Armageddon MUD General Discussion Board

General => General Discussion => Topic started by: Halaster on September 16, 2021, 05:13:48 PM

Title: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Halaster on September 16, 2021, 05:13:48 PM
Now that Tuluk is reopened we want to reach out to some former vets of the game, but we don't want to leave out those of you still playing, even if infrequently.

We're curious why those of you of late may not be as involved as you once were.

What are some of the causes that have made you play less or not at all?
What are some changes you think would benefit the game and draw more people - new and returning?
What sort of things should do we more of?
What sort of things should we do less of?

Before replying, please keep these rules in mind:

I've purposely left those questions pretty open ended because everyone has their own things that matter to them - something with code, something with game setting, something with policies - whatever.

If you genuinely think your reason shouldn't be posted here, I'm open to being hit up on Discord.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Malken on September 16, 2021, 05:26:37 PM
The truth is that I got old and married and have a career. As much as I'm super thankful for Tuluk reopening again I realize that I'll never have the proper time to dedicate to Arm again. I'm happy when I have a couple of hours here and there for my Steam games.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Hauwke on September 16, 2021, 05:32:41 PM
I think the biggest crux of our current position, is that we are an aging playerbase with children, families and jobs. We also are all pretty sick of having to stay inside at the moment.

I mentioned it in Discord as well, but I also think many players clamored for the return of Tuluk without fully thinking about what the benefit would be, or why they actually really wanted it open again. I personally only wanted reopened because it was taken away and I'm sure many others would say the same if they reflected on it.

I also think some of the players who clamored the hardest and still didn't return are just completely done with the game that even the return of Tuluk wasn't enough to draw them back in.

I think if we wanted to draw some more returning players back in, we need to adjust some of the pain points of the game. In my mind those are the grind and the sometimes arcane crafting system. I have no idea how we would fix them, I really don't but I do think addressing them and making them easier or at least clearer would help.

As for why I play less these days, I play less because I don't have the time anymore. Between kids and other things, Arm gets put on the back burner as much as I hate that.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: stoicreader on September 16, 2021, 05:35:05 PM
I don't play as often because I'm busy with real life.

I did quit for a time when I was newer to the game. I was frustrated with the OOC-FOIC rules. I know a number of other folks quit over the same frustration, particularly new folks.

I have come back and love the game.

With that said, it's not a criticism of the staff. It's a criticism of the policy. I believe it's taxing for the staff to have to enforce those rules.

I remember when I had to go to the shadow boards to look up the branching trees of the legacy "guilds" but now it's in the help file for the new guilds. I find that what's FOIC is rather arbitrary and if you're a new player, it's frustrating enough to quit.

Some of the OOC outcomes of discord totally suck, some total jerks there. But it doesn't effect my playing of the game so it might be out of scope of your post.


I really really really like how attentive and flexible staff is. I really like my fellow players for the most part.

But. For a newbie. Getting familiar with the game with getting FOIC thrown at you all the time is a reason to quit logging on.

Another reason to quit logging on is that I can play and never come across any players. The game world is huge. But I'm not sure there is a remedy to this.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: WarriorPoet on September 16, 2021, 06:31:30 PM
I still play 'regularly' but yeah. Kids, job, responsibilities have gutted my playtimes and, if I am being honest, my enthusiasm.

Arm is a game that requires a lot of time to thrive in. The last 5 years or so if I get a sponsored/leadership role, I end up feeling guilty that I can't put in enough time to move and shake. I would love to play another AoD sergeant but if I did I know in my heart that I will eventually have a week where I ghost completely because of kids' sports and that some of the storylines are just left on the table. I just feel guilty taking a spot that could be filled by a consistent player.

Then, there is the inevitable death to spider/gith swarm, or even RP-lacking PK that is so frustrating. Can I justify 12 days played only to die in a goofy-ass way that adds nothing to my story or anyone else's?
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Pariah on September 16, 2021, 06:38:18 PM
My ebbs and flows over the years are from relationships mostly and work.

When I was in my last three year relationship, I couldn't put the time towards the game because I'd work 40 hours a week, then wanna play a few hours of Arm at night and my GF would be giving me grief because I'm not "Spending time with her." even if that time was just sitting on the couch watching TV.

Other than that, had a job where I traveled around the world, was in a different country ever few weeks.  So I also didn't play then, but I kept up with staff announcements and all that.

So I blame relationships and work are probably the biggest things.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Sephiroto on September 16, 2021, 07:30:30 PM
What are some of the causes that have made you play less or not at all?


What are some changes you think would benefit the game and draw more people - new and returning?


What sort of things should do we more of?


What sort of things should we do less of?

Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: mhartman on September 16, 2021, 07:31:41 PM
I like to get really wrapped up in a role and try to get them to live a long time. Often between that I am puttering around on characters because I have a zoo and am married. It can be easier to play when there are more people around, but that's not it for me. Armageddon is an unchanging sort of staple in my gaming life, for a long, long time. During changing times, whether they are good or bad, like a move, or covid, armageddon basically stays the same. It's my favourite game.

I think over the years, if I look back, an amazing job has been done making this game MORE accessible, more interesting, rich and friendly (OOCly). Discord helps. Request tool helps. Transparent and helpful staff, some of who we have grown older with, all that helps.

I would love more time to play. I don't think there's much to be done about that.

Quality of life improvements would be great, there is a thread on that.

 I know people enjoy crafting, but I don't. There's a huge emphasis on crafting and staff or PC-led plots. I like playing a character more than I like plot, and I find crafting encourages people to sit in apartments more than even mudsex did/does if/when that happened for people. In a way, the more this game is about crafting, and selling stuff, the cities become sort of a place for hunters to rest at night. I wonder if both sides of this equation get a little bored. The crafters live long and don't always accomplish much, and the hunters die off to aggressive wildlife.

I love how permadeath keeps the game fresh, new character descriptions, the air of not knowing who is playing who is really fun to me. With permadeath, it means something to lose a character. But it can be draining -- I wish I could talk to more of you and know you better, chat about our PCs and stuff. But then we lose some of the mystery that makes it exciting to play.

Those are some preliminary thoughts.

Biggest improvement to the game that veterans, staff and new players can make is to learn to forgive one another, and realize the nature of Armageddon, which can be surprisingly EASY to forget: it's a game. It's not your therapist, your friend, your lover, your family. It's just a game. Lighten up and play around! And lets not punish eachother for being logged in. :)

Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: triste on September 16, 2021, 09:24:32 PM
My playtimes are really low right now so I feel like I qualify for giving some feedback, mostly to plus one some points here.

+1 Everyone is getting busier and has less time in general. We can fix this with the point below.
+1 to the GDB and Discord being inadequate. The GDB is a PITA to use on a phone, and Discord is a toxic cesspool, agreed. People do not forgive each other over OOC grudges as another poster here alluded to, and it makes people have to do laborious crap like register new GDB handles to hide their identity, etc. Something like offline way messages or just a more modern means for us to communicate OOCly would help a lot.
+1 to GUI character generation to help newbies and old players alike, I would even volunteer to help code such a thing.

What's the common thread here? It is that we should invest in some non-telnet aspects of our game. I truly believe that our website redesign and new request tool ("new," it is all about a decade old now) is part of what allowed Armageddon to survive and what caused comparably great but less spruced up RPI games to die. As a telnet game, Armageddon is fantastic and a lot of great features have been added and balanced. But when I tell friends and coworkers what my weird terminal game is and they are interested (maxx vintage haxx), and they check out the website, it can be hard leaping right into the game. I think one of my coworkers, a big dork, told me, "It looks really cool but I couldn't figure out how to play," and he was a Technical Program Manager and not a total dope, he runs Roll20 games etc.

It is fun imaging a future state where if you make a character on the website, you get your offline messages, you get to see your clan board as soon as you join it without having to issue a request and wait, etc. If we care about data, a case can be made that the RPIs which have invested more in this outside-telnet tooling have done proportionately better in terms of player counts, etc.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Dresan on September 16, 2021, 10:36:58 PM
I have just taken over a major project at work. This is amazing for my career but hampers my available time. However, the reason I have a hard time playing is not just because of less time.

The real reason is because while I respect the time and effort staff have put in the game, I have not always felt my time has been equally respected.

1. There is OOC unfairness to the game.

I am not even considering the flippant behavior by members of this community on both side of the field. I will also forget the fact that a mul miscreant using two handed maul conveniently appeared when two bored sponsored roles wanted to kill an indie elf in the middle of nowhere.  And I've made peace with the fact that there are stories and plots that my grebbers will ever get to learn about. And even the thought that trickle down economics does not work in finance or in storytelling is just merely my opinion. However i know what there are people who are ooc friends with staff or have cliques in this game which i am not part of who talk about Ic aspects of this game. This game needs to be reduce the amount of OOC information sharing by making it more avaiable ICly. For example, I've mentioned I would like to see value identify what skills gear helps with and perhaps by how much, because descriptions are not always clear.

2.  The grind.

 Creating and training character is a huge investment in time. That is why most people never use some skills before they are mastered. Otherwise you are wasting your own time. The only skills which are fine are direct combat skills because you practice with people or in a pve setting. But there are a lot of other skills which are tedious to train(backstab) or take you out of the game crafting/magic/theft,etc. And again, whether a player with max backstab or max stealth or theft skills will appear now or later will not impact the game at all. The only cost is the one the player has to pay through grind ever single time they want to do something cool in this game. The grind should to be reduced by 75 percent at least. Again with the exception of direct combat, basically skills you train in a sparring circle,  that is fine as it is.

The RP grind to gain trust and connection will always be there but it would help if people had to focus more on that then coded grind. The character life expectancy is short, so even ride as short of a grind as that is feels so bad after having had to do it so many times. Please spare us.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Halcyon on September 16, 2021, 11:28:22 PM
+1 to Dresan's points.

I'm having trouble finding roles that I want to play, that I havent played in Arm 10+ times, that staff will allow.   Mea culpa.

The karma timer doesnt help this problem.   Maybe its a grass is greener issue, but I have had ideas that sounded fun that werent as alluring (or even remembered) 60+ days later.   

I played my last character for six weeks and failed to join four clans.  Part of this was an inability to be useful in perceived current storylines.   Oh well.    Next.

I feel like the only room for several kinds of indeps right now is as minor antagonists.   I'm just not interested in weeks or months of grinding to get pk'd by clan pcs that essentially cant be won against.   Can you embarass or assassinate a sergeant or aide?  Sure.   Will it matter a whit in the world?  Not ever.



Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: creeper386 on September 17, 2021, 12:19:31 AM
So I just came back from a big hiatus. Which was mostly caused by a PK of a new character of mine with almost no RP. Those situations are beyond frustrating.

I really don't agree with removing the grind. There are some things I think could be better. Like weapon skills especially when they have skills gated behind them just don't seem to increase now from what I've seen, but overall I feel everything else almost increases TOO fast, but maybe that's because I had two months recently where I was playing a lot. But for normal playtimes most skills seem fine to me.

My main issue is usually with how lots of plots often die when leadership dies/stores. I think this is a combination of leadership not properly delegating tasks, but also it sometimes seems like certain things just aren't allowed to be delegated by staff. Without going into details I basically stored my last character because "hire ups" had to approve any extra tasks, so 90% of the time I had nothing to do when I logged in. I think this also leads to burn out for leaders. I've never played a merchant house or noble house or sergeant or anything, but I have been around them enough to know people just never leave them alone.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: X-D on September 17, 2021, 12:48:28 AM
#1 I dislike the new classes. (no secret)

#2 Time.

And #1 plays into #2 as I find it hard to be willing to make time because of #1.

I personally think the revamp was done backwards. The game went on for more then 20 years because of specialized classes. Classes where you knew you could be the best at what that class was specialized for. Will take warrior as example. A 50 day Byn sarge warrior KNEW he could walk into a gith camp and very likely have to climb over piles of bodies to get back out.

If I would have done this revamp, I would have actually specialized the main (non-karma) classes even more then they were...and removed all branching from them. So, like a warrior would be a specialized MELEE GOD. BUT I would have redid the subs, taking out the karma for subs and made them different levels of specialization and all the branching would be done there. You want to have a "fighter" Sub, that gets you some the main warrior skills, but only to high advanced and more then half of those skills will have to branch. You want "soldier" Sub, that gets you almost all the main warrior skills plus some of what like soldier has now but only to JM and again more then half have to branch. And so on and so forth. And Legacy mages would be able to choose from subs like this so there would be no reason to bother with any of them at all. Other then I would make it so that was also the only set of subs that Sorcs and benders got to choose from as well.

Anyway, Yeah....but even then, currently I am not sure if even that happened I would be able to up my available time by more then 50%. So.....

(edit)
I am happy to see some tweaking going on to these new classes though, Most I have agreed with.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Aruven on September 17, 2021, 12:56:31 AM
I've had a lot of reflection on a game like this over the years. I relate a lot with both the aging player and the social issues in real life.

For game specifics, I don't know if the game changed, or I changed, yet i've found it far easier to enjoy the game the past couple of years when I can.

I don't really feel there is some sort of meta OOC issue, and having been around when only the GDB was a venue for communication, I feel like the discord (for what it is) has provided a lot of benefits and connection.

I don't know that any game can stop the gradual march of time or on the OOC note, the collaboration of players in a dynamic that disadvantages one player or another unfairly from time to time.

I'm grateful for the implementation of new code, and staff i've both praised and beefed with over the years staying on a project and game that returns nothing but the ire of disgruntled players more often than not.

If I had a specific area i'd want to see considered, it'd be the willingness of players to attempt to interact with different areas of the world with staff assistance in a reasonable way.

An example: "I'm trying to get people to build a tower at 'x' location."
Staff: "That's probably not possible because of x,y,z: No."

Instead:

A: "I'm trying to get people to build a tower at 'X' location."
B: "Okay, provide progress updates every so often, good luck!"

Or

A: "me and the gang are going to attempt <this>"
B: ".....Okay! Good luck! Looks like we'll be filing a lot of new character requests soon!"

Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Jihelu on September 17, 2021, 02:34:03 AM
I'll try to answer it based on category then maybe a more general answer towards the end.

The Tl;Dr is: I enjoy the freedom I get out of tabletop RPG's more than I do Armageddon, and I've found in other Muds I get more freedom as well.

What are some of the causes that have made you play less or not at all?

The skill grind is a big one. Ironically, the skill grind is sometimes why I play the game. I get on, I know what I've got to do. Go to X, do Y, do Z, etc. Then, sometimes I just log on and go 'Why the fuck am I doing this', can't find a soul around to interact with, then log off.

Staff response time to requests, special apps and what not I don't mind but "Hey I'd like to do X!" *Two weeks later* shit is...annoying. Are ya'll waiting for me to die? Do you need to email the staffer above you, invoice to his staffer, then fax a message to your cousin asking for permission? What's with the red tape? I'll pay for hourly staff support at this point.

What are some changes you think would benefit the game and draw more people - new and returning?

The advertising for this game seems to not exist, so maybe that would help a bit.

The skill system is also not user friendly. Absolutely 0 chance of leveling up on success means you hurt people who don't go to the extreme lengths of 'getting gud', and making it harder to get gud seems to be counter productive.

What sort of things should do we more of?

Top down communication was bad when I was playing my bastard, it should be improved or something. Example: I wanted to make an item. My staffer at the time said "Sure, sounds great, do it". I put the item in. "Denied, it doesn't fit the game".
....Well, okay.

I want to renovate the wagon. We've tried to do this IC, but the person who we have to go through wants a ridiculous sum (Basically, the cost of an actual wagon for the addition of what amounts to be a wall)
So I go "Well, I have wagon making as a skill, my character can draw very well (And has an employer who can too), our house has the labor or money to provide labor, we have a wagon yard, lets do it ourself!"
Staffer says "Great idea, - Sorry we can't do that upper staff said no".


What sort of things should we do less of?

I get the unpaid volunteer thing, I really do, I've moderated on games myself, I've been a DM several times and actively run games, but the response time on things is atrocious sometimes. I've waited weeks to get a 'no, and you'll never be able to' response on things that should be able to act as plot hooks or possibly get people involved (A situation I was thinking of once: Man this area I found is blocked off now, wouldn't it be neat to organize people and explore it? Nope too bad its impossible I hoped you enjoyed waiting for a week)

When I have an idea of 'man this would be fun to do' I'd love to be able to just start prepping for it IC, get people involved, get supplies together. But I know that there's a heavy chance whatever I want to do will just take a month to get a reply on, or a no. There's no way I want to devote my time to anything that requires an animation when there is a solid chance the answer is "No, request closed"

I've had to develop an IC-OOC skill for 'Telling people IC that I'm waiting on staff' and I sometimes just OOC it when I have to, as it borders on silly.



Non Category
Even when I was in deep with my roleplaying and enjoyment of the game I never had the effect of being able to influence the world in a way I thought was fun or overall meaningful, even taking into account 'Realistic world responses'. I also ever got animations  or 'realistic responses' that I felt added to the game, I felt they were mostly antagonistic and 'DM vs Players' (To use a DnD term). I played another Mud and every animation I had, even hostile ones, felt more interesting and less 'I want to kill you'.

I'll note I've had some okay animations, usually when I'm doing something reckless as hell with high profile individuals, but it's almost kinda sad that I can only expect to get an animation if I decide to...hang out with a noble in places I shouldn't, go to a spooky room that hasn't been used in 5 irl years, etc. I get that it adds a sense of 'Ooooooo don't do stupid shit' but I can be outside by myself for 10 straight IG years and not have a single animation then get the animation police on me to kick my ass.

Another example: I wanted to do the gang thing on a character. Got set up by staff to talk to an NPC, fun stuff. Put in a request with my plans. It took around 8 days or so to get a response for what would amount to, if I ever did it, me setting fire to a NPC building with no other pcs. The response wasn't a confirmation, and I replied again asking some questions (More or less: How can I make firegourds seeing as commoners seem to be able to shit them out at a moments notice and it seemed a good idea to make one). After another 9 days of silence I decided that, I really didn't want to have to wait so long inbetween communication.
It's too slow for my liking. Maybe other people enjoy it, but then again other people enjoy play by post games and those are icky.

As Aruven said, there's a lot of 'No'.
I don't advocate for the "No, but" approach for DM. I advocate for "No, here's alternatives or lets discuss what you want to do". I've had so many requests where I had questions that wanted to be answered just closed by staff and that feels like a slammed door in the face. Even if it's "Oh haha Jihelu you can just post another request" that doesn't stop the feeling that you hung up on me.
I've also had an annoying few situations where I asked questions that just flat out didn't get answered, and not in a 'find out IC' way just flat out ignored, and the request was closed. It's why I format my request with numbers now, I feel like I had to train myself with how to deal with staff.


Also stop being so high-school atheist over religions and 'Everyone in Zalanthas is an atheist' type shit. You and I know there are tribes in game, right now, that worship spirits and other junk. You can be firm with a "No christianity/organized religion" type thing but it's cringe.

The world feels...empty, to me. I've mapped out the entire southlands (Except those specific mountains in -direction-, fucking -insert monster-...exploring it sucks), I've mapped out the silt sea, I've mapped out the Red Desert...a lot of it feels empty after you explore it. I wish there was more 'neat' things to look at. I'll give credit where its due, some parts of the silt sea feel really neat, but aside from those areas its just -big number here- x -another big number- rooms of silt.


Stuff I liked
Bootlicking is for whelps, but I will list some of the things I've enjoyed about the game.
1: The animations have gotten...better.
2: The code additions have all been great. I can't think of a single major update that has had changes I've sat down and gone 'Why though' on. (Except giving bard master scan but that's less of a code addition and just an edit).
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Veselka on September 17, 2021, 02:37:33 AM
So speaking for me, it's a few things. Sorry for the ramble.

1. OOC obligations that have nothing to do with the game. When I was younger, wasn't married, didn't have a kid en route, didn't have X Y Z social obligation, didn't own my own business, yeah. I had more time to play ArmageddonMUD, build up a PC over the course of months, and die trying to outdo my enemies and friends.

Now a days I don't...I find myself reaching more and more for Dragon Age: Inquisition for the third time, rather than ArmageddonMUD, because I know I can put it on, have fun for 30 minutes or an hour, and then zonk out. As WarriorPoet pointed out, ArmageddonMUD requires time, and it isn't just to gain skills or the grind, it's to actually engage with the game.

If you don't devote an hour or two here and there every day or every other day, you're going to constantly be playing catch up if you are in the Political Game. If you are playing catch up all the time, you aren't actualizing any of your own plots, you're just reacting to other people's. When you get too far behind, you feel like storing or doing something drastic to overcome being left behind. Rinse and repeat.

This is not a fault of the game, per se. This is just the OOC lack of time that our aging playerbase has to engage with a game that requires so much time.

My proposed solution to the time sink:

-Staff assesses areas of the game for what plots are shaking. Maybe it's the Defilers in the West. Maybe it's the Templars in the Sewers. Maybe it's a Guild vs Eastside War. Maybe it's spycraft between the city states.

-They identify 2-3 role opportunities within organically grown plots and advertise for them via role call. They are advertised as probably short lived, and intended with a purpose, to further a story / plot.

-These 'Shaker Roles' are started out with high skills appropriate to their background, and a filled in RP background at that. Call it method acting. You have the Mage Hunter who is rolled out of the Pyramid. You have the Assassin hired on retainer with the Guild for specific NPC targets within Organizations that aren't paying up protection money. You have the Vampire in the Sewers, or you have the Elemental escaped from the Plane of Ruk. Heroes and Villains.

-These "Shaker Roles" really are flavor roles. They aren't meant to be the center of the plot, but the result of a plot reaching maturation, and a catalyst for the plot moving forward, either to complication or conclusion.

To me, this creates dynamic roles rather than static roles. It's all and well that when one Kuraci Agent PC stores, another one applies in, but that is what I consider to be a 'static role call', one that is made great by the one that plays it, but otherwise doesn't have too many bumpers or guard rails. The Secret Role Calls, and things of that nature, are the 'dynamic role calls' and I think Staff should push ALL role calls to be dynamic. So even formerly static roles, like a Kuraci Agent, would be made dynamic through plot and purpose.

2. Lack of direction. This is no fault of Staff, really. They wanted to give us a ball and have us roll with it. I think when all of us had more time and engagement with the game, that was great. You had the Raleris Winrothols and Dragean Tenneshi's and Samos the Red and all these great leadership PCs that poured their blood, sweat, and tears into the game. And hey, the game world benefitted from it. But we just don't really have that same pool of TIME to devote to the game. I think many of us would rather log in and ENGAGE with the game, with the plots going on, with the plots being shoved down our throats by Staff really, then to log in, look around for people, not find people, train a bit, then log out. It's hard to self perpetuate momentum, harder now than it was.

I find that when i'm playing a sponsored leadership role now, it's a long game. A waiting game. Waiting for pieces to fall into place, waiting for people to fall into place. And in the interim, PCs die, move on, store, change all the pieces on the board, leading to longer periods of waiting. Action is hard to come by. And trust me, I try to play daring PCs that aren't cowardly or fearful, they take risks. It's just hard to come across risks that are not PvE, or born out of throwing all caution to the wind.

