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Just Some Discussion
Topic Started: Sep 3 2017, 10:11 PM (1,451 Views)
Mr_Otyugh
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You can't make everyone happy, you aren't pizza.
Dungeon Master
So I've been thinking of how to further help the player population matters, and I already have a good few projects going on. But there's another one that I'd want to look into, more so in a support fashion than in a proactive "do all the work" fashion. And that is the idea of supporting proactive roleplay, now I don't have a ready model in my mind or how'd it work in practice, hence the topic.

Let me explain my thought process a little: Events are great, but they aren't cost-effective when it comes to keeping players logged in. They are temporary happenings that may be once over deal and the end of interaction soon after. Now don't get me wrong, I dont' want there to be less events, more would be awesome as well, and our dedicated EMs are doing a great job...

Instead what I think we're lacking is player characters having engaging plotting around, there's always some happening of course, and I'm not doing any kind of blame game at all, but it seems to have gone less frequent in comparison to what it used to be. And I'd hope to encourage, reward, help, support... whatever would help to get the ball rolling again. So if there are some plots or ambitions some characters have been wanting to work on, I'd like to hear about them and see if we can work something out.
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witchinghour
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Ghost
Dungeon Master
Well you are right, events aren't cost effective to keep players on after they're done. I've noticed in my long attempts to stay on the server to give it population, players often log in specifically for events and off again, or log in to see whose on, and log off again.

I wouldn't say exactly they're lacking engaged plotting. What I see is people, both DMs and a good amount of players, are lacking any initiative to do or start anything. You can't even start a plot without even interacting with other people, within reasons of rping your character. And it is hard to set goals and ambitions for a character when it appears as nothing will change, or will change in a long time to which people lose interest, or it mysteriously drops off the face of the server.

It is, however, not the players' job to come up with all the plots. It is their job for their characters to keep character goals and ambitions, and in achieving those goals and ambitions through initiative, is how their, and other's, rp chains start. And I say this as a player who does have a fairly hard time trying to initiate some rp.

It is the DMs and EMs jobs to have their plots and events. Overseeing a whole rp chain that could stem off and into a character's. They give the characters meaning through more rp and (hopefully) allow the character to impact the setting around them. But having been an EM myself, I know it can be hard to think of something good to do, and player requests made my day. (Seriously! Someone go request something if you want it that bad! Its part of the initiative! But EMs and DMs shouldn't rely on requests alone.) And as from a previous EM perspective, I know people are busy, but from a player perspective, it seems a bit more of a ghost town

Without either player or DM initiative, the world has become static, and I think that is what might be keeping our playerbase low. Our last IC faction post was a month ago, our last major changes to setting was the Harmonium being removed from the Bazaar (A year ago), and the winter fey blowing up the bazaar (about half a year now?). The EMs do a wonderful job with their plots and campaigns and smaller scale events, but thats really most they can do right now, not quite able to make a bigger shock and shake event/series on Sigil or the factions themselves.

Sitting around waiting for change, is not going to bring the change being sought. To which, I agree with giving support and rewards for getting the ball rolling again. Through actual items, to advice, or better yet, to impact from actions.
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Mr_Otyugh
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You can't make everyone happy, you aren't pizza.
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I agree almost completely, the only minute clarification to my original post is that I think current situation is a sum of many small things. There's no universal single fix, which is why I'm making some efforts on as varied spectrum as I can, but also keeping in mind that I still operate with a finite time and can't really personally make/run agendas/ambitions for other players characters. What I can do is try to support them as best as I can. Hence this topic.

Of course the most difficult thing is to try to remain consistent even when the opportunities are ever fewer. It's kind of a catch-22. Utilizing forums more probably would help, even if I know some people are practically allergic to it. :lol:
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Darkrob
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One thing I still hear about (rightly or wrongly) is the constant existence of cliques that make it difficult for many people to join or RP with. Now I’m not going to agree nor disagree with the view that these things exist or are problems but I had thought of a possible way to open things up, maybe even ideas and plots.

