Questions for the staff, new and old alike.

Started by Callisto, November 29, 2003, 06:53:18 PM

I'm curious about some things.

Elwar from The Four Lands wrote about player turning Immortals and how it effected the game in general. I couldn't find the link, but the jist of it was that once a player becomes an Imm it takes directly from the amount of people in-game. The reasoning behind it was that once a player gets that place on the Imm list and has full access to all the games secrets, it leads to a sense of having beaten the game, or something similar.

Does the staff of Armageddon worry about this? If you take the cream of the crop and make them admin (IE: Round up the most experienced players, then recruit the ones ideally skilled [Writing, code work, plot running] to the staff), is there a concern that the game might suffer if/when those people lose the desire to run a mortal PC?

The other point I was curious on was how many of the current staff still play a PC on a regular basis? Is there still the desire to play a regular character, even knowing so much of what is going on "behind the scenes" and such?
quote="Teleri"]I would highly reccomend some Russian mail-order bride thing.  I've looked it over, and it seems good.[/quote]

It is still very new. I'm still playing my pc regularly, and I hope to continue to play. Knowing the secrets doesn't bother me, and it might in future change the type of roles I select. Maybe I'll avoid politics and magick and concentrate on a pc that doesn't need to know much, and then I won't forget what my pc doesn't know. It's too soon for me to tell.

I do not believe that even if all the new imms did stop playing a pc that we would be robbing the game of anything that it couldn't live without. We have a great many exceptional players. Also, we have a great deal of work. I think the product that is added back into the game will exceed what is taken away. I also doubt that we'll all stop playing. All of us became staff because we love the game.

Ask me if I'm a tree

I'm sorta the different one I guess. I actually enjoy the game more from the 'staff' chair. I like building, helping, plotting, and sorta running various NPCs as opposed to one PC. I imagine myself still playing, but right now I'm fully devoting myself to staffing, in a hopes to learn as much as possible by being around as much as possible.

If time permits I'd still play a PC, and while yes the 'mystery' is sorta lifted, its no different then experiences new players feel while 'acclimating' to the world. Allanak was mysterious to me at starts, but isn't much so anymore. Yet I still enjoy Allanak.

And seeing things from the staff seat is alot different then playing them through. I might know Such and such exists, but going there on mortal legs, fighting off the hoardes with my mortal arms, would be entirely different. It might also be a misconception that Staff sorta know everything, as soon as they become staff, which isn't the case. We don't like prowl through the elite/special areas seeking secrets :).

We may have different access to information and could find out most anything we want about the game, but there is a lot to find out.  I still learn new things every day, about code, about the game world, et cetera.  Since there are a few dozen other staff advancing the game world daily, and many many players advancing the plot, there always will be new stuff for us and everybody else to learn.

Its kind of like watching the movie, or watching the movie on DVD with commentary.

Anyway, being on staff does not diminish my desire to play a mortal PC.  Nothing that I have learned from being on staff has ruined the fun for me.

"Taking away from the playerbase" is something that inevitably gets mentioned in the staffing rounds, and after years of watching, I've learned that...well, it doesn't seem to actually have that effect at all.

For one thing, a number of people have tried the staff side of things and ended up going back to the playerbase. They still play, so I don't think the enjoyment gets entirely ripped away once you've seen the levers and sundry special things up here. A lot of them end up leading play once they're back there. Some people make much better leaders than staffers - and vice versa, and it's actually pretty hard to predict how it's going to turn out.  I've recruited people in the past who I thought would be excellent staff members, but who ended up quitting, for a variety of reasons ranging from the way they were treated by players to finding that they didn't want the responsibility or time-demands that a staff position involves.

But more importantly, and beyond any of that, good staffers actually end up increasing the player base, by animating NPCs, creating plotlines, and creating play that hooks the people trying things out and gets them to come back and become player leaders.

For me, I don't think it's taken away the magick of the game because no matter how much you learn, you learn there is always more to learn. There are still a thousand parts of the game that I cannot even begin to claim to understand, much less master. So that keeps the mystery alive. I find I personally tend to swing back and forth, between playing and Imm'ing and am slowly but surely, after almost a year, finding a medium balance in that. It has taken away the sheer amount of time I used to put in on my pc but it's also allowed me to feel as though I have really contributed to the game as a whole, by supporting the pc's actions, plans, and dreams and helping make them real. To be honest, I love it. Every part of being on staff, from jumping into a kank to building a new area. So the next time your kank gives you an odd look, just remember that we're up here, for the most part, enjoying helping bring the game to life for the players. That brings a satisfaction I cannot even begin to describe.


I can't say much for worrying about taking PCs, since I've never seen a staff gathering process from the inside.

But, I currently do not play a PC, I don't know that I will for some time yet. It's not so much that I don't want to play anymore because of ruined secrets, but rather because I really think I'm going to enjoy working as staff, more so than I did playing.

Here's a Wes Platt article about it, which seems a little over the top in parts, but rings true in others:

The good thing about Arm is, the secrets all keep changing.  Yes, I might know how/where to find a super-duper pistol of Tek-slaying somewhere in the heart of the silt sea, but it wouldn't really be IC for me to go get it under any circumstances.  The secrets that really matter evolve with the PCs themselves, and change with their deaths and varying interests, seemingly in the span of a heartbeat.  It would take me about 3 days of not watching players to utterly lose track of what's going on, even with the more high-profile PCs in the game.  In the meantime, I've enjoyed being able to contribute to the game in other ways.  If/when I step down from staff I don't think I'd have any trouble returning to more involved roles with my PCs and I'd pretty quickly lose track even of things like that Tek-slaying ray-gun.

I'm going to have to agree with most of what's already been said (and not -only- because I was looking for an excuse to finally post). From my experience, while there may be -some- link between a person's leadership tendencies/flashy emotes/proclivity for turning water into alcoholic beverages as a -player- and their ability as a staff member, it isn't necessarily the case that the one is a clear indicator of the other.  People tend to be creative in different ways.

Also, to reiterate what Xygax said...For me, the -most- interesting part of the game is the human interaction. I mean, yeah, the Secrets Man Was Not Meant To Know that lurk in eldritch, cyclopean (or your favorite Lovecraft adjective) ruins are fun, but...really, it's the stuff players come up with (and the plots IMMs come up with down the road) that are really the stuff of legend. It may take an IMM to make a coded change to the world, but it's often a player who instigates it.