Author Topic: Staff AMA or Staff/Player Discussions  (Read 1438 times)

Adhira

  • Producer
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Staff AMA or Staff/Player Discussions
« on: October 24, 2017, 02:56:41 PM »
Hello all,

We are looking to do more with our Discord channel in the Player/Staff discussion realm.

At the moment we're considering doing a variety of Staff 'AMA' style discussions.  We're thinking that these could feature individual staff members who will answer questions about their experience, thoughts, plans and more with regards to Armageddon.

We are also thinking of having some 'groups' of staff members do AMA discussion such as 'new storytellers', 'southern team' and so on.  We could also do a themed discussion if there were particular areas that people feel need more indepth attention.

Questions for you all:

- Are there any particular 'groups' that you would like to see featured in these discussions.
- Are there any themes or topics that you think need to be featured.
- Preference for chats?  (Week night, weekend day, weekend night)

Thanks, in advance, for the feedback!
"It doesn't matter what country someone's from, or what they look like, or the color of their skin. It doesn't matter what they smell like, or that they spell words slightly differently, some would say more correctly." - Jemaine Clement. FOTC.

Riev

  • Posts: 4793
Re: Staff AMA or Staff/Player Discussions
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2017, 03:44:09 PM »
I'm always interested in the differences between Storytellers, Team Leaders, Producers, etc. Especially those that have been Team Lead/Producer, and gone back and forth between positions.

Unfortunately, due to the anonymity involved in becoming a staff member, there are a lot of questions that really rule out it being an "AMA" per se.

I think these would go better more towards like... "Hi, I'm Akariel, and I headed up the MeatCraft project. AMA!" ... where there is a specific addition or focus as a jumping off point.
Masks are the Armageddon equivalent of Ed Hardy shirts.

chrisdcoulombe

  • Posts: 1051
Re: Staff AMA or Staff/Player Discussions
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2017, 04:07:36 PM »
A lot of people seem to have an interest in what is going on in/with Tuluk as you probably noticed.
Quote from MeTekillot
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650Booger

  • Posts: 376
Re: Staff AMA or Staff/Player Discussions
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2017, 04:10:41 PM »
I'm always interested in the differences between Storytellers, Team Leaders, Producers, etc. Especially those that have been Team Lead/Producer, and gone back and forth between positions.



"Historical analogy is the last refuge of people who can't grasp the current situation."
-Kim Stanley Robinson

Aruven

  • Posts: 2387
Re: Staff AMA or Staff/Player Discussions
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2017, 05:16:06 PM »
Way late finding out there's a discord channel, cool to see it being utilized.

How can we revive the legendary armrage memes thread and make it a staple of the GDB forever with up to date armrage memes weekly?

What kinds of stuff have staff been prioritizing that we aren't seeing in release notes, if any?

How many times have you guys PK'd eachother whilst amidst a philosophical discussion that ended in a duel in which someone had to die?

I've always been a little confused on how involved staff actively are progressing plots. I know there's been a few statements made. It'd be cool to also talk about how closely staff run with plots. If the staff have any plans on doing something like tossing out a world plotline (not an apocalyptic one) ((Maybe Kurac suffers a spice shortage for a year and the crazed junkies form an angry army to burn down Luirs in rage or something, that kind of scale))

How's the mechanics been working out for player clans in the gameworld, is the consensus it was a solid move so far staff side?

Just shooting hip fire here.

*Week nights


Grapes

  • Posts: 160
Re: Staff AMA or Staff/Player Discussions
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2017, 06:04:46 PM »
While I won't be joining a discord discussion with you all, I did want to say thus far my experience with staff has been fantastic and I wanted to thank you all for all the effort and awesome you've been pouring into the game lately. I honestly think some very good restructuring decisions have been made and while my anecdotal experience is not reflective of the entire experience, I'm just happy to bask in the awesome boon I unwittingly walked into.
Quote from: Is Friday
If you ever hassle me IC for not playing much that means that I'm going to play even less or I'll forever write you off as a neckbeard chained to his computer. So don't be a dick.

chrisdcoulombe

  • Posts: 1051
Re: Staff AMA or Staff/Player Discussions
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2017, 06:05:30 PM »
Leave poor Luir;s alone
Quote from MeTekillot
Samos the salter never goes to jail! Hahaha!

Fredd

  • Posts: 1682
Re: Staff AMA or Staff/Player Discussions
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2017, 06:49:05 PM »
I want to know about this massive class overhaul we are getting supposedly. As it is likely to fundamentally change the game as we know it.
You have never had the urge to kill yourself, before now.

The mighty Tektolnes says, in Highlord-accented sirihish,
"cast mon un shut the fuck up ~Valasurus"

Hauwke

  • Posts: 1241
Re: Staff AMA or Staff/Player Discussions
« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2017, 08:02:54 PM »
I found myself thinking about the class overhaul as well. My biggest question, is actually: Who is going to get food forage?

Silly I know, but wont it end up being just about 1 in 3 people having it?

HavokBlue

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Re: Staff AMA or Staff/Player Discussions
« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2017, 08:13:46 PM »
I'd be interested in a semi-casual AMA format for individual staff members. I like to know things like an individual staffer's philosophy to storytelling, about their experiences, etc. It's also more human and interactive than a carefully worded statement about a big upcoming rework or overhaul!
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.

Grapes

  • Posts: 160
Re: Staff AMA or Staff/Player Discussions
« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2017, 03:57:39 PM »
As to the class overhaul, I'd personally like it if, when implemented, there is the option to generate a character using the new system as well as the old. That will be a HUGE change and until all the kinks are worked out some players may prefer the old system.
Quote from: Is Friday
If you ever hassle me IC for not playing much that means that I'm going to play even less or I'll forever write you off as a neckbeard chained to his computer. So don't be a dick.

