I had to do for many of my "ideas".  Some I got all the way through the process, some I quit partway through on because of either IC or OOC reasons.  Credit to staff for rarely telling me "no" to any of my ideas, and most of the ones I carried through to the end resulted in some good times, but it's absolutely exhausting.  It's logical, it's fair, but it's exhausting to make things happen.  It isn't red tape...  It's just the process.  It's the process required for a player driven plot model.  Which, at least in my humble opinion, is the heart of the problem.  Player led plots are a ton of fucking work for everyone involved.  Personally, I want staff led plots.  Not because they're better (although I'd argue they often are), but because they're easier.  

If plots were primarily staff led, you could cut all of #1 out of the process, and most of #2.  It also simplifies #3 because they don't have to work within the context of what a player's vision is for said thing.  They can build their plots however they like, keeping them as simple as they like or as complex as they dare.  It would ultimately boil down the whole process to something so much cleaner and easier:  

"Staff dream up cool shit, players show up and participate in said cool shit".  

Maybe what players do influence what the staff choose to do, it would probably make the plots feel more fun and interactive if they did.  Staff could look to player actions to come up with inspirations for their "cool shit".  But even if they don't, and it's just their own thing without player input, I would be okay with that.  I'd rather see more things going on that I cannot materially effect the outcome of, than have rare things happen that semi adjust to what players choose.  Maybe staff work on player driven plots part time (following the model above), or maybe they just invest that time into making their staff led plots even bigger and more bad ass.  

I know there are staff led plots today, but I'd rather see more of those, and not have them spending their time helping PC's achieve their dreams of getting their own tree, or even helping me on my plots!  I'm fine with staff not having time for my plots, if it means I can participate in theirs instead!  Sign me up.

Anyhow, that's my two cents, and my beating of a long, long dead horse that i won't really ever let die.  
« Last Edit: October 26, 2015, 05:47:31 PM by wizturbo »

Nyr

  • Red Fangs
  • Posts: 9033
I think one good change might be the equivalent of a "No-Wish" lock being put on accounts who can't responsibly use the request tool.

If someone is a penis-head in their requests and attack staff repeatedly to the point it would get them banned from the game, instead, we should put a "No Request" lock on their account.

(Presumably you would also get banned from the GDB obviously.)

That way you can't submit requests. You can't post on the GDB.

But so long as you still play your characters responsibly in the game and play them well you can still play the game (obviously just not roles that require requests....of which there are many).

If the problem isn't their play but is instead their OOC personality then we could continue to let them play without subjecting staff to their OOC abuse.

Just a thought.

They might stick around for another year. Play a few indie rangers or whatever. Forget about whatever it was that made them angry so long ago, and once they got unbanned they would still be a valued player who has still been playing and is now cooled off enough to use the request tool responsibly.

We lack the code to do that, and to a large degree we lack the desire to code that.

I'm not saying we won't ever code in this kind of support.  However, maybe you can understand why we aren't welling up with the desire to create this distinction between players that habitually/repeatedly act terribly to those that staff this game, and players that act terribly within the game.

I'd be more in favor of coming up with an update to the rules helpfile, and cover everything that matters, as well as how different types of things will be handled.  And yes, communicating responsibly is something that matters...the bar isn't really set that high.
Paint on a mustache and be a dude for a day. Stuff some melons down my shirt, cinch up a corset and pass as a girl.

With appropriate roleplay of course.

Desertman

  • Posts: 9490
I think one good change might be the equivalent of a "No-Wish" lock being put on accounts who can't responsibly use the request tool.

If someone is a penis-head in their requests and attack staff repeatedly to the point it would get them banned from the game, instead, we should put a "No Request" lock on their account.

(Presumably you would also get banned from the GDB obviously.)

That way you can't submit requests. You can't post on the GDB.

But so long as you still play your characters responsibly in the game and play them well you can still play the game (obviously just not roles that require requests....of which there are many).

If the problem isn't their play but is instead their OOC personality then we could continue to let them play without subjecting staff to their OOC abuse.

Just a thought.

They might stick around for another year. Play a few indie rangers or whatever. Forget about whatever it was that made them angry so long ago, and once they got unbanned they would still be a valued player who has still been playing and is now cooled off enough to use the request tool responsibly.

