Author Topic: A Word on HRPTs  (Read 8902 times)

Bakha

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A Word on HRPTs
« on: November 02, 2003, 08:25:36 PM »
I've seen a few of these, and I thought I would post my thoughts as a non-participant who has only observed the events and planning through the various discussion boards.

I think there are some different viewpoints that people have about what is involved in an HRPT. The way I see an HRPT follows: the staff have come up with a large world change that is going to change the game in some significant way. If players wish to be around when this world change is taking place, they should log in.

Nowhere in that does it say, "Log in, because you will be entertained!" Yes, I realize that is implied from the whole acronym, but that shouldn't necessarily be expected. I can tell you that the staff does their best to ensure that "action" will be taking place in each center of civilization. However, the way the players respond to that action, the way the code may screw things up, or the way that the machine may perform cannot always be predicted. Additionally, if you think that things are hectic for you during the action, imagine what it is like for a staff member who may be monitoring an entire clan at the time and trying to keep tabs on various hit points, actions, reactions, for multiple people in multiple areas. It can be hard to keep track of what's what, much less keep tabs of people that may be on the periphery of the action. In other words, the staff usually have their hands full in an HRPT dealing with the preplanned events and scenarios. They don't often have the time or ability to monitor people that are on the periphery of the event to ensure that they're also getting entertained and seeing action.

I guess what I'm saying is that there are always people that are dissapointed with their role in an HRPT. There are also others that are thrilled or surprised. It's the nature of things. When you see an HRPT coming up, just enjoy the fact that you're going to be around to see a major world change take place, and try not to get too caught up in how much action is going on for you at that specific time. The fact is, when people are talking about, "The time that the Northlands threw off the shackles of their Nakki' oppressors" you can say, "I was there. I remember it."
ack to retirement for the school year.

Clegane

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Interesting...
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2003, 08:55:13 PM »
Wow. That explains a lot.

If the Staff as a whole is in agreement with your viewpoints on what an HRPT is and what purpose it serves, then I have been presenting incorrect expecations.

If I'm reading your second paragraph correctly, then you are asserting that the playerbase really does have no true effect on the outcome of an RPT. The Staff writes a script for what they want 'changed' in the world, and players are free to log in and play walk-on roles for a plotline that they really have no control over?

I hate to seem argumentative or unappreciative, because I do know and understand the immense time and work that goes into these things on a staff level.

But... Hearing in no uncertain terms that the world change is planned and being implemented regardless of what the players do to try and stem or encourage that....I guess its just a little disenheartening.

If I am misunderstanding your intent, please do feel free to correct me. Like I said, I'm not trying to be a jerk. But if you're correct then my expecations for events have been dramatically misplaced. And I feel a little disappointed given the level of effort that I and many other players I know of put forth in the weeks and months preceeding this RPT.

Did I misunderstand you? Or are we on the same page?
Don't forgive and never forget; Do unto others before they do unto you; and third and most importantly, keep your eye on your friends, because your enemies will take care of themselves.   -J.R. Ewing

Ueda

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A Word on HRPTs
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2003, 09:10:02 PM »
Clegane I agree with you 100% the player base DEFINETLY has a big impact on the world. I think some of the staff doesn't even have char's they just help the people that do!
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Rindan

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A Word on HRPTs
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2003, 09:36:45 PM »
My understanding is that yes, for the most part these are scripted event.  If a city needs to burn, it is probably going to burn regardless of what players do.  That said, players do have an impact.  The once things are in motion and the armies are on the move, a few characters are probably not going to stop the major events.  However, there is a period leading up to the actual event where players can dip their hands in and affect how the world changes.  For instance, let's say there is a plot to destroy Allanak by the forces of Pure Evil.  The plot gets to the point where the forces of Pure Evil are going to come and there is nothing that can be done to stop them.  A high level leader in house Borsail might decide to pull all of his people out of the city and thus save the house.  This response to the event is something in the players control.  The city still might be wiped out, but because of a players action the house might be salvaged.  That is to say that one man is not going to stop the Hordes of Evil dead in their tracks, but he might have an affect on things that happen on the side.