Armaddict

  • Posts: 5940
Re: Staff AMA or Staff/Player Discussions
« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2017, 04:29:07 PM »
Still banned from Discord.  Lulz.
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

nauta

  • Posts: 2206
Re: Staff AMA or Staff/Player Discussions
« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2017, 10:23:48 AM »
I'd be interested in a semi-casual AMA format for individual staff members. I like to know things like an individual staffer's philosophy to storytelling, about their experiences, etc. It's also more human and interactive than a carefully worded statement about a big upcoming rework or overhaul!

This is a good suggestion: I'd love to learn more about a given staffer or staff teams approach to storytelling: what their favorite books are, what sort of stories they like, what RP style they enjoy, and so on.
as IF you didn't just have them unconscious, naked, and helpless in the street 4 minutes ago

TheWanderer

  • Posts: 1464
Re: Staff AMA or Staff/Player Discussions
« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2017, 03:33:12 PM »
Topic: Why does there seem to be such a disproportionate emphasis on coded changes (mainly things like class overhauls) to the game instead of story-related changes?

It seems like that's somewhat backwards for an RPI MUD and I'm genuinely curious about the strategy. Personally, while I appreciate the effort put forth, I don't find any of the upcoming guild changes to be particularly enticing - or, well, at all enticing.

I've always considered basic MUDs to be pretty dull affairs (especially in this current era of gaming), but RPIs stand ahead simply because of the interactive writing elements that are always taken to the forefront. That's the one thing this archaic gaming format possesses over the competition.

I'd revert to the 2013 version of the game in favor of a more consistent, resolute focus on the storytelling.
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: John Steinbeck
If you find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics suck.

Riev

  • Posts: 4793
Re: Staff AMA or Staff/Player Discussions
« Reply #14 on: October 26, 2017, 03:48:07 PM »
Topic: Why does there seem to be such a disproportionate emphasis on coded changes (mainly things like class overhauls) to the game instead of story-related changes?

I wholly agree with you, but I assume the reasoning is that "not everyone" would know about big storyline changes, even with the focus on Allanak. Its not as though they can make a big post about how Red Robe Steve has been ousted, and here's the plot that went with it. I can name at least 5 people who would be offended they weren't part of his virtual plot, and 10 more who would want to know why they couldn't have stopped it.

However. I do miss the occasional STORIES that the staff would post. Like. The game world is alive, here's proof. Things happened.
Masks are the Armageddon equivalent of Ed Hardy shirts.

TheWanderer

  • Posts: 1464
Re: Staff AMA or Staff/Player Discussions
« Reply #15 on: October 26, 2017, 05:00:32 PM »
You're touching upon one of the underlying issues plaguing the storytelling in this game. If there was a plot involving the ousting of a powerful member of the Templarate, I shouldn't need staff announcements to tell me about it. The hope is that I feel the effects of that kind of event during actual play. I don't, though. That's what leads this game to feel like such an insipid, vacuous experience at times.

You remember the big ole Black Robe (the names of the NPCs forgotten to time) HRPT in Allanak? Yeah, fun times. There was that change in power at the end and you thought there might be noticeable differences in play, to some of the culture? No. There was nothing. The entire result of all that effort was basically the changing of an NPC's name. Allanak plays the same exact way it played when I started playing in 2013, save a few room changes. That's the insipid, pointless stuff I'm talking about. 

There is literally one major city in play and there could be a concentrated effort in changing it from the one I started playing in 4 years ago, in both constructing events and having it adapt to those events, naturally progressing. But instead of devoting staff resources to plots, effective storytelling, to tweaking a stagnant game world that changes only in room descriptions and available locations, there's what seems to be this peculiar devotion to coded aspects. I can tell you the days of 70+ at peak won't be rekindled by a class overhaul because that's not why people play this game in the slightest.

At the end of the day, if there aren't any tangible effects to be felt from these events, what were those events but pointless filler? That basically sums up my frustration when looking at an IG rumor board after being gone for two months, or player and staff announcements, and seeing just about every event has been either an arena showing or another party. The events which should serve as side dishes, ways to provide nuance, have somehow become so ridiculously prevalent that the game feels more stagnant than ever.

So, you know what? Despite it having no lasting effects, the Black Robe HRPT was an entertaining experience and made the world feel chaotic and alive. I'll grudgingly accept Allanak forever staying the same as long as there's some modicum of consistency in those types of events, ones which a noob can very quickly look at from the onset and go, "Whoa, cool."

Yeah. Hence me bringing up the topic for a potential AMA discussion. I suppose hearing about your reading preferences would also be cool, too.
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: John Steinbeck
If you find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics suck.

Veselka

  • Posts: 218
Re: Staff AMA or Staff/Player Discussions
« Reply #16 on: October 26, 2017, 06:39:41 PM »
Because the game is run by Coders, not by high-creative Storytellers.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2017, 06:41:37 PM by Veselka »

Riev

  • Posts: 4793
Re: Staff AMA or Staff/Player Discussions
« Reply #17 on: October 26, 2017, 07:56:14 PM »
I can tell you the days of 70+ at peak won't be rekindled by a class overhaul because that's not why people play this game in the slightest.

Preach. Although, some DO, and someone will tear your argument down on that basis alone.
Masks are the Armageddon equivalent of Ed Hardy shirts.

Hauwke

  • Posts: 1241
Re: Staff AMA or Staff/Player Discussions
« Reply #18 on: October 26, 2017, 10:01:04 PM »
Your arguements are made null and void by my enjoyment of swording things in the face!

HavokBlue

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Re: Staff AMA or Staff/Player Discussions
« Reply #19 on: October 27, 2017, 02:57:21 AM »
Pretty sure most staff don't work on code. Developing new code and the duties of a storyteller basically have zero overlap.

The game is as old as I am and it's due for a tune-up.

Consistency in storytelling can be addressed by working to counter staff burnout, to some extent.
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.