3. Speaking of sponsored roles -- I think they need to be wrapped up quicker. I think people should be expected to rise quickly through the ranks and either store, or die on their path to victory or failure, or provided more opportunity by Staff to die if they are sitting pretty. I think exceptions to this could be Byn Sergeant, where they can be expected to be a Byn Sergeant for most (if not all) of their career, with the very slight chance of becoming a Lieutenant. But I feel that Templars and Nobles should be given the ammunition to make a difference, and then die trying to do so. There is a lot of gating behind virtual population -- You are one of many. You are taking on entire Houses, not just individuals. Don't swing above your station. But I really think that should change. I would like to see Templars less afraid of taking on X Y Z organization. Or fomenting a war effort. Or executing a Noble who steps on their toes too often. Maybe they don't survive the aftermath of it, but it keeps the world unpredictable, dynamic, and thrilling to engage with.

I'd personally like to see Nobles and Templars in a role bump up in promotion after a couple RL months of sticking with the role (After all, quite a few store before then, so they're giving it a good ol' college try). After that, based on merit and more time and 'what they do'. If they just sit on their ass and coast and don't make any plots or stir the pot, yeah. Have a chat with them OOC, encourage them to get into the mix more. But if they are IN THE MIX, promote them. Reward them for sticking through with the role...TO A POINT.

If someone's been playing a role for over a RL year or two...Yeah. I really think they should move on to another one. Both for their benefit, and for the game's benefit. Sometimes a GREAT player gets wrapped up in a MEDIOCRE role, or a GREAT player makes a GREAT role MEDIOCRE by sitting on it for too long. Because they have been playing it for way, way, way too long. They are way, way, way too comfortable. They have every Power Player in their pocket. They can get rid of the competition with a snap of their fingers. It's too easy, and it isn't the game as it should be. Go play a nobody in Red Storm sometime who is wondering where to get their next meal or drink of water from. THAT, is the game. That same feeling should be felt for people in politics when they log in. Will I Survive?

We're talking purely OOC here. Yes, I like to play leaders, and I like to see those leaders succeed. Will they always succeed? Hell no. They make more mistakes than victories for sure, and sometimes I make them do that on purpose to fit their personality. But no one wants to play an endless paper pusher middle-management nobody when they were pitched a 'somebody'. They want to play the somebody. They want to burn up in the fire of their own making, from flying too close to the sun.

Anyways. Just some thoughts. I don't know how or if it helps define by the outlines. Just some honest feelings about why the game is more difficult to engage with as I get older.

Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Tranquil on September 17, 2021, 03:32:02 AM
My biggest piece of feedback is how there's a large lack of trust given to players.

As anyone that's played a sponsored role before would know, when your character is first put into the game, you quickly realize you pretty much have little to no starting power in the world. It is earned. It doesn't sound bad at first, until you realize this earning takes place over many RL months that a vast majority of players just don't want to put in. This often creates a high storage/inactivity rate amongst leaders that I'm sure everyone has noticed over the years.

Every role that gets put into the game is very weak in terms of skills, and the only way to start with higher skills (without being sponsored) is through an application process that takes the same amount of time as a spec app for a boost that doesn't mean much. Secondary characters won't even be considered despite the fact they could be used for more blatantly aggressive/flavor roles (gith, mantis, beggars, gladiators). You can say this makes people privy to information their main characters wouldn't have.. which is exactly the gripe I have, the lack of trust.

In conclusion, my desire is to see more routes of eliminating this grind that's mentioned by many above, both influentially and mechanically. For example, being able to role app into the Byn as a Trooper with journeyman/advanced weapon skills with no rolecall on the GDB or an IRL month spent ingame being a runner and grinding needed. Maybe an automated system in character gen to up your skills/stats with your karma. Or, influentially, a Kuraci merchant being put into the game as an Agent with actual support from his house and seniors instead of an Apprentice Dealer that gets dismissed by everyone above him. This could create actual fast moving plots and gameplay that has a high chance of crashing and burning like Veselka said. Crashing, burning, and risks are fun. Firm stability.. really isn't.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Lotion on September 17, 2021, 04:20:12 AM
The only subguild with the poisoning skill is slipknife, would be nice for it to be more widely available. Also only a "city" sub having poisoner means the wild classes which lack it (raider, adventurer, dune trader) benefit far more from taking it than the city subs which lack poisoner (enforcer and pilferer).

Edit: I also think Adventurers should get improved plant breaking, probably also touched vivaduans, and maybe all other vivaduans as well.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: SodaDogARM on September 17, 2021, 04:44:03 AM
Newer staff hierarchies culminating in a more strict 'developer's vision' that punishes people trying to think and play outside of the box is the major thing keeping me away. When you look at certain roles and houses and clans going through the same cycles over and over again, it's not hard to imagine the reason is staff intervention and restriction, especially if you've experienced it firsthand elsewhere. Just look at the general source of conflict and antagonism from two years ago to now. Less player created groups, less unique independent antagonists, less household names that actually echo with weight, less legends. These things fall to the side when people are having their game world revolve around staff pushed plots that seem to take precedence.

More and more the game seems on rails rather than player run.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Kialae on September 17, 2021, 04:51:49 AM
I personally have a sneaking suspicion that certain roles (nobles, templars) have become increasingly 'flanderized' as time went on (you need to play the role this single, safe way, with no interesting taste of individuality) because it's easier to manage. And that just makes the same roles over and over again, changing and bringing nothing to the game.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: SodaDogARM on September 17, 2021, 05:25:43 AM
Agreed one thousand percent with above. Though I would argue these debatably tired archetypes and their successes (as opposed to those who try to be different and their failures) are the reason for the flanderization. Being more easily managed vehicles for what certain staff members want to push, certain molds will struggle less with frustrating intervention and maintain longevity, leading to said molds being mimicked or just chosen from the get-go. That's on top of certain 'good fits' simply existing far too long for there to be room for any sort of genuine power struggle should someone try to come about and change anything. My take at least.

How do I turn that into more constructive criticism? Not sure. If I had to choose a revolving door, I would pick the one that involves everyone having a chance at staking a claim on what their role should look like within reasonable parameters even if it involves more conflict and turnover, as opposed to the revolving door of people trying to challenge the status quo and getting frustrated to the point of storage, lethargy, and so on. Basically, less intervention, more support, and a genuine effort to get different player archetypes in driver's seats. Again, within reasonable parameters. I understand staff doesn't want every sponsored role leading a revolution, but there is a healthy middle ground we are far from.

Overall my main point is that this didn't seem like an issue back in my personal golden-era of the game. I think this has recently developed as a result of a decided upon direction that opposes the variety I once experienced and enjoyed so much.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Dar on September 17, 2021, 05:43:14 AM
Aging playerbase is likely the biggest factor.  This has many facets and issues. First and foremost it's time. People do not have a lot of it. Players that were known and cherished for being able to sink 6 hours a day to bring a dying clan to glory no longer do that. Not because they don't like the game anymore, but because their IRL times take precedence. 

There are not a lot of ways to fix this. My only suggestion is to somehow work and improve on the need for grind. Trying your best to remove the need to sink hours into the game to skill up, before allowing oneself to actually start playing a role.


Some of it is emotional. Being staff often puts a person into a more informed/mentorship/final decision making position over less informed/less authorized players. While those other players, despite not being staff, are established intelligent people that achieved much in their life. And when the two meet in interaction. Staff vs a player. The stance of 'wise all seeing mentor' teaching an ignorant, awareness limited student often tends to not end well. There was once a time when most of our playerbase was student level, those days that kind of attitude have worked and rightfully so.

But right now, when a player could be a parent/grandparent, or someone with a dozen of people in their employ, or a pillar of their community, a name that makes their government representatives get tense and alert. Or hell, just plain ol' Adult person, Someone who've already went through life with it's share of real, non text, failures and successes, wisdoms, lessons, and achievements. Approaching such people with an assumed disbalance of authority/intelligence usually does not end well for the MUD itself.  Best case, the player will understand staff's need to appear authorative and humors them by remaining in a placating position, worst case plots die, players leave, interest is lost. 

This one is difficult to solve. My main suggestion is for both player and staff alike to treat the content and well being of the game above the needs, desires, and interests of their personal characters/egos/appearances. After all, the game is only as good as people make it out to be. Staff and player alike. It is a common goal. But it comes down to human factor and that is difficult to manage. So next time, when a player is talking shit and reacting disproportionally to situations, the player should ask themselves what exactly are they trying to achieve. Are their desires and goals genuinely improving the game, or are they just in a pursuit for a little ego boost.  At the same time, when staff reacts/makes judgement on the game's state/events in a condescending, plot killing, superior way, staff should ask themselves what they are trying to achieve. Are their actions genuinely improving the game, or are they trying to maintain the appearance of infallibility, wisdom, righteousness, authority.


These two issues are mildly interlinked and are in my opinion the biggest factors that affect the participation in todays mudding. It's not the game's code, or content, or balance. Fun can be created in almost any media if the inspiration is there. We still have enough of interactive audience made out of you and I to create enjoyable stories. 


Although I am being a little hypocritical in the last paragraph as I promised myself not to play the game for one year.  But before that, despite the lower numbers of active playerbase, I still found ways to create stories and have awesome scenes with other players. I still enjoyed the game plenty.  There is still fun to be had in this game. The priorities though should be kept in mind for the benefit of all.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Barsook on September 17, 2021, 05:55:07 AM
My biggest piece of feedback is how there's a large lack of trust given to players.

That to the point of me thinking that the glass ceiling is very low to the point that lateral promotions seem to be a thing, at least in GMH's, is due to the lack of trust. Maybe also the reason behind not having a full branch that just focuses on politics in GMH's like House Salarr's or House Kurac's. Not sure if House Kadius had one.

My biggest feedback is staff lead plots without railroading them. This was discussed on Discord a few times ago and I think that's why it felt stagnant between the volcano HRPT (2011 -2012) to 2019. I think it would be nice if the staff did these plots but allow players to have agency close to 75%- 90% of the time.

I do agree with the other points above my post along with my feedback.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: betweenford on September 17, 2021, 07:44:55 AM
I don't think splitting up the game world even further with the current population or numbers was really too good of an idea. Cool if you're enjoying Tuluk but it's a big oof when the "main city" is sometimes devoid of visible players.


I don't think staff animate nearly as much as they could, even if it is something as simple as one or two lines of emotes that generally just provide feel to the taverns or city or workshops etc. I'm all for making my own fun and all but like.... One thing I've noticed is that despite numbers of staff being online, it feels rare that someone who isn't part of my staffing team will animate unless I specifically wish up or something. Like... Sometimes I just want to see npcs banter or react in a meaningful way. Or a smelly place to be echoed as smelly and gross as possible. Or a bar reacting to clever jokes.

Certain staff members display a lot of distrust towards players for various things as a default. You can't allow xyz because abc will abuse it, etc. I can't play a gith on the side as a throwaway role to harass desert elves or whatever because someone either thinks its off game theme or boring or someone can't be trusted etc... As a player it is just awesome to have ideas shot down because someone else thinks nothing "meaningful" will arise from it.

Alot of the time, it feels like our characters can also have little impact on the game world itself. Even despite actual hours of real life time collectively spent trying to do x or y, staff seem to either take ages to do z, or do w and z is just out of reach. Or you die and despite actual hours of your time, staff don't update a room desc to reflect the labor put in. Shit, sometimes you just find something weird and want to pick it up with it being a virtual non-db item and you get told "nah."
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: valeria on September 17, 2021, 07:51:25 AM
What are some of the causes that have made you play less or not at all?

Real life.  I just don't have the time or energy to play 8 hours a night, and when I don't play 8 hours a night, I feel like I miss too much, hold up plots, etc.  Sometimes I need to take a break, and when I do, everything has moved on by me.

I feel like a lot of changes have been pointed at the people who like code and skill advancement.  There hasn't been much at all toward people who like social advancement, other than the warehouse system, which appears to take forever to advance through.

low playtime + things taking forever = why bother

What are some changes you think would benefit the game and draw more people - new and returning?

Fix the archaic and arcane command system.  Be able to have people type commands in plain english, like "get axe from backpack."  Fix some of the wonky keywords, where you try to "drink shot" but instead it's called "shotglass."  Revamp the crafting system to just make more sense.  Update the website.

Get rid of the glass ceilings.  They suck.  'Then people will have so much social power we can't reflect that!'  Well, that already happens?  I can point to recent examples.  And if everyone could do it, sure it could be reflected?  If those people get bored, they'll store.  People get bored and store all the time.  See also ...

Provide some meaningful advancement for those of us who don't think code advancement is the end-all be-all of the game, in a more compact amount of time.  Having to playing your noble for an RL year for a promotion sucks.  Having that promotion be effectively meaningless also sucks.

Stop babysitting sponsored roles so hard.  Getting a bunch of no you can't do that's because that isn't how it has been done and your mom wouldn't like it is kind of crappy.  Maybe X isn't how it has been done, but maybe it's how it should be done.  The game world should be able to flex to accommodate what players find fun.  The game world can be oppressive IC without being oppressive OOC because your 'family' is completely inflexible and someone really likes having the gameworld like it is.  Lean into what the game is good at, which is immersion and a dynamic environment.

What sort of things should do we more of?

Keep up the QOL improvements.  Those have been great.

Keep up being responsive to player feedback.  That has been great.

What sort of things should we do less of?

Less hearing "no."  'I want to build a sandcastle in the desert.'  'Okay, good luck have fun, this is what you need to do and how long it'll take.' instead of 'No, because then everyone will want to build a sandcastle in the desert.'  So?  Then everyone wants to build a sandcastle in the desert.  People already want to build sandcastles in the desert and people will whine when they aren't able to in a short amount of time, but people already whine.  One of the reasons Arm is a good game choice over a static RPG is because people can affect the gameworld.

Make them fill out a room description form so there's less staff work.  You already have to do that for custom crafting.  Better yet, have player submittable things be submittable online so that someone just has to edit, approve, or deny it instead of reentering it into the game.

Whatever burnout it is that leads to storyteller staff burning out and rotating hard?  Find some way to fix or reduce that.  It sucks as a player to go through that again (and again and again and again).  I can't imagine it's fun for staff, either.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Dresan on September 17, 2021, 08:39:21 AM
I find it interesting that the people who are more likely to play sponsored or social roles, both which have very little skill grind, are more concerned with RP opportunities for those roles, while at the bottom of the barrel people who play grebbers and hunters of the world and have to fight tooth and nail for ever tiny morsal of plot want to see coded grind go away.

I do sometimes feel the game is skewed, if a sponsored role(other than templar) want to kill an indie grebber, they should probably write an essay to staff explaining why their character is even noticing such a person, meanwhile if they want to kill another sponsored role or even a templar they merely need to write a small sentence. This is just my opniion though.

It is more of a fact that reducing the grind and tedium would instantly make me play more.

Again there is no impact to the game itself if you have to trian backstab or steal 10 times to max it or 50 times. The players will always experience the skill at max anyways. It is just a matter of how willing the player is to go through that tedium every time they want to play a 'skilled' assassin or 'thief' or crafter or whatever. On top of the fact the former still have a good chance of failing and causing death anyways.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: zeia on September 17, 2021, 08:41:28 AM
I know I am not alone in this, as an offpeak player, but we are very limited with catching things that go on in the game.  I have given up on getting excited about big in game happenings (such as the majority of the stuff with the war that has just happened etc), because pretty much all HRPT/RPT's are 9pm ST.  Most player made events are also the same time, which where I personally am, is 2am.

I'm not exactly complaining about this, I understand a huge portion of the players are U.S based, and thus the timing is perfect for them.  However, there also are quite a lot of us players that are in Europe, and I have always felt that staff put together RPT's as well as player made ones, should be made a little more available for us as well.

Although whilst saying that I understand most of the staff are U.S based, and thus this makes it harder.  But I would ask to make an effort to try and give more 'big' things to go on for European players to be able to take part in without having to stay up to the early hours of the morning to attend such.
This also puts a small strain upon sponsored roles that require association and collaborating with other clan leaders, that just do not have matching playtimes.
Such as an Aide as part of their job requiring to meet someone to give them x, y and z, or attending a party as is expected of them, but it's a late server time party that working around IRL job/family/ etc, isn't possible.
Such as a GMH leader needing to arrange an escort to move their wagon, and the one (or two) people within clans that are able to determine such, cannot do it for weeks on end, because the play times do not match up.

Being a player from over the pond myself, these are both struggles that I have personally had to deal with because of such.  However after 12 years of playing, I have just accepted the fact, but, it may be a large deterrent for others in the time zone to invest in playing as often as U.S players do, or, contributing as much to RP etc with their characters.  Which has been the case to several IRL friends I have tried to get in to the game.
Perhaps looking in to more offpeak staffers to set things up and monitor things for the offpeak players?


Rethinking the karma timer would be a good idea as well, I have seen quite a lot on the GDB complain about it, given that if you use your 2 points or karma to make a 2 karma'd witch for example, and for whatever reason within a day or 2 you are blessed with ye old mantis head, you then have to wait 60 days to play anything akin to it again, basically stuck with totally mundane, you cannot even use an extended subguild for said mundane.

Perhaps looking in to scrapping it and instead making it so if someone applies for another 2 karma role, so soon after say a 14 day played 2 karma role died, they can be denied on staffs end for having it put in, and the reason can be explained?  E.g sorry we would rather you play something else as there are too many 2 karma witches in game and we do not want the Known to flood with witch ick from all you damn witches.

Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: adri on September 17, 2021, 11:20:42 AM
What are some of the causes that have made you play less or not at all?

Tuluk: I've been playing here for more than a few years, but I still consider myself relatively new to the game in relation to others. I never got to experience Tuluk - and while seeing it open is exciting, it's like a contained ecosystem that gates content from a LOT of the roles I've grown accustomed to over the years. I think making it open to outsiders who aren't an obvious or well known southerner would help a bit. Some of the other clans feel empty or have players fiending for a little slice of content. Obviously, I won't point out any specifics, but Tuluk has made certain roles feel much more stagnant and I know for me that often means storage or at the very least, a drastic reduction in playtimes.

The combat grind: I love playing combat roles. I've put in the time to master weapon skills before, but it's a more than a little monotonous. Are they necessary? Nah, not at all.. I don't think any specific sighting of the mantis head could've been prevented by a higher rank of weapon skill, not for me anyway. That being said, it is a nice little goal to set even if the avenues provided to reach said goal are limited. I'm not sure what can be done.. because making it 'easy' really isn't the answer. Maybe just making it less reliant on other players is the way to go? Not every character is designed to be a mercenary or a soldier, so having them pursue those careers as a precursor to coming into their own as a concept gets a little stale and creates a vicious cycle of repetition. While it IS a choice, it often doesn't feel like one to me. You either put in a lot of time or you put in substantially more time - which to our community is already a valuable commodity.

Character creation: There are some times where I just feel like the random stats system is out to get me, despite knowing it's random and being able to prioritize my rolls. I'm not so much talking about needing to have amazing stats to enjoy a role as feeling like my description isn't appropriate or instantly wishing I'd prioritized another way. I don't know how this would be fixed, but realizing your badass looking, musclebound hunter can't hold a bottle of wine is just.. lol. How do you even explain having the strength of a newborn IC?

Promotions: I saw this mentioned somewhere, and I get that it should take time or it lessens the meaning behind the ranks within a clan, but there was a time when I've been the only member of a particular clan without the power to recruit and I was told I'd have to wait on a promotion, despite having a player interested in joining and my characters sole focus being promoted within the ranks of a clan. I just think there's room to budge here on a case by case basis.


What are some changes you think would benefit the game and draw more people - new and returning?

Advertising: Coming from someone who had never heard about RPIs or muds until they were already considered on the decline, I'm not even sure how this would be done.

Racial Choice: It's a harsh world filled with prejudice. I've met what I presume are new players who started as a half-elf. That's gotta be difficult. I think reccomending somewhere that they start as a human would be a start, due to the social structure of the game. A small change, but when your first PC is being hazed or flat out ignored without even a response to their emotes rather than helped, I think it can be more than a little jarring.


What sort of things should do we more of?

Animations: I realize that some of these take planning, scheduling, staff effort. Some of my favorite times in Armageddon have been plots that involve staff animations. One of my first magickers manifested years ago with staff assistance simply because I had it set as an objective. It made the world feel alive. From the actual animations to the players around me reacting, it was just an amazing little contained experience that stuck with me. I do understand you're all volunteers and seriously, I've had some absolutely amazing interactions here. I'm not saying that you don't do enough, I just want to point out that I've been in some clans with heavy, frequent animation and then in others, I've seen almost nothing at all. Again, not a slight at staff, it's just a ton of fun when it happens and in the past, has dictated which clans I want to play in.

QoL: Amazing, guys. All of this has been great! Keep up the good work here.

Unique role calls: I've seen a few of these that sound so great they make me want to store. I think it'd be cool to throw out a random antagonist role that's available for people to apply for. A Gith raider with a mean sword arm? How about the sudden rumor of a rogue Elkrosian stalking the Red Desert? Just random ideas, but it'd be cool to see some really unique and exciting things thrown out there.. even if I don't get them.


What sort of things should we do less of?

I'm not sure what to say here. I suppose sometimes I've felt a little stifled in what effect I can have on the world, but then I've talked to other characters who are out there doing things I'd have never thought possible. Maybe it isn't even true, who knows. I just know there have been times where I've felt other players have much more unique opportunities than I've had. That being said, I was also a part of a very unique situation once myself - it was amazing.

Having said all of that, I love this game. Thanks for volunteering to make it what it is. We do appreciate it.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: mansa on September 17, 2021, 11:21:51 AM
What are some of the causes that have made you play less or not at all?
What are some changes you think would benefit the game and draw more people - new and returning?
What sort of things should do we more of?
What sort of things should we do less of?



Before replying, please keep these rules in mind:
  • Don't share sensitive recent IC info.
  • Don't air dirty laundry.
  • Do be honest and open but do so in a respectful way and try to be constructive in your criticism.


What are some of the causes that have made you play less or not at all?
I have an idea as to what I want to accomplish, and then when I get in game there isn't enough players in my zone to help me accomplish what I had in mind.

I want to play something unique, but I also don't want to play something overwhelmingly unique that it becomes a standard that other players adapt to when playing in that zone.

These really summarize up by my choices of progression and satisfaction...  What makes me enjoy doing something.  And sometimes they don't align with the core aspect of what I think the game should be and have.   That's pretty interesting because there's the game world concept in my own head, and my own character concept in my own head that may be at odds.

What are some changes you think would benefit the game and draw more people - new and returning?
1) Web Client   [New Player]
2) Web Character Application
3) Pre-defined character concepts that a new player can join in:  [New Player]
   Pick your eye color
   Pick your hair color and style
   Pick your body shape
   Pick your height
   Pick your race
   Pick your background from one of 4 backgrounds:
      Fighter from a small village
      City general laborer
      Rich commoner with a merchant background
      Poor thief

   We have now created:
      This <race> is <height> cords tall, and has a <body shape> figure.
      Their eyes are <eye color> and their <hair color> hair is styled like <hair style>
       
      sdesc:   The <eye color>-eyed, <body shape> <race>

      Background:  Insert general background

4) Publish a log on how to interact with the general quests in the game.  This could even be an interactive log OR a video.  [New Player]
      Hunting
      Skinning
      Collecting Dung
      Foraging for Rocks
      Using a Pickaxe / Glasshacker
      Renting an Apartment
      Using the Bank
      Buying raw materials and crafting them into something
      Selling items to NPCs

5) [Policy Change] - Allowing stories to be shared that are 6 months old that may contain events of currently living characters
6) [Policy Change] - Publish current leader PCs of the Important Clans to the Game function in the Cities in a stickied post on the GDB.
7) Continue to move IC BOARD POSTS to the Archive - https://gdb.armageddon.org/index.php/board,165.0.html

What sort of things should do we more of?
Communicate with the players with the decisions and intents of upcoming changes.   See -> "A small peek behind the curtain." thread.   It was published BEFORE these things got put into game, not after.
As an elder, I want to help out the game, even though I'm not on staff.

