Author Topic: 'Quiet spells' and lack of interaction: solutions BESIDES removing content/areas  (Read 899 times)

Harmless

  • Posts: 2610
The reason I care is that the way I see it, Arm is a platform for roleplay. Roleplay is kind of social, by necessity, requiring a performer and audience, usually recipricoally i.e. interaction. Therefore yes, we need people to be able to find others to interact with, positively or negatively. I agree with staff that this is a major concern for the fun to be had, i.e. how easy it is to get enough people going in one place/vein for it to get interesting.

So far, the approach seems to be to slash and burn, removing whole swathes of content that is available to us at a time so that there is less..variety, and yes, less spreading out and micro-cultures and clans.

But, problem is, it feels very apparent to me now, as one of the vets whose been persistently playing through the past year or two (heh, I admit it), that all we've done is remove a portion of the active playerbase, by turning them off, one group at a time with each slashing.

Rather than slash away areas and concepts to have more interaction, what if we could use some newly added feature to have an easier time finding each other? One thing that helps, is the function of 'who c' for those who have it. (That feature is awesome, btw!) What if there was a Way ability that was similar to how 'who c' works but instead is unreliable and easily beaten with barrier or maybe even with just a simple toggle.

Maybe..if you really like someone, your mind always kind of feels for them. You're familiar with them, so you easily 'sense' them. This ability just lets you know with a little expenditure of time and concentration who is awake and contactable via the Way, among those who mutually feel 'familiar' with you. (It's kind of like a friend list, heh.) It should be unreliable, in lots of fun ways! Maybe it can even be random..or misleading? I've always had this beef with the Way being just..contact, and barrier, and expelling a contact (useless and silly but fun-ish, I never bother to use it). Just a bit more of the good aspects of the Way for Zalanthans: connecting them, to enhance survival.

 It might upset a bit of the power balance...but let's experiment. I appreciate the experiments with magick, now, I admit it. I have made enough characters with it to see that it opens up new concepts that are pretty darned fun and playable. Touché, you won me over with them. Now there is a new spell that I don't have the ability to test at the moment, but that's cool! But, an actually empowering feature addition like this suggestion would maybe help break monotony and organize ourselves into cool plots. That's what the core problem is, right, the lack of interaction? This should help, no?  :)

edited to add, that I know this idea has been proposed many a time over the years. Just saying, from my perspective, it'd be a safe but useful addition. I think it's even been considered, but yeah, let's think about that kinda approach some more, please! *hides*

« Last Edit: April 17, 2017, 03:44:40 PM by Harmless »
Useful tips: Commands |  |Storytelling:  1  2

Harmless

  • Posts: 2610
Other solutions that have been well discussed on the GDB are abilities to 'leave messages' to others, to overcome the barrier that timezones/schedules/RL pose a bit more. I support those also! Any other ideas for ways to gently or maybe a bit dramatically correct the problem of 'lack of interaction' are welcome here.
Useful tips: Commands |  |Storytelling:  1  2

Harmless

  • Posts: 2610
I have one more short tale to share before I take my nap for the day: I played as a desert elf recently, and it really occurred to me how much opportunity for interaction is lost to that character with the closing of Tuluk. Tuluk was a roundear city, yes, but it had a draw and had, in the past, let desert elves in for some short (but sometimes important) interaction. That Luir's Outpost is the only realistically visitable city/outpost left to desert elves means the closure of Tuluk really damaged the fun and intrigue for a lot of other roles nearby it.
Useful tips: Commands |  |Storytelling:  1  2

Armaddict

  • Posts: 5791
Closures also closed down 'meaningful' content generation that occurred naturally.  A large part of lack of interaction is that social events aren't out of place, but they aren't exactly generating content as much as changing environs of the average social interaction in game in the first place.

I log in a lot less now, because I'm action oriented.  Not as in 'Give me combat and story arcs all the time', but as in I like for the world to be rife with at least minor things happening at all times.  Kurac's routine clearing of trade routes provides more consistent 'content' to take a bite out of than pretty much anything else in the game right now, which is pretty meh.