I know in one instance during the last HRPT when this came up the imms mentioned that a key NPC who was supposed to lead after the removal of Allanak from Tuluk was killed by players, and thus plans had to change.

Keep in mind that while you might not have a direct effect on what exactly is going to happen, you can affect the future.  If you save some leader, or even if you simply live through something, you can go about to affect change later.  I know that at least in the events that just happened who lived and who died is going to have an impact upon the future.  Heroes have been born and others have died.  Balances in power are going to shift, and I imagine a lot of these changes are going to be totally unplanned.

Finally, I suggest playing as if you have no clue what the ending is going to be.  True, it might be preplanned, but you generally have no idea which way it is going to shift.  I can say that I was totally surprised by some the way some of things turned out, and in my neck of the woods truly had no idea what the outcome was going to be.  If you play and your side looses and you die, then you are dead.  If you play and despite how it looks your side wins, you just because a hero for sticking in there.

Bakha

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A Word on HRPTs
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2003, 09:40:42 PM »
I think that Rindan has the gist of it, from my understanding. Keep in mind that I'm retired and wasn't even a staff member for that long. However, as he says, "If a city needs to burn, it will burn."

That's on the macro level. On the micro, personal level, thousands of different variations on the overall story arc can occur.

I didn't realize that I was revealing anything world-shattering, in all honesty.
ack to retirement for the school year.

Clegane

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No worries
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2003, 09:52:43 PM »
Oh, you weren't revealing anything you weren't supposed to, I imagine. Or anything most folks don't know. I guess I was just being naive. :)  Thanks for the clarity nonetheless.
Don't forgive and never forget; Do unto others before they do unto you; and third and most importantly, keep your eye on your friends, because your enemies will take care of themselves.   -J.R. Ewing

Bakha

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Re: Interesting...
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2003, 10:12:02 PM »
Quote from: "Clegane"


If I'm reading your second paragraph correctly, then you are asserting that the playerbase really does have no true effect on the outcome of an RPT. The Staff writes a script for what they want 'changed' in the world, and players are free to log in and play walk-on roles for a plotline that they really have no control over?


By the way, if you read Naephet's post in one of the other HRPT threads, he says that a player did, indeed, have a large affect on the outcome of the RPT.

The way you phrased things is doing the entire thing a disservice, though, imo. Taking Rindan's example of Pure Evil attacking Allanak. Yes, it may be pre-planned that Pure Evil is going to take over Allanak. However, who is to say what might happen to your PC in that event? Perhaps your PC, a Borsail noble, ends up allied with Pure Evil and ruling the world as one of Pure Evil's henchman? Perhaps your PC, a 'rinthi thief, finds a previously unrealized heart of gold during the events and ends up saving a wealthy merchant who later repays that 'rinthi thief by taking him/her on as an assistant. There are thousands and thousands of threads that can spin off from a major, planned event.

Additionally, these HRPTs (from my experiences with the past) are usually the initial catalyst to set in place a larger story arc. The way the PCs perform during and after these events tend to affect the way the story arc plays out. It's a monitor and adjust strategy. Throw out an event, monitor reactions over time, adjust accordingly, formulate a plan that makes sense and fits, move forward.
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Armaddict

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A Word on HRPTs
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2003, 11:16:03 PM »
If that's the case, I think you should stop calling it an RPT.

If it's a recommended playing time, than that would insinuate that you recommend we're on at that time.  If you're recommending it, that would mean that we should expect -something- to happen.  Now, I know that RPT's don't always affect everyone.  But when it's Highly Recommended...for the entirety of the known world...then the entirety of the known world should get something out of it.

Call it "A storyline playing time", or a "Historical Shift" or whatever...but if you're recommending time to everyone, then at least make it worth their while.

I don't mean to sound overly belligerent or the like, but for me as well, logging in was a waste of my time.  Today was my only day to sleep in  *sniff*
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

Rindan

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A Word on HRPTs
« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2003, 11:40:59 PM »
Quote from: "Armaddict"
If that's the case, I think you should stop calling it an RPT.

If it's a recommended playing time, than that would insinuate that you recommend we're on at that time.  If you're recommending it, that would mean that we should expect -something- to happen.  Now, I know that RPT's don't always affect everyone.  But when it's Highly Recommended...for the entirety of the known world...then the entirety of the known world should get something out of it.