We lack the code to do that, and to a large degree we lack the desire to code that.

I'm not saying we won't ever code in this kind of support.  However, maybe you can understand why we aren't welling up with the desire to create this distinction between players that habitually/repeatedly act terribly to those that staff this game, and players that act terribly within the game.

I'd be more in favor of coming up with an update to the rules helpfile, and cover everything that matters, as well as how different types of things will be handled.  And yes, communicating responsibly is something that matters...the bar isn't really set that high.

I'm just a player and not a staffer so my priorities are different seeing as how my feelings aren't apt to get hurt and I'm not apt to be personally attacked by a player who's a dick.

But yes, I can see how staff might have a different point of view on these players since you are "in the line of fire" so to speak.

Still, if they aren't able to send abuse your way, and are able to play the game, as a player and not a staffer I still vote for this option.

(My vote doesn't count because I'm not actually doing the work, but it's there.)
My phone now autocorrects "damn" to Dman.
The young daughter has been filled.

Dresan

  • Posts: 1306
I would suggest you avoid touching those 'rules' anymore then they have to be. The more those rules are defined, the more like nitpicking asses you end up sounding. This is from experience of having to read other people's rules in other games.

The only people that will be referring to those rules are new players after, since only 'IC policy' changes (ex.rape) are already spoken about here in great detail. The meanness rule within the game is already at the limit of how snarky things should be sounding.


That said if you were to add on last rule, it should be more of a comment. Something like this:

This is a game. A passionate hobby we all come together as a community to create. Without players the game is not worth playing, at all. Without staff, who were all former players, the game cannot run, at all. Lets work together to make this an enjoyable game for everyone.


I think if people remembered that golden 'rule' above, then this thread would be more about how we could make things exciting and enjoyable ICly in game.

Now back to IC matters, despite what Seidhr said, I still completely agree with Reiv's sentiment.  :-[  
« Last Edit: October 27, 2015, 11:56:59 AM by Dresan »
This message was brought to you by a fair weather player.

Nyr

  • Red Fangs
  • Posts: 9033
Rule 1 seems fine.  Rules 3-5 can be combined into one "rule" if you can even call it a "rule" to explain how the world works.  A new rule could be added to detail an expectation of communicating reasonably, and to lay out how repeated negative/harassing/shitty communication to staff or players won't be tolerated (warning, short ban, long ban, perm ban, whatever).  Rule 6 would then be rule 4.  Rule 7 can be added as a subset of rule 1 for easier reading.  Rules 8 and 9 would become rules 5 and 6, respectively.
Paint on a mustache and be a dude for a day. Stuff some melons down my shirt, cinch up a corset and pass as a girl.

With appropriate roleplay of course.

Dresan

  • Posts: 1306
It sounds fair, if you are condensing them then that wouldn't be so bad.  

You should add a 'Have fun' rule with a happy face in it. Seriously.

The only ones that read that will be potentially new players who we really want to at least take the time to try the game. The way things are said and laid out needs to cater to them the most. And from what I've read on other forums this game with its RPI status is very intimidating to new players already, not to mention the GDB and its negative and sometimes cruel comments probably don't help matters either.

I know people want to fall back to those rules like if they were some sort of contract but unfortunately people here tend to use the 'we are just human' phrase as an excuse to treat each other badly instead of the reason to treat each other with respect. Again changing those rules don't effect anyone thats already been playing here for any period of time so in this case lets consider the new player first before anyone else.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2015, 12:37:11 PM by Dresan »
This message was brought to you by a fair weather player.

Molten Heart

  • Posts: 1956
I appreciate what staff do in trying to create a better game. I know it's a thankless and difficult job to do, especially one they choose to do in their spare time. While I don't show it that much, I've been excited about this game ever since the "Reborn" game was canceled and this game was put back on the front burner again. I believe this game has a lot of value that's been created from the many staff and players contributing it over the years and with the new additions and changes being made I'm encouraged, believing the game can become even better. While there are many areas where the game needs some work, I'm glad the staff continue to strive to understand players needs, in communicating with players while also making an effort to keep the world dynamic and interesting, focused not as much on creating a perfect game as creating the perfect role playing experience for their players.