What sort of things should we do less of?
The void of sending in a request and not having any form of communication until a decision is made on the request.   This is incredibly hard when I have a request for over 7 days and had no acknowledgement that someone has even glimpsed at it.
I don't want requests to be resolved sooner.  I want to know that someone has at least looked at it.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Pariah on September 17, 2021, 11:31:54 AM
To emphasis something Mansa said.

The request tool void is horrible.  I totally get that they are busy and have probably a metric shit ton of these but the fact some take a month and others take one day with no work in progress?  It’s sorta jarring.

In reality I think there is probably talk back and forth in staff chats, private boards etc etc about the request but we don’t see that work.

I think it would be more impactful if we did.

So say Special Apps for example:

You submit.

First staffer: I think he could easily handle this.
Second staffer: He’s sorta a tool, remember when he ran around typing hunt ten times an hour twinking?
First staffer: Good point but he doesn’t seem to do that with his crafts, he crafts to fail a few times a day and lets it go, pretty realistic.
Etc etc back and forth as a sorta log you see in the request and then when they eventually say yes or no it’ provides feedback to grow with or a feeling of accomplishment.

Not to mention a log of the request so it’s not just. “Can I…” and “No”
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Dresan on September 17, 2021, 11:37:06 AM
One thing I would like to add is that I would love to see is mroe stable RP standards  between staff members.

This is an old example but:One high level staff member once said that if they didn't intend for backstab to be used on animals they could easily change the code to reflect that so there was no issue doing it it. Meanwhile other staff member sees someone backstabing an animal and gives them shit about it before threatening to dock a karma points.

There is too much left to individual interpretation and it varies widly between staff members so more consensus between staff on RP standards would prevent a lot of heartache.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: RavingTregils on September 17, 2021, 12:45:46 PM
I have about a month free and decided to give a character a good attempt. I mean, trying hard not to forget the pearls while
spending so many hours shucking oysters. Deciding that upfront because it is not easy.

What are some of the causes that have made you play less or not at all?

1. Interruptions are killing me. Seems like I sit down and 3 minutes later I have something I have to stop the game to do.
   
2. I'm with X-D in not liking the new guilds but that's an old player problem.
   Scout is ok but without brew it's dead in the water. Useless for getting too far from civilization.
   Stalker was too weak.   
   I can't make myself roll up another scout or stalker.
   Too bad, I really wanted to spend this month in Tuluk like the old days, a good PVE hunter pc. Not seeing it in the current lineup.

What are some changes you think would benefit the game and draw more people - new and returning?
   
3. Documentation (see stoicreader's OOC-FOIC comment). I go to the help files first. Instead of having players search GDB posts, Discord, or videos, don't spread information out: work on the help files.
Some examples that have sent me scrambling to figure out what is going on:

   Skinning - apparently some animals are not a failure. Even when you fail. Never knew that.

   Ride - asked this awhile back on the gdb. Is the level of skill needed in two-handed/dual/shield to ride really a FOIC secret?
      
   Spell problem - had the help file of a spell fixed awhile back too. Just gave up and stored that PC.
   
   Break vs Open vs Use X - plenty of "guess the correct the command" still in the game.
      
4. RNG is not needed in some instances:
   Forage - it takes long enough without the "You find nothing"
   Clean your bloody clothes - Clean or stain - not clean or stain or try again x 10.
   I don't like crafting. Master blah. Make easy blah. Even grab a tool. FAIL.
      What is the point to failing "easy" recipes? How about no RNG if it's easy?
   I don't like magic. Cast blah that I never will use and have no idea what it's good for but hey might branch x 1000.
                 Useless spells/skills never seem to fail. Someone mentioned removing branches - amen.

5. Game is too slow
   Halfway through my month of playing and I have >6 days played. PC still sucks.
   
I've played off and on for many years and the RP is the magic. It's the pearl that keeps a player coming back. In my younger days, I'd suffer a lot of tedious gameplay to get to the good stuff. Now it's a harder to stay motivated.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: roughneck on September 17, 2021, 01:28:56 PM
Reasons why Arm is no longer my favourite go-to entertainment. I understand some of this is me just not changing with the game.

1. Change to brew, making it over-complicated
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Doctor9 on September 17, 2021, 01:35:33 PM
What are some of the causes that have made you play less or not at all?

Real-life happened and I was marked auto-away. I died from thirst like an idiot near water, and the death struck me as one without verisimilitude - which disappointed me.
This definitely put a big warning sign up in front of me: I have terrible sleeping patterns as a writer and it seems a bit like holding my character over a wastebasket til my arms get tired in that regard, as it is a very real danger to the character if I pass out even a few hours by accident: while still being logged in.


What are some changes you think would benefit the game and draw more people - new and returning?

Lessen the degree of thirst/hunger attrition when marked as auto-away? Not as manually marked away - that would be crazy.
 But if we're automatically not there, we'll have to roleplay with the issues our idleness already caused: instead, it just kept ticking down my life til I was told I had died to thirst over a period of time. Justify it as not burning calories or not kicking a fella while he's down already, or don't; this was my only feedback though.
And this goes back to interruptions: they make it too dangerous at times to risk playing for many reasons, this being none-the-least I'm sure - especially if you have a family and can be yanked at anytime into reality.

As I told a friend of mine who GMs Deadlands, a game where you are going to die - it's in the name: every story has to end. It's just how and -why- it ends that ought to matter. So yeah, we'll die without a week of water or a month of food and take adverse effects from these within days.  I can totally grok why making someone fall asleep or even into a coma (where they can still use psi) could be too advantageous. Even why lessening the nutrition attrition rate at all during auto-away would distend the realism.

Pushing up the daisies to being AFK is almost as ignominious as rocks falling, especially when if I was at the terminal I'd walk a few tiles and take care of character bio needs. I would use the metaphor of kicking a person while they're down to explain they've already taken the debuffs from hunger and thirst until they were marked auto-away, meaning something completely unplanned has occured anyway or they would have marked themselves as away. It's quite easy to just slip into death at that point, depending on how long you are away.

What sort of things should do we more of?
Drink more water?

What sort of things should we do less of?
Don't bother yourself over the past. We can't get back what we've lost, but we can always grow.
(Seriously: I'm too new to offer concise answers to these questions, but may edit them in the future)
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Brytta Léofa on September 17, 2021, 02:59:07 PM
Gonna throw this out there: it's true that I'm somewhat busy as a grown-ass person, but it's much more relevant that I make time for Arm when I'm hooked. That happens when I get the right combo of PC, location, and playmates--and, tbh, the first two are the most important for me.

One thing that's changed for me over the last decade: I really don't seem to enjoy playing in Allanak anymore (outside of the Byn). Interaction isn't always easy to find anywhere, but I'd rather perambulate around the wilderness enjoying myself while looking for it than roam the city. And I really don't enjoy the commoner vs. noble/templar dynamic anymore, though I used to.

Some game recommendations - just my well-intentioned opinion:

(1) For getting new players, the web page to gameplay pipeline needs a big overhaul, probably including web-based character creation and a good websockets client.

(2) Staff, I think you guys are really encumbered by the procedures around the request tool. The point was to create more consistency and accountability. I think you should trade off some of that...tbh, most of that...for increased agility. Most of the cases that need discussion or admin approval--maybe y'all should just let the storytellers run wild with that stuff, with the admins just checking up on things and making minor tweaks. I know there's some downside, but there's tremendous upside. This relates to the several complaints about the slowness and no-ness of getting answers from staff.

(Also, this "reduced oversight" idea is something y'all could try by degrees, with no announcement, and see if you like it.)
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Dar on September 17, 2021, 03:31:39 PM
What are some of the causes that have made you play less or not at all?

Real-life happened and I was marked auto-away. I died from thirst like an idiot near water, and the death struck me as one without verisimilitude - which disappointed me.
This definitely put a big warning sign up in front of me: I have terrible sleeping patterns as a writer and it seems a bit like holding my character over a wastebasket til my arms get tired in that regard, as it is a very real danger to the character if I pass out even a few hours by accident: while still being logged in.

Hello. Have you discussed any of this with staff? Currently, hunger/thirst stops ticking down after a rl hour of being away.  I've fallen asleep, or had to rush out countless of times and my character did not die of thirst/hunger.   This wasn't always the case. I think the change was made about 10 years ago.  Your character's death might've been due to a bug, or maybe some coded effect (if something makes your character auto emote, it cancels the afk countdown) that got you dead.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Attana on September 17, 2021, 06:12:55 PM
As a 'vet' who has been playing this game for seventeenish years with only one lengthy break, and coming back from that break only eight or so months ago - I'll give answering some of the requested questions my best.  There was a decline in playing from the community even before I took my break, but not to the extent that I see now when I log in and check who.

To start - what drew me to the game?  The grimy, grittiness, murder, corruption and betrayal.  It was rough.  It was tough and it was oh so glorious.  I was brought in by a 'vet' at the time that I was dating.  He would tell me stories of his past PC's, things he'd been a part of and seen.  It was his stories that drew me.  I had never before played any type of MUD.  I didn't know anything about code or syntax and I got really frustrated while learning it. 

What are some of the causes that have made you play less or not at all?

As I've been playing pretty consistently since I came back, I'll rewind and go back to when I stopped playing to answer this question.

What are some changes you think would benefit the game and draw more people - new and returning?

What sort of things should do we more of?

What sort of things should we do less of?

Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Doctor9 on September 17, 2021, 06:31:28 PM

I didn't try that but I definitely will: even if it's just because that character had a good story going. Thanks for the advice: that does kind of help dampen the sting of the issue knowing intervention is possible.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Gentleboy on September 17, 2021, 06:53:26 PM
I haven’t read all of this and I’m on my phone, so I can only speak as to what I’ve been feeling lately.


There is a huge split for me between the people who play collaboratively, selfishly, and for mechanics. I’m tired of playing the nice guy who tries to find something for everyone when the opposite doesn’t happen for me often.

The game is extremely heteronormative and the gendered roles people put themselves in is annoying and frustrating. I cannot get a romance plot if I play a gay male, often. And I love romance.

It’s like a pick and choose for what themes need to be followed and what themes don’t. And it depends on the staffer.

I run into the same character tropes often. And for those who change it up, they get killed. But hey, high risk, high reward.

The way other players god mode on my characters. Especially bards. I cannot tell you all how many times I’ve sat in a bar with a song and emotes I put time in for an entire clan of people to tell me, “I suck at playing.” That really sucks. It’s based on the emote of me strumming and people ask me if a gortok is playing when I have in my background that my pc has been playing so and so instrument for years. That kind of roleplaying I keep seeing. It’s not cool or funny.

Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Jihelu on September 17, 2021, 07:22:05 PM
Something I was reminded of when mentioned:

Some of the FOIC questions and answers I've seen are silly.

Can we please just post some more information, especially information you would know as a citizen of a place?
We should have detailed 'what you know about X' place, with FAQs, that gets added to when important questions get asked (By request tool, or on the forums).
'I've been interested in playing in Tuluk, how do they feel about -topic-'
'Foic'
The fuck does that mean?
If I'm a 30 year old Tuluki, if I'm a 12 year old Tuluki, I should be able to easily answer the following
1: How do they feel about non-magical superstition (Fortune tellers, buying trinkets for 'safety against magic', etc)
2: How do they feel about listless (Where do they come from [Or where do people think they come from], general attitudes, maybe even what lies under their mask [Someone is bound to have just removed their masks or have found a dead one, though perhaps this could be a very quick 'wish up' if you found a dead one...I doubt you'd get a quick response])
3: How's city life been in the past X years?
And probably more.
Some of these, we have sparse answers scattered around. For Listless, I believe Mansa had to more or less compile from like 3 different places the loosest information we have on them (When really they should have an entire section on one of the Tuluki places, they seem to be something that might be important for a Tuluki to understand)

Though this is just a loose example. Other big things...
Whats that pit in Allanak for? I know what the pit is for, most people know what the pit is for, what about a newbie? Guy rolls up a 40 year old Nakki, clay worker, been in Nak and the outside village his whole life...walks by the pit and can only go 'damn I wonder what that is'.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Pariah on September 17, 2021, 07:24:21 PM
...
The way other players god mode on my characters. Especially bards. I cannot tell you all how many times I’ve sat in a bar with a song and emotes I put time in for an entire clan of people to tell me, “I suck at playing.” That really sucks. It’s based on the emote of me strumming and people ask me if a gortok is playing when I have in my background that my pc has been playing so and so instrument for years. That kind of roleplaying I keep seeing. It’s not cool or funny.
You can't control how others feel about your roleplay, specifically icly.

This is a harsh, cruel world, people are gonna be mean, rude and inconsiderate to your character, it's just how it is.

To say that "I wrote my background that I'm a good lute player!" and expect people who can't see your background, or know it to respect that is not something that's going to happen.

While I personally only like the ranger-ish type of play, and don't really get the purely "social" play, I don't really care for bards, just throwing out lots of emotes in my face and forcing feeling upon me.  I would say the good ones are good at describing the music without telling me how I feel about it.

"Dude plays the lute with a halting rhythm and a stomp of his foot to the beat." is okay.

"Dude plays a haunting tune that brings a tear to those around him." is power emoting and I hate it.

So while I'm not telling you don't play bards, don't expect everyone to "care" you're playing a bard.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Gentleboy on September 17, 2021, 07:38:31 PM
...
The way other players god mode on my characters. Especially bards. I cannot tell you all how many times I’ve sat in a bar with a song and emotes I put time in for an entire clan of people to tell me, “I suck at playing.” That really sucks. It’s based on the emote of me strumming and people ask me if a gortok is playing when I have in my background that my pc has been playing so and so instrument for years. That kind of roleplaying I keep seeing. It’s not cool or funny.
You can't control how others feel about your roleplay, specifically icly.

This is a harsh, cruel world, people are gonna be mean, rude and inconsiderate to your character, it's just how it is.

To say that "I wrote my background that I'm a good lute player!" and expect people who can't see your background, or know it to respect that is not something that's going to happen.

While I personally only like the ranger-ish type of play, and don't really get the purely "social" play, I don't really care for bards, just throwing out lots of emotes in my face and forcing feeling upon me.  I would say the good ones are good at describing the music without telling me how I feel about it.

"Dude plays the lute with a halting rhythm and a stomp of his foot to the beat." is okay.

"Dude plays a haunting tune that brings a tear to those around him." is power emoting and I hate it.

So while I'm not telling you don't play bards, don't expect everyone to "care" you're playing a bard.


Right. I don’t roleplay like that. I think it’s wrong to rp how other people feel. But for these social roles, it’s like, big.

Imagine you put a ton of work writing a nice ambiguous hunting emote. Pulls back the arrow on the sinew, breathes in hard and then releases, allowing the arrow to go free.

And someone shouts at you “your form sucks! Quit being a hunter!”
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Pariah on September 17, 2021, 08:06:10 PM
...
The way other players god mode on my characters. Especially bards. I cannot tell you all how many times I’ve sat in a bar with a song and emotes I put time in for an entire clan of people to tell me, “I suck at playing.” That really sucks. It’s based on the emote of me strumming and people ask me if a gortok is playing when I have in my background that my pc has been playing so and so instrument for years. That kind of roleplaying I keep seeing. It’s not cool or funny.
You can't control how others feel about your roleplay, specifically icly.

This is a harsh, cruel world, people are gonna be mean, rude and inconsiderate to your character, it's just how it is.

To say that "I wrote my background that I'm a good lute player!" and expect people who can't see your background, or know it to respect that is not something that's going to happen.

While I personally only like the ranger-ish type of play, and don't really get the purely "social" play, I don't really care for bards, just throwing out lots of emotes in my face and forcing feeling upon me.  I would say the good ones are good at describing the music without telling me how I feel about it.

"Dude plays the lute with a halting rhythm and a stomp of his foot to the beat." is okay.

"Dude plays a haunting tune that brings a tear to those around him." is power emoting and I hate it.

So while I'm not telling you don't play bards, don't expect everyone to "care" you're playing a bard.


Right. I don’t roleplay like that. I think it’s wrong to rp how other people feel. But for these social roles, it’s like, big.

Imagine you put a ton of work writing a nice ambiguous hunting emote. Pulls back the arrow on the sinew, breathes in hard and then releases, allowing the arrow to go free.

And someone shouts at you “your form sucks! Quit being a hunter!”
People emote when they hunt?

Just kidding busting your balls.

But if they did, I'd look at the same way I do crazy people who yell stupid shit at me in real life.

Fuck that guy and go on with life.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Halaster on September 17, 2021, 08:07:41 PM
Let's avoid critiquing each other's feedback, that's not what this thread is for.  They have their opinion as to what they want to see changed/done/not-done and I'd rather not see those discouraged because people are afraid they'll be argued with.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Void on September 17, 2021, 09:05:29 PM
I'll jump in and say there needs to be a way to train skills offline. It would be slow of course, but it's the only alternative to requiring a certain amount of twinking before you can actually RP your role properly (assuming its a combat type).
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: triste on September 17, 2021, 10:21:13 PM
Quote
The game is extremely heteronormative and the gendered roles people put themselves in is annoying and frustrating. I cannot get a romance plot if I play a gay male, often. And I love romance
This feedback made me giggle because I agree but it's something we probably can't change. I don't know how we can be the change besides recruiting more gays. As much as I love the idea that I am able to convince people to be gay, and as many times as people have told me I made them gay IRL (as a joke but also not), ya can't just turn people queer and make them comfortable with queer role play.

I just wanna say I adore you Gentleboy. I remember you complained about this around when you started. I made a gay character FOR YOU but alas he died of the plague.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Dresan on September 17, 2021, 11:19:34 PM
The game is extremely heteronormative and the gendered roles people put themselves in is annoying and frustrating. I cannot get a romance plot if I play a gay male, often. And I love romance.

As the population has shrunk I think the room for many types of RP including romance has dwindle down for everyone. However, back before the war and tuluk closing down when the population was 70~ at peak I can tell you there were noticably more gay character around. And they always had lovers in addition to whatever other RP they wanted.

I think as the population grows again so will all kinds of RP opportunities. Though be careful what you wish for...happiness in zalanthas is fleeting.  8)
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: WarriorPoet on September 17, 2021, 11:33:32 PM
As a comfortably hetero male RL, I have had 2 IG same-sex romantic partners in the past. Just fyi. The larger story can lead to interesting places, be it sex, violence, blood magick, or a glorious combination of them all. Put this in the category of why I keep playing.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Veselka on September 17, 2021, 11:57:00 PM
Yeah I mean there was a time where we had 7 Nobles in Tuluk (!) and just as many in Allanak, and 2-3 Templars in each. That is indicative of how many Commoners were there as well beneath, to be able to support such a system.

Now-a-days, we are lucky to have 2-3 Nobles in each City State, and as many Templars.

Times definitely are a change-d.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Greve on September 18, 2021, 11:22:18 AM
The big issue with skills is that being in a clan sucks for skillgains. Not all clans, of course; things like tribes and Crimson Winds don't really count as clans in this context. But if you join the Byn, Garrison, one of the militias, or a noble house man-at-arms clan if any are open, it slows down your skill growth to such an insane degree. Doubly so if you're not American and can't consistently play during the 8-12PM ST timeslot when practically everything happens, but even if you do play during peak hours, it can be awful. There will be entire RL days where you just mope around on your own with nothing to do and no opportunity to train your skills.

It can be okay in the Byn when it's having one of its booms, but even then it's not as effective as having the freedom to go anywhere you want anytime it suits you. It's not just about sparring but also things like ride, archery, skinning and crafting. Anytime I've joined a clan with a schedule, it seriously takes somewhere between ten and twenty times as long to raise skills to the point where they're interesting to have, compared to playing an indie ranger type or whatever. Add to this the fact that even if you do eventually manage to raise those skills to the level where they become a meaningful part of your character, these clans give you so little freedom to actually use them. How many times per month does a soldier feel the benefits of no-hands riding? Maybe four or five times? Often less. Meanwhile, for an indie, that perk pings your gamer brain's reward system at all times.

I wish two things would change for these clans:

1) You should be allowed to leave the city on your days off, and you should be allowed to have a day off whenever it suits you, within reason. Obviously if you decide not to work when there's other clan members online and in need of you, you're a shitty soldier and should be sacked. But if you log on during lunch when there isn't another player in sight, you should be allowed to just say that you have the day off, and then you should be allowed to go out for a ride or whatever. It doesn't make sense to me that pretty much everyone with any kind of military job is strictly confined to the city for the rest of their life except when their work mandates going outside. Recruits can be prohibited from leaving the city since they're still being trained and vetted, but any full member should have some freedom.
    While it can be said that this would make it less likely that there's another player in the barracks when you log in, I think it would add more activity by making these clans more appealing than it takes away by sometimes having clan members out and about. You can easily Way people to see if they're around, and it can be made a rule that you have to be back again before the gates close or anytime another clan member requests it. I don't think it would be a problem at all.

2) Something really has to be done about sparring. Unless you can spar against someone considerably more skilled than you, and can do it very often, it's so ineffective. In most cases, you simply won't have that luxury. In many cases you'll rarely get to spar at all. Many times I've played a character in one of these clans and had the opportunity to spar maybe ten times per RL week. Entire days go by where you simply don't get the chance. Sometimes a whole week can go by where you don't get to spar against someone from whom you can actually learn anything. Outside of the rare Byn boom phase, joining a military clan is possibly the very worst way to train combat skills, which is bizarre.
    I've played other RPIs where such clans simply had a scripted drill sergeant NPC that would show up during training hours and could be sparred with. I can't think of one problem that came from this feature. It fixed almost everything that's wrong with combat skill progression on Armageddon. It made the game way more palatable for off-peak players and, in turn, massively bolstered off-peak numbers. Probably player numbers in general, too--Armageddon is notoriously inhospitable to non-Americans because huge segments of the game are pretty much not active outside of the US evening. RPTs happen almost exclusively between 9PM and midnight server time. Clans are often empty until that timeslot, too. You can join the militia right now and probably stand in the barracks for six hours straight during the entire European afternoon and not see a soul. If you could go and spar with an NPC in the meantime, not only would it be a reason to stay logged in during those hours, it would also boost the chances of others doing the same.
    I really think that would be a huge part of solving the issue of everyone playing lone rangers, and of people running around fighting obscure shit for nonsensical reasons just to raise their combat skills. People don't do that because they hate the game or whatever, they do it because they've found it to be the only acceptable way to accomplish their goals. Many of these cheesy methods have been nerfed in one way or another, but nothing was really done to offer alternatives, and I frankly think that a number of players have probably quit the game because there we no more ways for them to train up a character to the point where it's exciting to play. Not everyone can play during peak hours, and not everyone wants to play in the Byn over and over again.
   