Basically, a lot of the 'lack of interaction' is really 'lack of meaningful interaction'.  You can log in and talk to people and find little things happening in the social sphere, but really there's just no -web- of interaction where decisions made carry impacts that ripple elsewhere and forge that 'things are happening around me!' feeling.
She wasn't doing a thing that I could see, except standing there leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together. --J.D. Salinger

Jihelu

  • Posts: 2483
I've found my self focusing on what Arm loosely semi based it self on.

Dark Sun.

Actually not at all, I've been focusing on DnD.
All of the down time in DnD is, depending on who runs the game, the meaningful interactions you get with people.
Outside of that it's kill things and adventure.
The boring times are when you don't play, not when you sit in the tavern for six hours.
Shade, profits, and George Bush did 9/11

Delirium

  • Helper
  • Posts: 11286
but really there's just no -web- of interaction where decisions made carry impacts that ripple elsewhere and forge that 'things are happening around me!' feeling.

I'm going to be that person - I mean, maybe I'm just lucky, or good at insinuating myself into plots, but good freakin' lord is that statement untrue. Yes, it takes some patience, creativity, and proactiveness to get involved in plots sometimes, but that's where the collaborative part of collaborative storytelling comes in.

If something really, actually isn't happening in your sphere of the gameworld, then START SOMETHING.

I'm going to stop myself before I go on a rant here.
"Our whole lives are just stories." - Vikings

Armaddict

  • Posts: 5791
Quote
I'm going to be that person - I mean, maybe I'm just lucky, or good at insinuating myself into plots, but good freakin' lord is that statement untrue. Yes, it takes some patience, creativity, and proactiveness to get involved in plots sometimes, but that's where the collaborative part of collaborative storytelling comes in.

If something really, actually isn't happening in your sphere of the gameworld, then START SOMETHING.

I'm going to stop myself before I go on a rant here.

If you look through my post history, you'll see me talking about how -I- don't have trouble.

However, by and large, when you look from top down for the dead zone between "I'm new to this game, the code and everything is awesome!" and "I'm creative, well-versed in the game, proactive, and know that if I keep doing -this- I'll get into -this- kind of thing at some point!", you have:

1.  Isolated tribes away from the rest of the world, which generally has little to no interest in being near their zone control unless it's for 'Gathering quests' at the whim of someone who is -trying- to give people something to do.
2.  A 'state' clan that has no true enemy aside from those actually planted in for them to deal with, reducing them to mostly law enforcement in a city with ruthlessly efficient law enforcement in place; if you can outdo that, you can outdo most of the clan.
3.  An assortment of noble-based clans that have been placed into an almost purely social atmosphere of dependence and limited boons to offer unless the 'state' clan wishes it.
4.  A mercenary clan that hires itself out, but the jobs just aren't there without 'proper' mercenary work to regularly engage in.

Etc.  Etc.

Quote
I mean, maybe I'm just lucky, or good at insinuating myself into plots, but good freakin' lord is that statement untrue.

You're right.  I'm utterly inexperienced with the game, and have no idea what I'm talking about.  The past fifteen years I've just been that lucky too, to where I just got swept up into things rather than there being easy access to choices that influenced the shifting tides of conflict in the game, or at least pulled me into them.  Now things are just different, to where I actually have to go out and work hard and be a real go-getter.  (hint:  This would still make my statement accurate as an indicator that things are not improved because of closures.  "I still find stuff to do!" does not equate with "This is totally benefitting the game!")

Edit:  More succinctly put...we're clearly at a low point.  Ignoring it under the pretense of '-I'm- still doing alright!' is engaging in a sort of self-sabotage for no reason.  It's only reasonable to look at changes that correlate with diminishment and examine them, instead of barreling forward into new ideas assuming that every decision made has been a good one.  -I- focus on how much less 'action' is available or considered worth it within the game, and continue to say that more groups with more varied, but sometimes overlapping interests is more healthy than blocky groups that are separated in roles neatly but as a result have little reason to conflict with each other.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2017, 01:53:59 AM by Armaddict »
She wasn't doing a thing that I could see, except standing there leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together. --J.D. Salinger

Cind

  • Posts: 1202
Once Nyr posted the results of how many people were drawn to the game; it was typically 1-3 every month (or something like that) except for December, the month I had posted a piece of paper with the word Armageddon.org on my school bulletin board, in the language arts building. That month we had 13 new players. I'm not sure if it was me that brought in any more, but advertising is gold.
Look, a petting tregil.  So silky...Feel him.

