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RE: Dead Game - Kestrel - 04-06-2018

(Or just outright ban characters under 18.)


RE: Dead Game - Leah - 04-08-2018

(04-06-2018, 02:21 AM)Flincher14 Wrote: Forcing all the underaged characters into the academy then ignoring them entirely was a million times worse than outright banning characters under 18. Why? Cause when these players realize they were screwed they dont generally make a new charcter.

I would like to note that in 3.0 the OPTIONAL academy worked better.

  I'm not sure what you mean-- Did you play in the Blackfield Academy? What did you find it lacking? The best RP I've seen in 4.0 has been in the Blackfield Academy. If I had to compile a list of top 10 H4.0 scenes over half of them would be the in Blackfield Academy. It's a sphere that promotes meaningful characterization and quality scenes over coded competition, because coded competition is all but nullified there. I would even posit that a number of RG-centric scenes at the Blackfield academy have been more engaging than the majority of what happens on the regular grid. 
  I don't know which characters you play, but I know the players of most of the Blackfield sphere, and none of the ones I know are you, so it feels like (to me) you're speaking from bias, rather than experience. 

I'd like to point out that even in this state of 'dead game' the Blackfield Institute persists with consistent scenes across all timezones.

Kestrel Wrote:Aside from that it seems like people are just here to grind their karma, running their routine encounters and tapping out as soon as they hit karma cap. Or if they're playing monsters they're just grinding for a living nightmare, so they take whatever twink stat lets them avoid conflict for as long as possible, zip around the grid during the early morning hours, and then just kill anyone brave/stupid enough to try and RP with them.


This might be a day thing. I haven't seen any encounters run (beyond my own, which long outreach the gain of karma) and the only monster guest I've seen in months has been Cysgod, who roleplayed with me across two characters and several others. -- Are there specific instances you're referencing?

Kestrel Wrote:If you join a society, have a look at society report event list; you'll note that even where the opportunity for intrigue is handed to people on a silver platter, they still don't bother to roleplay. No one bothers with diplomacy on diplomacy patrols, no one bothers with arcane mysticism on arcane patrols, even warfare patrols often involve people just standing around going, 'So uh, this is awkward. Looks like the game randomly decided we have to fight each other. I'm not here on purpose or anything. Well alright, guess we should get this over with so that we can go back to whatever we were doing before, sorry guy, I don't really want to steal your life-force or anything.' Last time I saw an arcane patrol on the list, it involved someone getting struck by lightning and their reaction was basically, 'Ugh, lightning. How annoying. Always happens on arcane patrols.' Operations are similarly RP-free, and rarely have more than one person attending. Even when there are more, the point seems mostly to get the combat over and done with so they can get their resources and call it a day. I've seen more and better RP in an IRE arena event.

This I can see. The ironic thing about these types of scenes is that back before they were a coded requirement for the life of a faction/society and had some risk involved(The Understanding), they were all over the place. I think it's a little bit like the art dilemma. When you do it because you love it, it's fulfilling and high quality. When you do it because you have to, you don't love it anymore (and it loses those properties.)

Kestrel Wrote:No doubt before 4.0 is done I might compile a list of ideas to tackle them, but for the moment, all I can do is unequivocally concur that there is a problem, and that it goes far beyond a natural flux in activity levels.


I don't understand what repeatedly stating that there's a problem while simultaneously asserting that you have no solution to the aforementioned problem is accomplishing. If you like Haven (and it doesn't seem like you do, which is also fine) isn't it better to think of solutions to these issues sooner than the end of the game? Or are you simply resigning yourself to Crayon's philosophy, which is, "cursorily play the game until x happens that bugs me and then quit, leaving the fate of the player culture in the hands of the people who did x in the first place." ?

Don't be like Crayon. He's from Indiana.


RE: Dead Game - Daed - 04-08-2018

Want to know what has been killing Haven? I'll tell you one thing: I'm a huge part of it. The discord channel havenrant is a part of it. And a majority of our playerbase, including the fantastic ones are part of it. Finally, the game's age for a MUD in a time where MUDs are slowly but surely fading is a part of it. 

I've failed you. My job was to provide a metaplot for you, and thematic stories that would further enhance the game. Instead I abused my power, torpedoing the personal scenes and stories between players with little reason except to be involved in those scenes and stories. At my worst I assumed rumors that were spreading were true, unprofessionally critiqued players, and used my position as an immortal and the way the playerbase treats characters they know as staff characters to manipulate them into doing things I'd have disapproved of if it was anyone else. Don't get me wrong - I will continue to use the way the playerbase treats characters they know as staff characters to manipulate them into doing things, but I shouldn't have done it behind the thin veneer that I was just trying to play the game as a player. I do want to play the game as a player.

