Author Topic: HOWTO be an off-peaker (WIP)  (Read 434 times)

nauta

  • Posts: 2333
HOWTO be an off-peaker (WIP)
« on: March 16, 2018, 09:32:55 AM »
There was some discussion on discord, although I missed the bulk of it, but it comes up from time-to-time, and it made me think perhaps we should have a guide or at least a list of tips for 'offpeakers', especially new players.  I might roll this into a chapter in Mansa's Guide, but here's a stab. Please feel free to contribute here. 

So, first things first, let's define our terms.  Peak will refer to 8pm to 1am Server Time (US Eastern).  European Offpeak will refer to roughly 7am until 8pm, and Pacific Offpeak will refer to roughly 1am until 7am.  This is just ballparkish, but it gives you the idea: Europeans fall into European Offpeak and Pacific folk will fall into Pacific Offpeak.  This might not be a distinction worth making, but let's have it.

One thing to note about Pacific Offpeak is that in most cases they are 'daytime' when Peak occurs, so if unemployed or underemployed, they can make RPTs that are during Peak.  Europeans, however, always get screwed with Peak RPTs, since this is their deep night (unless they are night owls).

Now, let's talk numbers.  A strange thing happened in the last year that at least European Offpeak has seen 'good' numbers: 20-30 from 7am to 8pm usually.  I can't speak to Pacific Offpeak since I don't stay up that late.  The deadest times are 5am until about 8am Server Time, when numbers rarely get above 10.

So, what are some tips to a new player who is offpeak?

1. Clan Life.  Yeah, the schedule is gonna get you.  Ideas: change ldesc and have a sandwich, solo RP, stick to the schedule since someone MIGHT show up and you'll have a bit of a pigeon flocking problem: you login see nobody, logout, they login 5 mins later, see nobody, logout, etc.

2. Try to hit peak once a week to make those connections.  Delegate tasks...

Tips for us in scheduling RPTs?

1. Ask when people play.

[TODO -- I'll come back to this later, and incorporate ideas into the main post...]
as IF you didn't just have them unconscious, naked, and helpless in the street 4 minutes ago

azuriolinist

  • Posts: 380
Re: HOWTO be an off-peaker (WIP)
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2018, 11:46:33 AM »
I've found that logging on at consistent times increases chances of involvement in plots. For one, there's a chance of developing contacts that you can regularly interact with during that time slot. Other players can also generally figure out when to find your PC, when they need to.

Also, when joining a clan, it's always a good idea to try to find a PC leader whose playtimes at least overlap with yours!

Nao

  • Posts: 1881
Re: HOWTO be an off-peaker (WIP)
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2018, 02:29:41 PM »
1. Clan Life.  Yeah, the schedule is gonna get you.  Ideas: change ldesc and have a sandwich, solo RP, stick to the schedule since someone MIGHT show up and you'll have a bit of a pigeon flocking problem: you login see nobody, logout, they login 5 mins later, see nobody, logout, etc.

Don't be afraid to leave if you've tried, but just can't seem to make it work. If it's not working, you're better off going wherever you have a chance to interact with other players.
A rusty brown kank explodes into little bits.

Someone says, out of character:
     "I had to fix something in this zone.. YOU WEREN'T HERE 2 minutes ago :)"

James de Monet

  • Posts: 3320
Re: HOWTO be an off-peaker (WIP)
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2018, 03:08:15 PM »
Especially for new players, two suggestions:
1) Play a ranger.  Best solo class if you donít like being stuck in a city.
2) Have a crafting subguild.  Crafting always helps me get through those times where no one is around or I donít have the desire to interact with people.  Definitely something i learned when numbers were less than they are now.
You know I think if James simply retitled his thread "Cheese" and apologized for his first post being off-topic, all problems would be solved.

Grapes

  • Posts: 398
Re: HOWTO be an off-peaker (WIP)
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2018, 04:23:47 PM »
This game has some wonderful off-peak players who, many times, have kept me awake all night because I enjoy interacting with their characters so much. I'd like it if "peak" weren't a thing, but trying to explore clans and other important parts of the game world while still having interaction can be a barrier to entry for off-peak players with social needs, which can create a situation which reinforces itself.
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.