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Halcyon on September 18, 2021, 11:40:34 AM

    I really think that would be a huge part of solving the issue of everyone playing lone rangers, and of people running around fighting obscure shit for nonsensical reasons just to raise their combat skills. People don't do that because they hate the game or whatever, they do it because they've found it to be the only acceptable way to accomplish their goals. Many of these cheesy methods have been nerfed in one way or another, but nothing was really done to offer alternatives, and I frankly think that a number of players have probably quit the game because there we no more ways for them to train up a character to the point where it's exciting to play. Not everyone can play during peak hours, and not everyone wants to play in the Byn over and over again.
   

Agreed.  The same clans wont give an inch to hire or retain a high agi human or "sparring elf".   If coded performance isnt important to the story, just set up an ooc carriage service between all points the GMH want to goto, and be done with escorts.    If escorts and merc service are interesting parts of the story, lets logically support those clans.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Pariah on September 18, 2021, 02:00:33 PM
Not trying to critique or go against any sorta feedback, but I noticed some of you feel how I felt.

Before I realized that you can totally break the rules in the Byn.

Yes you’re not supposed to go out alone.  But do you think the Sergeants stand at the gates and check every cloaked figure that walks out? Nah they got better shit to be doing.

I had a Bynner who still advanced and branched his outdoor abilities simply by sneaking out on the days off.  Keep a different cloak in your pack, change somewhere out of the way and not around vnpcs.  Then ride/walk out the gate and enjoy life.

Just make sure you have nothing unique on you like a one of a kind set of armor or very rare weapon etc and your golden.

If you’re worried about staff blowback, I wouldn’t worry about that either.  I put it in my reports that I was doing it and steps I took to conceal myself and my identify.

It actually can put a bit of fun into the process of breaking the rules because it makes it a little exciting when you come across people outside and have to decided to find reasons to move on or avoid them.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: The Gruffalo on September 18, 2021, 02:39:28 PM
if you join <snip> one of the militias <snip> it slows down your skill growth to such an insane degree

False. Staff introduced a means for training even when playtimes don't match up with clan mates.

I'd like to see it introduced for more low-pop clans.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: creeper386 on September 18, 2021, 02:44:46 PM
I think another thing that comes up especially around limited play times is trying to keep things IC, but it's near impossible to arrange anything when people only play on the weekends or strange times to try and arrange something without being OOC.

I don't really have a problem dropping an OOC and being like "When would this work." but I'm uncomfortable being the first person to broach it as at least in the past people have been sticklers on that sort of thing.

I'm very iffy of some sort of offline communication system. Because I'd hate to log in to a hundred way messages. But it'd be nice to have SOMETHING to better organize events.


In regards to the grind thing. That's one of the things I like about Armageddon. I like I start as a shit nobody and there is effort put into being useful at something.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Dresan on September 18, 2021, 06:47:03 PM
Before I realized that you can totally break the rules in the Byn.

A PC resorting to do twinkish behavior to train skills is a bad thing. 
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Jihelu on September 18, 2021, 07:03:57 PM
You shouldn’t have to ‘break the rules’ for combat fails when whoever you work for is a mercenary company with a training hall. Or even if you have a training barracks (most noble houses)
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Pariah on September 18, 2021, 07:29:56 PM
You shouldn’t have to ‘break the rules’ for combat fails when whoever you work for is a mercenary company with a training hall. Or even if you have a training barracks (most noble houses)
Before I realized that you can totally break the rules in the Byn.

A PC resorting to do twinkish behavior to train skills is a bad thing.

What?  No, you guys are misunderstanding me.  I'm not saying be a twink and fight a tuural bare handed or anything.

I'm just saying that because they TELL YOU, you can't leave the city, doesn't mean you can't.

I'm talking about social rules, not saying twink your way to success.  I very rarely ever get a character to higher than apprentice weapon skills.

If you want to go practice riding, skinning or (insert outdoor required skill) then roleplay your way to it.  Break the IC rules and go do it.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: X-D on September 18, 2021, 08:37:04 PM
Just be realistic about your IG rule breaking. Again...like RL.

This is actually a point I have almost never had an issue with staff on BTW.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Dresan on September 18, 2021, 08:52:23 PM
If you want to discuss further maybe start another thread, but jobs where you get food and water are supposed to be valued. Breaking the rules, risking your job and life outside the walls just to train skills doesn't sound IC, it sounds OOC twinky.

Instead policies should be changes to allow you the freedom to do what you want on days off. Heading outside on your day off so you can make an extra buck and afford a better piece of armor that might save your life or perform better on the next escort is a better reason then just breaking the IC rules just to train skills.

But again i digress, this is a conversation for another thread.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Bogre on September 18, 2021, 11:47:06 PM



What are some of the causes that have made you play less or not at all?


The exasperation and disappointment of losing characters in which a lot of creative work was sunk in; not from the wilderness or dangerous situations but through player's inconsiderate actions - people going for 'gotta kill so and so' as conflict resolution #1, or no-story, no real reason quick kills out of no where...there's things that just seem like I'm trying to play a collaborative storytelling game and others are playing PVP sim.


What are some changes you think would benefit the game and draw more people - new and returning?


Advertising in DND forums, in r/MUD, facebook, etc.

I think the biggest thing would be addressing the reputation of toxicity the community has in a wider sense. If you see Arm mentioned on reddit, there's a ton of people who will just jump to bashing it. There's been really big divides between former players and staff, former staff and players, players and players, etc. People seem to get driven away way more than they are encouraged to come back. Maybe there's just toxic people that get banned, and rage quitters abounding - I'm generally too forgiving and benefit-of-the doubting to assess that stuff. But from my place on the sidelines it just seems that more people walk away angry than shake hands across the table.


What sort of things should do we more of?


The recent game moving plots (from the spooky stuff, to the salt flat war, to the most recent) by Shabago, Rath et al have really been awesome. Every time something like that comes up I'm drooling to play and get stuck in. There were really a lot of moments that were just 'Armageddon' to me.

The code updates are also really exciting - wagons, spells (I've always adored the depth of the magick system, and more secrets/complexity/utility is just awesome). The updates to the classes and subguilds are also very welcome. Like the code is clearly in an upward trend - and thus the question of why isn't the playerbase?

(also do more open silt winds / dune stalkers)

What sort of things should we do less of?

Option removing and clan removing- I think that obviously recently this has decreased. The world is cool, vast, varied - let players have fun in exploring it and playing different roles and backgrounds.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Qzzrbl on September 19, 2021, 01:08:55 AM

What are some of the causes that have made you play less or not at all?


The exasperation and disappointment of losing characters in which a lot of creative work was sunk in; not from the wilderness or dangerous situations but through player's inconsiderate actions - people going for 'gotta kill so and so' as conflict resolution #1, or no-story, no real reason quick kills out of no where...there's things that just seem like I'm trying to play a collaborative storytelling game and others are playing PVP sim.

Y'know, I've been half-assed working at coming up with what kinda got me losing interest in the game in the way-way back but reading this took me right to it. There was probably more to it on my end, but there was definitely a shift after a handful of actually nonsense deaths.

I can't say I've been PK'd a whole lot compared to a lot of you, but I can say it's only really been "justified" by the aggressor like what, four times if memory serves?

It really doesn't take very many "wow this pc ive never met is really straight murdering me for no reason a day or two out of chargen" moments stacked on top of general burnout to sour the whole shebang.

and I get it, zalanthas big spooky scary dangerous but rly come on ppl
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: MeTekillot on September 19, 2021, 02:20:58 AM



What are some of the causes that have made you play less or not at all?


The exasperation and disappointment of losing characters in which a lot of creative work was sunk in; not from the wilderness or dangerous situations but through player's inconsiderate actions - people going for 'gotta kill so and so' as conflict resolution #1, or no-story, no real reason quick kills out of no where...there's things that just seem like I'm trying to play a collaborative storytelling game and others are playing PVP sim.



I think this could be remedied with an idea I had a while back about being able to cripple other characters as an alternative to killing them. I think we currently lack for impactful actions to have on the game and other players besides killing each other or building a shop.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: wizturbo on September 19, 2021, 06:37:43 AM
What are some of the causes that have made you play less or not at all?


It all comes down to the amount of time it takes to enjoy Armageddon.  To me, the biggest barrier of entry is that finding the best kind of content the game has to offer takes a lot of time.

You start from scratch with every character in Armageddon.  I've played a lot of characters, and I don't think a single one of them has ever felt "established" unless I've had at least 3 days played on it minimum.  And by "established" I mean, they know a dozen or so people in-game, have joined some kind of clan or social group and achieved a modicum of trust, have trained up a few skills, and as a result of all this they've started to get involved in plotlines at an entry level.  In short, I've found a sustainable source of content, but it's taken ~72 hours of RL time. 

As a perma-death game where you can only have one character, you can expect your relationships to disappear at a steady clip.  This up front investment to find content requires constant maintenance, or you will find yourself back on the "outside" of things.  Of course, if your character dies, all of this starts over from scratch again.



Some ideas on how to reduce this barrier to entry:

1.  Post lite-sponsored roles with the intent of giving non-leaders a way to jump into the action immediately as established clan members.  Examples include starting play as an Aide, Byn Trooper, Private, Junior Merchants, etc.  These roles could be turned on/off for certain clans as needed, with some popular options potentially being evergreen.  Use Karma to limit how often these can be used.

2.  Make more plotlines publicly available knowledge.  "Find out IC" is a catch phrase we've all used for decades in Armageddon, but at this point I just don't have the time or energy to keep up with it.  I don't mean post every Templar's secret plans on the GDB, but not knowing what major activities are going on just makes it harder and harder to return.

Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Evilone on September 19, 2021, 09:43:34 AM
Sorry for the long post. Had some time to think.

What are some of the causes that have made you play less or not at all? *Firstly I don't like to play generic PC Amos. Usually I will have some sort of character concept in mind and some important background detail to give it an interesting history, and then if things seem to click when I am IG, I will fully flesh out a background for my PC, and its family history etc. Once I get into things I can get quite addicted and my play time skyrockets. With my latest PC I was averaging about 3-4 hours a day on work days, and my days off doing like 12+hr days in Arm. I was waking up, sitting at the computer, and then only getting off for bed, completely drained. This was mostly during the lead up to the War, but
I do find lots of enjoyment in the early days of a 'character sheet' and working on skills, as well as IC relations and building reputation.

The little hub we had going in Morrins Village was actually pretty fun, and I was constantly seeing PC's, and it was good to try and be involved in a greater story as it gave me some bigger purpose. I am a huge Tuluk fan, always have been, but I have to say it's been a little disappointing as the population 'seems' to have dwindled in the north since the war plot ended.

Why do we play Armageddon? I think the answer is different for everyone. I play because I enjoy making a fictional fantasy character, and getting to portray that person and make them as real as possible. I like to be the hero, or the notorious villain, or just someone who is unique and offers something special to people around him. I like to have a specialty, and be important to someone.

The more time I am playing my character, the more I can develop my skills. I'll be honest about that. I do get excitement when I see skills go up. Some skills are hard work, and its satisfying watching them go up. I much prefer it than the old days of not seeing any skill level. Once my skills are nearly max, all my time can then be shifted to other goals as my survivability goes up hugely with my skills. Being experienced at the game, I would say I know many ways to make coin and get rich once my character is skilled enough, although it can require lots of time.

What can be a turn off for me is if I am spending 3-4hrs a day on average, with also a couple of big days a week in the game working on my character, developing IC relations, and becoming rather wealthy, that I then have to wait RL months of time for certain things just because of what I can see as only an OOC staff trust thing, e.g. Player Created Clans warehouses and clan halls etc. I've more than got the coin to cover bribes, costs, I don't see any reason to have to wait.

I've played PC GHM merchants and I remember when requesting items not craftable and only being able to do an order 1/week, so I don't push merchants hard when waiting for quality wares, but a week is about my limit of patience, and if I am waiting to be able to spend my coin, I am less inclined to have a constant need to play and go mining, or foraging, or hunting, or crafting more and selling because it's coin going straight to the bank, and I can't spend it. I want more readily available money sinks in the game, so I have a constant need to acquire more wealth and spend it, which will encourage me to play more.

I may have burnt myself out with all the time I was putting in, but I haven't really played in about 3 RL weeks, and have been messing about in WoW again, and playing PUBG, so I am one of the people who has just suddenly disappeared, and that's part of my reasoning behind it.

I think staff need LESS red tape and have MORE freedoms. It's probably a scary thought for some, and in days of old such can lead to what appears to be favoritism to certain players as certain unique abilities or artifacts get bestowed and other abuses, but I just don't care, and trust staff enough to handle it not like the past. I want more fantasy, and more staff plots. I want a seasonal world plot focuses.

This season, come play Armageddon Mud and get swept up in the Horrors of the Silt Sea. Next season, we will commence the Awakened Dragonthrall, and following that look forward to the Mantis King.

Just google Plots and Adventures D&D and you can easily come up with hundreds of simple plot ideas or major ones. As much as I enjoy combat in Arm, I do get bored of killing generic carru #26, and scrab #205. If there are different, or unique enemies to potentially combat, and get rewards from, I'll be more inclined to be on, and trying to get involved.

Last thing for now as I am falling asleep at the keyboard. WAY back when I first got into playing RPI muds I much preferred FEM, HL, and SoI compared to Arm. One of these reasons was because I could easily distinguish the differences between gear levels, especially in armor and what was better, and as a beginner Arm was so much harder to understand. I wonder if other people found/find this difficult?
Typical medieval armor qualities are:
Plate>Chain>Scale>Ring>Hide>Studded>Leather>Cloth

Maybe some MORE transparency for such things, whether OOCly or skills IG that can determine what has better armor values, as it is a pretty important thing and as there have been many different standards and changes with staff over the years, armor values don't exactly match the descriptions, so the description makes it hard to judge from. Could even have a armor page on the website which more detail on armor values. If not an actual value, give it a low armor quality, mid quality, high quality.

Hide Armor - Armor value 10
Most common armor made from hide falls under this category. Chalton,
Carru, and Raptor are the main sources of Hide Armor.

Hope any of this helps. What I would like to put to staff, and I am not expecting any answer, but ask yourself, as staff, what would you like more of, and less of? What would keep you on your avatar and less on your PC?
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Sephiroto on September 19, 2021, 02:19:26 PM
Echoing the last post, having some function to test the effectiveness of weapons/armor vs others or even subjectively would be a nice touch. Even as a veteran gear seems like a toss up. It's hard to know what's actually better across any of the possible fronts (durability, AC, mobility, weight, noise). The only exception that I'm aware of is the value skill, which can tell you the weight.

Overall, this ranks pretty low IMO compared to other feedback. It's a great QoL suggestion but won't really keep new players engaged.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Jihelu on September 19, 2021, 04:17:09 PM
Echoing the last post, having some function to test the effectiveness of weapons/armor vs others or even subjectively would be a nice touch. Even as a veteran gear seems like a toss up. It's hard to know what's actually better across any of the possible fronts (durability, AC, mobility, weight, noise). The only exception that I'm aware of is the value skill, which can tell you the weight.

Overall, this ranks pretty low IMO compared to other feedback. It's a great QoL suggestion but won't really keep new players engaged.
Value, or weapon skill, being able to assess damage when compared between two similar items would be nice.
'This does slightly more damage'
'This does a lot more damage'
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Veselka on September 19, 2021, 05:13:19 PM
Eh. I kind of like that you can't min/max everything in the game, and just have to go with what looks cool or fits the PC's style, etc.

I wouldn't mind more of what Jihelu originally mentioned, just like levels of sturdiness or craftsmanship. And maybe only skilled craftspeople, or skilled warriors, could tell the difference.

So if you are a Master Armorcrafter, you can examine a piece of armor and see at the bottom.

"This looks <poorly crafted/moderately well-made/well-made/of excellent craftsmanship/masterfully made>'. Depending on your skill level, you might inadvertently think something is TIGHT when it's really 'MEH' when viewed by a master.

Similarly, if you are a very talented fighter, you might have some skill in discerning how well made weapons and armor are.

That'd be cool. But yeah, I wouldn't want to see comparisons of 'this is better than that'. It'll lead to the same Chads rocking Chadarmor and Chadweapons because they're the best.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Veselka on September 19, 2021, 05:23:39 PM
I've been thinking more about the OP request for feedback and gaining new players, and I have to push back a little bit at the concept of getting new players just for the sake of getting new players.

I think the 'Business Statement/Agenda' of ArmageddonMUD has to really be examined and possibly re-molded. I don't think it's the same as it was 10 years ago, or 20 years ago. I don't think all of the things people advertise about the game are necessarily true. Otherwise, you're going to get new players advertising X Y Z, and they will get in the game and see very little of that and move on.

Like...It's all and well to want new players and for them to stick around. But WHY should they stick around? What's in it for them?

Currently, things take way too long to achieve. People are used to playing a video game and getting dopamine. They want time investment to correlate to fun. A lot of us (particularly veterans) realize that the long periods of inactivity pay off for the adrenaline pumping moments. But those are becoming fewer and further between.

I think Staff needs to empower players to be bigger movers and shakers. Most leadership players are a bit PTSD about doing too much or without Staff permission, because we don't want to get 5-6 hours (or more) into plotting something that Staff is going to come along and kibosh. I think the stakes need to get raised. I think PCs should be able to rise to higher stations in their organizations, and those organizations need to be less intricate and 'necessary' to the survival of the game world. I think House Salarr should be able to fuck up so badly that it gets destroyed (Ala Negean and Uaptal), and another House rises to take its place in the void. I think players and Staff alike need to be a little (not a lot) less precious with their game and their PCs and their NPCs.

If the world were incredibly Dynamic, compared to other video games, it would really set it apart. Most video games require an inordinate amount of paid coder time and developer time to alter the game and create DLC. MUDs can be changed so much easier than graphical games. It is obviously still work. Re-skinning an NPC isn't boop-boop-beep done. BUT, compared to a graphical game, and a graphical game company bureaucracy, ArmageddonMUD has it much, much easier when it comes to those things.

I would challenge Staff to 'knives down' in the Iron Chef competition. To act as lifeguards, where the swimming pool is filled with competent swimmers for the most part. To spend time creating and fomenting plots and obstacles and fun challenges.

I think the request tool has overall been a great tool for accountability and reference, and a mediocre or poor tool for game plots and the game world at large. Before the request tool, communication between Staff and Players was minimal and only when required (when someone was doing something so off the rails it needed to be corrected). When I first started playing the game, I didn't even know the names of different Staff members, what their personalities might be like, or what they were working on. There's a happy medium here I think.

I think PC reports/Character Reports (for Leaders) should be once every couple weeks or once a month. Honestly, they aren't resolved quick enough to be relevant. By the time I finish writing a report and sending it, several plot points in the request may change the next day or over the next few days. Many of the points in them are moot by the time a Storyteller responds to it. It's additional work that I don't think is entirely necessary. I wish there was a better way of submitting reports that was IN THE GAME, not outside of it.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: MeTekillot on September 19, 2021, 05:27:38 PM
1.  Post lite-sponsored roles with the intent of giving non-leaders a way to jump into the action immediately as established clan members.  Examples include starting play as an Aide, Byn Trooper, Private, Junior Merchants, etc.  These roles could be turned on/off for certain clans as needed, with some popular options potentially being evergreen.  Use Karma to limit how often these can be used.

I think this is an excellent idea. If the process could be semi-automated (sans the necessary approval process via staff), even better.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Veselka on September 19, 2021, 05:29:16 PM
1.  Post lite-sponsored roles with the intent of giving non-leaders a way to jump into the action immediately as established clan members.  Examples include starting play as an Aide, Byn Trooper, Private, Junior Merchants, etc.  These roles could be turned on/off for certain clans as needed, with some popular options potentially being evergreen.  Use Karma to limit how often these can be used.

I think this is an excellent idea. If the process could be semi-automated (sans the necessary approval process via staff), even better.

+1 as well. I mentioned as well that Staff could regularly assess plots/areas of the game where a lite-sponsored role might fit in (Secret Role Calls that they do currently seem to fill this function). It would be nice if they are designed for the experienced vet with not a ton of playtime, but a fun flavor role that can inject WOW into an area of the world.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: MeTekillot on September 19, 2021, 05:31:22 PM
I think Staff needs to empower players to be bigger movers and shakers. Most leadership players are a bit PTSD about doing too much or without Staff permission, because we don't want to get 5-6 hours (or more) into plotting something that Staff is going to come along and kibosh. I think the stakes need to get raised. I think PCs should be able to rise to higher stations in their organizations, and those organizations need to be less intricate and 'necessary' to the survival of the game world. I think House Salarr should be able to fuck up so badly that it gets destroyed (Ala Negean and Uaptal), and another House rises to take its place in the void. I think players and Staff alike need to be a little (not a lot) less precious with their game and their PCs and their NPCs.

I also very much agree with this.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Night Queen on September 19, 2021, 08:46:34 PM
Adding link to this thread: https://gdb.armageddon.org/index.php/topic,57222.msg1066390.html#msg1066390
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: ItsMeg on September 21, 2021, 01:16:58 AM
What are some of the causes that have made you play less or not at all?
What are some changes you think would benefit the game and draw more people - new and returning?
RPTS/HRPTs. Every now and then I'll check the Staff Announcements and I don't see much happening (last RPT was in June). It gives me zero motivation to login (Tuluk opening is cool. But it also just means it'll be harder to find people as a perpetually offpeak player).
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Harmless on September 21, 2021, 09:37:23 AM
I have played arm on and off for years, and part of my pattern is to not play or be very inactive for short (month or two) or long stretches. In this time I have RL stuff like a job change or move or I have other games I wanna play more like a D&D campaign or Valheim or whatever, and since those games are social and involve my other friends (one of whom is a former Arm player themselves) I can't really play both when we get into it and I need to take a break from Arm as a result.

I had grievances with my current role but I recently put a question to staff and got an answer that told me that I could improve my character's position if I put a lot of work into a project or something and knowing just how many barriers  I would have to success turned me off even more and I decided to just make an IC reason to be almost completely inactive. The way things are with my role and my character's current clan, I am unsure that this is a big deal or not but I aired that out with staff as I said. (In my opinion my character's absence is not going to be too noticed right now).

I do want the game to live on because abruptly I will get a strong urge to play either my current character or a new character again, and my interest seems to refresh itself over time in a break, so I think this is just going to be my adult life pattern for now unless something even more time consuming like a kid enters my RL.

BUT, maybe we need to think about making certain roles less restrictive, especially when staff notices that their actions are limiting interaction or separating players more severely. Once again, being vague because I did pose this to a question request already.

Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Greve on September 23, 2021, 11:31:58 PM
But what's the excuse for the players that disregarded Tuluk as fluffy bunnies and hugging trees up until the very end?

They didn't know there was a years-long vendetta between two noble houses that drove plots related to subterfuge and intrigue as well as diplomacy and reconciliation

I'd say that indeed, they didn't know there was a years-long vendetta between two noble houses, because Tuluk is designed to deprive them of that knowledge. That's a point I've wanted to discuss a number of times throughout the years. I've always felt that Tuluk's secrecy-based design just didn't fit into a game of this type. The much-vaunted subtlety of the city is counterproductive to a game where everything is based on sharing and reacting to information. While Tuluk was never my main area of play, I have of course played there several times, and what always struck me was the way players were deprived of knowledge of anything they weren't directly involved with. It clearly hurt the roleplay there. Time and time again, something would happen and those who witnessed it were expressly instructed never to talk of it. It's built into the essence of the Tuluki setting. That'd be interesting in a novel or a movie, but not in an online roleplaying game where every player's enjoyment hinges on the extent to which they can learn about the interesting shit that's going on. Tuluk was a place where measures were actively taken to prevent people from learning what was happening.