The playerbase does a few things similar to what I do. The playerbase assumes the worst in people, they make horrible assumptions based off trends and rumors rather than outright asking the player OOCly if it's true or simply ignoring these trends and rumors to continue to try to make the game a fun experience for themselves and others. I'm guilty of this as well. The playerbase tends to use Haven as a medium for wish-fulfillment and they forget how to be decent. I'm ashamed and deeply disappointed in myself as I admit that I'm guilty of this as well. The playerbase takes the mistakes characters make in-character and makes fun of them in a thinly IC matter, where you can tell their OOC intention is to shame and embarrass the other player behind the screen. At my worst I've done this too. 

I haven't been playing Haven regularly for a month and a couple weeks. The Big Three returned fairly recently. Yesterday when I checked in I was made aware of a rumor I was leading Temple and I brought a clique with me. It's not exactly an 'unreasonable' rumor, my history in 4.0 has been one of rolling in with cliques. The rumor included that because I brought this clique with me the Temple was awful. The entirety of the clique I rolled in with in early 4.0 are no longer playing. I am not leading Temple. It was a disheartening rumor. This rumor and rumors like it are part of the problem, even despite how plausible the rumor was. The Discord channel havenrant housed rumors like this for a good long time.

Haven is more than a storytelling game. It's a competitive game, too, no matter how many people wish it wasn't, it is. We can accuse people of twinkery and bad form all we want, but ultimately the game is an autonomous competition. It has major game elements and code to back that. There are MUSHes for players after a purely storytelling experience, and there are hack and slashes and hell, video games for those who are simply after a game without much storytelling or social interaction. We need to stop shaming players who want to experience the game their way. We all do. We need to try and spice up the competitive elements of the game with heavy storytelling and we need to enhance our stories with the code without getting angry things don't go our way. We need to be better, and I promise I'll try to do my part, especially if you're doing yours.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, we need to be excellent to each other. And I'm sorry I haven't been excellent to you.


RE: Dead Game - Flincher14 - 04-08-2018

(04-08-2018, 02:33 AM)Leah Wrote:
(04-06-2018, 02:21 AM)Flincher14 Wrote: Forcing all the underaged characters into the academy then ignoring them entirely was a million times worse than outright banning characters under 18. Why? Cause when these players realize they were screwed they dont generally make a new charcter.

I would like to note that in 3.0 the OPTIONAL academy worked better.

  I'm not sure what you mean-- Did you play in the Blackfield Academy? What did you find it lacking? The best RP I've seen in 4.0 has been in the Blackfield Academy. If I had to compile a list of top 10 H4.0 scenes over half of them would be the in Blackfield Academy. It's a sphere that promotes meaningful characterization and quality scenes over coded competition, because coded competition is all but nullified there. I would even posit that a number of RG-centric scenes at the Blackfield academy have been more engaging than the majority of what happens on the regular grid. 
  I don't know which characters you play, but I know the players of most of the Blackfield sphere, and none of the ones I know are you, so it feels like (to me) you're speaking from bias, rather than experience. 

I'd like to point out that even in this state of 'dead game' the Blackfield Institute persists with consistent scenes across all timezones.

The college -MAY- have some activity there, but that is only cause the people there can always skitter off to town when there is no one around at Blackfield. However under 18 characters don't have this option. They have no teachers (active ones) and while they can rp with other students by themselves but that is a small pool and at about 6 months of being trapped in the grid of Blackfield NEVER once leaving, well that gets dull.

The staff have not hidden the fact that they don't want young characters on grid period, they created the academy to lock them away from everyone else as a measure to limit them without outright banning them (I'm sure the fact that ragegirl always plays young characters the academy serves a second purpose of keeping her locked away.)

What REALLY gets me is that I made a vampire turned young. Legally my character is 19 now, with makeup she looks in her twenties. Many eighteen year olds look younger than eighteen in real life but they don't get picked up by the cops for truancy, or at the very least flashing a bit of ID can solve any issues.

I put some considerable thought into my PC, I had a goal in mind and wanted to play in the grid but within 24 hours of making my character I got kidnapped by the academy and LOGIC went right out the window, if you meta gamed hard you could tell my character looked mid-teens, but like I said she's still older than eighteen. How she looks is arbitrary. How many 30 year old actors play high school kids in popular movies? Just about all of them.