Call it "A storyline playing time", or a "Historical Shift" or whatever...but if you're recommending time to everyone, then at least make it worth their while.

I don't mean to sound overly belligerent or the like, but for me as well, logging in was a waste of my time.  Today was my only day to sleep in  *sniff*


As far as I know, Ďsomethingí happened in all major civilized locations.  In at least in one those places ALOT happened.  What happened is going to affect everyone, period.  You people sound so god damn spoiled.  Because in one city you didnít get to have a blood bath you suddenly get all offended because you feel you had your time wasted.  

Come on.  They are doing their damnedest to keep every entertained, all 170+ of you. with just a handful of people running the show, and everyone is bitching because it wasnít good enough, the body count wasnít high enough, the action wasnít enough.  For fuckís sake.  Cry me a river, build me a bridge, and get over it.

During the last RPT people complained because the body count was too high and the spam and lag too much.  This time the body count is lower and the lag is non-existent.  What happens? People complain because not enough people died.  I think what everyone really wants is for a high body count, for THEIR character to live, and for everything to go of code wise perfectly without a hitch.  Of course, as long as humans are still running it, that isnít going to happen.

Finally, your bitching would be completely baseless if you had bothered to read the announcement they made when announcing the event.  Allow me to quote from the staff anoucnments forum.

Quote
   If at all possible, you should be on that day, as something important will be going on. It may or may not involve your PC, but the only way to find out is to log in.


I am not sure how clearer they could have spelled it out for you except for sending an individual invite to each and every character detailing their exact role in the HRPT, just to make sure no one feels cheated.

A Word on HRPTs
« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2003, 11:41:27 PM »
You can't expect the Imms to cater to each and every player, espicially when we log in by the hundreds, can you? If you're playing an isolated character, don't expect the end of the world to focus around your root-grubbing tribal. Sheesh.
EvilRoeSlade wrote:
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You shout, in sirihish:
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chang

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A Word on HRPTs
« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2003, 11:44:26 PM »
I know a root-grubbing tribal that had fun.  :)
hang is actually...

A Word on HRPTs
« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2003, 11:49:54 PM »
Quote
I know a root-grubbing tribal that had fun.


Heh, yeah, I was one of them. Which only further proves my point.

HRPT does not mean 'insta-happy-fun-time-for-everyone'. It means big stuff is happening, and if you want in, grab a chunk.
EvilRoeSlade wrote:
Quote
You find a bulbous root sac and pick it up.
You shout, in sirihish:
"I HAVE A BULBOUS SAC"
Quote
A staff member sends:
     "You are likely dead."

Dakkon Black

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woah
« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2003, 12:53:21 AM »
I actually cant believe some of you people. What the hell is wrong with you? I never so jack shit all HRPT and had a blast. If you aren't playing Arm to enjoy your char and have fun what the hell are you here for? You want some imm to give you a quest to find a +5 sword of slaying there are muds for that.

Personally I think the dedication by our imms NOT counting rpt's of any kind is amazing. To expect a person to take thier time to entertain us is a fantastic gift. Thank you Imms. Some of us apprieciate you and what you are doing.
A single death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic.  Zalanthas is Armageddon.

Armaddict

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A Word on HRPTs
« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2003, 01:04:15 AM »
I never said anything about being pissed because 'I didn't get to loot or get given any cool, r0x0r your b0x0rz shit!'.

I said I was disappointed.   Yes, I expected too much.  But all I was really expecting was for -something- to happen that would pretty much be something to at least pay attention to for those hours that I normally would have been sleeping.  And I said that I would have been better off sleeping.

You're making assumptions.  I was stating my opinion, which was that I did -not- enjoy the RPT and wish that I could have known I wouldn't.

If you think that everyone who says they didn't have a good time was secretly hoping to get that steel bastard sword +5, then...well...go ahead and keep thinking that.  But you'll just be feeding delusions.
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

SailorMars

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A Word on HRPTs
« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2003, 02:03:10 AM »
T'was fun on the front lines.
color=darkred][size=9]Complaints of unfairness on the part of
other players will not be given an audience.
If you think another character was mean
to you, you're most likely right.[/color][/size]

Clegane

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...
« Reply #15 on: November 03, 2003, 02:12:05 AM »
I'm not sure how much (if at all) my posts are proliferating this discussion. But I'll reiterate...I was not at all disappointed with the RPT itself.