LucildaHunta

  • Posts: 256
Re: Staff AMA or Staff/Player Discussions
« Reply #20 on: October 27, 2017, 10:51:35 AM »
My vote is for a weekend. I think weekend day or evening would be best since it would include some offpeak Euros too.
Just like the white winged dove,
Sings a song
Sounds like she's singing
Oooo,ooo, ooo

Seeker

  • Posts: 1377
Re: Staff AMA or Staff/Player Discussions
« Reply #21 on: October 27, 2017, 11:36:20 AM »
I would like one of the sessions to be used entirely as a Welcome Back Bonanza for ShaloooOOOooonsh and Calavera, plz.
Sitting in your comfort,
You don't believe I'm real,
But you cannot buy protection
from the way that I feel.

ShaLeah

  • Posts: 4994
Re: Staff AMA or Staff/Player Discussions
« Reply #22 on: October 27, 2017, 01:09:17 PM »
I would like one of the sessions to be used entirely as a Welcome Back Bonanza for ShaloooOOOooonsh and Calavera, plz.
Seconded.


All in favor?
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I would slather you in sin and roll you out the other side.
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Shal is on point.
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And ShaLeah's evil, by the way.

TheWanderer

  • Posts: 1464
Re: Staff AMA or Staff/Player Discussions
« Reply #23 on: October 27, 2017, 01:27:22 PM »
Pretty sure most staff don't work on code. Developing new code and the duties of a storyteller basically have zero overlap.

Which is why it's so curious that the only thing that gets any spotlight is a guild revamp, karma changes, and special application adjustments.

The game is as old as I am and it's due for a tune-up.


Greatly in need, but of a different variety. I'm willing to bet we get an announcement on the inevitable split of the psion guild before anything worthwhile in the creative department.

Consistency in storytelling can be addressed by working to counter staff burnout, to some extent.


Or, you know, simply discussing the amount of bureaucracy that goes into getting anything done as a storyteller. Consistency in storytelling that requires multiple parties can be a mind-numbing effort, one that requires dedication.

Especially when you have to aim for a consensus on anything remotely impactful you want to do.
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: John Steinbeck
If you find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics suck.

Riev

  • Posts: 4793
Re: Staff AMA or Staff/Player Discussions
« Reply #24 on: October 27, 2017, 01:34:32 PM »
I'd be interested in different Storyteller beliefs they had before going INTO the role that they were quickly disabused of. It seems some staff burnout super quick, and others build up over time and Nyrgal at all the toxicity they deal with.

Do storytellers think they go in as Dungeonmasters, capable of crafting small plots for their clans? Do they feel they have more control than they do? Do they find they have MORE control than they thought and get paralyzed by options?
Masks are the Armageddon equivalent of Ed Hardy shirts.

Shabago

  • Storyteller
  • Posts: 179
Re: Staff AMA or Staff/Player Discussions
« Reply #25 on: October 27, 2017, 02:22:45 PM »
I would like one of the sessions to be used entirely as a Welcome Back Bonanza for ShaloooOOOooonsh and Calavera, plz.

I feel so unloved.  :'(
Nessalin: At night, I stand there and watch you sleep.  With a hammer in one hand and a candy cane in the other.  Judging.

Hauwke

  • Posts: 1241
Re: Staff AMA or Staff/Player Discussions
« Reply #26 on: October 27, 2017, 04:24:16 PM »
Hey, I am always open for staff to fuck with me. MAKE MY INGAME LIFE SUCK!

But more seriously, I think a proper discussion will go a long way toward aleviating the concerns some people have about various things, things that cant rightly be asked about in a more casual setting.

chrisdcoulombe

  • Posts: 1051
Re: Staff AMA or Staff/Player Discussions
« Reply #27 on: October 27, 2017, 04:26:51 PM »
I would like one of the sessions to be used entirely as a Welcome Back Bonanza for ShaloooOOOooonsh and Calavera, plz.

I feel so unloved.  :'(

Shabago has been great too.  We should have cake.
Quote from MeTekillot
Samos the salter never goes to jail! Hahaha!

HavokBlue

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Re: Staff AMA or Staff/Player Discussions
« Reply #28 on: October 27, 2017, 04:52:46 PM »
I can think of at least one huge story line in the past couple years that moved quickly, lasted quite some time, and was responsive to rapid and unforeseen player input with lasting impact on the game world today. I don't know if bureaucracy is quite the boogeyman it's being made out to be.

Storytelling in D&D or Numenera or Pathfinder is 'easy'. You control the scene, you control what information your players have and don't have, and you get to see everything that happens. Storytelling in a MUD is hard. While you're offline, a newbie kills your sponsored leader, derailing your plans. A player ignores, or misinterprets your 'bread crumbs'. Other players doing something entirely unrelated collide with your story.

In my experience, the past way to get involved in the kind of stories I want in Armageddon is to maintain a positive, collaborative relationship with my staff member. Don't treat the relationship as adversarial. Ostensibly, staffers are here because they want to create stories and experiences. Not every player has to maintain that collaborative relationship, but if you want to be a mover and shaker and facilitate a plot that OTHER players can hear about and jump in to, it helps.
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.

Veselka

  • Posts: 218
Re: Staff AMA or Staff/Player Discussions
« Reply #29 on: October 27, 2017, 05:08:14 PM »
Note: I said "Run" by Coders.

Nessalin - Producer - Coder
Nathvaan- Producer, swell guy - Coder
Adhira- Producer - Not a coder.

Former Producers:
Raesenos- Coder
Nyr - dabbled in Coding
Nergal - Coder
Morgenes - Seriously cool Coder

Being a coder isn't meant as a slight. It's just an explanation of why more public facing news is about code. Staff has also been notoriously vague about announcing story/plot movements in a public fashion. That immense work mostly happens behind the green curtain. I think Staff would do itself a favor collectively revealing the effort behind the Storyteling work they execute.

evilcabbage

  • Posts: 1877
Re: Staff AMA or Staff/Player Discussions
« Reply #30 on: October 27, 2017, 05:39:10 PM »
I would like one of the sessions to be used entirely as a Welcome Back Bonanza for ShaloooOOOooonsh and Calavera, plz.

