Author Topic: Staff AMA or Staff/Player Discussions  (Read 1439 times)

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.
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Samos the salter never goes to jail! Hahaha!

HavokBlue

  • Helper
  • Posts: 6404
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.
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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
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.

seidhr

  • Administrator
  • Posts: 452
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

  • Posts: 1877
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.
I could give a shit about wholesome.

Ender

  • Posts: 1980
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
/mæn/

-noun

1.   A biped, ungrateful.

seidhr

  • Administrator
  • Posts: 452
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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  • Posts: 371
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

  • Posts: 2206
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

  • Posts: 4793
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

  • Posts: 1682
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

  • Posts: 2206
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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  • Posts: 11494
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.
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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

  • Posts: 1980
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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1.   A biped, ungrateful.

Ender

  • Posts: 1980
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.