Barsook

  • Helper
  • Posts: 7889
    • The Sense of Openness
But how many stayed for longer than a hour of play?

Fathi

  • Posts: 4510
Like Delirium, I'm currently at a point where I feel like there's so much going on in the game that I get that "crap I'm missing stuff" feeling anytime I can't log in for a couple days. Heck, sometimes I get it when I can't log in for a couple hours. There is a LOT going on.

But. And this is a big but. I have also posted this elsewhere in the past: what's true for me isn't necessarily true for you, and vice versa.

When it comes to the problem of "nothing is going on," the perception of a problem is just as bad as a problem itself. If there's a billion little backroom deals and quiet sneaky plots happening, what difference does it make if a sizeable chunk of the playerbase feels completely removed for it or has no idea it's happening?

This can be a tricky problem to observe and try to fix, because staff can look down from on high and see all the shit that IS happening, and it must be tempting to dismiss or at least feel less concerned about people who swear nothing is going on.

It's also a tricky problem to solve simply because what entertains one person doesn't necessarily entertain another.

I've pondered if there could be other, better ways to what we currently have to advertise exactly what is going on to players. The rumour boards are a help, but it feels often like there's a lot of stuff going on that doesn't really suit them? Like a lot of low level "a thing happened" occurrences that don't really necessitate a board post that THE WHOLE CITY WOULD BE TALKING ABOUT or whatever.

I like the idea of a monthly or even bi-monthly newsletter that clues players in to some of the plots that are ongoing in the city, plus code changes and role calls. I'd read that, if I was inactive, because I try to keep up with the game even when I'm not playing. But that also sounds like a lot of work.
Out of all those kinds of people, you got a face with a view
I'm just an animal looking for a home
Share the same space for a minute or two

Quote from: BadSkeelz
My preferred form of birth control is still rough circle.

Feco

  • Posts: 1768
I like the idea of a monthly or even bi-monthly newsletter that clues players in to some of the plots that are ongoing in the city, plus code changes and role calls. I'd read that, if I was inactive, because I try to keep up with the game even when I'm not playing. But that also sounds like a lot of work.

http://gdb.armageddon.org/index.php/topic,52374.0.htm

I proposed a similar idea which is apparently under staff discussion.  I hope we hear about their thoughts at some point.
Quote
Sunshine all the time makes a desert.
Vote at TMS
Vote at TMC

Lizzie

  • Posts: 7300
Not everyone has the DESIRE to start stuff. Some people prefer to let someone else take the lead, and be a #1 right hand man. Not everyone is good at starting things. Some people are better at playing minions. I'm one of them. Sure, I could make up all kinds of insane quests, and potentially deadly plots, gossip, rumors, contracts, etc. I could pull a dozen out of my ass on a bad day.

If I were a Storyteller on staff, I'd love doing shit like that.

But I'm not a Storyteller. I'm a player.  As a player, I want to be entertained. I want someone else pulling the strings, and leading the quests, and driving the plotlines. I want to be involved in them, even maybe the second-most important person involved in them. But I don't want to be the one everyone else turns to for them, as a player.

As someone who DOES rely on other people to create plots, I have to say most of the time, unless you're playing with the VERY FEW players who are playing in leadership roles with excellent leadership skills who also just happen to be logged in at least a few times a week when you are - being involved is ridiculously difficult to do.

When I'm not with one of those leader types, MY rp stagnates. I have no one to report things to, no one to get orders from, no idea of what kinds of goals I need to completely change from what my character initially wanted, just to get them involved.

Sure I can buff up my skills, but for what purpose? What am I planning on DOING with all those uber leet buff skills, if I have no plotlines to get involved in? If all I'm doing is going out killing critters and earning fat loot, I could play a H&S and do a whole lot better than what Armageddon offers in that regard.