I feel so unloved.  :'(

BAD SHABAGO! BAD!

back in your box! get back in the box and don't come out until i tell you to!

<_<

so when is this happening? weekends are neat.
I could give a shit about wholesome.

Grapes

  • Posts: 160
Re: Staff AMA or Staff/Player Discussions
« Reply #31 on: October 27, 2017, 06:10:31 PM »
Sometimes I wonder if we're even playing the same game when I read some of these comments. I can walk out of chargen and get slapped in the face straight off with six or seven mind-blowing plots characters invite my obviously just stepped out of the hall of kings newbie PC to participate in. I'm not kidding in the slightest, it's about being approachable and contributing to events surrounding you. It's a natural, subconscious runthrough of the reiterated prisoner's dilemma, and if you show the proper pattern characters and their players are more likely to think "Cool, I want to see what happens next.".

Storytellers ARE pushing plots and making things happen. If you don't see them, you're just not in the right place at the right time, it doesn't mean you're not involved, you could be wound up in a story-teller kickstarted plot and just, not know because it looks like Amos wants to know something silly or wants you to steal a thing from someone. It's important to remember it's not their job to see those plots out, otherwise they're just letting players be the audience, the whole point is player agency and PLAYERS doing these things. You can't have Bob Ross being there painting all your happy little trees for you and call yourself an artist. The Bard's Barrel can't just burn down every day, and I doubt I'd want to play a game where it did.

Questioning this could make people doing things feel bad, when they are actually putting a whole lot of unseen work into unfolding events. That's not very conducive to getting more things done, it's counter-productive, it makes people trying to do things feel unnappreciated and can lead to negative perspectives which do a lot more harm than good. This just MAY be the cause of the seemingly rapid burn-out previously mentioned. It's like vaguebooking Amos the salter in the now-deceased RAT thread, saying he's boring or not playing a breed properly.

Also, Shabago, you are a fun, engaging storyteller and I hope you got the blanket kudos I sent in. Can't wait to see what other crazy things storytellers are cooking up for us all right now.
Quote from: Is Friday
If you ever hassle me IC for not playing much that means that I'm going to play even less or I'll forever write you off as a neckbeard chained to his computer. So don't be a dick.

Adhira

  • Producer
  • Posts: 2387
Re: Staff AMA or Staff/Player Discussions
« Reply #32 on: October 27, 2017, 06:14:57 PM »
Note: I said "Run" by Coders.

Nessalin - Producer - Coder
Nathvaan- Producer, swell guy - Coder
Adhira- Producer - Not a coder.

Former Producers:
Raesenos- Coder
Nyr - dabbled in Coding
Nergal - Coder
Morgenes - Seriously cool Coder

Being a coder isn't meant as a slight. It's just an explanation of why more public facing news is about code. Staff has also been notoriously vague about announcing story/plot movements in a public fashion. That immense work mostly happens behind the green curtain. I think Staff would do itself a favor collectively revealing the effort behind the Storyteling work they execute.

You forgot:

Rathustra - not a coder

also I would say
Nergal - not a coder
Nyr - not a coder

While both may have dabbled in some code stuff at different points many staff have done so.  A lot of the scripts etc that we use have been made by Storytellers and Admin alike.

Back on topic:

Thanks for the answers so far, I haven't seen much in terms of people saying whether they prefer weeknight or weekend, so I'll just assume no preference there.

Staff side I am asking for people who are interested in chatting in this way to let me know and we'll work with their schedules.  The idea we had was to make it a casual conversation where people can feel free to ask what they want and staff will feel free to respond how they want to.  We aren't intending this to be a 'personal topics' AMA, (someone noted that it can't be a real AMA with people's identities unknown), but you are welcome to ask whatever you wish, answers will be dependent on what people are comfortable with sharing.

I'll also talk to some of the people responsible for working on guild changes and such and see if they are interested in hosting a specific conversation around that topic.

Expect to see a few different chats scheduled soon.
"It doesn't matter what country someone's from, or what they look like, or the color of their skin. It doesn't matter what they smell like, or that they spell words slightly differently, some would say more correctly." - Jemaine Clement. FOTC.

Zenith

  • Posts: 672
Re: Staff AMA or Staff/Player Discussions
« Reply #33 on: October 27, 2017, 07:46:03 PM »
I sometimes feel like Arm lives and dies by the leaders at any given moment. There are, and have been, a number of really great leaders. But I think it is apparent to everyone when leaders are lacking, and the game lags because of it.

I would really like to know what players can do to be better leaders, and why there seems to be such a dearth of good leaders from a staff POV. How can we develop more good leaders to help push the game forward in an interesting way.

I’d also like to know if there are any plans in the works, or even possible, to help Merchant clan leaders feel less like a pez dispenser. GMHs most require exceptional leadership, and have the hardest time retaining it. Are there any modifications that could make it easier to lead a merchant clan that we can help with for the future?

TheWanderer

  • Posts: 1464
Re: Staff AMA or Staff/Player Discussions
« Reply #34 on: October 27, 2017, 10:43:47 PM »
Sometimes I wonder if we're even playing the same game when I read some of these comments.

Likewise.

I slip in tonight for 36 players at peak, I can slip in another for 32 players at peak.  It's interesting to see how many people are currently enraptured by the rich atmosphere and plethora of engaging plots the current game world has fostered. Definitely better than when we were struggling to climb over 28/29 a couple months ago, though. I would note that even then people were still telling everyone there were tons of incredible plots and the game was totally fine.   