The action was great, the balance was great, the theme was great. I had a VERY fun time.

I didn't mean to cast a 'disservicing' light on Bakha's post at all. I was just expressing my surprise at the realization of the level of inevitability involved.

I certainly realize that many plotlines are furthered in varying ways and many characters impacted by other characters and their respective actions in the RPTs (or in any RP for that matter).  I was just surprised to see such a frank affirmation of the level of 'pre-ordained scripting' involved. I mean, it stands to reason. I've DM'd enough tabletop games over the last 20 years, I know all about the importance of carrying off a major, world-affecting plot. I also understand that sometimes inevitability is vital to cohesion.

I guess somewhere in my idealism, I had myself believing that Armageddon wasn't bound by the same strictures. I understand and accept -why- it is. There's just an idealistic part of me that wishes it wasn't. I wish the players had more control over the global outcome of HRPT plots.

But aside from all that, as I said, I had a great time and it was an afternoon -very- well spent. Thanks once again to everyone involved in the implementation of the HRPT!
Don't forgive and never forget; Do unto others before they do unto you; and third and most importantly, keep your eye on your friends, because your enemies will take care of themselves.   -J.R. Ewing

creeper386

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Creeper's Official View
« Reply #16 on: November 03, 2003, 02:18:17 AM »
Alright, now people have heard me "whining" or "bitching" about the HRPT on IRC all night. Overall, I had a blast.

The only truly thing I have to complain about was all IC situations, some things were just abit fucked, but nothing you can do about that.

I think the staff did a great job. I think one staff member stated there were 8 staffers up north and 3 in the south. Thats eleven people trying to entertain 170+ people. There is bound to be some problems, some people left out. Heck even if there was more staff I imagine there would be a few people someplace, even in the center of everything that would miss a good portion, if not most everything.

But even those people pointed out there were echoes of what was happening. I'm guessing that was realistic for your character to do at the time. Sure you didn't have anyone to fight. Anything big and flashy going on... But, and here comes my favorite line, "Sometimes shit happens. You deal with it." Period.

Creeper

P.S. I expect no more discussion as I have posted my official response to the HRPT. No more. None.
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Rindan

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A Word on HRPTs
« Reply #17 on: November 03, 2003, 02:41:58 AM »
Things are preordained to some extent, but donít take it as being too ordained.  They are not going to start slaying people just to make sure an event goes without a hitch.  Think of it this way.  Letís say the plot is for Red Storm to be taken over by elves.  When the event happens you have Red Storm units and elf units.  When these units clash, the elf units are going to be given the upper hand in terms of numbers of power so that in the end they win out.  As far as the major combat units go, the elves are Ďpreordainedí to win.  Due to the shear number and power of these units, there is nothing PCs can really do.  Even if a 50 PCs put up a struggle they are a drop in the bucket as far as major combat is concerned.

So, code wise Red Storm is screwed and it is going to fall.  There is pretty much nothing the PCs can do because they are simply so brutally outnumbered.  However, that doesnít mean the event is preordained.  For instance, if the PCs decide they need to get the citizens and leaders out, they might provide cover for some people to escape.  In this instance, they have won a battle that was not preordained.  A leader who might normally have died now lives.  Refugees who would have normally been slaughtered now escape and start another town somewhere else.

Going further, the battle starts to turn sour.  It is clear that the elves have the upper hand and things are going very badly.  They decide in a last ditch attempt to salve any sort of victory they can, they are going to charge the ranks of the elves and attempt to kill their leader in the hopes of throwing the army into confusion.  The band of PCs fight their way to the leader and manage to kill him with heavy losses to themselves.  The remaining living then flee to Allanak.  

Now, the original plot might have been for the elves to take Red Storm and fortify their position there for an attack on Allanak.  However, due to the action of the PCs, things donít go according to plan.  First, the elves take horrific losses and when they finally take Red Storm they find themselves undermanned and worse, disorganized due to the lack of a leader.