It's one of those things that I had really hoped would change when the city was opened again. I figured that maybe with the place having been so insular for in-game decades, the stifling veil of secrecy might have become a thing of the past. But no, it's still very much a part of the documentation, so while I haven't played in Tuluk since its return, I expect it'll face the same problems. All the ezmode tree-hugging insinuations were always a little blithe, and while it can certainly be said that the obscene regeneration bonus of the grasslands and the (back then; now nerfed) stilt lizard sparring bonanza was a joke, the real beef that people had was the fact that you just didn't hear about what went on in Tuluk because players were bound by documentation-mandated secrecy. Those lucky few who got to witness something cool were routinely told not to tell anyone, under pain of literal death; and as a result, the majority of players found it to be a place where nothing happens. It was a stark contrast to Allanak where many scandals were deliberately publicized with gaudy executions, public bounties, and even the occasional case of exiling a character from the city but letting them live. In Tuluk, they just disappear without a trace. It may be thematic, but it doesn't generate a whole lot of roleplay. People often just assumed that the character was stored or the player quit.

Like I said, it makes perfect sense in a novel where you get to see the secret happenings through the eyes of point-of-view characters; but in a game like this, it was just not conducive to an inclusive and interesting roleplaying scene. It doesn't really look like that changed. A plot that makes no waves whatsoever to anyone outside of those directly involved is a plot that never happened to everyone else. Secrecy is a difficult thing to balance in a game like this, because while it has its place, basing an entire sphere of play around it will inevitably result in players getting bored whenever they're not privy to any of what goes on. The whole thing about "oh it's so easy to play in Tuluk that I can't stomach it" was always just a smokescreen because noone wanted to admit that they were unable to get included in whatever crowd had the monopoly on all the information at the time. It's safer to claim that the place is too ezmode for you than to admit that you felt excluded.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Elzocone on September 24, 2021, 05:26:43 AM
(https://i1.sndcdn.com/avatars-000163661519-feps4j-t500x500.jpg)
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: triste on September 24, 2021, 11:24:36 AM
ReturnOfTheKing -- thank you for your insight here.

I fully agree on respecting people's time and this also applies to low activity players and high activity players. I also love your point about how mob psychology poisons this game, but I don't see how that leads into an endorsement of banning players. I am sometimes curious about stats for how often players are banned here, and I know that some recently returned players who a lot of people love and respect have been banned in the past and I always cringed and hated seeing these good but maybe too dynamic people get banned. We need to become a game that accepts all sorts of players and personalities with different playtime commitments. Not an exclusive pack with mob psychology. That player who you may believe to be toxic OOCly might end up playing some of your favorite characters in game and you may have even kudosed them; so please if I can contradict one point in your post, do not endorse banning people more, it is like telling someone they should stab themselves in the kidney for the sake of the other organs. Kidneys aren't pleasant organs, they feed on toxins, yeah you might want to stab them. But you only have so many kidneys you can stab before the entire system fails.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: X-D on September 24, 2021, 12:06:49 PM
With those posts...it brought to mind what is likely the greatest cause of attrition in players leaving.

That is the willingness of staff to close things over the years. Each thing that closed caused losses. Maybe only one person, sometimes more then 20. And At the time (not so much talking of current staff even if some were around at the time) What made it worse is the staff attitude and some even saying, "So what, if you don't like it, don't play."

I have never understood the reasons for these closings (other then mantis, with current docs they are impossible anyway).
Reason #1 and the most common, This clan/race is too popular and getting outside where we want things to be.
My thought on that has always been...So what, leave it be, it WILL rebalance itself if left alone and people will not quit because you iron fisted a clan.

#2 We do not have enough staff hours to support this clan/race.
This is really a pretty bad excuse. Simply make it known that if you play X clan/tribe/race You will have almost no support, you of course will still be watched for RP but most things you will be doing on your own.

And I know that over the years when something closed the attitude of "It is only a couple players" Might not have bothered many. But consider, If the game only lost 3 players per closing...other then the big one which I will put last.

Gith
Mantis
halfings
Every desert elf tribe but 2, virtual and coded.
Sand jakhal
ATV
SLK
Dune stalkers
Silt winds
Black wing
Player made or virtual tribes counting as one
At least 3 noble houses in each city state so there is another six.
4 human tribes AT least.
1 dwarf tribe
2-3 Rinth tribes
Black moon
Expansion division
Outriders.
3 GMH hunting/soldier divisions (yes this counts as a closing)
And Tuluk, worth at least 20 players that I know of.

That is 125 players and on the conservative side.

Not even including Cam, a certain spot on the salt flats and many other things over the years.

Then there was the entire arm 2.0 debacle. That cost at least 1/3 of the player base right there.

If I am to be honest and blunt, At least half of the attrition...likely more is from gross mismanagement.





I do not see a fix currently, Possible some heavy ad work might help. But currently I see the circle as getting very close to the drain. Like birthrates in dying cultures. And this is not the heyday of muds.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: creeper386 on September 24, 2021, 01:05:23 PM
I had this first paragraph at the bottom but wanted to move it to be easily noticed.

I know I like that current staff seems WAY more open to announcing and discussing changes, and so far seems to be acknowledging the player base and adjusting plans, in ways I'm not sure I've seen before, and perhaps goes a long way to addressing issues with respecting player investment.

In regards to closures, I do think there needs to be two sides to it. Maybe closures could be handled better, but also the idea of trying to manage where the player base is centered I think is a completely fair thing to do and needs to be done.

You have similar complaints about guild changes. Rebalances happen in all games, and may lose players, as much because the rebalance was done wrong as players being human refuse to consider any change for why it's being done and just in the light of how it's effecting them.

Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: X-D on September 24, 2021, 01:35:01 PM
Actually, Staff being open to announcing and discussing changes has been something I am happier about.

But I do not agree with staff trying to change centers of play. It never works, they are always warned that it never works.

In fact, likely a majority of players will avoid it just because of the push...human nature.

If you ignore the loss off players from Tuluk closing. The only I guess "good" Thing that came from it is that numbers in Morin's, Luirs and Red storm went up. Although it felt like the numbers in Allanak went down and continued to drop the entire time.

But things will find whatever balance. EVEN if a clan, let us say, the Byn, was to get so popular that 80% of the PCs were Byn...How long would that last? I mean sure, if staff was to pour a bunch of energy into entertaining them it could be "made" to last a while. But let us just go with natural. For a while some people would enjoy the high social RP and the HUGE amount of sparring and training. But They would rapidly get bored since there would be almost no contracts and way too many Byn PCs to make any contract pay. And they would start leaving and filling out the other clans.

And I KNOW this to be true because at one time almost 50% of PCs could often be found in the Byn. Why, because EVERY house, Merchant, Noble, AOD, SENT them there. And all the players told newbs to go there because that is where vets and newbs alike were.

The same applies to every other clan...Every single one. Even if a single clan was to get 100% of the PCs, That would have no actual affect on the game world unless Staff wanted it to. And so, it would rebalance itself and in short order.

Open options, EVEN if nobody uses them NEVER costs you players. It never does. Closing options does.

I looked over the top 5 muds and they all have reduced player bases from say 10 years ago, so arm is not alone. But the few I actually have accounts on, I checked and all 3 had more then 100 people at 11pm cst.

And the thing all of them have in common is just a massive number of options to claim in their ads.

Now I am not saying to become like them and make 250 skills and 250 spells and 23 races and 75 classes (Which one claims to have).

Meanwhile, Arm has shown a steady reduction of choice over the years and that will show on here and any other site where people talk about muds. So if people do go look, EVEN if something opened after something closed, They will not see that, they will only see that something closed.

Now, as I said, I do not know how to fix things or if they can be fixed. What I do know is that historically, On this mud and every other, Closing options is bad, Staff trying to force player concentration always fails. Oh, it might force the people that STILL play to all play in say allanak, but the cost is less players over all.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Malken on September 24, 2021, 01:43:01 PM
On the other hand, Armageddon is shrinking. People here have thus far said it's because they have families to raise and careers to work on. And that's great - but everyone's getting older and everyone's going through life-changing events over time, across the MUD and MUSH community. So why are other games growing when Armageddon's shrinking?

I can't think of a single RPI that is "growing". They're either all dying or pretty much dead by now. What other games are you talking about besides Arx?
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Patuk on September 24, 2021, 01:44:45 PM
On the other hand, Armageddon is shrinking. People here have thus far said it's because they have families to raise and careers to work on. And that's great - but everyone's getting older and everyone's going through life-changing events over time, across the MUD and MUSH community. So why are other games growing when Armageddon's shrinking?

I can't think of a single RPI that is "growing". They're either all dying or pretty much dead by now. What other games are you talking about besides Arx?

I was gonna make this post, too. Which MUDs are growing? I don't know of any but the extremely new.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Night Queen on September 24, 2021, 02:01:47 PM
But what's the excuse for the players that disregarded Tuluk as fluffy bunnies and hugging trees up until the very end?

They didn't know there was a years-long vendetta between two noble houses that drove plots related to subterfuge and intrigue as well as diplomacy and reconciliation

I'd say that indeed, they didn't know there was a years-long vendetta between two noble houses, because Tuluk is designed to deprive them of that knowledge. That's a point I've wanted to discuss a number of times throughout the years. I've always felt that Tuluk's secrecy-based design just didn't fit into a game of this type. The much-vaunted subtlety of the city is counterproductive to a game where everything is based on sharing and reacting to information. While Tuluk was never my main area of play, I have of course played there several times, and what always struck me was the way players were deprived of knowledge of anything they weren't directly involved with. It clearly hurt the roleplay there. Time and time again, something would happen and those who witnessed it were expressly instructed never to talk of it. It's built into the essence of the Tuluki setting. That'd be interesting in a novel or a movie, but not in an online roleplaying game where every player's enjoyment hinges on the extent to which they can learn about the interesting shit that's going on. Tuluk was a place where measures were actively taken to prevent people from learning what was happening.

It's one of those things that I had really hoped would change when the city was opened again.
There are some amazing Tuluk stories on armageddon.org/original (https://armageddon.org/original/)

One of the newer staff has started a really good project about a month ago for people with good old stories to stop them being lost forever, I really encourage everyone who can to add to this:
Send us your stories, your logs, your inspired creations.. (https://gdb.armageddon.org/index.php/topic,57202.0.html)

It looks like that is the first good step in this direction in what looks like a long time after that original submissions site was left for dead, but it looks like it's happening, if enough people support it :) I know I'd love to read a lot of these older stories, a lot!

I also saw people hiding plot information from almost everyone - hell, even hoarding it
This is supported by both lore and realism, and spying is part of the game, if it's too open then there's no secrets to find and half the fun goes away for a lot of people - BUT I think the real problem behind this is that the structure of the game does not currently support in-person spying, only magic spying, at the moment - there's too many NPC protections and PCs have too many ridiculously violent options to instantly deal with a simple listener, and all the good conversations happen in those places that are impossible to reach IC and they shouldn't be so hard/dangerous that the only option left is magic - I posted some suggestions (https://gdb.armageddon.org/index.php/topic,57222.msg1066390.html#msg1066390) on reducing usage of the Way for conversations (mainly heavily penalising the focus cost the more messages are sent) and opening up spying (mainly reducing magic powers and removing some of the more excessive guards and instant retaliation options) :)

On the subject of bad players: I do agree that I don't understand why some characters seem to have high karma or be in sponsored roles after having encountered certain behavior, but they do seem to listen to complaints, I don't know what it was like in the past, I'm not sure if there's anyone left that is so bad that they are chasing people off constantly or anything like that really?

And a good point about the whole "anti social" stuff is it's actually social stuff that feels more toxic to me as someone that doesn't know a lot of players that play the game, whereas you are coming from a position where you said most of your friends were people that played the game, and that you were staff while also close friends to whatever certain players that were your friends? It's a major turn off to many new people to know that a community is too strong, so I think it's actually beneficial that it seems like at least some effort is being made to try keep a culture of IC being IC which is actually not found many other places and a rare thing to encourage to preserve, like a language that could die out if not kept going. A lot of people have friends already and don't *want* it to replace social life, and encouraging that feels like it'd actually hurt the game a lot, there's already a lot of places that have basically no line to cross. I wouldn't really want to be part of those games because I don't find interacting with most roleplayers OOC as fun as interacting with the characters, and doing any villainous behavior tends to get seen as a problem OOCly (note: There's definitely some people that get too into it, but for some being naughty is part of the fun when actually tend to help a lot of people in real life) so they just end up as sedate "bar RP" games with either not many people or lots of not very interesting people very focused on chasing imaginary progress. Which again is the issue about replacing social life with games, it's NOT a good idea. Real nightclubs are way more fun, a lot of kinds of clubs are fun.

The narrative that the game is dying is something that seems comes up a lot but it feels like it's more about people feeling like the game doesn't attract them as much as it used to, rather than the actual population? Because it seems like accounting for spikes such as coronavirus and then the apocalyptic long-haul of everyone having to spend a lot of off time to recover civilization after, it's pretty stable:
(https://i.imgur.com/68h2jZ6.png)
I myself am waiting a bit before I fully commit to advertising as far as I could, so I'm actually sort of neutral, but I think there's a lot of hope :)
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Halcyon on September 24, 2021, 02:13:14 PM
I agree with 99% of what you post, OP.   I might turn the conclusion a bit, and restate it as, the game staff and players say that this is a place you can come and pursue your own story.  In fact, you are at fault for any boredom or disconnection if you dont make your own story happen.  Then, players are ignored or not included when following the mantra.

I think Arm does a number of things very well.  The social cliquishness about who gets to be a real player detracts, in my opinion.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Maso on September 24, 2021, 02:53:29 PM
With staff's permission I'd be happy to write a small script that scrapes the weekly update data for the past 10 years, or however far it goes back, though I'm sure staff could just do this internally with their own tools. I would be willing to bet that you'd see a gradual decline in player count, week by week, with spikes around certain holidays in the United States.

You don't need to. It already exists somewhere (thanks to mansa) I remember seeing it on Discord. It's an average of 10 players per year. It also tends to go up in winter and down in summer I think? So we're on a down right now.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Dresan on September 24, 2021, 03:33:48 PM
What is the payoff when all of that work can easily be erased, and all of that time easily disregarded as "not enough"?

1. This has never been a game where you can easily create a 'legacy'. My personal impression of the legacies that have been create are a bit jarring because they are often created by players that are turning into staff or are suspiciously well liked by certain staff members. This is an RPI with perma death and the fun is experiencing that character life. Social RP grind is part of that excellent experience because we are here to RP with others, however, experiencing a character learning to ride 100th time should be minimized because its tedious after doing it so many time thanks to the permadeath setting of the game.

What has changed about the community to make it more like a healthy community that respects people's time?

2. I have mixed feeling with this statement.

I want to read your thought on the game but otherwise I don't know you and I don't want to know you. I come here to play a game with other strangers within the context of the set theme and rules set forth before I joined.  While there are some people that have met their spouses and life long friends here it is not why I am here, and i don't expected the game or the people to provide that. Coincidently it is probably why OOC unfairness is so irking to me.

No one here needs to put up with anything here much less with disrespect. Staff is here because they enjoy themselves. Similar I will play because I am enjoying myself. When we stop enjoying ourselves we leave. We cannot have a game without staff and they deserve respect for what they do. It feels like its has been easy to forget in the past with larger playerbase that this game is not fun without a certain amount players, they deserve that respect because we need them to stay around enjoy ouselves.

But we are just trying to enjoy a game here, not resolve world peace or make people like you on the internet. Not everyone will like or agree with your opinion, sypathize with your feelings or see the need to be nice to you in game or out. There are rules in game and out to handle when things get out of hand and move to the realm of harrassment or breaks outlined rules.   That said, perhaps the game should promote discord more as chatting there has given this place a greater sense of community with the people involved with this game that playing or posting on these forums never really have.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Night Queen on September 24, 2021, 03:57:47 PM
But there is no shrinking, just proved that... The average seems to be 30 online for lots of years... Accounts don't matter too much compared to the people that are actually around regularly (and it's a thing that many major game developers get mocked over when they say they have X amount of new accounts because it has no connection with how many actual players they have), it's surprising how actually stable it is so for so many years, from that graph...

I haven't seen a lack of
Quote
basic level of decency and respect
or
Quote
backbiting, veiled threats
but there's people like that everywhere as soon as you let yourself get too involved with anything (you said most of your friends were players, while in a position of authority as staff, in most real life organisations with that kind of authority it'd be considered an improper amount of fraternising) - and the competing games that tend to have less average players than Armageddon seem to be much more focused on OOC and OOC drama than here because there's too MUCH focus on community and the corrosive drama-encouraging environments using things like discord (https://spyware.neocities.org/articles/discord.html) produces, and no separation of IC and OOC... The only winning game is not to play the OOC game but focus on the IC game instead :)
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Dresan on September 24, 2021, 03:59:37 PM
not participate in backbiting, veiled threats, and other behavior commonly attributed to bullies and similar assholes. Literally the bare minimum of what a community should be.

Again you are mentioning the community. And specifically  the players not staff (which you were a part of). Because of that, I have no idea where you are experiencing veiled threats from another player. The only threat with in the game I heard come from staff threatening to store characters or dock karma for in game behaviors that are rightly or wrongly breaking the rules of the setting.  :-\

Armageddon could not provide that when other games could, and now it's shrinking when other games aren't. That is the crux of my argument.

lol. The game has shrunk somewhat from the days of 60+ people during peak, and one of those reason may be the disconnect between players and staff (which again you were part of), including flippant attitudes on both sides, but I don't really agree with what you are saying in general especially that other games have done it better.

That said, I did enjoy reading your post, it clearly took time to write. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: triste on September 24, 2021, 04:12:33 PM
> The only winning game is not to play the OOC game but focus on the IC game instead

Really the best advice when it comes to enjoying Armageddon,  I fully disagree with Dresan that Discord is any better than the GDB, IMO it is worse WRT to all metrics of badness (DMs are unmonitored so rules are violated with abandon, it is more cliquish, more 'toxic' as much as I hate that term). If you care about this game and hate the drama and childishness extraneous to roleplay, this is the advice to take above.

I wish we could be a community that could have more harmonious OOC interactions and I wish that people would be personally accountable enough not to cheat, but until we get there, Night Queen knows what's up.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: X-D on September 24, 2021, 05:22:17 PM
Ugh, you guys forced me to do a bunch of math. Not that I really have an issue with that since I was waiting on tool batteries to charge anyway.

By graph presented, I come up with 29.80 as the average for the 12 full years on it.

30.66 for the first 6 and 28.95 for the second.

The more interesting thing to me is that the average highs for the first 6 are 3 points higher then the second 6 and the average lows for the second 6 are 3 points lower then the first. Where this matters is that the game is cyclic during the year. I have said many many many times around this time of year for people to not panic, it will go back up. But it is still showing a slow but steady decline.

Still....things might not be nearly as dire as they seem...from pulling a bunch of other posted numbers...and though they show that numbers have dropped across the board over the last 20 years...even taken as a whole it is not too big to overcome.

Over all, I think staff has been doing a better then average job and things could tick up with that and getting even say 5-10% more new players then normal heading into the up season. Which, for the people who have time to try and get them, should not be all that hard.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Halaster on September 24, 2021, 06:21:49 PM
As a reminder this thread is not meant to debate someone's opinion.  It doesn't matter if you think they're wrong, or don't like their opinion or even if it's been arrived by way of erroneous information.  It is their opinion, and that's what we want to hear in this thread.

As others have already done, please absolutely feel free to start new threads to discuss the various topics.  I don't want to discourage discussion, but am trying to keep this one clean (ish) so we can collate answers later.

Thanks!
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: creeper386 on September 24, 2021, 11:49:50 PM
Actually, Staff being open to announcing and discussing changes has been something I am happier about.

But I do not agree with staff trying to change centers of play. It never works, they are always warned that it never works.

In fact, likely a majority of players will avoid it just because of the push...human nature.

I think this really touches on my point though. Is people well look at ignore whys and how's sometimes for little to reason other then they don't like change. Or they want more options. I'm saying that staff seem to be getting better at communicating and discussion changes, and I'd hope that would apply to any closures that happen again, and we as players have to be open to changes as well.

And what I read about how some predominant Tuluk players felt over the closure and how the "southern" players made them feel about it, and I feel kind of sick about what I read.

So I think there could be a lot to learn from Tuluk closure, I'm not sold that it's don't close anything ever, but I think staff and playerbase could be better about discussing and processing the changes as they come.

So much about this game is better then when I put 12+ hour days into it. Even with some rocky parts since coming back, that's all been OOC stuff and part of that is on me too. So to me game changes aren't an important part of it so much as how we treat each other.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: X-D on September 25, 2021, 01:23:19 AM
I actually agree on all points Creeper386.

If there would have been a case made BEFORE closing any number of things and if that case would have even been say 45% agreed on, staff and players combined.....Fine.

But the fact is..None..Not one single closing was. The closing of Tuluk was HEAVILY railed against player side...But it did not matter.

Now I know that producer side I think there is only one that is now and was then such, and he was and still is the owner. And though over the years I have been in that defense...at the same time, as the owner...all the blame goes there.

Now currently I see that staff is at least playing lip service..........Or this thread would not exist. Tuluk is open...kudos all staff involved. Crimson wind exist as staff supported raiders...YEE YEE!

Over all I see improvement staff side...I mean, Are they as good as Sanvean days...no. But it at least seems to be trying to go that direction.

Sadly...when you check sites that talk about muds..any of you who have done the research know what the most negative thing mentioned on this mud....and it is not the players or the community.

Arm staff has a HORRIBLE rep...I mean, I am actually amazed when I look around...I mean, over all, my experience has been positive (outside a certain 3 letter producer and 2 other admin(and ignoring certain people that were horrible but not ranked high enough to matter)).

Alright, I know that I am maybe not like many players...I am perfectly willing to remind staff that I do not play for them...I do not care if they enjoy my play. But, aside from 3-4 staffers...that has never been an issue so I would give player vs staff a B+.



But when you look at other sites...OH my.....


I do not want to dig in dirt...But I think that those of you who want or will work to advertise....you will need to lead off with how cool staff is..Oh sure, they are silly slow on requests because for some odd reason they are allowed to have PCs...but hey...cool people all the same.



Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Delirium on September 25, 2021, 03:13:54 AM
Respect the time and effort players put into this game. Consider playability and interaction and time sink when implementing things. If we're having fun, support that, rather than make us feel punished for trying to Do Things. We do not have the tools and resources you as staff have to push plots and make things happen, so when we try to make fun for other players, consider the impact of your involvement and whether it helps to support or whether it detracts from that fun. Stop trying to force people to have to rely on each other to accomplish anything when we have a small playerbase, as that means we will get frustrated trying to accomplish basic shit that should be, were the virtual world alive and accounted for, no issue whatsoever. Don't punishing people for FINALLY getting together a cross-clan RPT and then throwing some kind of wrench into it which effectively ends the RPT, destroys the purpose of it, or severely delays the RPT to the point it becomes an exhausting slog.