Fathi

  • Posts: 4529
Re: HOWTO be an off-peaker (WIP)
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2018, 09:10:29 PM »
Some suggestions honed by working years of graveyard shift in the US then moving overseas:

1. Be visible and park yourself in places where you are more likely to meet people than not. You'd think this is a given, but I don't just mean sit in taverns. Think about the flow of PCs through the area where you are playing: the major roads, the gates in and out of the cities, the entrances to/from the markets, the street outside the tavern, places where people cook food. Even if the tavern itself is empty you may find better luck parking your character somewhere that people are more likely to walk through. They may not always stop to RP with you but they often will. This is also a benefit in that you'll meet PCs who may not be 'tavern sitter' personality types but are still around.

2. Find buddies to Way. I guarantee there are people logged on when you are, whenever that time is. They may not be geographically near you, though. But if you meet some PCs, find excuses to Way them. You'll still get interaction even if they have moved to another city or are stuck in a clan compound for some reason. Plus you may get news from exciting and far-off places. And this person will know you're reliably around at this time of day if you contact them.

3. Play a character concept that isn't 100% dependent on others for you to enjoy or make money. This may feel like conceding defeat, but it's also just playing realistically. If you play a whore with no other skills set up to make money, you are going to have a hard time feeding yourself unless you can find a dedicated off-peak client base. Same for if you make a character totally dead set on them becoming an aide only to discover no nobles and templars play when you do. I've found that coming up with more flexible character concepts that give some wiggle room if my initial plans don't work out has helped a lot.

4. If your area does seem well and truly dead during your time zone, try moving before storing. Yep it may be scary to haul a brand new PC to a totally different city, but hey, if you die you can just roll another character anyways. And that will at least lead to some RP rather than just a storage request. I would try for at least a solid week or two, but if you aren't feeling it, there's nothing stopping you from ICly moving on. This is why I try not to tie my character concepts too closely to being based out of one place, too.

5. Play a family role. Put your time zone on the GDB thread. Recruit someone in a similar time zone to play with you. I did a lot of family roles when I played during graveyard shift hours. People are more likely to come RP with a pair of PCs if they see you guys are up to something. Plus if your family player doesn't have the exact same playtimes as you then they can invite you into stuff with other people they meet when you aren't online and vice versa.

6. Throw an off-peak event of some sort. This depends on how much time/effort you have and whether your character would be so inclined of course, but when I ran various off-peak PCs I often threw my own little gatherings.

7. Stay logged in for at least a while even if things seem dead. Like Nauta mentions above, the pigeon flocking problem is a big deal especially if you're in a clan. What I do when I really want to interact with someone and it's the middle of the night server time is I log on and plant myself in a public, high-traffic area for at least 20 or 30 minutes. Craft or something to pass the time. Or just put on an ldesc and fix yourself a drink IRL. Staff in my experience don't care much if you idle while waiting for interaction. The worst thing you can do is give up after 5 minutes because then the next person who DOES happen by your area is going to also see that it's empty.

8. Give people a reason to seek your PC out via IC board posts. Offer a service or something on the rumour boards. Post about it. Spread your name around. I once had a character roam the streets of Allanak looking for an old relative of hers and I put up a board post saying she was looking for a big, broad-shouldered dude with red hair who had once gone by XYZ. Plenty of people contacted me to suggest PCs who might have been them or to say nope they hadn't heard anything. I'd just made the VNPC up as an excuse to get interaction from people and it worked!
And I vanish into the dark
And rise above my station

Grapes

  • Posts: 398
Re: HOWTO be an off-peaker (WIP)
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2018, 02:10:54 AM »
1. Be visible and park yourself in places where you are more likely to meet people than not.

It's been long enough now, Lantern Lin, is that you?

ETA: I ran into lantern woman on several occassions, the first being my very first PC, who, Lin sold him an escort to Tuluk from Luir's for thirty sid... CHEAP! Two minutes later she tried to sell me into slavery to gypsies. Welcome to Armageddon. Gypsies wouldn't buy my PC, because, "He's crazy.", then Lin tried to feed me to carrus, I also survived that. We got to Tuluk and she snuggled as I slept off my wounds then vanished, only to turn up later trying to sell lanterns to my next five PCs, one of whom decided she was his mentor and tried to study her ways.

EDIT2: Ah, Lantern woman's snuggle-buddy breed and apprentice, we'd ride out and do the dumbest shit, one time she fed me a shitload of poison as a cure for scrub fever... HINT: it didn't work. We had some funny times drinking tea in the tribal market in Tuluk, before, you know, the tribal market was gone. It was a HOOT! If only other players could have the same experience.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2018, 02:29:53 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.