I was pretty cool with the new plot my character had before her when she was sucked into the academy, I had a new goal of escaping, getting out. This was injustice and I could fight it. But you know what? There is no way to fight it. Your magically trapped and can't walk off the grounds due to wards. If you exploit the code to get away then that gets patched up and you get sucked right back. There is one way off, its a stupid way. You need someone who can ritually age you and then you can 'graduate' just like everyone else. Do you know how fucking hard it is to find ritualist when Blackfield is so bare of players? I did find one recently but I don't know if I have the motivation to get aged 3 years, it's going to take a lot of boring time and it seems like the game is dead in the rest of the town anyways.


RE: Dead Game - Leah - 04-08-2018

Quote:Want to know what has been killing Haven? I'll tell you one thing: I'm a huge part of it. The discord channel havenrant is a part of it. And a majority of our playerbase, including the fantastic ones are part of it. Finally, the game's age for a MUD in a time where MUDs are slowly but surely fading is a part of it.

Daed-- As possibly your biggest critic, aside from yourself anyway, I'll disagree here. I won't deny that you have your foibles. You are, like the rest of us, only human. The Haven playerbase has put you on a pedestal and it has damaged the relationship you have with them in ways and given you opportunities to connect with them in others. Bit of a double-edged sword in that way. My disagreement comes in the form that you are far from one of the things that caused a decline in player activity. At the moment of a MUD's birth it starts to die, and you have given Haven an immeasurable amount of CPR. It would never have lasted as long as it has without you, or without Tyr or Disco.

I will agree that havenrant is a DISEASE and that it fosters an incredibly toxic player community. I left the group on good terms and this is still my opinion. The players are wonderful on their own, but this sort of community brings out the worst in people.


Quote:I've failed you.

Nah. You never owed us anything.

Quote:My job was to provide a metaplot for you, and thematic stories that would further enhance the game.

Which you did, for free, for thousands of hours, over and over. Your only reward would be our love and a lil bit of power to abuse, and rightfully so.

Quote:Instead I abused my power, torpedoing the personal scenes and stories between players with little reason except to be involved in those scenes and stories.

Sometimes. Sometimes our plans would be immediately thwarted by one of your ultra-characters in an instant. We play with STORY ON because we welcome those interactions with you. Do we react like pissy lil bitches when u torpedo our plans? Yeah. They're our plans. My only advice here is that you can involve yourself without derailing plans. You just have to accept being a secondary character at times. This is the difficulty you're finding. Not that you're a bad guy, like you're assuming, but you like being in the spotlight. We all do. You just happen to have control of the spotlight.

Quote:At my worst I assumed rumors that were spreading were true, unprofessionally critiqued players,

Ur one of us :'^)

Quote:And used my position as an immortal and the way the playerbase treats characters they know as staff characters to manipulate them into doing things I'd have disapproved of if it was anyone else. Don't get me wrong - I will continue to use the way the playerbase treats characters they know as staff characters to manipulate them into doing things, but I shouldn't have done it behind the thin veneer that I was just trying to play the game as a player. I do want to play the game as a player.

I agree that it's your right (and your responsibility?) to do this to an extent, and I agree that more transparency will better serve you here.

Quote:The playerbase does a few things similar to what I do. The playerbase assumes the worst in people, they make horrible assumptions based off trends and rumors rather than outright asking the player OOCly if it's true or simply ignoring these trends and rumors to continue to try to make the game a fun experience for themselves and others. I'm guilty of this as well. The playerbase tends to use Haven as a medium for wish-fulfillment and they forget how to be decent. I'm ashamed and deeply disappointed in myself as I admit that I'm guilty of this as well. The playerbase takes the mistakes characters make in-character and makes fun of them in a thinly IC matter, where you can tell their OOC intention is to shame and embarrass the other player behind the screen. At my worst I've done this too.

This is a problem we all need to work on, and that we have rarely addressed or tried to be better about. But you have always said to be excellent to one another. We ALL should have taken that advice. Live and learn.

Quote:I haven't been playing Haven regularly for a month and a couple weeks. The Big Three returned fairly recently. Yesterday when I checked in I was made aware of a rumor I was leading Temple and I brought a clique with me. It's not exactly an 'unreasonable' rumor, my history in 4.0 has been one of rolling in with cliques. The rumor included that because I brought this clique with me the Temple was awful. The entirety of the clique I rolled in with in early 4.0 are no longer playing. I am not leading Temple. It was a disheartening rumor. This rumor and rumors like it are part of the problem, even despite how plausible the rumor was. The Discord channel havenrant housed rumors like this for a good long time.