Prioritize playability over "omg gritty harsh", respect player's agency, and appreciate the time and effort we put in to this game.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Harmless on September 25, 2021, 02:01:20 PM
Staff could, instead of closing areas, just have people rotate character origins every new roll. The only benefit that closing Tuluk had for me personally was that it forced me to play in Allanak more for a while. The same goal could have been achieved by disallowing me from rolling Tuluki after Tuluki, I inevitably would have gotten more exposure. Many of these clans closed were very low player counts at a time, but if the staff were wanting less isolated pockets of the pbase they could have just had us keep rotating around more to prevent any one area from going dead too long.

Me being a hard-core D&D nerd and liking restrictions to my RP which this game constantly provides anyway, that forced rotation would be fine in my book. A Karmic reincarnation system also would not necessarily allow you to keep being well off merchant's daughters and so on anyway. You might be born a breed or rinthi sometimes. Come to think of it I will be randomizing origin from now on by choice.

But the real reason they close  areas is stagnation. Stagnation is however a tricky thing. Any plot or group can stagnate for utterly unpredictable reasons like a sudden change  in one person's availability or unforeseen consequences of another plots outcome. When the call to close Tuluk came I was really shocked because it was seeming more active to me than before and so maybe my theory is off,  but the general mood on the GDB is often some assertion that Tuluk was quiet or sleepy or monotonous. Maybe had there been no reliable way to be born with those inks that allow Tuluki citizenship, a more realistic appreciation or grief at being dropped in a city of thought policed primitives would have been more interesting for all involved.

Perhaps choosing a random origin may give a mild pay off of some kind to add incentive to the choice that would in time equalize the player base and keep each side of the conflict vibrant
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: creeper386 on September 25, 2021, 09:23:11 PM
** wrong thread, Sorry **
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: MeTekillot on September 25, 2021, 10:04:04 PM
Not to be self-aggrandizing, but I had an idea a while back for training NPCs that will train your skills up to a certain level on a schedule similar to the paymaster NPCs, based on your clan rank.

I think this could be a pretty elegant solution to the problem a lot of our current player base has with not having the time-- or even the desire -- to put in for grinding the skill based part of the game.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Hauwke on September 25, 2021, 11:28:44 PM
Not to be self-aggrandizing, but I had an idea a while back for training NPCs that will train your skills up to a certain level on a schedule similar to the paymaster NPCs, based on your clan rank.

I think this could be a pretty elegant solution to the problem a lot of our current player base has with not having the time-- or even the desire -- to put in for grinding the skill based part of the game.
There is something like this for one Southern Combat Clan. It is restricted but it does provide training to a clan that otherwise really suffers.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: creeper386 on September 25, 2021, 11:42:52 PM
There is something like this for one Southern Combat Clan. It is restricted but it does provide training to a clan that otherwise really suffers.

I really like this solution. I'd like to see more of it. Sometimes being in a clan where everyone disappears for awhile can be really rough on trying to continue training. And this would be nice to see more often.


But I think it exists at least in the South where it's most needed.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Veselka on September 26, 2021, 02:24:10 AM
Not to be self-aggrandizing, but I had an idea a while back for training NPCs that will train your skills up to a certain level on a schedule similar to the paymaster NPCs, based on your clan rank.

I think this could be a pretty elegant solution to the problem a lot of our current player base has with not having the time-- or even the desire -- to put in for grinding the skill based part of the game.
There is something like this for one Southern Combat Clan. It is restricted but it does provide training to a clan that otherwise really suffers.

These training NPCs are in a few clans now, particularly ISO ones. I’ve experienced 3 so far with differing schedules.

Huge help.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Usiku on September 26, 2021, 04:06:13 AM
Love the ideas guys, but please can we try and keep this thread to answering the original questions. Do pick up discussion around the ideas it inspires in other threads though or add smaller things to the QoL thread!

We are actively collating from this thread, so it makes it a lot easier for us if it stays on point.

Thank you! :)
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: triste on September 26, 2021, 11:31:26 AM
Kudos on all the changes in the recent release!

http://www.topmudsites.com/vote-sanvean.html
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Delirium on September 26, 2021, 11:32:42 AM
Don't be so afraid of "favoritism" that you end up rewarding abusive players and punishing those who act in good faith.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Barsook on September 26, 2021, 12:44:18 PM
I will do this correctly.

What are some of the causes that have made you play less or not at all?

Real life, like for everyone else, and the low numbers when I log on. But it's more me and my life that stops me than the player count. The other main thing that stops me is a sense of lack of trust and player agency. Some of it is from, as a player, the lack of thinking of what is needed for the plot/characters' story. Not sure how much is really a true lack of from the staff side.

What are some changes you think would benefit the game and draw more people - new and returning?

Web-based tools for character gen and a client that can have graphics like Moonlit Sky.

What sort of things should do we more of?

Trust us, the players, more. Have one high-ranking role in each City-State and allow the other places ('rinth, Luir's, and RSV) to be controlled by the players (gangs, CWs, ect). The other big thing is to have more public role calls for other roles OTHER than leadership and allow players to play already established characters from the virtual population.

What sort of things should we do less of?

This was stated already by reduce the requirement for leadership reports to bi-weekly.

Other Comments

I love the transparency and the feedback calls when needed.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: najdorf on September 26, 2021, 01:22:36 PM
It's mostly RL. all of my vet friends who quit cannot return now, in their late 30's, with multiple kids and troubles at work. Because the game is so addictive, that staff / feature related issues at most end up in a break of x months.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Iiyola on September 27, 2021, 04:27:32 PM
What are some of the causes that have made you play less or not at all?

I have never quit the game, but I played less due to work/RL and stagnation in game, in example: Leaders and main characters in a storyline dying/storing.



What are some changes you think would benefit the game and draw more people - new and returning?

Let Storytellers play Nobility and have them delegate their tasks to PC's. This way we can have a steady continuity of storylines. I'm a firm believer of delegating tasks to PC's to keep the player entertained.
Open the Jaxa Pah.

What sort of things should do we more of?

More random animations, in example in a tavern or out in the sands to make the environment come alive. Open up more slots (4) for Templars when/if nobility will be played/run by ST's.
Throw in unique items, in example a random piece of metal, found by a nobody grebber, or have a pirate's chest full of unique items sit in a cave.
Allow a new skill to emerge with PC's which are part of the same House for 1+ RL year. Eventually they should be able to extend their skills, if they're willing to.


What sort of things should we do less of?

Say No to attempts to make (positive) changes to the city and surrounding by, in example, Templar PC's.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Strongheart on September 28, 2021, 02:42:12 AM
Instead of looking to reply with a "No" or declining a request because it's less work, please look for solutions or reasons to say yes. Don't belittle or besmirch (intentionally or not) someone who makes something that may not be conventional, helping the player incorporate ideas into what is achievable then have patience with them if it just doesn't fit into the world. Offer alternatives even if it's going to take time.

Also, try not to assume a player's intentions with their decisions whether ICly or OOCly. If someone made mistakes in the past then accept that people can change. Or when someone is playing a certain way that you don't compare them to past experiences, all the onus is on you to make sure players aren't being judged to the point that they're denied a role due to it.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Veselka on September 28, 2021, 03:00:14 AM
I will agree that often (not always) TONE can be something that is overlooked or a missed opportunity, both between players and Staff, and that when at all possible, the proper thing to do is to talk with one another as a DM and Players might at a gaming table.

I think too often, Staff and Players jump to some pretty wild conclusions based on hearsay or their own perception of events, and don't give the other side the benefit of the doubt. I've been guilty of this in the past as well.

Mirrored in this -- Staff should be pretty aware by now that responding to passionately written long requests with a simple 'Request Received, thanks' really...Doesn't encourage Players to continue to keep Staff well in the loop. They might put in a request now and then, but the moment they get one of the 'Request Received, thanks for writing it' responses to one of their PC's requests, it is likely they don't submit character reports or requests until they are required to in a leadership position.

It's a two way street. If Staff expect Players to be forthcoming with information to make their jobs a bit easier (providing more coverage, so they don't need to be on and monitoring their clan all the time, or part of the world, all of the time), then Players similarly expect Staff to take the time to respond to their requests with more than an acknowledgment.

In kind -- It is being echoed here far and wide. "No, but" + "Yes, and" are the great rules of Improvisational Acting and Comedy. A blunt 'No' with no followthrough as to other options is what we call a 'Scene Killer'. Curtain Call. When a PC in a leadership position gets a hard No on something, with no real alternatives offered, or their PC through IC means is made out to be stupid, over-reaching, or incompetent...Yeah. It's likely they'll not have fun with the role anymore and move on to something different.

I think Staff should be more open to offering options of pursuing ideas. I don't think pursuing ideas should be exclusive to the Request Tool.

I think that PCs should be able to write/leave missives for their IC Boss, and Staff should pick those up and respond in the game, not in the Request Tool, either by NPC animation or with returned scrolls/books. It was done in the past. It makes the game feel more real, and less like a competition/game to be won via the Request Tool.

I think that PC's bosses should be NPCs that can be (among other things) assassinated, poisoned, made ill, beaten up, kidnapped, or robbed. I think that if a PC's boss is giving them a real reaming, that PC should be able to turn to the Guild and ask how much it is to take them out. They shouldn't be these untouchable Avatars for Staff. They should be a part of the game world, and again, not just represented in the Request Tool.

I think that Houses and Clans need to be more malleable. Less indestructible. I think that PCs within those organizations should be able to have more clout. I think the glass ceiling should rise up one rank, and a time limit should be imposed on the role at that point (Say, 6RL Months). Give people a chance to be the Red Robe, or the Lieutenant, or the Captain, or the Senior Agent. It's been done in the past, and the game is still here. After all -- No matter how much of a Boss you are, there's always someone above you who can say 'No, but'.

All in All -- I think Staff is doing as well as they can, particularly in 2021. I like this current team. I think the chemistry is correct. There are no bad apples that I can see.

I think if Staff gave a bit more trust to Players to be the movers and the shakers, the world would be far more dynamic, and Staff would actually have *less* on their plate, because the PCs would be interacting with each other, not with NPCs in a Request Tool.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Bebop on September 28, 2021, 01:52:37 PM
I go on breaks due to casual sexism in and out of character.  I go because of the fact that the experience doesn’t feel rewarding and enjoyable as much as it is stressful. The fact that this game has zero chill for people prioritizing their real life.  Players that can be on all of the time acquire more knowledge, resources and contacts.  Timelines stretch real life months and years.  Trying to play against that is generally a losing game. 

It is also way too arbitrary and the staff are to influential over the storyline by controlling the virtual population and all of the big bads.  Getting a response can take hours or months and often times have led me to making confusing IG decisions I didn’t want then get punished for.

I just took a year long break, came back a few months and I’m back on another indefinite one.  Each time I expect to not return.  I play games to enjoy my real life.  Armageddon used to be a welcome escape but more often than not I find it reduced to petty IG squabbles, a sexist experience and a race for coded power.  I’d rather build something on the Sims or shoot zombies and think about how impactful Last of Us was after I finish it than play a “game” that often feels like red tape…the experience for people like me who want to play socially.  Interacting with staff oscillates and when it swings in the wrong direction it swings hard.

As far as finding new players I think player retention or reclaiming old players is a more reasonable strat than trying to find new MUD players in 2021.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Hestia on September 29, 2021, 09:18:16 AM
I deleted a bunch of posts until I realized the entire thread was devolving into another thread about sexism.  I split the rest into its own thread. Stay on topic folks.  This thread is asking for specific information for specific reasons by the staff. 
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Halaster on September 29, 2021, 09:20:01 AM
I deleted a bunch of posts until I realized the entire thread was devolving into another thread about sexism.  I split the rest into its own thread. Stay on topic folks.  This thread is asking for specific information for specific reasons by the staff.

To expand on that, a player gave a reason why they don't play.  Right or wrong, agree or not, it's what they think and this thread isn't about debating their opinions.  As Hestia has done, take it to other threads please!

And I'm very thrilled about all the feedback we've gotten so far.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: lairos on September 29, 2021, 11:19:22 AM
I have been sitting and debating about responding to this. I don't respond to a lot of things, but I felt like I should provide something.

What are some of the causes that have made you play less or not at all?
1. Real life - I don't have AS much time to focus as I once did and Armageddon takes a -lot- of time.
2. Too much no - I've pressed on many characters for things and while I admit to being able to accomplish things, the percentage compared to attempts, even failed attempts is extremely low. The time it takes, even with the means, is very high. We're asked to come up with all these ideas for plots and goals and then we're often unable to execute and can feel defeating.
3. Interaction It has become increasingly difficult to find interaction depending on your character.
4. Game changes - There are some changes that just are harder to accept than others.


What are some changes you think would benefit the game and draw more people - new and returning?
1. More open in game options even with limit restrictions (Bring back clans, aspects of clans, fighting styles, magick options/reaches)
2. Providing smaller clans easier means to communicate and set up playtimes.
3. Lessen the Karma regen. We see longer life cycles and less quick return when we restrict what players have proven they have the ability to play. It's my opinion that the more people are restricted the less they are willing to attempt and the more they want to play what is restricted.
4. Change back to more staff ran rpt's that push stories across the known. (Push more of "The Queen", Bring back the dragon..Ect. More more open world plots)

What sort of things should do we more of?
1. More staff ran RPTs. Keep the story going.
2. Provide more feedback or suggestions as it makes sense and be more verbose if possible on requests.
3. More simple animations.

What sort of things should we do less of?
1. Less saying no and giving more options and even allowing players to fail.
2. Less restrictive on the requirements to accomplish/fail at things.
 
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Strongheart on September 30, 2021, 03:17:34 AM
I have been sitting and debating about responding to this. I don't respond to a lot of things, but I felt like I should provide something.

What are some of the causes that have made you play less or not at all?
1. Real life - I don't have AS much time to focus as I once did and Armageddon takes a -lot- of time.
2. Too much no - I've pressed on many characters for things and while I admit to being able to accomplish things, the percentage compared to attempts, even failed attempts is extremely low. The time it takes, even with the means, is very high. We're asked to come up with all these ideas for plots and goals and then we're often unable to execute and can feel defeating.
3. Interaction It has become increasingly difficult to find interaction depending on your character.
4. Game changes - There are some changes that just are harder to accept than others.


What are some changes you think would benefit the game and draw more people - new and returning?
1. More open in game options even with limit restrictions (Bring back clans, aspects of clans, fighting styles, magick options/reaches)
2. Providing smaller clans easier means to communicate and set up playtimes.
3. Lessen the Karma regen. We see longer life cycles and less quick return when we restrict what players have proven they have the ability to play. It's my opinion that the more people are restricted the less they are willing to attempt and the more they want to play what is restricted.
4. Change back to more staff ran rpt's that push stories across the known. (Push more of "The Queen", Bring back the dragon..Ect. More more open world plots)

What sort of things should do we more of?
1. More staff ran RPTs. Keep the story going.
2. Provide more feedback or suggestions as it makes sense and be more verbose if possible on requests.
3. More simple animations.

What sort of things should we do less of?
1. Less saying no and giving more options and even allowing players to fail.
2. Less restrictive on the requirements to accomplish/fail at things.

+1 thorough as heck! Thank you for sharing, Iairos.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Barsook on September 30, 2021, 05:51:53 AM
Spot on!
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: LauraMars on October 01, 2021, 12:24:36 AM
What are some of the causes that have made you play less or not at all?

Mainly, not knowing if staff members interacting with me have my best interests and enjoyment at heart. I played a few sponsored roles in my years, but I don't think I ever would again if I came back, because my experiences with running sponsored roles were pretty negative where interacting with staff was concerned and I look back on those periods with fear and mistrust. (The players were largely a joy, though, which is why I'm continuously tempted by the idea!)  I realize that most of what I experienced was systemic rather than actively malicious but that doesn't negate the feelings I felt unfortunately.

Also, full disclosure, when I was on staff I did not enjoy the culture where staff treat the playerbase disrespectfully. I found that knowing what was going on and how the people in charge were behaving/feeling about the players really affected my play as a non staff member. I found (and continue to find) it very hard to play the game as a player when worried that whatever I am doing (foraging salt without emoting, using words wrong, etc) is generating a negative response from invisible people with total power over my game experience. I also found it hard to staff the game when that habit of staff members trash talking players in the peanut gallery creates such a depressing atmosphere. After several years away from it I've come to realize it damaged my morale pretty badly. I know it's the culture to do that here and yeah, players can do annoying things sometimes, but in my experience there's other ways to run a volunteer team that are more positive and mature for me. Not sure if anything about this has changed in the 5 years since I've seriously played. I hope so. I think Armageddon is great I just really don't like that part of it at all. Sorry. =/

What are some changes you think would benefit the game and draw more people - new and returning?

- I remember the red tape being very sticky both staff side and player side so more autonomy for both groups would probably go over well with everyone if you can find a way to avoid it resulting in every third character being made into a sorcerer or given mind powers no offense 2008.
- Would love to see some kind of system for indicating what kind of roleplay you're actually interested in engaging with that you can set and forget but that other people can peruse to know if you'd be a good fit in their story and vice versa.
- Putting a 5 minute timer in for post-death roleplay so people can say their last words.
- Crafting overhaul lol (yes like it's that easy.)
- More areas to explore and conquer and claim with awful monsters in them that drop cool loot but need armies to properly explore to drive group roleplay and clan teamups.
- Nerf psionicists more and more and more.
- Automatically make character bios public after a certain period of time post character death/retirement so people can go ogle the backstories of their friends and enemies. It'd have to be a pretty lengthy turnover to maintain Armageddon's commitment to IC/OOC separation, but making your playerbase write stuff for you is passive content creation which is *chefskiss* for community engagement.
- Actual consequences for magick use to make it something people are legitimately afraid of.
- Reform staff policies to a) flatten administrative structure and create more transparency among team members and b) create a player first culture with a zero tolerance policy on trash talking and reactive/emotionally driven/biased staffing.

What sort of things should do we more of?

More focus on the union of code and roleplay!!! All coded actions should encourage roleplay and all avenues of roleplay should be rewarded or accessible via code. Armageddon is one of the very best games on the internet at this one particular very niche thing, and from what I hear it's only getting better at it, so keep doing that.

Also, more threads like this one, and more open and honest discourse between staff and players. Love to see this thread, love to see the Discord where chat between staff and players happens all the time, love to see that divide getting a bit blurrier than it used to be and (apparently) fewer consequences for having a negative-but-civilly-expressed opinion. That's positive to me!

What sort of things should we do less of?

Please see the answer to my first question.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Strongheart on October 01, 2021, 01:51:20 AM
Wonderfully stated! And I like hearing takes from the inside as I believe that disrespect still occurs but it's not something that can be directly verified without hurting people. Clique mentally can develop in plenty of groups but that doesn't mean staff's volunteers and players for that matter can't grow out of it. As you said, communication and transparency as well as the blurring of that can produce healthier results for a community. I appreciate that staff is starting to reach out more, a big thank you to our latest admin Shabago for that as well as a few other staffers who've shown the same willingness.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Delirium on October 01, 2021, 02:43:50 AM
I feel that discord has been a great step forward toward better player/staff mingling and communication.

It still gets contentious and there are areas of improvement on both player and staff sides as far as being patient and understanding with each other, trying to assume the best despite flawed text medium, but it has also been extremely helpful as it provides more informal, real-time communication that lets us chit-chat and bond as a community over shared interests.

I'll openly admit to needing to improve my own tone at times; sometimes what I think is conciseness or tongue-in-cheek joking comes across as brusque or rude-- and sometimes I really am being rude, because my frustration got the better of me, and I let that happen rather than step back and reflect on a more constructive way to respond. We've all been there.

Staff in particular I would encourage to carefully moderate their words and tone to make sure they are being inclusive and positive, both on discord and in private staff channels. Attitude and tone can make a vast difference in morale.

I think something staff and players all could benefit from, to somewhat echo LauraMars's post somewhat, is to refrain from falling into the trap of assuming the worst or mocking other players and staff, especially if we do not have all sides of a story. It is a far healthier approach to remember that we are all human beings (and often, nerds who are passionate about this community and this game) and try to respect each other as such. On the flip side, that consideration and respect should not go so far as to excuse those who argue disagreements in bad faith, misrepresent situations to make themselves look better or win arguments, or display other toxic behaviors which ultimately damage the community and its morale.

Those players or staff should not be given a pass for bad behavior simply because they otherwise contribute creatively to the community; if they are unwilling or seem unable to course-correct their behavior after three strikes, they should be banned. Nor am I in the camp of "bring back banned people" unless they show concrete proof of their changed behavior. I would rather have a smaller base of players who are responsible and thoughtful to their fellow players on an out-of-game level, regardless of in-game conflicts. Some of my favorite conflicts, in fact, have been with people I adore IRL; this is probably because I trust them to approach a situation with the intent of telling a story, not purely to win.

I suspect that developing a community which remains positive and welcoming on an out of character level, despite the dramatics which ensue in-game, will ultimately attract those of similar mindset and encourage a younger generation of players to give this game a real chance. Society has moved on in ~25 years; gaming culture is shifting, and if we want this game to survive, we need to be able to appeal to those who have grown with the times. This means creating a welcoming and accepting environment for LGBTQ+ players, and addressing the thorny issues of sexism as evenly as possible. Those who feel marginalized in real life for real life issues will not wish to feel marginalized for the same issues in a game.

Will it ever be perfect? No. Can we keep working on improving? Yes. The first step toward that, I believe, is positivity.

Fostering ill-will and mistrust between players and staff only damages the community. When disagreements rise, handling them with as much maturity and patience as you can muster is key, and if you feel incapable of that, I suggest stepping away from the situation and taking a breather, or asking someone else to handle it on your behalf, if possible.

This goes for me, for players, for staff, for everyone. In the end we are all people behind these text screens.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Delirium on October 01, 2021, 03:37:59 AM
Separate thoughts, so a separate post: look very seriously at what fosters interaction and playability. Forcing PCs to rely on each other is rarely the key, as that leads to frustration when you can't find someone who shares your playtimes or the playerbase in an area is low, or that ONE character who has what you need, isn't appropriate to interact with.

Nor do I feel that siloing players in specific areas of the game, with no way to interact save hostility, is a good idea. The way Tuluk is currently silo'd and outright encouraged to try and murder the rest of the playerbase is detrimental to the rest of the gameworld, especially as it currently possesses the lion's share of active PCs. Players and staff should really take a careful look at whether they're respecting the virtual population and whether they're encouraging a game that feels alive; currently it feels like there are two entirely separate Armageddons (maybe three, but having Luir's apartments removed really hurt that area).

Give players avenues to interact without having to resort immediately to violence, even if that interaction is low-level or long-term conflict. Yes, a balance between short-lived flavor characters, long-lived plot carriers, "kill first" characters, and "let 'em live" characters is needed, but too many of one or the other ends up making the game feel either frustrating (plots get dropped) or stagnant (plots get squashed). In the end, what I feel is most important is to stop and think: is this for the story, or is this to win? Does this consider the gameworld as a living entity, or am I justifying this so I can try and ensure my character's survival?

I also feel that subguild magickers have done more harm than good to the game. It is simply too powerful.

What may be a better solution is to have full guild mages who have specific subguilds to choose from, similar to sorcerer and psionicist subguilds; in fact, sorcs, mages, and psis could all draw from the same pool of subguilds. Those specific subguilds would need drastic re-working so that they are viable to play, blend in better with full guilds, but are not as powerful as full guilds-- right now, every sorc/psi subguild is severely lacking at best. I think the end result would be worth it, as it would bring the game more back in line to having mages be mages, not buffed power ranger raiders.