Thankfully I'm one of those lucky people who get into plotlines. But I totally get that the opportunities are incredibly limited for newer players, because the options have been significantly reduced over the years.

In order to get into the Guild, you need to discover it exists. If you want to get involved in a clan that's experiencing lots of plotline goodness, you have to know which clan is experiencing that. And - in Allanak, there's very little on the tavern boards to indicate a regular, consistent involvement in anything at all. And some imply that there's lots going on in this or that clan, but things can change in a matter of days, and by the time a new player shows up to read those tavern posts, the information is already obsolete. "Noble Amos is looking for employees" posted 2 RL days ago - except that Amos was murdered in a really awesome plotline that new player will never even know about.

That kind of thing. I get the frustration and I agree with it. I'd like to see more "news" posted somewhere, AND more opportunities to be engaged in other peoples' plotlines. Or a help file or addition to the existing new player help file, to explain HOW to get involved in other peoples' plotlines.

Just showing up and sitting at the bar hoping a leader will wander in and take interest in you is not helpful information.
Talia said: Notice to all: Do not mess with Lizzie's GDB. She will cut you.
Delirium said: Notice to all: do not mess with Lizzie's soap. She will cut you.

Cind

  • Posts: 1202
But how many stayed for longer than a hour of play?

I'm like NOT sure at all, but I believe the 1-2 or 1-3 a month were keepers, usually from a pool of 10-14. The language arts college bulletin board was probably a good place to try to put some advertising, but I don't know how many people were retained that month. I had to be drawn in twice to be retained, myself.
Look, a petting tregil.  So silky...Feel him.

Akaramu

  • Posts: 6199
    • Anathema Web Serial
Not everyone has the DESIRE to start stuff. Some people prefer to let someone else take the lead, and be a #1 right hand man. Not everyone is good at starting things. Some people are better at playing minions. I'm one of them. Sure, I could make up all kinds of insane quests, and potentially deadly plots, gossip, rumors, contracts, etc. I could pull a dozen out of my ass on a bad day.

If I were a Storyteller on staff, I'd love doing shit like that.

But I'm not a Storyteller. I'm a player.  As a player, I want to be entertained. I want someone else pulling the strings, and leading the quests, and driving the plotlines. I want to be involved in them, even maybe the second-most important person involved in them. But I don't want to be the one everyone else turns to for them, as a player.

This. I play good minions, but I'm too much of a casual player to see things I started through. It usually feels like work after a little while, or requires me to log in during inconvenient hours of the day when I should be doing other stuff. I just want to follow someone and support their thing.

BadSkeelz

  • Posts: 8141
Like Delirium, I'm currently at a point where I feel like there's so much going on in the game that I get that "crap I'm missing stuff" feeling anytime I can't log in for a couple days. Heck, sometimes I get it when I can't log in for a couple hours. There is a LOT going on.

But. And this is a big but. I have also posted this elsewhere in the past: what's true for me isn't necessarily true for you, and vice versa.

When it comes to the problem of "nothing is going on," the perception of a problem is just as bad as a problem itself. If there's a billion little backroom deals and quiet sneaky plots happening, what difference does it make if a sizeable chunk of the playerbase feels completely removed for it or has no idea it's happening?

Cross-posting from the Brainstorming thread (we sure have a lot of threads all about the same general topic right now), but:

I hear there's kind of more interesting things going on in Allanak but they're not broadcasted very far (in-game or out) so it's easy for me to play other games under the impression that I'm not missing anything in Arm.

If you're playing a character whose kind of confined to the fringes of the game world (and whose stats are too good to store) it's easy to fall in to the "nothing interesting is going on" trap. Unfortunately this has been compounded by most of my sources of information either quitting the game or being banned (or both) in the last few months so I really have limited idea of what's going on and few IC avenues to pursue it.
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.

Dresan

  • Posts: 1146
I unfortunately play less than I post these days. I've been  looking at some of my older posts and i used to have tons of small/big ideas and suggestions for this game, but I can't really think of many anymore.