I haven't heard this-- part of being removed from havenrant, probably.

Quote:At the risk of sounding like a broken record, we need to be excellent to each other. And I'm sorry I haven't been excellent to you.

No!
The Chad was great.


RE: Dead Game - Tigerlily - 04-08-2018

Strangely enough, I've always wanted to see more of the plot characters, and I've wanted to be involved even more heavily in plots. The few times one of Daed's characters (that I've known/suspected were him anyway) showed up in a scene I was in, I was excited, not upset. Being drawn into plots - even at the cost of whatever was going on at the time - is a privilege and a bit of an honor to me, and like Leah said, the story command is there for a reason. People who don't want to be interrupted and brought in can always turn it off.

I hadn't heard any such rumors about Daed joining Temple, but it is firmly my opinion that cliques are bad whenever they show up and whomever runs them. Sure, I have friends I enjoy playing with, but all people should be open to welcoming others and the cliques in any society need to loosen up, and there are several, in several societies, including most of the Big Three societies. Given the dwindling playerbase, I'm begging players in those cliques to start opening up and being willing to see people outside their little groups as important and worth RPing with for a change.

I've not been playing as much, but my interest in Haven has not died. I fully intend to keep logging in, checking on things, and hoping to see them moving forward.


RE: Dead Game - SubtleBeast - 04-08-2018

I'll split this in two.

-Daed Related-
I feel like I can often tell who Daed is, I'm not so great about Tyr or Discordance, I assume. A factor in that is I don't really talk to anyone other than one player regularly OOCly so we don't tend to play a bunch of guessing games. Fortunately I never was in Havenrant, but excerpts from it and people's general chatter about it made me think I wasn't really missing much.

As far as Daed-PCs, I think they're fine, generally. I do think coat tail riders, to put it nicely, will jump on joining any group a staff PC is on and I don't really think that's the staff's fault. They should be able to play too, and you can't really control some of the little tells we all have that give us away. The only thing I think the staff PCs are responsible for is basically not using staff stuff to influence things on their PCs, and I haven't seen any evidence of them doing that particularly, other than potentially meta-plot stuff, which I'm kind of fine with because then the metaplot kind of trickles into RP via IC rumor/word of mouth.

As far as Daed-NPCs, I'm in the same boat as Tigerlily. I was very pleased with the metaplot in 3.0. It was harsh at times, it felt rushed at the end, but overall it was the best meta-plot experience I've had and I think Daed-NPCs add to the game, they don't take away from it. If people don't want metaplot, as has already been said, there is story off.

As far as Daed personally, I don't know. I think I did use to look up to him and put him on a pedestal. That pedestal is kind of broken now. But the statue(?) or whatever the pedestal is on is still fine, to use the metaphor. I guess I don't have him on a pedestal anymore but I also don't look down on him. He's human. He loses his temper, he makes assumptions, etc. It happens.

--In general--
I still feel like one of the main contributing, cancerous problems of the game are certain people, and there aren't very many, who really go out of their way to arrange things OOCly and navigate the game like it's a game instead of going IC and letting stuff develop organically. These people hold onto grudges against players, rather than characters, they assume because a character did one thing, another character of the same player would do it, etc. I used to be and/or am a recovering person of that, and truthfully there's still one or two people that I honestly dislike as players and I think that impacts how I treat their characters (or the characters who I assume are theirs) and that isn't helpful.

I do think from the conflict I've been in that other than this small, cancerous minority of the pbase, the overall pbase is much better. Yes, it's dwindling, and that sucks, but I do think we're at a critical stage where we could either stabilize or bring the pbase back up. Or, it might just get more cancerous and toxic and the good players, or people I assume are good, will quit. I'm on the fence about leaving myself, honestly.

All I can think of is that this needs to be done ICly. It would be helpful if it was game policy for some of the stuff, but players could do a lot, ICly, to curtail some of the issues.

Unfortunately, there's a lot players can't do, and that's where staff needs to step up. I hate to use the example, but in the same way RG is not really player-handleable, this minority of the pbase isn't either. And in a lot of ways this minority is worse because they actively drive people to either not RP in public or just straight up drive them off the game. In my opinion, there's a lot of things that they do that either is against the rules and isn't being enforced, or really should be against the rules/prohibited.

I've petitioned on most of these and I don't want a flame war here by calling out specifics.