But maybe I look through these numbers with a different lens than you - I can recall when a number in the 50s was a slow night for the game. Consequently, it negatively colors my reaction to seeing a drop that feels like it could have been easy to avert - better, more active storytelling being one of those solutions. When player agency fails, the onus is then on staff.

On the other hand, maybe I and others are just one step behind on where these mind-blowing plots are hiding. Although it's also entirely possible you and I simply have different definitions of "mind-blowing" plots.

Regardless, I'm not asking for earth-shattering events every single day. I've been a fairly self-sufficient player in the past (this game isn't remotely playable unless you can spend a lot of the time making your own fun) and painted my own pictures.  I'm simply pointing out how trivial most of the events end up being in retrospect, and how it might behoove staff to instead consolidate focus on the most important aspect of this game. A game that on the surface slowly begins to look like it's floundering, even if certain parties would dispute that.

I sometimes feel like Arm lives and dies by the leaders at any given moment. There are, and have been, a number of really great leaders. But I think it is apparent to everyone when leaders are lacking, and the game lags because of it.

I would really like to know what players can do to be better leaders, and why there seems to be such a dearth of good leaders from a staff POV. How can we develop more good leaders to help push the game forward in an interesting way.

That is very true. This game suffers when leaders don't know what they're doing. The process to fixing this is very simple - firstly, and most importantly, have staff quietly apply a guiding hand. If that fails, kindly ask them to step down. Either way, the responsibility still falls to staff. But I understand not every player you'd like chomps at the bit for these roles, or there's simply a lack of interest at times.

It's definitely a good topic for discussion.
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: John Steinbeck
If you find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics suck.

Grapes

  • Posts: 160
Re: Staff AMA or Staff/Player Discussions
« Reply #35 on: October 27, 2017, 10:52:42 PM »
Thank you for your thoughtful explanation, TheWanderer. To reply to your post, I don't think a plot is made "mind blowing" by its conclusion, but more its start and progression. I hope you understand why I can't discuss those details is. When given a small task with promise that bigger things are on the way, I generally consider that a good plot, because usually there IS something bigger on the way, it's like being told, "Ok... you might be getting a fancy Nintendo gadget for christmas, or I might still be busy loading a box full of horse poop. YOU DON'T KNOW!", and with situations like those I look at POTENTIAL, maybe not reality, but POTENTIAL my PC would be able to smell, and think, there's something going on here. So when it turns out there IS something going on here, it looks much bigger to me than the outset of "Please fill this bag with beetle crap and deliver it to the gates of the Oash estate."
Quote from: Is Friday
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seidhr

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Re: Staff AMA or Staff/Player Discussions
« Reply #36 on: October 30, 2017, 12:03:56 AM »
It's almost midnight east coast time on a Sunday and there's currently 42 mortals on.  A few days back we had mid 50s and it was a weeknight.

Interest in the game certainly waxes and wanes.  At the very least, off the top of my head, the following impacts the number of players online at any given point in time:
* School year on/off/vacations
* Weather good/bad in large swaths of the United States (largest chunk of playerbase)
* Big AAA game titles coming out that lots of us flock to play
* Major sports broadcasts, game of thrones, etc.
* and yeah, probably large-scale plots and/or code changes

Some people are always hollering doom and gloom, it's a bit silly.  Pretty miraculous that this game is still hopping.  Are there any graphical online games that have been around this long?  I don't think so.  And the number of muds of all kinds with Arm's longevity can't be a large list.

evilcabbage

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Re: Staff AMA or Staff/Player Discussions
« Reply #37 on: October 30, 2017, 12:39:47 AM »
past midnight, still 30+ people on.

so.

player numbers may not be as -high- as they used to be at peak times, but they're consistently quite high throughout hours when the numbers used to drop incredibly fast.
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Ender

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Re: Staff AMA or Staff/Player Discussions
« Reply #38 on: October 30, 2017, 02:07:09 AM »
It's almost midnight east coast time on a Sunday and there's currently 42 mortals on.  A few days back we had mid 50s and it was a weeknight.

Interest in the game certainly waxes and wanes.  At the very least, off the top of my head, the following impacts the number of players online at any given point in time:
* School year on/off/vacations
* Weather good/bad in large swaths of the United States (largest chunk of playerbase)
* Big AAA game titles coming out that lots of us flock to play
* Major sports broadcasts, game of thrones, etc.
* and yeah, probably large-scale plots and/or code changes

Some people are always hollering doom and gloom, it's a bit silly.  Pretty miraculous that this game is still hopping.  Are there any graphical online games that have been around this long?  I don't think so.  And the number of muds of all kinds with Arm's longevity can't be a large list.

The reality is that the game has lost about 25% of its active playerbase since our surge in 2013.  Ever year since since 2013 we've taken a net loss in average weekly players.  I wouldn't call it doom and gloom, but it is concerning.  Yes, it's still an amazing thing that Armageddon has lasted as long as it has, but we can't take it for granted and should always be looking into what things have created interest and what have driven players away.



« Last Edit: October 30, 2017, 02:19:28 AM by Ender »
man
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seidhr

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Re: Staff AMA or Staff/Player Discussions
« Reply #39 on: October 30, 2017, 10:57:03 AM »
I'd be curious to see how that trend looks against other muds.  The only other mud I have anything to do with has taken an even bigger hit during that same timespan, though I have no empirical data on it.

Nathvaan

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Re: Staff AMA or Staff/Player Discussions
« Reply #40 on: October 30, 2017, 11:17:08 AM »
Here is the 'by season' for Aardwolf from Mudstats.  Looks to me like the trend is at least for them as well.  It would be interesting to see other MUDs as well.


nauta

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Re: Staff AMA or Staff/Player Discussions
« Reply #41 on: October 30, 2017, 11:27:41 AM »
It's almost midnight east coast time on a Sunday and there's currently 42 mortals on.  A few days back we had mid 50s and it was a weeknight.