There are some things I currently feel i miss:

1. Viable place to escape to.... right now after fucking up in allanak your choices seem a little bleak. Hard to be a hero in one place, while being an open villan in another.

I had  a few other things that were indie related but no real point in saying them.  Thinking back, the war between city states hurt the perception of just being able to run away and start a new life somewhere else.  This doesn't mean we need tuluk back, but rather it feels like a downside to have one all city state with the at very least the perception of it being all powerful, far-reaching and with no downfall in sight.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2017, 09:19:13 PM by Dresan »
This message was brought to you by a fair weather player.

Hauwke

  • Posts: 947
I actually agree wholeheartedly with that Dresan.

There is nowhere distant to run to if you fuck everything up in Allanak, all you can do is go to storm and hope that no one there wants to turn you in for a few sid.

Cind

  • Posts: 1202
I think leaving one noble house and the templarate open in Tuluk would have been better than closing it off, you'd have kept a place for traitors, Tuluk fans, tribals to go to and be in. Close everything else; the Byn, the other Houses, the bardic circle. I think this would have helped independent humans actually be able to sit in a tavern (or in my case, dig for clay) without being offered a job, and animosity between tribals/Templars/that one noble house can still happen and make the city feel alive, while making it so that you actually run into someone without a silver spoon in their mouth.

It would be a more representative noble house, not Dasari or uh... whatever else is kind of an unusual noble house. The one that has all the good slaves, maybe. Its been so long, I've forgotten the house names.

I'm not a big fan of Tuluk compared to Allanak (it was still fun to play there) but one thing I missed is playing an unmanifested witch there. That was always fun. I didn't have karma back then, and did it three times.
Look, a petting tregil.  So silky...Feel him.

Dresan

  • Posts: 1146
Tuluk has its problems. For example, looking back at it now the xenophobia could have caused some problems if it still existed now. At least it would make it hard for people to pack up and just move to start a new life. This isn't good for the game.

Back then, some people didn't like the direction it took or the mindbenders,etc etc. They didn't give it a chance, boycotting it at times. Things didn't change and then the final closer. There were probably some good intentions on both sides but just didn't work out well for anyone at the end.

I never thought re-opening tuluk was the way to go, not back when we had 65+ people at peak and especially not now. Instead, the game should continue to do what its doing, improving itself with what it has.

The game probably has more potential now then it ever has had. Right now allanak is virtually too strong while the places around allanak too small,weak and bleak. But who knows what might happen in the future, Tuluk turned into explorable ruins, Allanak being a shadow of its former self, and perhaps new strong towns with equally engaging politics will emerge as the centers of civilization and decadence. The was the ultimate plan for Arm 2 after all if i remember correctly.   
This message was brought to you by a fair weather player.

Riev

  • Posts: 4344
I say that a turmoil begins in Allanak where the uncouth masses kind of rise up and join the Labyrinth, after burning down the mages quarter and taking over most of the bazaar and GMH sectors. Make a REAL north vs south mentality, only its one city. No more "If you go northside you get mugged outright" but more of a "If you're a southie coming up there you better have business and leave us the fuck alone", meanwhile southside has all the money and wealth it had before, but suffers from a severe lack of slaves and minions.
Masks are the Armageddon equivalent of Ed Hardy shirts.

Synthesis

  • Posts: 9298
Thread Title:  "...solutions BESIDES removing content/areas"

Riev:  "BURN DOWN THE MERCHANT AND GEMMED QUARTERS"
Quote from: WarriorPoet
I play this game to pretend to chop muthafuckaz up with bone swords.
Quote from: Smuz
I come to the GDB to roleplay being deep and wise.
Quote from: Vanth
Synthesis, you scare me a little bit.

chrisdcoulombe

  • Posts: 891
Thread Title:  "...solutions BESIDES removing content/areas"

Riev:  "BURN DOWN THE MERCHANT AND GEMMED QUARTERS"

Seems legit.
Quote from MeTekillot
Samos the salter never goes to jail! Hahaha!

Hauwke

  • Posts: 947
Burn down, not remove.

TheGoose

  • Posts: 37
C o m e  t o  L u i r ' s.