Author Topic: Death Reports: Closure to prevent players walking away from a game they love.  (Read 3283 times)

ShaLeah

  • Posts: 5101
Been thinking about this for a lonnnnnnnnng time. Long time.

Sometimes you think you know who's responsible for your demise and why. One thing I have learned is that usually I've been wrong about who it was and why. Others I've talked to have been wrong too. Details matter I think. Sometimes things don't make any sense or it's without any in character justification and it leaves a badddddddddd taste in players mouths. Cue Rage Quit.


I propose having closure reports. In a completely voluntary way when someone is murdered you approach murderer and ask if they want to give the details of the murder to the victim. It could be Lord Fancypants hired me to murder him because of that time you ate his leftovers or you kanked my mate or I'm playing a complete psychopath.

You can then give the player the option to see the Closure or not and if the culprit has chosen NOT to give you closure then you're shit out of luck.

The thing is that the truth never matters IN GAME, but it matters in RL. NOT knowing and the speculation that happens post murder can be grueling. Especially if the betrayal is so good that you're clueless who did it. Unfortunately we've lost some people to this.

APMs are awesome for closure. You hear things others were feeling and it can take the salt off a wound.

Thoughts?
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650Booger

  • Posts: 479
if I ever killed someone, I'd be down to submit one
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nauta

  • Posts: 2333
I like the general contours of the idea --- one of my first reports was, in fact, asking staff if I could know why a previous PC was killed.  However, the devil will be in the details here, and I think there's a more general 'worry' about a closure system.  So detail first:

1. Will the information be released after a year has passed?  Even if so, it might still alleviate rage quit, since you could know in principle, but I suspect the raw feel that you get after a death will linger.  If not, how can we make it so that IC sensitive information is not given out?  I could see these being scrubbed like kudos are scrubbed, but then they might not be really informative.  Your example, for instance, about Lord Fancypants and so on, would not be something I'd feel comfortable leaving the IC world until at least a year has passed.

2. The more general point: One thing that both sucks and is awesome about Armageddon is that it is permadeath and perspectival: you don't know everything (the stats, the world, etc.)  Your world could come to an end, and you might never know the end of your story.  Would closure actually be a good thing to have?  Or would we lose some ineffable bit of the magick of the ArmageddonMUD experience by offering it?  I don't have an answer to this, but it is worth thinking about, I think.
as IF you didn't just have them unconscious, naked, and helpless in the street 4 minutes ago

I like the idea in theory a lot. There's a certain longing at times to know why things happened how they did, and under what circumstances you really met your end. I think the theory is fantastic, but the practice of trying to do this would be really tough. As much as some people are fantastic at RP and they understand the game, and they play like a storyteller -- even as far as to make villains or good guys, or everywhere in between, some people are new. Some people aren't that great at the separation of IC and OOC. Much of Arm's secrecy and rules as much protects from and protects these people, I think. Knowing you died over having stepped on the wrong person's coat tails once isn't going to go over well with them and may push off people. In many ways, I think Arm's rules coddles these newer people until they 'get' Armageddon. That's just me.

If there was a time limit (say a month or three or more) on this and staff were willing, I'd totally be behind it.
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Eyeball

  • Posts: 783
I'd like to see people be able to flag their bio entries as public or private. Even when flagged public, they wouldn't be visible before a set interval had elapsed (e.g. 2 real years following death or storage).

Lizzie

  • Posts: 7630
Downside to this: a whole lot of paperwork for staff.
Why: hypothetical example.

Lord Amos hired the Guild to assassinate Lady Talia's aide, Kakekikoku because of reason #1.
Lady Talia also hired the Guild to ensure that her aide had an accident in the city, and not in the estate, for reason #2.
The Guild boss sent two of his henchmen to handle it. It got handled.

It's two RL years later and:

ONE of the henchmen is still alive in the game.
Lady Talia is still alive in the game.
No one else that Kakekikoku knew, or knew about, or had even heard rumors about when she was still alive, is still alive in the game. They're all either dead or long-ago stored.

Because the above hypothetical is still very much possible (and I've actually experienced it, as player of an assassinated character), the staff would have to reject a request for closure.

Sadly - there are also players who would see "because some people are still around in the game" and know damned well that this could only mean Talia done it. She might even know why. Or she might not know why, and just knowing that "Talia done it" might cause the player some serious awkwardness when playing in Allanak again, since Talia's still around. It might prevent her from playing in Talia's clan. It might do any number of things, actually. But then you also can't just tell the player Talia done it, for reason #2, because - Talia's still alive, and that's against the rules. Even two years later.
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Miradus

  • Posts: 1976
You often hear about it second hand if you play in an area with a new character later.