Subguild magickers also creates an issue where clans who do hire mages end up needing to hire far more of them than they would have in the past, to accomplish the same goals, so it creates an almost artificial oversaturation of mages; where once, 2-3 mages in a clan might have been enough, now they often need a larger group for the right synergy.

Further, if a player seeks coded power as an antagonist role, they have zero motivation to choose a fully mundane character-- and those who those antagonists fight, on the other hand, are normally mundane, due to the restrictions of the clans or city which they belong to, and thus at a severe coded disadvantage. Those mundane characters are also restricted or discouraged from interacting with or seeking assistance from other mages to help them fight back.

This creates an artificial power disparity. Tuluk, Allanak, and even Luir's should be able to combat the threat posed by most magickal pcs who are bold enough to take them head-on with the forces they have, but they a) may not currently have characters who are established enough, or have the correct playtimes, to counter the PC threat, and b) NPCs do not respond intelligently enough to counter these threats as PCs would, and their scripted behaviors are often abused.

So the antagonists end up being able to lock down entire areas of the game-- which fosters boredom and frustration.

Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: RiftTalon on October 05, 2021, 11:45:04 AM
Hey—I am a prior player that has been out of the game for a couple of years: I only very very rarely check up on things because I am the creator of the Moonlit Sky client. A lot of what I'd want to talk about the roleplay side has already been debated to death, so as a programmer and eleven-year hobbyist game developer I'd rather talk about what I know best:

Mechanically, what makes Armageddon suck?

Some mechanics are debated more than others, and a lot are up to opinion more than anything else. That said, I'm going to focus mainly on the obvious "bad" ones.

The first of which being that permadeath and instadeath don't mix. This is an outdated idea that I always hate seeing. The reason for permadeath (despite popular belief) is absolutely not to punish the players. Why would you ever want to punish someone during an experience that's meant to be fun? The reason permadeath can be so exciting and adrenaline-boosting is the same reason people love horror movies or cliff jumping: the thrill. There is no thrill in a character's death. The thrill comes from the struggle, the fear of death, your hit points being low and wondering if you're going to make it out of a tense situation with your character still intact, or die trying.

Armageddon makes it too easy to quit, because there are too many spider rooms, pits, and instadeath scripts. You don't get that adrenaline, you get "you're dead, sorry." And you're just left there wondering why you even play a game that just deletes your character every once in a while. Of course you have things like those death saving throws, but most of the time once you're left unconscious, it's over and there's no way to escape. I propose that one-shots to health just become codedly impossible, apart from falling. And for stun, make it so that only bludgeoning weapons can drain your stun in one hit: and that if you're hit while unconscious you actually have a small chance to wake back up with a token number of stun points. This would also serve to remove the massive meta behind bludgeoning weapons: where between their hit point and stun damages, they are undeniably the most powerful weapons in the game.

Then, take a look at your attributes. Strength is WILD. The carry weight increase is exponential, meaning that a single point of strength at a low level may give you some extra carry weight, whereas at a high level, that becomes some more. For a human especially, this is just crazy. And it led to me exploiting the additional strength you can get from character generation by doing things to get a high strength. The power difference was enough to let me steamroll anything right out the gate. Not to mention that since the strength bonus to attacks is applied before critical hit multipliers, every single neck hit on an enemy does the highest tier of damage, where other people might even still be nicking.

So (maybe) lower the exponent on carry weight, and (definitely) apply the strength bonus after the critical multiplier. I'm pretty sure that there's no way the insane strength critical hits were intentional, and I'd go so far as to call it a bug that nobody ever bothered to fix.

Next up: increasing combat skills is convoluted and ruins the fun. It's almost like it was designed so that only people with insider knowledge of the system could ever get above Journeyman combat skills. It leads to all of that twinkish behavior that skilling players go through just to score those sweet sweet misses. This is a problem that can be so easily solved: just make the most efficient way to skill also the most realistic. No more sitting with an inventory full of rocks in the dark, drunk, fighting stilt lizards. Instead, just cap your hit chance at 95% like every other game. Just so you don't have to try so hard to break the game if you ever want to be good at fighting.

Now I know Armageddon isn't about grinding your skills, and that behavior is looked down upon, but the game is built on a system that encourages it. And it makes realistic sense too: people train their skills, and it is a major part of life. If you want to lower the amount of time people spend grinding, then remember this is a coded game, and you should be putting mechanical rules on things, not asking "please don't do this." That's like including a rule in Dungeons and Dragons that's like: "if you hold up your pinky, you're invincible. Please don't use this, thanks."

And on we go! The request tool is intimidating. As a new player, interaction with admins is scary. I avoided the request tool at all costs for years. Going to a website out of the game, logging in, and making a formal request for something just to wait weeks for a response from someone who may tell you no? Sounds like nothing but trouble. I think there should be easier ways to get staff approval on things, and they should come from within the game. I'm unsure exactly what you could do, but I'm sure a few things could be moved over.

Those are the big ticket items. Let's get our noses out of these mechanics, and into the game's audience:

Everyone's getting older, and the game is getting outdated.

I'm young myself at twenty years old, and Armageddon wasn't too tough to figure out and enjoy because of a background in technology and previous experience with D&D. I'd invited genuinely over a dozen friends to play during my time in Armageddon, and all of them tried it. Nice big boost in server population for a couple days, but the reality was: nobody wanted to invest so much time into figuring out how to play.

Some MUDs have started getting graphical, and focusing on user-friendliness. This is absolutely the right way to go. After nobody I knew wanted to play Armageddon, I went ahead and put months into developing the Moonlit Sky client, gave it a minimap, an inventory screen, vital bars, and helpful hints and commands. After showing the same people my client, I was able to get five of them reinterested, and they played anywhere from a few months to multiple years afterwards.

The map is definitely a key point here, because stumbling around like crazy and getting hopelessly lost all the time was an experience ruiner. There are rules against map sharing, but it's mostly just a navigational gate that nobody experienced has to deal with because they can just quietly pass maps around. A map is not game-breaking: please please please just let people see where they're walking. I'm surprised that it has ever even been up for debate. I promise the game will be better for it.

I'll go ahead and end my rant here, because it's much longer than I wanted it to be, but: streamline the experience, fix the outdated mechanics.

That's all. Thank you for reading.


Halaster's edit's: I edited a couple of spots that had a bit more info about code that we'd like to see public.  I noted it with bold, blue text.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: X-D on October 05, 2021, 03:27:25 PM
I would like to add the instant death as part of my feedback as well.

I have over the years been quite the advocate to any system of death staging.

 For Instance, I am a proponent of the, You are mortally wounded, nothing but magick or staff can stop that death. But you can talk, emote, maybe way (but that should bring death faster). And with mercy on, You should never get to that point.

As it is, almost everything about the game leads more towards instant death. It is easier to kill somebody accidentely then to keep them alive on purpose.

I have never understood why it is that over the years staff has seemed to be totally against the ideas of allowing stages to the death past what we have. I have seen almost no player arguement against it because you always have "quit die".

In fact, Let me add, I do not think that neg HP should knock you out...ONLY neg stun should.

The death really should be, as much as possible, a high point in a Role Play enforced permadeath mud.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: The Gruffalo on October 05, 2021, 03:57:49 PM
To X-D's pont:

Man, I would really like to not accidentally kill people even when I have mercy on. I also want NPC soldiers to have mercy on, and maybe even switch to bludgeoning weapons. Sometimes violence has got to break out, but when it does, why not make it easier to give the scene flavor and keep the story going? The way NPCs are set up now, once someone triggers the crime code, there is literally no recourse to stop the instant death that's coming. What if I wanted to interrogate them? Take their stuff? Beat them down and chuck them in jail with the roaches? Menace them with an "I won't be so merciful next time?"

I had a situation once where I intended to beat a PC down to near death, give them a scene, and then flip a coin based on how they reacted as to whether they lived or died-- but instead they got curb-stomped because they fled into an adjoining room and NPC soldiers ran in and wrecked the entire scene. It gave me zero chance to add any flavor to the scene. All they got was NPC murder spam. That's the code actively hindering roleplay rather than supporting it.

NPC soldiers not having mercy on removes all the other options that would be way more fun. Even if you do have to kill them, it's a far better gameplay scenario when you're able to give that player the courtesy of some time to think, feel, and emote, while you in turn give their death more meaning and flavor in exchange. If you've got to fuck someone over, at least give us the option to make it a good time for them, yeah? The way things are now, it's close to impossible unless you hold all the cards, and in turn, essentially hold that player hostage-- which leads to its own complications. Nobody likes being stuck in a hopeless scene.

Let people beat each other and leave them for dead. Let us rob, maim, fuck over, and yes, sometimes murder, but adjust the code to give us players the option to do it in a way that helps make the encounter feel less like an abrupt 'fuck you' and more like a collaborative storytelling experience. Yeah, some players will insist on escalating, but I want the option.

In addition, unless the mob is a hostile carnivore, why not put mercy on them, too?
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Iiyola on October 05, 2021, 06:50:27 PM
To follow up on my feedback:

With having less time to play due to being a "responsible adult", I really don't have time for The Grind.

It would be so nice to get certain skills up, particularly fighting skills, without having to spend hours and hours and hours of sparring etc.

Could this pretty please be reviewed?
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Dar on October 05, 2021, 06:54:37 PM
I have to agree, there is no need to be so merciless towards death by NPC. There is genuinely no benefit to it. Let the NPC KO the person and begin a long process of devouring them, or KO them and bring them to jail, or KO them and loot their body, or causing them to bleed and be injured which causes a long lasting penalty to stats/hp. But insta kills from an NPC never improves anyone's story.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Khorm on October 05, 2021, 11:52:43 PM
i took a long ass break. came back here and there for the last couple years. i have a very hard time imagining coming back again.

for me the issue boils down to time and energy investment. the game feels like it requires an incredible time commitment to get things moving and then… things just plateau. for a long time. the pacing is excruciatingly slow and requires a consistent engagement.

i can generally expect to be stressed and anxious about the expectations of staff and other players while putting in long hours just for the sake of availability.

i’ve had a ton of fun playing armageddon and i’ve played with a lot of great people, especially recently. the amount of time i spend waiting for someone or for shit to happen or regenerating stamina in the red desert vastly outweighs the time having fun and encroaches on mental space that can be dedicated to more consistently rewarding things.

i don’t know that this can be fixed by staff. the stuff that halaster has been doing is pretty exciting, though i think a lot of the stagnation i experience is a byproduct of characters that live forever on some multi-year arc. my attention span can’t fuck with that.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: williamson on October 06, 2021, 12:09:02 AM
What are some of the causes that have made you play less or not at all?

Same as everyone else. I spend more hours of leisure doing other hobbies, work, etc.

What are some changes you think would benefit the game and draw more people - new and returning?

As mentioned earlier, I think a publicity email on perhaps a semi-annual cycle might help drawback old players. It could explain the changes such as new classes, subguilds, spell criticals success/failures, additions of new areas, and major world plots (such as Tuluk reopening). This information might attract old players back to the game.

Also mentioned earlier, the idea of mini role calls that leaders could request to expand their clans. Examples: A Kadian family member might be in need of someone that makes jewelry or a noble might request a bastard.

I'm also in agreement with reducing the chance of instant death by death rooms, NPCs, falls, or failed mercy. This is especially important around Allanak where there are likely more new players and inexperienced characters.

Add a consent rule for sexual harassment like the ones for sexually explicit/torture role play.

Purchase advertisement for the game.

It seems a lot of new players have trouble with the mapping. I think the vast majority of veteran players know much of the world. I don't think much would be lost by providing starting maps for new players for public areas such as Luir's, Allanak, and Tuluk. Perhaps even maps for the common trade routes between Tuluk and Allanak?

With fewer players playing for fewer hours, it becomes more difficult for players to find each other in-game. If we brought back mud mail, players could communicate with each other to arrange times to play together.

With fewer players playing for fewer hours, it becomes more of a grind to increase character skills which takes away from plots. Idea: Much like a custom craft, players could request a skill bump of one level which resets at a duration chosen by the staff for balance and fairness. Requesting such bumps might require meeting specific in-game requirements such as being in a combat clan for combat skill bumps, serving in a merchant house for crafting skill bumps, or living with elves for an allundean skill bump.

What sort of things should do we more of?

Giving players limited power to control portions of the game world with staff oversight. I think a good example was the Luir's Council. Perhaps something similar could be done in Tuluk and Allanak? A council of PC nobles/templars who vote and politically maneuver to influence votes. There could be actual meetings but characters could also vote by proxy such as a letter. They might do things such as change taxes, post bounties on criminals, exile groups, etc... Exactly what this group would do and where it's located wouldn't matter as much as there would be power and influence for PCs and Houses to try to obtain and complete.

Continue to update the help files. There seem to be important ones missing such as sexism, torture, and sexual conduct. Trying to think as a new player, I tried to find a help file that explained that sexism didn't exist in-game. I couldn't find one. Nothing under sexism, conduct, or rules. I'm sure it exists somewhere, but I couldn't find it. If I was new, where should it be? There is a help file for consent. However, I don't think I'd ever type that as a new player. I think I'd use torture or sex and look for rules pertaining to those topics. Making the rules easier to find might reduce the number of people breaking them.

Continue with staff-driven major world plots.

What sort of things should we do less of?

I'm a big fan of lifting the glass ceiling when characters prove they can rise above the rest. I suggesting making glass ceilings softer with more grey areas.

There are too many taverns in Allanak. Offhand, there may be as many as seven. Additionally, they are segregated by class and race. The result is too many people never seeing or being able to interact with each other. There was more interaction when everyone gathered in Flint's or the Trader's Inn of old.

Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: RavingTregils on October 06, 2021, 06:19:29 AM
What are some changes you think would benefit the game and draw more people - new and returning?

I'm just going to throw one more thing out there.
Get someone on staff who is good at dealing with the public.
Don't wait for problems to boil over onto the GDB, "the bad place" or reddit.
If someone is sending in complaints, diffuse the situation early.
Don't dismiss them, make them feel valued. In a dwindling supply, they ARE precious.

I keep reddit around for FFXIV but also check r/mud now and then.
You may get angry when the mysterious one (or ones?) invariably posts some nonsense review or fake family roll call.
I just feel sad about it. A person is clearly hurting enough to want to strike out, for many YEARS! They would do themselves a favor if they could let go.
I can't imagine carrying that much baggage around in my head, over a game.
Get someone who has the skills to deal with upset customers, find them and fix it before it spirals out of control.

It's good for the game. It's good for players too.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Fenneko on October 06, 2021, 11:43:32 AM
The problem with this game is that some roles become too unenjoyable to RP as,  in a world (RL) where you have limited hours to play, and those hours spent don't "give back" emotionally, creatively, or objectively -- depending on player/character motivation and goal.

Have frequently seen posts about "isolation," or "dealing with isolation," or "getting past the grind," "being unable to achieve a goal," or several other things that hit a common theme of the hours spent don't lead to enjoyment in some way. I don't care about grinding/growth/competition but other players do and that's great, but if the process is not rewarding, it's a problem.

The solution would be to, I think, loosen things that "worsen" the social isolation of certain roles, or the grind of developing a character, and so on. Other posters have hit on those themes before. if staff focus too much on the trees I think, then they might miss that the common theme, and the common goal, would be to give players more 'freedom,' or 'leeway,' or 'trust,' whichever words are used to hit at the same core idea.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: CodeMaster on October 07, 2021, 03:57:11 AM
I wanted to write something here too.  There were a lot of good thoughts in this and I wanted to touch on more in my reply, but here's my remix of some of the posts in this thread.

> It's my favourite game.

Yep.  One day I'll be back.  I made two posts today.

> I know people enjoy crafting, but I don't. There's a huge emphasis on crafting

Agreed, and I liked foraging a bit more than I liked crafting, but many of these systems -- and other systems like dung shoveling -- are imo boring and predictable and low-risk ways for players to make money by themselves.  In my day (!) you used to have to find employment, hunt (good luck), steal, beg, or run around outside the gates hoping to find a dead body before you became one yourself.  Making money was risky and money had way more value.  For context, the free food in the Byn used to be a really really big deal.

> #1 I dislike[d] the new classes [and miss] classes where you
> knew you could be the best at what that class was specialized
> for.

I'll disclose I haven't played any of the new classes, but I agree with this.  Specialization meant higher replayability and less re-experiencing the same grind from one character to the next, unless you wanted to.  To me, the new classes felt indistinct and oddly named due to there being so many of them in addition to subguilds.  These names even (used to?) be inaccurate, as in pilferer wasn't even the best thief for example.  It also seems to be hard for staff to tweak and iterate on the classes and their names without affecting living characters, which is problematic for finding the right balance.

The magick subguilds probably help with replayability, but they turn magick into this 'oh by the way' sort of thing and have apparently eroded the taboo of magick due to being commonplace.  (Sometimes I wish players didn't get to choose ahead of time whether or not their character was magick or not; instead they could opt-in at a certain karma level, but it would be a rare/random curse that ate away their proficiency with other skills, and a randomized system would help keep magick truly rare.)

> I'm trying to play a collaborative storytelling game and others are playing PVP sim.

I don't know what the solution to this one is.  I think people care about longevity nowadays a lot more than they did in the olden days, or at least I do.  (Probably because in the olden days -- before you could see skill levels -- I assumed all my skills were about at master after 10 days played; the average player played more consistently so it was easier to jump back into a story; etc.).  It would be interesting if killing was more like crossing a line, like a murderer (someone who killed within the 'civilized' races) somehow made for juicier mindbending/magick victims.  So you'd have an actual coded incentive to keep your hands clean if you, too, wanted to live a long time.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Dracul on October 07, 2021, 07:48:04 AM
"Find out IC"

Get rid of that. Completely.

Compromise? Make documents and lore accessible via a karma point, or a half karma point.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Dar on October 07, 2021, 10:22:02 AM
"Find out IC"

Get rid of that. Completely.

Compromise? Make documents and lore accessible via a karma point, or a half karma point.

You know, Staff often give away IC lore and information if it looks like a character should be aware of it.  I've gotten some fancy details and knowledge about stuff simply by sending in a question in a request tool going, "Hi. I'm creating a character that grew up in the commoner quarter, could you tell me more about that celven tribe that lives on the rooftops?" type of thing.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Halaster on October 08, 2021, 07:53:09 PM
I feel like this has been open and available for a good while now to the point we're going to start internally discussing some of this among staff.  I'm not going to close this thread as we're still open to feedback, especially from people who don't play much or at all.  But I think the main momentum has slowed down and we've got a good feel for common feelings.

Yes, we're going to post some data once we get it all sorted.  And this is definitely going to be the main topic for Sunday's staff/player meeting.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: flurry on October 09, 2021, 02:21:03 PM
I haven't been playing much lately and only occasionally checking in on the GDB, but I definitely wanted to respond here.

When reading through this thread, I read a lot of posts that I can very much relate to about time. For me, that's the biggest factor in not playing much. The game tends to feel like there's a huge difference in how the game is experienced if you play a lot versus if you play a little. Not just in skill progression but in making connections with other characters and just generally being involved.

But I wanted to offer an example that I didn't notice anyone mention. This certainly isn't the most important thing and for some this might seem quite trivial. But one of the many ways that the game favors higher playtimes is the way that apartment rentals work. A character's resources often are a function of how many time the player spends in the game. Rents, however, don't account for this (and I'm not sure how they would, if things were set up differently). Yes, it is possible for someone playing low playtimes to afford an apartment. But, ironically, it means much of your time in game needs to be focussed on earning rent. And some roles really depend on having an apartment. I had a character I enjoyed but I fell into a pattern where I was logging in mostly to craft enough to pay my character's rent, so I could keep an apartment, in the hopes that I would have more time to play soon. Once it finally dawned on me that this "soon" was not really on the horizon, I felt like the only sensible decision was to store the character.

I appreciate this discussion and look forward to whatever changes it generates.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: WithSprinkles on October 17, 2021, 02:24:03 PM

Hello, it's Sprinkles.

I like this game in some aspects, but I know that it is a bad fit for me and I will not be returning. It has even been told to me that it is a bad fit for me, and so there is no point in coming back.

This is a feedback thread, so I'm going to give it publicly and honestly, and it pertains to the topic that was brought up in "The Allanak Problem" thread. My third character Paxter/Jump was a human ranger with a Vividuan mage subguild. I didn't know much about the game at all, so I decided to plop him down into the Rinth so that I could learn about and explore. 

I had a lot of fun, at first, and was meeting lots of interesting people and learning the rough and tumble ways, figuring out how to survive with little to no food. My character reports were upbeat, even when met with the harsh realities of gameplay. Joined the Guild, started learning from folks, got assignments, I didn't know anything about anything, and most people grocked this and helped me out.

A member of the AOD accused my character of theft and it led to my character having a finger removed by a Templar. I decided to have my character show signs of manifestation at this time. My character was gemmed, and immediately began being punished through it repeatedly. It became this Templar's favorite new method of interacting with my character.

Later, as I got settled in to the quarter, a member of the AOD demanded money from my character that he didn't have. They said that they would lie about him to a templar, and he said he already had a finger removed, they said it could get worse. This was when I was trying to get a bar set up in the Quarter and have a general card game run. The same day, my character's eye was removed by the Templar, and said Templar was screaming at my character to shut up, not allowing them to speak. And yes, the gem torture was used.

At this point, I'm wondering why I'm being focused on so hard. Yes, the game is harsh, but this is ridiculous and not fun. I had kind of admired the Templar's roleplay at first, but this was depressing and awful. I didn't want to be around them.

Mind, I'M STILL A NEWBIE. I have no idea how to ride to Red Storm, or Luirs, or anywhere else on my own. I didnt mind the gem, at first, because I thought that the Quarter would be a safe-ish place to learn how to be a mage, even though it would be a marginalized experience. I saw that bar as a sort of blank slate that was being underutilized. Maybe new players could go there and get assistance in an in-game way? I pitched the idea to an Oashi Lord, and he backed it, though my being Rinthi didn't help. He supported me at the time.

The problem, was the Templar constantly targeting me. I was miserable.

I was taken on sewer missions, being called stupid, and generally being threatened. The straw that broke the camels back, was when the Templar called me in to the Vividuan Quarters, used the gem on my character, had me light a tube of spice that another character had left there previously, and stamped it out on my character's face. I was in shock, and went along with the scene, but I had not given consent for this last bit at all. It was only afterwards that I snapped out of it and thought that I didn't have to take that crap and stored. I thought that it was unfair that I had to give up a character that I liked to get away from that abuse.

I couldn't even get a merchant token without being forced to deal with that Templar. The GM in charge would't let me. The requests I submitted had a reply saying that I had to go out and be in the public eye for that level of nonsense. I felt so sorry for the mage that I sent off to be gemmed when I was a Kadian Overseer. I think that character ended up doing well, but people, do better.

This, is why I reacted so strongly in regards to involuntary maiming and torture in this game. If people are not 100% on board, or you target the same person over again, or someone just leaves the area. Maybe consider why.

In the end, the onus to not play is on me. I like most of you very much, and miss you, but I chose not to play.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: triste on October 17, 2021, 03:31:08 PM
First, sorry you went through this.