Interest in the game certainly waxes and wanes.  At the very least, off the top of my head, the following impacts the number of players online at any given point in time:
* School year on/off/vacations
* Weather good/bad in large swaths of the United States (largest chunk of playerbase)
* Big AAA game titles coming out that lots of us flock to play
* Major sports broadcasts, game of thrones, etc.
* and yeah, probably large-scale plots and/or code changes

Some people are always hollering doom and gloom, it's a bit silly.  Pretty miraculous that this game is still hopping.  Are there any graphical online games that have been around this long?  I don't think so.  And the number of muds of all kinds with Arm's longevity can't be a large list.

The reality is that the game has lost about 25% of its active playerbase since our surge in 2013.  Ever year since since 2013 we've taken a net loss in average weekly players.  I wouldn't call it doom and gloom, but it is concerning.  Yes, it's still an amazing thing that Armageddon has lasted as long as it has, but we can't take it for granted and should always be looking into what things have created interest and what have driven players away.





There's something odd about the mudstats graph and the graphs here. (I assume Ender's is going off of the 'updates' page and unique logins data available via the website -- which I would trust more than mudstats, although I'm not sure why there is a discrepancy.)



According to mudstats our numbers are basically the same as 2011 and 2009.  But according to Ender's charts, they are much lower.

Player numbers is a hornet's nest for discussion.  One thing I'd say is that I think it should be on players (since we are the bulk of the userbase) to do our best to come up with ways of drawing in new players and retaining them, be it through IG mechanisms, reviews, word-of-mouth, etc.  I'd rather staff focus on telling stories and the very boring thankless administrative things they do.

I recently played on some other MUDs and I've had two instances where the staff were amazing but the players turned me right off through clique-ish behavior, griefing, and in general non-newbie friendly things.

One thing, however, that caught my attention: Armageddon has a genius invention for helping newbies get into the game: the T'zai Byn Company.  There's a good reason we focus our efforts on having a good spread of leadership hours in the Byn and staff support for the Byn.  The hardest thing as a new player (other than code) is finding someone to RP with: that's the Byn.
as IF you didn't just have them unconscious, naked, and helpless in the street 4 minutes ago

Riev

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Re: Staff AMA or Staff/Player Discussions
« Reply #42 on: October 30, 2017, 11:52:45 AM »
I think its important to have proper statistics to pull from, and a proper definition of what kind of data you're looking for. Are we tracking online players at a specific time of day? Total unique logins to the server? New accounts created? New accounts with >3 hours of playtime?

Each of these is a different metric and carries a different method of measure. Unique logins to the server may mean nothing depending on what that tracks. New accounts created means nothing if they don't play for a length of time. Players online during a specific time of day can be affected by weather patterns and academic schedules.

It sounds like people FEEL there is a lacking population in the game. As staff, is that something you see or feel in general, or is this whiny players looking to be coddled and violins and whatnot?
Masks are the Armageddon equivalent of Ed Hardy shirts.

Brokkr

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Re: Staff AMA or Staff/Player Discussions
« Reply #43 on: October 30, 2017, 01:04:02 PM »
One thing that can greatly impact the feel of the game is how many folks and how long folks are spending in private spaces.  If, for instance, all the crafters spend the majority of their time in the GMH estates crafting, or all the nobles spend their time in their rooms idling, or all the gemmed are casting away all their time in temples, the game can appear much less populated with 30 folks on but none in the Gaj than it can when you have 10 folks on and 6 of them are in the Gaj.

We have more private spaces available to more people in more geographic places than we did years ago.

Fredd

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Re: Staff AMA or Staff/Player Discussions
« Reply #44 on: October 30, 2017, 02:25:07 PM »

We have more private spaces available to more people in more geographic places than we did years ago.

How is that possible with he shut down of temples, a whole city, a tribe, and whole divisions of a bunch of clans
Not even saying this was a bad thing (i think Tuluk needs to be an antagonist npc of doom)

I just don't see how that statement is true.
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nauta

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Re: Staff AMA or Staff/Player Discussions
« Reply #45 on: October 30, 2017, 02:37:43 PM »

We have more private spaces available to more people in more geographic places than we did years ago.

How is that possible with he shut down of temples, a whole city, a tribe, and whole divisions of a bunch of clans
Not even saying this was a bad thing (i think Tuluk needs to be an antagonist npc of doom)

I just don't see how that statement is true.

I think Brokkr was referring to apartment spaces.  Since I started in 2014, there have, indeed, been a lot of new apartments added (the ones I can think of, although I think some were just redesigns):

Gaj Apartments
Fancy Crafter Apartments south of Allanak Bazaar
Fancy Aide-only Apartments east of Red's
Red Storm Silo Apartments (still the coolest ever)
Luir's Tent Apartments

(That said, I think apartments are a good thing.  Some players like playing SIMs, and this gives them an outlet for that.)
as IF you didn't just have them unconscious, naked, and helpless in the street 4 minutes ago

Delirium

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Re: Staff AMA or Staff/Player Discussions
« Reply #46 on: October 30, 2017, 03:35:57 PM »
Sometimes it's sensible or necessary for your character to lay low. Even so, I'd try to interact whenever reasonable. I like the idea of communal crafting spaces and love the communal firepits that exist.
"Our whole lives are just stories." - Vikings

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while my blood's still flowing and my heart still beats

seidhr

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Re: Staff AMA or Staff/Player Discussions
« Reply #47 on: October 30, 2017, 11:41:47 PM »
Yeah, people hanging out in apartments and secured clan halls definitely cuts down on interaction - as Brokkr said.

Ender

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Re: Staff AMA or Staff/Player Discussions
« Reply #48 on: October 30, 2017, 11:49:31 PM »

There's something odd about the mudstats graph and the graphs here. (I assume Ender's is going off of the 'updates' page and unique logins data available via the website -- which I would trust more than mudstats, although I'm not sure why there is a discrepancy.)