Why don’t we try to play away from our solid friend base for a month? You know… the players we always hook up with when we log in. The ones we’re most familiar with and where all our plots are intertwined with? Why not have a 30 day period (not mandatory or enforced or anything) where when we log in, we make a concerted effort to step out of our usual groups and hook up with players (even seasoned ones) we don’t usually play with (other than idle, random RP)? Force ourselves to not join up to grind or RP with the usual partners and invite someone we don’t usually hang with?

Not only would this allow some other ‘lesser’ known players/characters the chance to get comfortable with others, it would generate new plots and connections for the older players who’re set in their way. Yes, I understand that many players already try to do this but if we all just gave it a try at the same time, it might go a long way to creating a more inviting and inclusive atmosphere and might even allow some people to make new friends along the way.

Just a thought…
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Pellease
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This! ^^^^^^

I logged in to write about just this (cliques) but Darkrob has done much better and given an actual solution.

The number one complaint I hear from people is that the server has its cliches and they can't find anyone to RP or run with. It doesn't help that some of the events feel like this too. Often times when I see an EM running an event it's the same characters in the event areas over and over.

The forums don't help this impression when people announce they're leaving. Those of us not in the know end up hearing very little of what actually happened. Instead there's a post about going, some people wish them luck and often times someone sends a rather hostile adios. This only makes things seem even more clique.

I don't imagine the NWN2 community is going to grow much. So the community already has a small pool to recruit from. If we burn too many bridges. . . well we'll just end up playing by ourselves.

Which brings about the true question. If there are cliques, do they care if the server grows? If one has their friends and an EM or two there's little motivation to care whether the server itself grows beyond their friend circle.

If we all care, we should do as Darkrob suggests and mix things up.
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Hydra
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Darkrob has a point, but I would just use caution before you call people that, it's a tendency everyone has and getting out of your zone of comfort takes some efforts, also EMs/DMs shouldn't lock characters into event loops or long lasting campaigns because they usually favor the formation of cliques and lack of engagement with the rest of the server. I'll also add that seasoned players should have at least one alternative character to play that is different from their main, so they can meet others and interact differently or just take a break from time to time.
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Taihou
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Militarist bird
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Overally would like to express my solidarity with Pellease and Darkrob.

Also some of my thoughts on topic:

Well, I indeed had noticed, that there are several cliques of players, who play mostly with each other. I would even say many of such groups are acting rather hostile towards those, who would wish to meddle/get in between/join. In better cases one's RP simply gets ignored, like thine character greets other one in the street and in response gets empty void. I will be honest with you (as I always am), sometimes it makes me have hard time suppressing a wish to RP something un-ignorable, like slapping, bashing, bumping into or punching, just to see, if that gets ignored too. Only thing what stops me is that most of my characters would never do such a thing IC.

And this is the other side of this same coin: I realize, that my own characters in general are personality-vise introverts, who need to be approached and asked by others to begin interaction, instead of being "heeey, wazzzup!" types. And other characters around either are just as introverted as mine, or simply choose to ignore for whatever IC or OOC reason (and if in case of some I know exactly, that we have strong disagreements in certain views on life/game/etc, then others leave me completely clueless of any reasons for potential dislike).

And also one thought, that came to mind is, that some people, who could potentially have had a good time playing together, if their characters had any common grounds, will not, because situation is the opposite and they play characters, who simply IC-ly have more reasons to hate each other than not and consequently those players often happen to be either single-character players or single-concept character player and thus they can not play together because ICly adequate course of events should have inevitably lead to them cutting each others heads off and as more often, than not at least one party does not wish that to happen, they either do not interact with potential nemesis, or sit in "safe zone" (for example some of my characters would like to see Argent dead, but that one never leaves Sigil or even better case: other of mines would love to see Rhistel Aidan's head on pike, but that hikikomori does not even leave his own house. In both cases I have no reasons to hold anything against players and would have gladly played with them if they played something else, than their favourites).