But I'd say realistically that I don't think a lot of people are walking away from the game because they got killed by another player. Of the people I know who have walked away, they did so because the game mechanics were problematic, staff was rude to them, or the people they encountered in the game sucked to roleplay with.

ETA: Let me also add that there's SO much ooc flying around this game that you're pretty much going to find out what's going on with your murder unless you're a hermit player (like I often am). We can pretend that's not happening, but I've had people Way-dancing in my head far too much to believe it. Anyone who has played a public raider knows this. Oh, it's dawn? Watch as 15 people contact you and withdraw without saying a word, just to check and see if you're online and whether it's safe enough to greb outside the gate.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2018, 05:30:26 PM by Miradus »

Hauwke

  • Posts: 1490
Quote from: Lizzie link=topic=53517.msg1007850#msg1007850

Sadly - there are also players who would see "because some people are still around in the game" and know damned well that this could only mean Talia done it. She might even know why. Or she might not know why, and just knowing that "Talia done it" might cause the player some serious awkwardness when playing in Allanak again, since Talia's still around. It might prevent her from playing in Talia's clan. It might do any number of things, actually. But then you also can't just tell the player Talia done it, for reason #2, because - Talia's still alive, and that's against the rules. Even two years later.


I would say that conversely, if you cant handle that information, ie. Knowing the guy who killed you is still alive and you cant play around or even nearby them, then you simply do not deserve the information because you cant seperate OOC and IC.

sleepyhead

  • Posts: 369
Watch as 15 people contact you and withdraw without saying a word, just to check and see if you're online and whether it's safe enough to greb outside the gate.

Okay so I can't account for the other 14 people, but I know that I have a bad habit of contacting someone, second-guessing myself once I actually get hold of them, and then withdrawing. I've been sitting with someone and thought of telling them something via the way, contacting them, and then thinking better of it, and heard them assume out loud that it was a "hooded head-tap," as they called it. Misdirected contacts are also a thing.

I'm sure some incidents of this are very shady, and if you're getting more as a raider that's fishy as hell, but there are other reasons for it too!

Miradus

  • Posts: 1976
Yeah, I do it on accident too. Some of it is just bad luck in your character description. (Oh, you have a keyword in your sdesc that's the same as a very popular Salarri merchant? You're screwed.)

But I think we all know what I'm talking about.

Eyeball

  • Posts: 783
I wonder whether the staff collects statistics on character life spans. I'd like to see a graph.

Probably the number of characters with game spans that exceed two real years is minuscule. In any case, such data could be used to select a reasonable interval before bio entries flagged as 'public' become available. Even five years would work, a lot of players hang around longer than then (on and off).

Sorry

  • Posts: 188
Grey areas like that should probably have some clarification so that everyone is on the same page, there's a few things like that where looking at things from one perspective of how things are IC, they can make no sense, whereas if from another, due to the game mechanics, it can seem acceptable to some at the same time and there's no clear ruling - there's a lot of ways to look at stuff and unfortunately seems to mostly depend on individual players' head canons of stuff at the moment - I think we need more lore on the way/help file, for all the common subjects of dispute, so that everyone can be on the same level really
(This is sort of going offtopic to another thread about The Way though, it seems like it keeps coming up and there's no clear direction)

Anyway on the thread... I sort of agree cos I'm pretty sure some newbie players just quit after dying in a lame way to people just killing off characters because they can without any real story to it etc, which seems really sad, I guess statistics would show how common that is, even if just on the staff side, it's probably worth looking at - one thing I noticed from the colour chart thread is that a blind player that posted in it was talking in their last posts about how they get emotional about permadeath in games too much, and then a little after that, they never post again, and can probably guess what happened there (though at the same time if someone genuinely feels like it's too depressing then egging on when don't really want to deal with Tales of Trauma Desert Edition probably isn't the best either, though maybe it can help people deal with death better in real life at the same time, this could actually make an interesting study into if it does have any therapeutic effects - in Arm you have to deal with constant death in a way that most western countries aren't used to dealing with since Victorian times yet is a fact of life for most of the world, and though some countries in particular Russia are very Zalanthas in different ways too, a lot of the aspects are also painfully reflected in other countries as well, through a black mirror)