The Stormers who escaped to Allanak recruit a volunteer army, hire out some Byn, and convince Allanak to give them a handful of soldiers help them take back Red Storm.  They return a year later to Red Storm and retake the city because the elven forces are undermanned and they never made proper fortifications, even though the original plan might have been for the elves to siege Allanak next.

So, basically, yes the over arching event might have be vaguely preordained.  They have Ďtaken overí Red Storm area all set to be linked in once the RPT is done.  However, a lot of the stuff for getting to that point is clouded.  Red Storm might always be on its way to be taken over, but the level of loss could be changed from being a complete and devastating loss to an orderly retreat.  The big hazily defined end goal might be preordained, but all the details are up for being altered.  People escaping isnít predicted.  Someone raising an army to retake Red Storm isnít preordained, nor is the leader of the elf army getting killed.  A lot of stuff that can drastically affect the arc of the story is in the hands of the PCs, and for this reason I wouldnít feel terribly discouraged.  The city might burn regardless of how bravely you fight, but how bravely you fight and how quick your wits are might very well decide how quickly or even if it is ever even gotten back.  It might decide which Houses are destroyed and which are saved.

While in some sense having certain events preordained is a little disheartening, consider how the quality of the HRPT and the events around it are improved.  When they go into an HRPT instead of having to Ďfudgeí stuff, they can set up proper echoes and movements ahead of time.  Things are a little less frantic for them, and they donít need to code room description changes for every possible scenario.  The result is more frequent and higher production value HRPTs.  

Also keep in mind that not all HRPTs events have to be preordained.  They might very well have had a contingency plan in case people putting up a certain defense failed despite what they expected to happen, or if people expected to loose managed to hang in.

Finally, for the most part it is impossible to predict how things are going to go from a PCs point of view.  I know there was one point during this HRPT where I though "Ahh, shit, are we going to win this?"  There was a turning point where something bad or good could have happened.  They could have picked that spot for us to all get our asses kicked, for us to win, or for us to simply decide our own fate.  Just play it out like there was not fate involved.

Tlaloc

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A Word on HRPTs
« Reply #18 on: November 03, 2003, 03:33:53 AM »
I think the best way to think about it is like a Table-top RPG.

In a table-top RPG, your DM has control of the world. If your DM decides that there will be a war, there will be a war. If the DM decides that an army is attacking your castle...the army is attacking your castle.

And though your character may not have as much of an impact over the big, sweeping plot hooks when they happen...the game goes on, and every single character in the game has the potential to affect the long-term outcome of the plotline.

Another way to think of it might be in literature:

In Lord of The Rings: Nothing any single (or group) of characters could do anything to prevent the city of Osgiliath from being taken. On the other hand, it was individual characters who ultimately led the way, and did everything nessecary to destroy Sauron for good.

In our world, PC's are the main focus of the plotline. However, that doesn't mean stuff doesn't happen in the background, that doesn't involve the PC's. Just as what PC's do affect the NPC's and VNPC's around them...the same could be said in the reverse. When Osgiliath was sacked, the Immortals of Middle Earth called an RPT, and some of the PC's didn't do anything, and were bored. Meanwhile, a few of the PC's in Osgiliath had a great time, and a few died. Later, during non-RPT time, a group of PC's made a journey into the heart of Orc-Country, and helped destroy The Big Evil of All Evils.

-Tlaloc
Tlaloc
Legend


Anonymous

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A Word on HRPTs
« Reply #19 on: November 03, 2003, 09:35:57 AM »
I said it to someone else, but I'll say it here as well.

There are over a million sentient beings between Tuluk, Allanak, Red Storm, Luir's Outpost and the various tribes in the world.

Last night, assuming almost everyone who plays was logged in, there was upwards of 170 people logged in from what I heard.

Expecting 170 people to have that much effect over the world in major events is unrealistic to me.

Sanvean

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A Word on HRPTs
« Reply #20 on: November 03, 2003, 11:48:14 AM »
Just to add my 2 cents worth as I wade through 4 days worth of email and posts:

I think of RPTs and HRPTS as affectable by players - during the time itself but also beforehand.  Yes, certain events are predetermined: Army A will march on city B, which has resources X, Y and Z to rely on. At the same time, things like what happens along that route, which group and which people bring what resources to defend points 1, 2, and 3.  To me the effectiveness of players seems crucial to RPTs.