Also, what I noticed, it is somehow strange, how sometimes some players return their old characters (or even a player returns to server) and they encounter thine, whom IC-wise they had some long, interesting and complicated common history and whom again IC-ly (or OOCly) they have not seen "for ages", react to their old acquentances. Guess how? - Correct. They act like they see them for firs... oh who am I kidding? They act like they do not even see them.
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DigitalDragoon
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Builders/scripters
As a general reminder. No one is required to take up rp or conflict they don't want to and insulting people for minding their own business is generally poor form. I have seen an alarming trend in people trying to police other players rp. Which is just tiring for all parties involved and cultivates a hostile atmosphere that does not benefit the setting or attract the interest of new players. If a given group does not wish to hang out. Find others who are interested in pursuing a narrative willingly.

This extends a bit mechanically too. There seems to be this recent spike in abnormally restrictive character creation options (Like alignment locking half-breed templates). We've also lost a few of our more unique races to overhauls that see the class list mired in dozens of single race PRCs. It seems to detract from the open and relaxed atmosphere which saw us as one of the most popular servers only a few years ago.

I agree with Mr. O that player driven rp is crucial to keeping the server going, but such rp can only happen when the parties work toward a collaborative narrative. We have to take some responsibility in cultivating a friendly and open community culture.
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Taihou
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Militarist bird
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Of course, I by no means support insulting people (unless that is constructive criticism, that is labled "insulting" due to one's butthurt), but nevertheless should reply to this so-called general and so-called reminder.

On RP-oriented servers there is general principle, that a character takes responsibility for their actions.
If he does not take responsibility, It is god-moding and/or griefering (which is clearly forbidden by rules here as well as on any other worthy RP server), because by refusing to take responsibility for their actions one refuses to accept ICly adequate reaction and/or countermeasures to those actions, thus playing their character as invincible, in social meaning. No, clearly if one character does something, that draws the wrath of the other it, he can not just say "I do not want to play conflicts".
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Araki Yasuyo (荒木保代) // "This duty is weightier, than a mountain, while death is lighter, than a feather" - Empreor Meiji, Rescript to Sailors and Soldiers
Ikazuchi (𩇓) // "Although blue dye comes from Indigo plant, it is bluer than Indigo" - Ancient Chinese philosopher Xun Kuang (Xunzi), "Instructions for learning"
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Lucadia
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Builders/scripters
If you see the same characters joining in on events then perhaps you should ask your self what the player is doing to be included then an assumption they are best buds with the EM or in a clique. That perhaps the character has goals, a reason to pursue, the player has innative.

Pointing fingers is only going to alianate people, even long time veterns from being able enjoy them selves. You must remember that this game and the free time provided by players and staff alike is volunteer., here for the fun.

A word about Ems that provide events, they often spread out what they do with the playerbase. It does not mean every event is designed for every character archetype out there and sometimes it takes the players needing to invent their own goals for staying with an event that is provided. Or reaching out and requesting a narative that others can share with you.

The last few open events I been to, It was more a mass of collective strangers all trying be center stage for the one providing an event and not interacting with their fellow players. I dont know how often i just see silence of one pc emoting an action and others do their own. That void in rp, not acklowleging things are going on around you can make it a chore to login and wonder why your providing your time when you do the same thing solo.
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witchinghour
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Ghost
Dungeon Master
Quote:
 
the only minute clarification to my original post is that I think current situation is a sum of many small things. There's no universal single fix, which is why I'm making some efforts on as varied spectrum


Ooh apologies! I didn't mean to make it seem as the end all be all problem identification and solution :D I find that identifying the problems in the sum, whether minute or grand, to be a good step in finding the solutions. Casting it as an amalgam, while true, can leave it to be confusing as to what needs the support and help with.