BUT... It really does seem like there is less separation between IC and OOC in Armageddon then there should be for a lot of people, with people participating in conflicts against the same characters onto new characters when it doesn't really seem appropriate due to OOC knowledge - or even on characters that have no role-related motivations as a reason, a bit obviously snubbing characters that were involved in previous character dramas (I've noticed another thing is that there doesn't seem to be any real clear guidance on making characters that act very similarly to previous characters, it sort of breaks immersion for me at times) as well as a kind of Tuluki type thing where it's culturally discouraged to talk about this kind of stuff OOC. But people are human, and not everyone is the same, and I think that's -really- important to understand, that not everyone can compartmentalise to the same extent (though to be fair, for all the potential for problems, it might just help to create some of the best stories as in method acting, when people get into it to that extent - I couldn't and wouldn't say it's entirely a bad thing, I've seen roleplay on other games and there are some seriously DULL people, I love all of you lot and want the best for everyone <3)

APMs are awesome for closure. You hear things
I think that seeing or hearing about close OOC friendships between staff and players can feel a bit exclusionary to newer people who keep to the forum and its rules with time to talking about IC stuff - I remember seeing this come up in a couple reviews as well I think this shouldn't be ignored and it -matters-, everyone should try consider that we are all sort of ambassadors for the game in a way and realise that it gives the impression that people get more leeway than others and that affects new intake of people that we all might otherwise be interested in - I think a lot of people feel more comfortable when things are kept professional, and I seriously appreciate it when staff work hard to maintain that thin blue line that really needs to be there to make it fair for everyone.

At the same time though I think it's really nice for people to talk about how stuff made them feel, the "What happened to" thread seems brilliant really, and having that kind of knowledge even if it's years later seems really lovely, I think there will always be people willing to contribute at the appropriate times on that thread - as a noob I have to say it's actually really nice to see people who had IC conflicts with their characters chatting away later over how interesting stuff was and I think allays a lot of worries that people might otherwise have, it shows how good the community is really, it's a great advertisement :)
"YOU'RE PURSUING SOMETHING YOU SHOULDN'T PURSUE. 'WHY' IS A QUESTION FOR LATER. ALL SHALL BE WELL AND ALL SHALL BE WELL AND ALL SHALL BE WELL AND ALL SHALL BE WELL AND A RECKONING IS NOT TO BE POSTPONED INDEFINITELY."

Feco

  • Posts: 1816
I'm sympathetic to this idea, but I really think it's too much paperwork staff-side.

In a perfect world, I'd actually prefer a 15 second "death-cam" or something after you're merked.  We already trust players not to spread OOC knowledge.  15 more seconds of knowledge won't make or break the game.  Again, though, this is probably more code-work than it's worth.

Thankfully we have kudos.  Obviously you can't reveal yourself during the kudos, or give out any IC information, but they're a great thing to send after a PK.  The trick, of course, is not to come off as condescending (e.g., "Hurrr, you did a good job dying nerd").

I very much like the idea of bios being made public, but an automated system is just asking for trouble.  I wish we had someone to take original submission again, though.  Logs and bios are great ways to attract new players.
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Insigne

  • Posts: 297
This whole thread reminded me of a post I saw further back. I did a quick search (because only here does keywords like 'rathustra child death' make sense) and managed to dig it up here:

...

My char had a child with her in her sling who would've suffered the same fate as her mother had he not sent me a log where the child survived, by hanging in the papoose on the edge of a rock. Where he emoted a grebber finding the child and taking her with him. I sometimes still hope seeing this NPC and VNPC in game as a PC :P

While a little further down the thread was the actual log.

I always thought that was pretty amazing! Just not something that I can easily see staff sustaining for the player base as a whole.

nauta

  • Posts: 2333
Two things we can do as players to make it easier for such reveals down the road (if it ever comes to that):

1. Document the reasoning clearly in the PK Report.

2. Document the reasoning clearly in a BIO entry.

I'd imagine a big reason this would be unfeasible is that staff simply won't be able to know how or why your PC died without grepping logfiles, which from what I hear is a tedious task.
as IF you didn't just have them unconscious, naked, and helpless in the street 4 minutes ago

valeria

  • Posts: 5587
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I really love this idea for closure. Logistics, waiting a year, trusting players, whatever the solution is to address possible abuse problems, I think it would be worth it.

And people do rage-quit over bad deaths. I almost left the game after the death of my second character, in a fashion that felt seriously crappy to me at the time. The possibility that some day you might know why someone ganked you "for no reason" could alleviate some of the bad feelings that accumulate when those things happen.