I'm not going to argue with anyone about any of this, but someone asked "how we can do better," and I appreciate a clear question so here are two clear possible solutions. Neither of these solutions are meant to disparage Sprinkles in any way.

[1] Make consent rules clear to everyone, front and center, and well enforced.
Quote
"I was in shock, and went along with the scene, but I had not given consent for this last bit at all."
When this happened, the Templar broke the rules (https://www.armageddon.org/help/view/Consent). Period. Templars need to be EXTRA VIGILANT about asking for consent because of the immense power they hold. I had a Templar cut my character on the face in their very first meeting, but this was preceeded, a good 2-3 emotes before hand, with clearly stating that the scene may "be  uncomfortable and involve coercion, or a feeling of it because of the power differential at hand. Do you consent to RP?" That isn't a direct quote, but it was an extremely good consent request and even mentioned the power differential at hand. ALL Templars need to be vigilant about this. Again, this Templar broke the rules, and this scenario should have stopped with the Templar OOCing, "Consent to a scene that might lead to mutilation and torture?" and you choosing to OOC "I do not consent."

There are also borderline cases, where the Templars do not need to ask for consent. In borderline cases like this you should consider your character having some leeway in guiding the scene, since they aren't being coerced. I had a Templar do something which felt like coming on to my character, including emotes with all his fancy gems and silks and rippling muscles. My character noticed it, and said clearly she wasn't interested and that she was celibate, and the Templar stopped completely. This was my first character in about four years, and I am glad I made the decision to say no to that icky RP, and I am glad that Templar followed the rules and stopped his advances. My character proceeded to have a professional relationship with that Templar for a couple of IG years.

I was only able to do this because I had some experience. We need to put Consent rules up in front of new players as a post or similar so that they know the rules and can be safe. Similarly, Templars and Leader PCs need to be trained to ask for consent proactively, if not excessively.

[2] The option to have longer lasting newbie flags.
Quote
"Mind, I'M STILL A NEWBIE. I have no idea how to ride to Red Storm, or Luirs, or anywhere else on my own."

What I am about to recommend is not meant to be condescending to Sprinkles in any way. I imagine this player is a GREAT roleplayer if they were able to play a Magicker while still being a newbie. But the reason why Sprinkles felt trapped here why this dynamic seemed to get so out of hand was the fact that the player was new, didn't know of any means for escape, didn't have context to know how extreme this Templar was acting, and didn't know of other options. Maybe as long as a Player hasn't had a character in every starting location, or maybe up to a year into playing, or some other generous criteria, we should allow players to have a Newbie flag, which might prompt other players to be more vigilant about rules, explaining rules around consent, and stuff like that.

I'll shut up and not argue with anyone on this topic but just re-emphasize, I am sorry this happened to you Sprinkles, you sound like a great roleplayer, and you're always welcome back. You're smart and you already knew/know the solution here -- if you don't like roleplaying with power hungry sadists (Templars), try playing in Luir's and other places (as Patuk also just suggested). But I am so sorry that in the moment you were trapped without help here. You're also encouraged to file complaints about anyone who broke consent rules so that these roles are only filled by people responsible enough to play them.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: HavokBlue on October 17, 2021, 04:27:53 PM
Disclaimer: Have not read this whole thread.

I started playing in 2010, have taken a couple breaks of varying length. My most recent break has been my longest after a string of characters I had a hard time getting invested in coupled with career and life changes eating up free time.

The primary factor that has dissuaded me from apping various characters I've thought up during those breaks is the time necessary to raise their skills to a level where they can adequately play the role envisioned for them. At the same time, I think there are aspects of the skill grind that bring a lot to the game - Armageddon is rare in that someone can really stand out as a legendary fighter. Your PC can become an absolute badass and I think that counts for something.

The reopening of Tuluk was what motivated me to start following the game a bit more and now I'm trying to dip my toes back in.

I think with the prevalence of roguelikes and tabletop roleplaying games in the last few years, there is an untapped well of potential players out there. Armageddon has gameplay and roleplay elements that we know are popular. MUDs aren't ever going to be the Cool New Thing again but I think they stand to benefit from these trends and the biggest barrier is a publicity one.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: WithSprinkles on October 17, 2021, 04:41:17 PM
Thank you, Triste.

The game has a very steep learning curve. It actually took me a long time to figure out what I did learn in the time that I played. My first character was a merchant, based in Allanak. I didn't understand what people wanted from me until I watched how other people were behaving. One of my best examples was observing how when a noble was tipsy and tripped to the ground, an aide knelt beside her and began to comment on the stonework of the pavement. Noob me just stood there like a doofus, but this was a perfect example of what to do. I didn't understand it for the longest time, but I started to get it.

This goes too, for the brutality of the setting. When I played Paxter, I had the Oashi noble and the Templar as my examples. I didn't know how to play my role. They were both forceful in wanting my character's attention, but while I wanted to get far away from the Templar, the Noble went about things differently. He too sent a person from the AOD to "cajole" my character, but that person gave me, the player, the opportunity to give and take with the scene. I was able to choose how rough I could play, and he scuffed my character up, while actively holding back the blows, knocking him down. I didn't feel threatened, and it gave me an opportunity to figure things out.

Afterwards, my character tried to duck this noble mentally, but he was on him like lice on a bear. He wanted information, and he would gently threaten him with another visit. My character tried holding back information, but this man somehow knew. He said that he was feeding my character knowledge so that he would know when he was being played. It was fascinating, and I was hooked as a player. Suddenly, I was devoted, and wanted this story. He gave my character money for an apartment in the quarter, and food. He said that since I was a Rinthi, I wouldn't be his, and he couldn't fully protect me from the Templar, but he made sure that I had what I needed for the sewer missions. And he listened to me about the ideas for the bar. I really wanted to play all that out, but I was too bummed to stick around.

That was the story I wanted. I know it can't always play out that way, but I feel like I could have learned something and grown as a player. I didn't mind if I got knocked around a bit, just don't full on deliver abuse.

The Templar rarely gave me a chance, in character, to speak my mind. There is a definite culture in game that breaking character to OOC is bad so I held my tongue. Sometimes a person can also just freeze up when they are being yelled at. Give people room to breathe. I am thankful for people in leadership positions that understand this, because there have been those that have called halts to scenes to clarify when there may have been confusion. This happened between the Templar in question and a second Templar. I was not being given room to explain something that I could not help OOCly. The second Templar present called a halt to everything to allow me to OOCly protest that I could not do what was being asked of me, while I was being told to shut up in character.

Overall, I understand the game is harsh. But not everyone starts there, or may even know what that means, or has the same definition. My harsh will never be getting beaten up or yelled at, but it can be other forms. If I can't be protected by consistent rules, then this place will be kind of depressing. I'm sorry to make anyone sad, I really do love you guys, but this has been on my chest for a while. I felt kind of betrayed, and it made me hope that I haven't caused anyone else that level of upset. I played my character Maristen for five years, and I don't know if I caused anyone else that same level of disappointment. I wasn't a sponsored role, but I think that when you reach a certain point in the structure of a clan, you should try to help people have fun. I tried, and I hope you all had fun being Kadian Strong.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Patuk on October 17, 2021, 04:58:29 PM
Overall, I understand the game is harsh. But not everyone starts there, or may even know what that means, or has the same definition. My harsh will never be getting beaten up or yelled at, but it can be other forms. If I can't be protected by consistent rules, then this place will be kind of depressing. I'm sorry to make anyone sad, I really do love you guys, but this has been on my chest for a while. I felt kind of betrayed, and it made me hope that I haven't caused anyone else that level of upset. I played my character Maristen for five years, and I don't know if I caused anyone else that same level of disappointment. I wasn't a sponsored role, but I think that when you reach a certain point in the structure of a clan, you should try to help people have fun. I tried, and I hope you all had fun being Kadian Strong.

My friend, I hired on Maristen in the first place - if you've been driven off, I'll never not be sad. Your experience is valid, your complaints are fair, and only you can decide what you want to spend your time doing. Please don't feel bad for sticking to your own fun by not letting others ruin it.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Halaster on October 17, 2021, 08:03:33 PM
I removed a number of posts as this thread isn't for discussion of people's opinions.  Please break those out into other threads.  I left the ones that had some good content even if they were kind of off topic.  But let's try to stay on the topic of just the feedback, discussion in other threads.  Thanks!
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Rokal on October 22, 2021, 01:10:56 AM
Howdy, Folks, its been a minute.

I joined back in September of 2014, where I made my first character, Keyrena. in Tuluk, and it was a little less than a week ago that I learned Tuluk Reopened. My first character, is still my most long-lived and most hours played character. I had a blast with her, and it was a shame to see Tuluk close, but in playing Keyrena, I made friends - out of character. Naturally, people speak of the game out of character, and they shared many of their past experiences with the game, and in those experiences, many of those things were from long ago, with exciting lore, and many things that aren't possible back in 2014/2015, but not now.

There was never a clear answer on why, and I'll get back to that in a moment.

I played Keyrena for almost eight months, and it was amazing, a great learning experience, but now - seven years later, I still feel like I've only scratched the surface of this game.
So, I'll make it flat out: I love arm as a setting, as a game. Always will, even if I am inactive for a long period of time. I've returned, because I heard Tuluk had reopened.

So, lets get to it.

What are some of the causes that have made you play less or not at all?

Primarily Real life - its a main factor, but also a lack of an ability to stick to a single character concept after Keyrena.

A major part of this is from the fact there's a lot of Lore I want to explore, especially with magickers, but there's been a constant culture of being told, no, you won't be able to do that, staff will say no, and so on and so forth. The 'No' situation many have already mentioned. This goes back to the stories I mention I had been told. I, as (in my opinion) an inexperienced of armageddon, feel like I'm missing out on something amazing that is part of armageddon mud.

I truly, truly think the game would be much better off if staff were willing to let players more often -be the exception-, to -break- that glass ceiling and trust them, to enable player agency, and see where it goes.

I as a player like sinking my teeth into deep Lore, and I admit - due to the above of a nay-saying I got from players, and generally watching the conversations (sometimes even on the GDB) in the past, It kinda created the stigma that made me uncertain on if I should try, or not.

What are some changes you think would benefit the game and draw more people - new and returning?

I am of the side that thinks the new classes are a good thing, they open up much more diversity and feel like actual characters that build wide experiences, having high caps in specialty skills while other skills that help them do their specialty better, with subguilds adding plenty of flavor to said characters.

I love the magick subguilds, but I love the magick of armageddon MUD in general and often want to experience more of it, it enables characters to feel like genuine characters rather than a representation of magicker and nothing else.

But, I do think full guild elementalists should have remained an option. I mirror the comments of people who say there's been too much 'taken away' from the game. Reaches, etc, all of that stuff, some might say 'less is more', but when you take things that were already there, for veteran players, that means seeing less and less of what they remember, and when they share their stories with new players, they wonder why that can't be a thing anymore. (Like me)

This is more of a personal gripe, and one I imagine many won't disagree with. On Keyrena, she was a pickpocket, but her story had her join a combat clan, and she had abysmal strength and endurance, and all the RP, training, and the like of trying to grow stronger to make up for the limitations of the character. (Dont get me wrong, it was great playing out keyrena's shortcomings)

You, could not, for example, make an application to see if that character progression and change in their story could represent something mechanically. I've always been of the mind that a character changes and grows with a story, and while I wouldn't expect someone with poor strength to go up to good, or even above average strength, showings of a character's growth, in many ways should be supported.

One could say that's done in a characters skills, but if mechanics represent a character's progression, attributes matter too, as does a growing, learning character. From what I understand, this sort of thing is only really done if a characters stat is so crippling low its inhibiting their ability to play the game.

Essentially: Acknowledgement of a character's growth more than just in their defined, locked in main/subguild choices and attributes.

Transparency has been helping a lot, but I also Mirror a lot of other players suggestions of advertising, and reaching out to people, I mean, I bet there's a lot of creative players you could reach out to to even help with that.


What sort of things should do we more of?


I think I've already said what could be done, giving more player agency, more player trust, enable players to at least try to do something bigger, with staff oversight. Loose, if not shatter that glass ceiling, and enable players to become the exceptions with their characters.

The plots I've been involved in were tons of fun, and I will say I'm biased here, but I want to see more magick plots, some with stuff out in the open that even non-magickers can get involved in, and leave a mark on that character to create more plots. One of the best things I've seen done in open RP games with players is characters who are put in a situation and are given something to work with by the DMs/admins/staff then take that to create way more roleplay for others. The little push to kick something off.


What sort of things should we do less of?






"Find out IC"

Get rid of that. Completely.

Compromise? Make documents and lore accessible via a karma point, or a half karma point.

This, in the sense that its not helpful to anyone, nor gives them in hints or advise on how to find something out - sure, certain things require IC digging, and IC experience, but encouraging people and pushing them along to what they might need to do to learn something if its lore, or giving them clues, and something to Rp about just seems like the healthier option. This isn't only a staff thing though - even players fall into the trap of saying this, and boy have i said it lots. Its the blanket term for "I know, but I don't want to share, or don't think I should share."

-----------


Over all, that's what i got to say,  apologies if its long winded, but I'm glad to be back.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: HavokBlue on October 22, 2021, 05:07:20 PM
I think Rokal makes a solid point about in-game lore. One of the things that grabbed me when I got into Arm was the sense that there is a vast body of knowledge about the setting to be uncovered. Obviously, a decade later, the dark corners of Arm lore are fewer and further between, but it's still part of the appeal for me.

I had characters try to seek out knowledge they couldn't get from other PCs and have been steered away from it by staff at the time, and I had characters do the same thing and be encouraged on that journey by staff at the time. I don't think because someone was told no to something once, we should always take that as an example of what is and is not possible always.

With that in mind, I think it's a subject that merits a little further consideration. We're all familiar with the timeless "Find out IC" line, but it can be frustrating to then try to find out IC and encounter OOC obstacles to that. Conversely, one of my most enjoyable PCs, Larkyn Salarr, was fascinated by ruins at Tyn Dashra and wanted to learn more. He resolved to fund an excavation of the Tyn Dashra site, with support from the Allanaki Templarate, and got support from the virtual Salarri family by guaranteeing any arms or armor excavated at the site would remain the sole property of House Salarr, for archival purposes and research into lost crafting methods. Before he died, he was in the process of arranging Byn contracts to protect the Salarri dig. The scheme, overall, involved 3+ clans and a wagonload of PCs, and my imms were generally supportive of it.

I totally understand why storytellers were more receptive to Larkyn's plots than they were to my second or third PC ever sending requests asking for information about random places in the Known, but I also recognize that it's a disservice to lore-focused players to restrict "find out IC" to the initiative of leadership PCs. In terms of addressing this, I think it's mostly a cultural thing and it will always vary from storyteller to storyteller.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Filthy_Grey_Rat on November 01, 2021, 08:23:54 PM
I was roughly 12 or 13 when I started playing arm, and while I know it was against the rules, it helped save my life. It's just a game, we've all said it, but that depends on the player. None of us are just players, or staff even. Some of my best friends, my lovers, my fondest worst enemies are you people.

The most frustrating things about Arm, for me, are simple, and mostly my fault. My imagination within it is dying. Can I..? Begins so many thoughts, dreams, hopes for arm. When I login, or consider the wildly varying anecdotal experiences on the forums, it's easy and now commonplace to go, 'Oh, no. I can't.' I'm thirty-five and I've never even tried to plant an object like seeds or cut branches to increase wildlife. I've never pk'ed a single player, that I recall, but I've been complimented on how well I RP a victim. That feels like Arm in a can sometimes.

I have brain damage now. Playing is new again to me though, so I threw away my karma account, because frankly, I think some of you would play/staff/storytell/RP worse if you knew who I was. Because newbies are often treated as precious oocly, and left //seemingly// helpless IC. I want my fellow players to feel precious to staff, I want my staff to feel appreciated, but as if we are all more than single char, throwaway storytellers and more part of the theme and arch. Convince me I have a chance to play a cool sorcerer leading a dusty army against a caravan trader daring to use the Byn to come through my territory. (Without half my life going by, just to make sure I can be trusted to play it right.) Make me believe someone was watching/caring those 4000 hours I was doing a DAMN fine job emoting while pointlessly grebbing just to earn the coin to get the gear to hunt the thing that will help me learn but not kill me which I spent four or five years testing and figuring it out only to get ganked by a tarantula BC my scan was so low.


Things have changed, coin for vets is now easy, easy, easy. It's even pretty easy for newbies to survive too. Survival is the current state of the game for anything not clanned, being static seems the state of every clan, unless it's just removed. don't change too much in the clan, so... Your char is either barely surviving, or in a fixed role. Mine, sorry, mine.

That's the momentum that WAS built, and must be defeated I believe, because I sense a lot of willpower being exerted in steering the player base towards the subtle, not so glaring (look, we fixed it, plz,.plz, pl, try again but like nobody mistreated you and without cheating) signs of change. I wanted every single thing on the last six pages or so of 'recent changes'.

This will be my last post that's structured the way I did things in the past. Be an example with me, play like it's brand freaking new. I've already forgotten who all of you are anyways, sorry that this happened to you.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: HavokBlue on November 01, 2021, 08:30:19 PM
I've had my share of staff disputes and negative account notes as well, though fortunately I never did anything dumb enough as a teenager to merit a really serious black mark on my account.

Having recently got back into the game, +1 to the notion of trying to engage like it's new, if you've been away for a while.

I will say that if you feel like your Arm experience has been stagnant at any point in the last few years, there are a lot of new IC opportunities to be involved in interesting stuff what with reopening of some long-closed clans.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Dan on November 05, 2021, 03:45:04 PM
I've waited to weigh in for a while now, as I am sort of a newly returned player after quite a while away. I started playing nearly 20 years ago, give or take, and Armageddon has been my primary or fallback game the entire time. Posting from my phone but will edit later.

What I have noticed in no particular order between about four years ago and now:

I admit I may very well be wrong about some of the above observations and some come from other players who are, while still at least playing, are disgruntled so please take with a grain of salt and not aimed at any one person in particular or even staff in general. A lot of this is just my off the cuff thoughts on what would be cool to see, or good to have for game health.

What would I do?

Some of this IS done but much isn't, and it's what I would love to see more of. I truly appreciate the recent approach staff has had, the events, the raw work that has gone into the game overall and love where it's going. The fact staff are asking for feedback and making changes is huge.

OH! PLAYERS!:
Some of this is on us. Go find roleplaying discord servers, youtube videos, local game stores, Role Playing twitch channels, and talk about Armageddon. Your favorite story, the best parts of Arm, and push them out there. We need to juice up the playerbase and find and hold onto every newbie you see and cherish them until they are on their feet.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Inks on November 06, 2021, 12:36:41 AM
Great post, Dan, I definately feel many of the negatives were more prevalent a couple of years ago or a little for me, and it did affect my enjoyment of the game, and reduced the quality of my play, but I feel the game is very healthy at the moment, and am always recommending Arm when it comes up. I feel we actually have one of the best staffing teams out there, now, in terms of listening to players, and definately have my favorite codebase of any game I have ever played.

Players and staffers both are one of the most mature gaming groups anywhere, right now. And both player and staffer efforts are easy to see to bridge that gap, in the last year and a half especially.

Really glad to see you back, my man.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Lotion on November 06, 2021, 02:06:12 AM
Players with one or more maximum karma should be able to select extended subguilds even at zero out of one karma.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: triste on November 06, 2021, 08:36:32 AM
Players with one or more maximum karma should be able to select extended subguilds even at zero out of one karma.

It isn't the end of the world if you have to play a zero karma character as someone who has karma sometimes.

Ironically my characters like this, which you might consider a "throwaway" due to lack of leet skillz, get a lot of kudos. Because this game actually is about roleplay not leet skillz.

I wont debate this anymore but at least the latest iteration of your idea is a bit better that the prior iteration (no karma cost for e subguilds would inevitably lead to a one karma gicker bonanza per Nash's game theory and opportunity cost).
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Usiku on November 06, 2021, 08:42:57 AM
Let's please not forget the purpose of this thread and let it get derailed. There are plenty of other threads/places for debate around ideas. :)

There may still be people who want to come and post their feedback, in future, as per the original questions.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Greve on November 06, 2021, 09:28:38 AM
OH! PLAYERS!:
Some of this is on us. Go find roleplaying discord servers, youtube videos, local game stores, Role Playing twitch channels, and talk about Armageddon. Your favorite story, the best parts of Arm, and push them out there. We need to juice up the playerbase and find and hold onto every newbie you see and cherish them until they are on their feet.

This is true, but there also has to be more going on in the game. Without that, new players are unlikely to stay. That onus is also on the established players, but at the end of the day, players can only work with what they're given. There needs to be more to work with, more things that foster roleplay and conflict and intrigue. Things have grown very dull in recent times, outside of the narrow confines of the annual HRPT, and there need to be more things that can engage people on an everyday level. Players are currently expected to sculpt without clay. They're actors shoved into a barren room with no script and asked to make a movie.

When you can play a soldier for a year without encountering a criminal, a merchant for a year without anyone wanting to buy anything, a gemmed for a year without your services ever being called upon... something is just wrong. The glue that bound this game together in the past has gone missing, and it's not merely a matter of player numbers. If anything, player numbers are a consequence of that. The first thing that a new player will notice is that they spend their first 72 hours of play encountering no signs whatsoever that anything actually happens. For some amount of time, their attention can be kept by the process of learning the game mechanics themselves, but that won't last. Once one figures out how navigate the code, more is needed or one will not continue logging in.

While players have some part of the responsibility in keeping the roleplaying scene active and interesting, they can only work with what they're given. If they are given nothing, they will do nothing. These are cause-and-effect issues that go deep, because while one can always say "well, why don't you start a plot?" another will then say "well, nothing has happened in the last year that facilitates it." There comes a point where players run out of imagination, because when they've had to do it all from scratch for long enough, they'll have depleted their creative juices. That's the point when the game itself and its storytellers have to provide new material to work with, and Armageddon has lacked that in recent times.

Ask yourself this question: wherever you're currently playing, what has happened in the last RL week (or month, for that matter) that a new player would 1) notice at all and 2) have a realistic chance to get involved with? For most of us, I'll bet that the answer is: nothing. There's nothing going on, nothing to work with, nothing that fosters interaction and breeds conflict. Until that changes, any prospective player will decide that this was a boring game not worth their time. Players can do a lot with a little, but they can't do much with nothing.
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: Night Queen on November 06, 2021, 11:34:18 AM
Ask yourself this question: wherever you're currently playing, what has happened in the last RL week (or month, for that matter) that a new player would 1) notice at all and 2) have a realistic chance to get involved with? For most of us, I'll bet that the answer is: nothing.
There's two HUGE city-wide RPTs going on right now I AM NOT EVEN EXAGGERATING :) Player Announcements (https://gdb.armageddon.org/index.php/board,10.0.html)

And lots of weird and crazy and violent things going on, you just need to join a clan or one that gets access to the big goings on, it's a game of secrets, loners are not going to be told about *radio static* that happened last month, and while I've seen some leaders historically hold back from their minions more than would be fun to, overall it's pretty good and makes things interesting and mysterious and fun when you find out :)
Title: Re: Game Feedback Wanted
Post by: cali on November 12, 2021, 01:30:55 PM
You ask a question and you wait a week.  You ask for clarification on the same request it takes another week, when you just want to get started doing stuff before you inevitably die.