John

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A Word on HRPTs
« Reply #21 on: November 03, 2003, 05:21:52 PM »
From the limited point of view I had on the HRPT, player's could have (and did) affect it to a significant degree. Looking back I can't help but think "if players X, Y and Z had done THIS then the HRPT would have been completely changed (and most likely not as fun)" but the problem was, Players X, Y and Z didn't have certain knowledge before hand. If they had it would have been IC for them to do certain things they didn't do. So yes, in a way it was inevitable, but only because certain knowledge was kept secret from certain players BY other players (completely decided by players AFAIK).

There is also something one particular player did, that had he not done, things would have been changed significantly. But because this player did one seemingly insignificant thing, the events of my character, and other player's characters will be forever changed.

Looking back on stuff my character did directly himself, I see a LOT of events that can happen that the Imms could not have had any idea would happen (unless Sanvean was built with a predictability feature :P). Now whether or not these events will happen depends entirely on the players involved. But the potential is there, and it was started completely through one seemingly insignifcant action, which then spurred further seemingly insignifcant actions. But when you add them all up together, they can lead to world changing events.

Also, from what I've heard on a whole player's who played in the north had less fun then those that played in the south. That might be what has contributed to this "inevitability" feeling.
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LoD_Snarf

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HRPT and the player.
« Reply #22 on: November 04, 2003, 01:12:11 AM »
I have a few feelings on HRPT's in general, and without mentioning anything regarding the most recent installment, here are couple problems that I have:

Problem 1 - Instant Enemy.

If an army is coming, it must be coming from somewhere.  If a force is moving, they must be moving over a distance.  If a plot is being put into motion, someone must have planned it.  My wish is that all of these events leading up to the HRPT to be represented in full, somewhere.

Players should have a chance to witness all of this beforehand.  To be able to find the camp of the enemy force if they work hard enough.  It may be full of instant death and kill them in 1.2 seconds, but they managed to find them.  I want the players who have the resources, inclination, and luck to stumble upon the forces that are moving in the world to be rewarded by being able to use that information.  This provides many of the players with the chance to have pivotal roles during the HRPT - even if they don't change the final outcome.

What I don't like to see are vacant roads, quiet surroundings, and patrolled grounds suddenly awash with the enemy - seemingly out of nowhere.  This gives players a time to be wary, cautious, afraid, and curious.  They can watch the army march, report its progress, even charge blindly to die if they so choose.

When these forces aren't represented (and yes, I am aware that sometimes the army won't always 'march' to get where they are going), it takes away a lot of RP opportunity from the players.  They are only fed a fast-forward version of the fight at its most furious peak of chaos.

Problem 2 - Word from Above

The other problem that seems to plague the playerbase are NPC's coming out of the woordwork to issue orders and plans.  NPC's who have hardly ever interacted with anyone to establish their personalities or roles.  They shoot down PC ideas only to force feed you down a path that your character may otherwise have never done, and to create situations that aren't in play with the general mood or history of your character's actions in a leadership position established by months or years of RP.

Every player that takes the time and trouble to lead a clan wants at LEAST to be rewarded with the chance to make up their own mind on what their plans are goingto be.  I feel (opinion) that the Imms should take lesser roles to advise and suggest rather than order PC's to a course of action.  Maybe they will say is it already that way, but I think that most players take NPC's coming down and changing things around as hospel, not suggestions.  

And maybe it will be said that players should just go along with NPC's because the Imms know best what the clan should do.  I say that this is cheating yourselves, players and Imms alike.  The Imms know what is to come, what will happen, what they want to happen - and no matter what they do, that knowledge will always be there.

Part of the fun (for players AND Imms) should be not knowing what is really going to happen.  Not being able to have complete control over ever pawn on the board, every battle plan, every movement.  Let the players decide how they want to defend, what they want to do, where they want to go, and give the ones you trust the tools to do with as would be realistic.