Sorry

  • Posts: 188
What could work maybe is that when you make a bio or report like Nauta was describing, maybe a checkbox option with something like "Would you like to share this story with the characters involved after disclosure period has passed (specify names and Sdescs - subject to approval)?"

And could work similar to the what happened to thread, but works even if in a year or two the person forgets about it or is busy/not around to post - maybe it could even autopost even as another option, as long as wider game story stuff/secrets isn't involved, and it's only involving characters that aren't around anymore (though what then happens if there's storylines that go on longer than a real life year, huh)
"YOU'RE PURSUING SOMETHING YOU SHOULDN'T PURSUE. 'WHY' IS A QUESTION FOR LATER. ALL SHALL BE WELL AND ALL SHALL BE WELL AND ALL SHALL BE WELL AND ALL SHALL BE WELL AND A RECKONING IS NOT TO BE POSTPONED INDEFINITELY."

Lizzie

  • Posts: 7630
What could work maybe is that when you make a bio or report like Nauta was describing, maybe a checkbox option with something like "Would you like to share this story with the characters involved after disclosure period has passed (specify names and Sdescs - subject to approval)?"

And could work similar to the what happened to thread, but works even if in a year or two the person forgets about it or is busy/not around to post - maybe it could even autopost even as another option, as long as wider game story stuff/secrets isn't involved, and it's only involving characters that aren't around anymore (though what then happens if there's storylines that go on longer than a real life year, huh)

Again (and to simplify my concern):

If that death involved more than simply one person killing another -

if it involved an orchestrated plot involving several people - or several orchestrated plots overlapping with each other..
or if it involved people who are still alive, EVEN A YEAR LATER...

then you'd need to get permission from every single player involved, or reject the request because one of the people involved has a character who is still alive (EVEN A YEAR LATER).

The staff shouldn't have to be tasked with all this "paperwork" just so one player can breathe a sigh of relief that there was an actual reason why his character died.

I LOVE learning why my characters are assassinated. But I don't lose sleep over not knowing, and in most cases I either a) already know why because it was pretty obvious ICly or b) I found out 3, 4, even 6 years after the fact. But refusing to ever play again just because I don't know why my character got whacked? That's pretty - weird, to me. It speaks more of the person refusing to ever play again, than it does about whoever killed their character.
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LucildaHunta

  • Posts: 346
I like the idea behind it a lot. I just feel like the potential for abuse is just too great as far as revenge characters go. Id like to give my fellow players the benefit of the doubt, but Ive just seen too many instances where that is exactly where that kind of knowledge would lead to.

We have some very intense players.
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MarshallDFX

  • Posts: 1514
tldr: we rely on staff for this, I hope they are empowered and encouraged to engage in crisis control with players on a case by case basis.

As a professional cynic, I believe the one year, two year business is contrived and futile (and even harmful) so I'm inclined to ignore that consideration.  I think all the mechanisms already in place are sufficient.  Like most things, it's silence that kills and I figure the best way to handle this is with hip, happening, and active staff.  Maybe it's worthwhile having the staff member dedicated to player retention (or I've heard the term 'player advocate' mentioned before, which could be part of that function).

Just whip people who don't include PK details in character reports.  If staff know (or a player reports) a trusted player is unhappy, communicate.  At their discretion, talk things through.  Retain the player. It will all be case specific.  I'm not going to begrudge staff spilling a few beans to keep good players around. Thinking this is secret anyways is a folie deux.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2018, 02:23:55 PM by MarshallDFX »

sleepyhead

  • Posts: 369
Many times you know exactly who killed you without any info from staff. There's already plenty of potential for revenge characters. I doubt that letting the players who don't know oocly who killed them know is going to cause a huge spike in ooc vengeance. I don't really want this because I think it's healthiest to just move on rather than dwell and stew over what's in the past, but I don't think the abuse potential is all that much higher than what we already have.

The Lonely Hunter

  • Posts: 844
No way. Far too much OOC.
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Inks

  • Posts: 1140
There is too much ooc sharing in our community already. Wait a year.

Also if you are crushed by the death of your PC so much that you are considering ragequit, take a break, you'll be back.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2018, 10:01:27 PM by Inks »
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stark

  • Posts: 403
Seriously, I agree with Inks and others, the less OOC the better.
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Miner

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« Last Edit: March 07, 2018, 02:16:10 AM by Miner »