-


Cliques are always going to be a complaint, on any server, whether or not theres major cliques about. Yeah, as someone who does end up in alot of events and have a clique of very close IC friends, I'd agree its a very good idea to start being inclusive in opening up within character reasons. Even having a day where theres completely new characters coming in and around, or starting a small campaign specifically for new characters. But there is nothing wrong with wanting to play a singular favorite character who you have deeply invested in, and who is someone to demand someone else play something else because someone can't get rp out of a character due to past actions and consequences. Taking a break from a Main is fun and good, but hearing "You should and ought" really kills it. But I'll still stick to my previous comment about initiative. No clique is going to invite you out if you just stand there and watch, and to cliques, no one is going to want to get involved without some open spot to speak up in.

Same goes for events, as well. Typically you'll know when something is a player requested personal plot, but otherwise, there plot hooks and standing around ain't going to get you anywhere, cliquey or not. I'll have to defend events a little bit, really. Theres a campaign going on for a few weeks and ending, and an EM can only handle so many players without imploding and exploding simultaneously. A good deal of same-character people end up in an event per say, is because they're around/taking an initiative/or following just to watch the ongoings (I'm guilty of this one, I like watching/providing support what happens most of the time.) Events going on for a while is nothing bad, its continuing a story for RP. But it might only be bad when you aren't included, understandable. No reason to discourage someone's fun time, or an EM/DM who is giving their free time to this server.

-

Quote:
 
that a character takes responsibility for their actions. If he does not take responsibility, It is god-moding and/or griefering (which is clearly forbidden by rules here as well as on any other worthy RP server)


I think its rather the player who must take the consequences for their/their characters actions. A Character. ICLY. can try and skirt their consequences.

I think Digi has put what else I wanted to say very eloquently, as well. +1
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Red the Rogue
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Cutter
[ *  *  * ]
Whoa, think we're getting a bit derailed here...

I believe the issue going on goes beyond cliques. In fact, some fingers have been pointed at some players and even EMs accusingly about this that I personally feel are unjustified. This doesn't lead to actually fixing the problem but instead create resentment among everyone on the server.

As someone moderating the Discord server, I've seen enough times where someone claimed that some event or quest was specifically made for one player, despite it both being an open event for anyone to join (right in the Bazaar itself) as well as one randomly created with no player or character in mind. I've also seen another EM get accused of running events for only one clique as well in a very passive-aggressive tone every time it was run, despite it being geared as a specific campaign that the person did not want spiraling out of control due to past experiences, and that the players involved aren't even part of the same "clique". Active event masters, despite having run open events during their time, have now been feeling discouraged to continue due to being constantly accused about something they didn't even do or were involved in.

If it's one thing I've learned from playing NWN Too Damn Long™, it's that cliques tend to naturally form. The problem is when one becomes too exclusive and controls the server, though, which is not something I see on the server currently. Instead, the problem I'm finding a bit more prevalent is a lack of what Mr. O said earlier...

Engaging plotting.

If I'm understanding this correctly, one of the the problems is that people on the server feel nothing interesting is going on or is behind closed doors, which is something I certainly felt most of the year. Stagnation is a big problem and is one of the top reasons why people get bored and leave. I did have a couple plots brewing in my head, one that could be more of interest for others on the server, but it also matters how it's handled and if players actually want to be involved in it (I've seen a lot of PCs walk away from events that were open, so it's not as strange as one might think). I think we should focus on that, as well as identify and work out other problems that occur along the way.

We're not going to solve anything by pointing at people and attempting to publicly shame them or accuse people
Sharon Raynsford - Experienced adventurer finding renewed purpose beyond her prime.
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Rayanne
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Greybeard
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Not being in a clique, I'll have to voice some of the same concerns and sentiments as Darkrob and Pellease.