Overall though, I am semi-hopeful, but at the same time I've lost a lot of my investment in the game. If/when Olly goes, I'm probably gone too, at least until 5.0. At least, that's how I feel today, who knows. He could die in a way that isn't stupid and maybe I'd get a spark of inspiration and decide to make a new char. But I'm definitely a lot less invested than before and I'm not sure what else can be done to clear the air and make things less toxic w/o staff intervention.

Anyway, just my two cents.


RE: Dead Game - Ouroboros - 04-11-2018

I think we can pretty safely say Daed isn't the cause of any playerbase loss. Apart from that though most of these sentiments are fairly accurate, although things are often more multifaceted or complicated than it seems. While it's true that it's pretty crappy to put no effort into your patrol events, it's also true that it might be their 20th ghost banishing and they're out of ideas, or that they're only doing it because their society boss tells them if they don't bring in resources they're going to be killed off.

While it's true that code rewards often lead to people putting in the minimum effort just to get the reward, its also true that without those rewards a lot of people who do put in effort and do good RP won't do the thing and you get a lot more sitting around twiddling thumbs.

Even issues with toxic players can be pretty complicated. Generally the players who do the most bad things, also do the most good things. Because it's mostly about investment, the players who're the most invested and care the most about their characters have the drive to be the most active and make things and do things. But also when things go against them they get the most negatively emotionally affected and that leads to lashing out, blaming people, or behaving in twinky ways to avoid things going against them in the first place. While players who both care a lot and still have the self discipline or zen-like attitude to avoid twinking/raging or casting blame are amazing, they're also pretty rare.

Same goes for problems with your frequently toxic overly attached ex-players who make so much of the social space around the game so problematic. People don't get that way because they played a game for a few hours and didn't like it, they get that way because they played for thousands of hours and you don't want a game that people don't play for a long time or get very invested into.

There's other stuff as well of course, we often had problems with the game's incentives not really connecting with people on an emotional level, and certainly not when they are up against things that really resonate like the ability to feel cool, badass and independent.

But having watched the data on player numbers for a long time I feel fairly certain that design issues are rarely very related to population size. The only time design has a really big impact is when I do a pwipe and announce a lot of new, sexy sounding things. And even then it's less about how good the thing is as much as how cool it sounds and how novel it is.

Even beyond that though the preoccupation with population size is I would say a mistake in and of itself. Smaller games aren't worse, they have some disadvantages for sure, but also some advantages. They're bad if you never want to socialize with your enemies, but great if you love socializing with them. They're bad if you're trying to pull together people to go on an adventure, but great if you want to do a town wide plot. The change I made recently where storyideas could feed straight into a crisis was something I wouldn't have done if the playerbase size was larger, because a crisis with a half dozen people dealing with it is great, a crisis with fifty people dealing with it is a clusterfuck. Smaller games allow staff like Daed to do bigger town wide plots and events without them becoming overwhelming or really spammy.

It might require a shift in your mindset or your strategies for how you design and play your characters, but certainly there's no number of players at which you can't play or enjoy the game if you're looking to, back in early beta we had literally 5 active players total and they still were able to have a pretty good time of it.


RE: Dead Game - Thrace - 04-12-2018

I honestly don't think Daed, nor Tyr, nor the game (well only a bit that will be discussed below) and not its players are completey at fault here. Everyone I know, or the vast majority, are great role players like Fidget, Kestrel, Torn, Payne, Feral, SubtleBeast, Leah and Azazello, to name a few.

My opinion after hearing multiple people on my Discord that played and quit was merely do to Secrecy. In fact I have not heard anything other then this, small, yet significant code.

It seems like it kills Societies left and right. It also seems like it makes people feel that to keep their society up and running, they have to literally grind, which then becomes a chore and not enjoyable at all. 

I wish secrecy was reworked to be less punishing and let players do their contributions and run their societies without feeling that its a mega grind fest and a chore. Perhaps another balance can be setup. Though what, I have no idea.

The game has great roleplay and unique setup that I don't find in any other text games. The last thing I want to point out is that as gamers and being the games population, we have to better ourselves like Daed has stated many times. I personally know I have to work harder. I know I have to try and just RP keeping my mind on the Ic and not the Ooc side of things. And its not simple, I won't lie about that. But it is doable.

I hope Haven can go back to pulling 60-80 people as it was doing before.


RE: Dead Game - Flincher14 - 04-12-2018

There isn't anything wrong with 20-30 players, lots of games would kill for those numbers...But those numbers only work when you make Haven and the spheres smaller.