According to mudstats our numbers are basically the same as 2011 and 2009.  But according to Ender's charts, they are much lower.


It's because of a few things.  There's lots of missing data.  2010 and 2011 are missing entirely as you can see there are no data points in the mudstats graph.  And these are giving quarterly averages for the amount of daily logins, not weekly logins like we have on the weekly updates page.

Removing the missing data and smoothing for a yearly average instead of quarterly the two charts look like this:

Mud Stats Data:


Weekly Update Data:
man
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Ender

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Re: Staff AMA or Staff/Player Discussions
« Reply #49 on: October 31, 2017, 12:18:25 AM »
Here is the 'by season' for Aardwolf from Mudstats.  Looks to me like the trend is at least for them as well.  It would be interesting to see other MUDs as well.



I checked a lot of other MUDs, and a lot of the non-adult/furry muds in the top set are showing either downward trends or more or less static.

One interesting exception is Alter Aeon.  A hack and slash game from 1995.

I checked them out, and didn't see anything that really stood out to me.  Their forums don't really appear to be super active, and they had a lot of players on when I logged in, but most appeared to be afk.  As a MUD that encourages multiplaying the number of logins can be a misleading metric especially when comparing to Arm. 

Still interesting to see a MUD as old as Alter Aeon increasing its logins, and I'm still not really sure why.

man
/mæn/

-noun

1.   A biped, ungrateful.

LucildaHunta

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Re: Staff AMA or Staff/Player Discussions
« Reply #50 on: October 31, 2017, 08:39:39 AM »
Don’t forget a lot of those games encourage bots and multi playing. I really don’t put stock in player count when that’s going on. I’d rather play a game with 30 active players than one with 100 players and no one is actually playing.
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Sings a song
Sounds like she's singing
Oooo,ooo, ooo

Grapes

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Re: Staff AMA or Staff/Player Discussions
« Reply #51 on: October 31, 2017, 11:42:10 AM »
Yeah, people hanging out in apartments and secured clan halls definitely cuts down on interaction - as Brokkr said.

I can see two glaring reasons why people do this, they're on the run from someone much more powerful than themselves, or because it's just such a slog to get to and from clan compounds and places people meet up. They may spend so much time in the clan hall because they don't want their clannies who don't leave often to feel bored or left out.

EDIT: What I mean to say is such behavior is not the problem. The causes could use some looking at in my opinion. And if they just want to play house, no harm in letting them. They're not hurting anyone.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2017, 11:45:49 AM by Grapes »
Quote from: Is Friday
If you ever hassle me IC for not playing much that means that I'm going to play even less or I'll forever write you off as a neckbeard chained to his computer. So don't be a dick.

chrisdcoulombe

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Re: Staff AMA or Staff/Player Discussions
« Reply #52 on: October 31, 2017, 11:52:20 AM »
East side bar in Allanak!!
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Grapes

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Re: Staff AMA or Staff/Player Discussions
« Reply #53 on: October 31, 2017, 12:11:39 PM »
East side bar in Allanak!!

*snaps his fingers* THERE WE GO. Call it the Merchant's Grotto or something. Put it off just to the east of Merchant's Cross.
Quote from: Is Friday
If you ever hassle me IC for not playing much that means that I'm going to play even less or I'll forever write you off as a neckbeard chained to his computer. So don't be a dick.

Delirium

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Re: Staff AMA or Staff/Player Discussions
« Reply #54 on: October 31, 2017, 01:36:35 PM »
Forcing people to interact won't do any good if they don't have something fun to talk about. What we need are more additives: things to do, explore, talk about, public plots and good old monster stomping rpts. That will get people active and engaged and playing. Stuffing everyone in the bar won't help otherwise, there will just be 10 people at the bar, 8 of which are idling and 2 of which are desperately trying to carry on an interesting conversation.
"Our whole lives are just stories." - Vikings

I get wherever I'm going, I get whatever I need
while my blood's still flowing and my heart still beats

Riev

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Re: Staff AMA or Staff/Player Discussions
« Reply #55 on: October 31, 2017, 01:43:07 PM »
Admittedly, I do miss the capability of a dungeon stomp. For a MUD based on some great fantasy tropes and heavily influenced by DnD, there's relatively few dungeoneering capabilities in lieu of "but we have sorcerer kings"
Masks are the Armageddon equivalent of Ed Hardy shirts.

mansa

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Re: Staff AMA or Staff/Player Discussions
« Reply #56 on: October 31, 2017, 02:35:09 PM »
In my experience:

World of Warcraft introduced "player housing" with access to social items (trade chat, auction house, etc) when they launched the warlords of draenor expansion.

It didn't turn out well, as everybody stayed in their own little house and didn't really go out and interact with the world.  It seems quiet and stale, and I believe it's a mistake to do the 'garrison'.
( https://us.battle.net/forums/en/wow/topic/15537123880
https://www.reddit.com/r/wow/comments/2c1fo4/are_garrison_s_going_to_me_the_game_lonely/
https://eu.battle.net/forums/en/wow/topic/15161826825
)

Usually, WoW has people going to a central city where these social items are, but also where the players go to meet up and walk around and goof off and flex and dance.  The expansion after "warlords of draenor" did not have player housing in it.

Next,
World of Warcraft also introduced "Random Group of Strangers go in a Dungeon" with the wrath of the lich king expansion, which helped new players randomly group up with other players and experience the -content- of the game.  What people noticed is that even though you experienced content of the game, it still felt lonely because your group of adventures disbanded immediately once the adventure was complete.

In the expansions after WotLK, they introduced harder difficulties (more rewards) versions of the dungeons, and forced players to find other players themselves in order to complete them, rather than randomly putting together a group.   Because the incentive was there, it forced players to interact with other players and decide as a group what to do.