They may get themselves all killed, they may save the day and turn the tide - but the ability to try should be there.  And if it's already there, it needs to be even MORE there. =)

Suggestion - My Side - Your Side

Someone compared HRPT to table top RP, saying that if there's gonna be a war, there's gonna be a war.  I agree, however, I don't believe that the decision should be 'if a city's going to fall, a city's going to fall' should be part of that equation.

What I MEAN is that the Imms/DM's of the world should choose a finite amount of enemies that will be attacking.  Keep them in certain areas to draw upon, and if they are all defeated -  they lose.  This creates a possibility to win, however slight.  Now, I'm not saying to make it FAIR, just make it FINITE.  If you want a war, or a city to fall - you figure out where your army is going to be, you load it all into existence to be found, you move it to march to its location and when you attack, you stop attacking if your army is dead.

Let the players truly be able to make a difference as a whole by limiting the contributing factors to the aggressors, defenders, etc...

Let the script be written, but let the possibility of failure add a sentence.

-LoD

Impska

  • Posts: 152
Thankyou LoD
« Reply #23 on: November 04, 2003, 02:47:30 AM »
Thankyou, LoD, you put my own thoughts into words better than I could have.
quote="Lirs"]Sometimes I wonder why I do it.. when reading the GDB feels like death.[/quote]

Rindan

  • Posts: 2825
A Word on HRPTs
« Reply #24 on: November 04, 2003, 03:02:44 AM »
LoD Snarf, I think it is a worthwhile question, but you need to keep in mind the other complications associated with doing what you want.  I think in an ideal world everything would be completely dynamic and if you got a great idea to throw flaming kank dung during the HRPT you could and it could make all the difference in the world.  I think the biggest problem with that is simply that someone has to execute the will of the player.

Take the last HRPT we had.  In at few places they had to undergo drastic room description changes, NPCs needed to be written up, and a host of planning went into each event.  A lot of the stuff that needs to be done during an RPT needs to be planned out and done before it ever happens.  You canít write up a room description or a NPC on the fly.  Further, imms are simply human and canít be and control everything at once.  A PC might want to move every single unit out of the Tor compound to deal with a threat, but logistically, it simply canít happen unless the staff is prepared for such a development.  A certain level of hand holding is probably needed simply to keep players from trying to do things that simply canít be done.  

Even when something can be done, it might disrupt the flow of events such that later on the imms canít handle the logistic of carrying out a plan to completion.  So, letís say that a horde of PC and NPC Byn are locked in combat.  A Byn sergeant gets the bright idea to block a gate with the wagon they came in on, chop out the wagons wheels, and burn it to give them time to evacuate a mass of people (PCs and NPCs).  Now, a quick thinking staff member might be able to pull this off code wise.  It might take a hasty description for a barricade, but it might be possible if there is a staffer sitting around with nothing to do.  However, now there is the problem that a horde of NPCs that were supposed to be loaded up into a wagon and carted off now need to manually walk away, something that hadnít been intended, and logistically canít be done.  So, while the idea might be stellar, an imm run NPC might shoot it down because he realizes that he wonít be able manage the consequences of that action.

Unlike in a table top game, improvisation is extremely hard, and worse, when the improvisation fails, people get very grouchy because the code is acting funny in a situation that wasnít foreseen.

I was an RP wiz for a while on a semi-RP MUD years back.  I got my rocks off doing events for people.  Most of my events were small scale.  Despite this, trying to manage just a handful people (and certainly not 170) I found it to be extremely challenging at times.  In the same way you get confused when the screen spams, do all people running the event.  In the same way you fumble when just trying to get your one character to do what he is supposed to do, they fumble when trying to get the hordes of NPCs they end up controlling to do what they are supposed to do.  The only way to start to avoid this is to plan ahead of time and be prepared.  However, when a 170 people are tugging you in every direction, there is only so much that can be planned for.

So, I guess what I am saying is that yes, I think what you suggest is a good idea, realize that it is only a direction that one can head in.  HRPTs can be strive to be more like that, but there is a limit simply due to the logistics of planning an event for 170 plus people.

All of that said, I think the imms did a pretty damned good job, at least in my corner of the world.  Things were dynamic, the battles were hard fought, the NPC leader did an awesome job getting into the role, it was all around a good time.