As for open events, I feel participation would help if EM's clearly announced what kind of players would fit into their plot/event.
I had to walk out of an event recently because it turned out to be something that went completely against the ideology of my character. I'm not going to change the personality and motivations of my character just to chase an event, no matter how exciting it is - although I do understand if other people don't have the same aversion.

I don't mean to keep banging this drum, but the first time I tried to hold an event and get a plot going, I was rewarded with having my character murdered, effectively putting an end to that event-chain. Didn't exactly leave me wanting to try again.
What I mean to say is: I realise it isn't the sole responsibility of DM's/EM's to keep the server active. We're all in this together, players and event-meisters alike. We shouldn't be actively trying to push other people off the server.
LFRP
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Mr_Otyugh
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You can't make everyone happy, you aren't pizza.
Dungeon Master
Some good stuff in this topic! :D

Couple of things that I'd like to dabble are...

I'm not going to take any stance to accuse people of cliques. I'm instead inclined to work on against the perception of cliques. I think one of the better ways to do that is by providing and utilizing public services... if you offer your services to theoretical everyone (timezones or other player accessibility issues will always affect things) or at least have a relatively accessible public criteria for them, then surely that would ease off on the idea of cliqueish feeling/perspective. To that end, it might be a good idea to have a bit more IC public marketing, make it easier to have characters meet each other for the variety of reasons, doesn't need to be material goods being sold, as much as services even. Just a thought.

If you're part of a faction, promote the faction ideology openly? Things of that nature. For example one public issue currently is: where are all the enchanters? I do know some characters are enchanters, but my characters don't... making it rather awkward to try to guide people to them. Of course I understand not everyone wants to publicly market those things, but mayhaps do something more casual like add it as a chant? That way it's a subtle possibility rather than active marketing for an odd encounter here or there.


Should characters adjust to fit in to events, or should events adjust to fit the characters? I'm going to say unhelpfully: yes. To open that up a little, I think both sides should somewhat adjust to fit in one another. Uninterested players are a poor motivation for EMs, and non-immersive events are a poor motivation for players. But at the same time I think it's better to have events have a fair participation numbers, and use that opportunity to make some constructive dialogue how to maybe handle things you didn't feel sufficient in the future.

I, myself, personally think that it's a better way to help getting the kind of events you want, than have events go into waste with no or low participation. I usually have a policy of not joining events if there's already a lot of characters, unless it's something my character would really do. And if there's low participation, I'll have my character join and instead adjust to fit in. I'd rather encourage more future events with that, than the opposite of it.


As for policing other peoples RP/lets call it "elitism" or other variations of "Only my way of roleplay is acceptable" beliefs, well I'm going to put those frankly: there are a lot of ways to roleplay, and a lot of those are valid also. If the rules are being followed, then it is likely fine. If it is found disruptive, you can always try to discuss about it or mention about it to DMs to check, but it is always better to not sound too judgemental about those. Seldom people are actively working to annoy one another, usually it's more of a passive thing that gets on nerves, and it's not that well clarified what is the cause of it either.


Oh and Taihou mentioned that sometimes characters don't seem to react correctly to old acquintances. I'm probably guilty of this, I do play plenty alts and I can't always remember who has and what relations, so I tend to go with the side of caution so as to not metagame and just go with "yeah we've probably never met" unless the other character corrects me in which case I re-adjust again.
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Hydra
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Ol' Hydra
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but hearing "You should and ought" really kills it

It never was meant as anything else than a "recommendation" :rolleyes:.

I was going to post more on the current topic, but I guess it's probably going to offend someone for some reason. That's why every attempt to have a positive debate on these forums get into a toxic waste of people accusing each other instead of... I play the game and try to do something? The main issue is that in this game the most precious resource or currency is attention, people who do not get any or less feels left out and frustrated, while those who get plenty do not always give it back. -_-
- Kala Ta'Kan : Factor of the Beleivers of the Source
- Ash (Kazuko Yudeoshi)
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