There is great resources to find out 'why do you play games', and I suggest to use them on yourself.  Watch this if you have 7 minutes. and see if you want to dig deeper.
New Players Guide: http://gdb.armageddon.org/index.php/topic,33512.0.html


You win Armageddon, congratulations!  Type 'credits', then store your character and make a new one

Armaddict

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Re: Staff AMA or Staff/Player Discussions
« Reply #57 on: October 31, 2017, 02:40:24 PM »
Forcing people to interact won't do any good if they don't have something fun to talk about. What we need are more additives: things to do, explore, talk about, public plots and good old monster stomping rpts. That will get people active and engaged and playing. Stuffing everyone in the bar won't help otherwise, there will just be 10 people at the bar, 8 of which are idling and 2 of which are desperately trying to carry on an interesting conversation.

This is in line with my constant push for content over features, whether intrinsically built between factions/clans, or scripted 'things to do' that may or may not necessarily have a huge impact, but is worthwhile as far as establishing reputation.

I'm sorry, but making very neat and orderly divisions between player-services (i.e. NO, YOU CAN'T COMPETE WITH THE BYN or NO, ONLY MERCHANT HOUSE X CAN SELL THAT) took away far more than it gave.
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

chrisdcoulombe

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Re: Staff AMA or Staff/Player Discussions
« Reply #58 on: October 31, 2017, 04:25:39 PM »
Forcing people to interact won't do any good if they don't have something fun to talk about. What we need are more additives: things to do, explore, talk about, public plots and good old monster stomping rpts. That will get people active and engaged and playing. Stuffing everyone in the bar won't help otherwise, there will just be 10 people at the bar, 8 of which are idling and 2 of which are desperately trying to carry on an interesting conversation.

This is in line with my constant push for content over features, whether intrinsically built between factions/clans, or scripted 'things to do' that may or may not necessarily have a huge impact, but is worthwhile as far as establishing reputation.

I'm sorry, but making very neat and orderly divisions between player-services (i.e. NO, YOU CAN'T COMPETE WITH THE BYN or NO, ONLY MERCHANT HOUSE X CAN SELL THAT) took away far more than it gave.

I agree.
Quote from MeTekillot
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lostinspace

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Re: Staff AMA or Staff/Player Discussions
« Reply #59 on: October 31, 2017, 05:29:40 PM »
Yeah, people hanging out in apartments and secured clan halls definitely cuts down on interaction - as Brokkr said.

I can see two glaring reasons why people do this, they're on the run from someone much more powerful than themselves, or because it's just such a slog to get to and from clan compounds and places people meet up. They may spend so much time in the clan hall because they don't want their clannies who don't leave often to feel bored or left out.

Criminal characters can also be pretty prone to avoiding interaction, due to not wanting everyone online coming after them.
3/21/16 Never Forget

Grapes

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Re: Staff AMA or Staff/Player Discussions
« Reply #60 on: October 31, 2017, 05:39:58 PM »
Yeah, people hanging out in apartments and secured clan halls definitely cuts down on interaction - as Brokkr said.

I can see two glaring reasons why people do this, they're on the run from someone much more powerful than themselves, or because it's just such a slog to get to and from clan compounds and places people meet up. They may spend so much time in the clan hall because they don't want their clannies who don't leave often to feel bored or left out.

Criminal characters can also be pretty prone to avoiding interaction, due to not wanting everyone online coming after them.

Very true, but what good criminal doesn't have IC contacts? They have to make those contacts somehow, and keep an eye on other criminals to make sure they aren't getting set-up, framed, as well as to get the low-down on things going on. Plenty of excuses not to live in a bubble.
Quote from: Is Friday
If you ever hassle me IC for not playing much that means that I'm going to play even less or I'll forever write you off as a neckbeard chained to his computer. So don't be a dick.

lostinspace

  • Posts: 519
Re: Staff AMA or Staff/Player Discussions
« Reply #61 on: October 31, 2017, 05:56:01 PM »
Yeah, people hanging out in apartments and secured clan halls definitely cuts down on interaction - as Brokkr said.

I can see two glaring reasons why people do this, they're on the run from someone much more powerful than themselves, or because it's just such a slog to get to and from clan compounds and places people meet up. They may spend so much time in the clan hall because they don't want their clannies who don't leave often to feel bored or left out.

Criminal characters can also be pretty prone to avoiding interaction, due to not wanting everyone online coming after them.

Very true, but what good criminal doesn't have IC contacts? They have to make those contacts somehow, and keep an eye on other criminals to make sure they aren't getting set-up, framed, as well as to get the low-down on things going on. Plenty of excuses not to live in a bubble.

There are of course the criminals who work with other criminals for larger hauls or security, but there are also solo criminals who operate on the concept that you can't be caught if you're never noticed. You ever find an climbing claw or two missing from that pack you left in your apartment and just assume you misplaced them? That's the kind of criminal I'm talking about, the kind you don't even realize exists.

But mostly I was just pointing out a third type of character that actively avoids interactions as a data point for consideration.
3/21/16 Never Forget

Delirium

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Re: Staff AMA or Staff/Player Discussions
« Reply #62 on: October 31, 2017, 06:45:26 PM »
The thing is, storage is important for PCs. Whether it's an apartment or a clan compound or some other solution, players need a place to put stuff for a variety of reasons. Its different in WoW where we can have 100s of things in our inventory and bank storage, etc.
"Our whole lives are just stories." - Vikings

I get wherever I'm going, I get whatever I need
while my blood's still flowing and my heart still beats

Brokkr

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Re: Staff AMA or Staff/Player Discussions
« Reply #63 on: October 31, 2017, 06:55:19 PM »
After having contributed to this thread going off topic, going to ask that we try to stay on topic.

If these are issues you would like to discuss during a Staff/Player Discussion, fine to bring that up, but actual discussion of the issue should probably happen somewhere else so as to not derail the thread from ideas.