Out of Character Communication and You (the problem of a game we all love)

Started by Ath, July 28, 2022, 09:20:25 PM

Out of Character communication is on the rise of late and it has caused a few problems.  Players have lost characters and risked being banned from the game as a result.  This hurts feelings both on the player and staff side. I know, because I'm one of those with hurt feelings.

Every one of us puts in a lot of effort to play this crazy text based game that is older than some  who staff and/or play it.  We are all extremely passionate about ArmageddonMUD and want to talk about it to those who share this common interest.  I can relate.  The issue is that we have to keep boundaries in place so people don't get hurt in or out of the game.  That is why we have rules in place with regards to OOC communication.  Let's talk about this a bit more and maybe I can help folks understand the WHY.

We have a rule to not talk about your characters for a year, and I'll be honest, we're not that heavy on this rule.  I'll come back to this one, as I want to tell you why this rule is in place. But first: we also have a rule to not perform OOC collaboration and collusion. I think this rule is often confused and misunderstood in some aspects.  Most would think this rule means only, "don't work with another player Out of Character to benefit your character In Character" Yes, that is a part of it, this is "Intentional" collaboration and collusion.  What I want to explain is the "Unintentional" times this happens, when most don't realize they are doing something.

Unintentional collaboration and collusion is when you are communicating OOCly with another player about details about your character(s) that their character would not necessarily know. Here's an example:

Your PC is in a plot with some minions to hunt down an enemy in game. Another character has evidence you're looking for, that will lead the group to the enemy. You reach out to the player of this character, and let it slip that you need play time alignment because they have that evidence.  The player doesn't log in as planned. You have no way of knowing why they haven't logged in. They might be trying to avoid the scene. Or their wife might've just had a baby.  But you know that you told them to do so and why. But the fact that you communicated the reason why you needed them, has impacted the IC situation. Now, their character ends up suspect, and their player has been put into a difficult corner. You, as the aggressor, the influencer of the plot, have a lot of power to ruin that person's fun.

This is unintentional collaboration and collusion, you didn't mean to, but you let IC information out that could impede the other player and cause them problems in an IC manner. We never want another player to feel pressured to perform IC tasks due to another player's OOC communication.  You have to take into consideration what you say, and how they can be interpreted by others.  If you're making playtimes, just say you're making playtimes and that's it.  Don't mention IC information at all, that can be handled in game.

The other part though is about speaking about your character after you die or store.  Sometimes staff have plots going on that involve your character. We'd LOVE to resolve those plots after your character dies or stores. If you speak about them, it ruins our chances to really make meaningful fun for other players.  This is one of the many reasons why we ask folks to not talk about their character for a year after their removal from the game world.  This once again just ruins the fun for others.  If you want to notify someone in game after storage, ask the staff if you may, in your storage request.  In some cases, we might even provide a "bulk notification" to your clannies on your behalf, if you have them.

Thank you for reading, and please just try to think of others when you're speaking with other players and staff about OOC matters.  We all try very hard to all have fun playing this game, and we only want to keep it that way.  Like always, if you ever have a question and need clarification, don't hesitate to put in a request with the question.  Thanks again for reading.

Big thank you to Hestia for editing my post for me.
Ourla:  You're like the oil paint on the canvas of evil.

The entire post above is important, but the following information is a firmer point that Ath and Hestia made in the last three paragraphs.

I would like to take a moment here to remind everyone in our player-base that Storage Events are a private, and often IC related, matter.  We have been seeing a rapid uptick in people telling others that they've stored their PC.  In the event that we get these reports, we will be performing karma reviews and perhaps deductions to the account involved.  Please keep in mind that these things can be plot affecting and therefore should not be shared.

If a PC is stored and transits to a VNPC, their story from the point of storage forward belongs to the Storytellers, Administrators, and Producers of Armageddon.  Any notification to other players will come IC'ly through staff interactions -- in over 80% of cases, there won't be a need for this.  If there is a need, we will take care of it.

If you tell someone your PC is storing and they're going to have a happy life afterwards, please do not be surprised or offended when that is clearly not the case because we threw their corpse somewhere obvious in order to forward a plotline.

Thank you. 
I seduced the daughters of men
And made the death of them.
I demanded human sacrifices
From the rest of them.
I became the spirit that haunted
And protected them.
And I lived in the tower of flame
But death collected them.
-War is my Destiny, Ill Bill