Dead Game
#11
Double posting because ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ DMZ

I just wanted to add that I am totally the one who has always advocated for a single town oriented setting devoid of factions and have probably complained about Blackfield being cut off the loudest.

#buffribbirts2018
#12
BuffyMUD was more of a bad PvE game with heavy social RP and a lot of cool, scarcely used and potentially griefy story features, with competition as an afterthought.

Haven's more of a griefy competitive PvP game with heavy social RP (when the game isn't six feet under), and a slew of cool story features that are scarcely used except when required for progression so that you can better bludgeon other players with your e-peen.

I don't think that Haven could feel as tolerable with a shrinking player base as BuffyMUD managed to, if I'm being honest. I don't think there's much comparison, really.

I do agree that the spheres are an issue, but probably the most minor issue at play here.

I also agree that the competition and the sense of a need to 'punish' other players are the biggest problems choking the life out of the game. As cultural issues, you'd think they'd be pretty easy to fix culturally, but I don't really think the problems have a cultural source. I think these drives are mainly created by a misguided clusterfuck of incentive structures that direct player behavior in some pretty schizoid and nonsensical directions. Sure, there are always going to be some Call of Duty, beat 'em up and teabag 'em 'cause the fun's in winning not in being interesting, players around, and there probably always will be, but it's easier to push them away from that playstyle when the entire playerbase isn't collectively being driven towards it.

I think that what Cliffracer has to say about Paradox of Choice and opportunity costs is worth considering, too. I've been thinking occasionally lately about the way in which the existence of mechanics alone has a way to streamline and guide players to use certain styles of approach and play, and how sometimes features can stymie and smother creativity rather than enable it. This was originally most apparent to me with how dreamworlds have developed, going from something very simple and barely used, but with infinite creative potential, which I found to be incredibly fun, to an incredibly complicated and involved system that both degrades creative potential and narrows the possibilities and moreover is discouraging by the sheer volume of effort that has to go into making it work, where before you could just write.

I think the same thing kind of happens with antagonistic tools, and this is especially exacerbated by incentive design. People are always trying to default to whatever's easiest while netting themselves the most gain. Take a prisoner, victimize them for LF, take anything they own worth more than $200 and ebay it, etc. Sure, having a culture that valued fun antagonism and discouraged bad, selfish, twinky antagonism would be great, but it's hard to build that culture when the game incentivizes and rewards people for opting for it. It's hard to make good victims feel rewarded when the game systems punish them, and when so much of the antagonism they'll receive is awful. We have mechanics like stealth-biting that seem intended to punish bad victims by denying them RP, but all we ever really see it used for is bad antagonists that want LF but don't want to go to the effort of RPing. Because of how action is streamlined by coded mechanics, people who try approaches outside of the box, who don't use combat, or who just RP and find willing partners that play along, wind up feeling punished because the game just doesn't recognize their (superior) antagonism as actual antagonism.

I'm not really sure what to say. The entire situation surrounding antagonism and victim play that has developed since 3.0 is such a misguided clusterfuck that I'm not sure it's any better than the previous situation where neither really existed. It works out tolerably in a vacuum, but that's about it, otherwise it's a horrible mess for the game that mostly results in shitbird twinks mistaking the LF they rake in for a commendation of their antagonism and players that would ordinarily be providing ample victims and social life for the game bailing to go jam out on Arx. Accordingly, I think the biggest problems facing Haven are...

1. Staff's continued inability to utilize incentives and manage rewards and opportunity costs with any semblance of consistency or coherency with the goals that they've expressed for the game as a horror-themed storytelling platform have left the playerbase, at least what's left of it, a toxic, competitive, confused, uncultured, amoebic mess.

2. A mounting unfriendliness to casual players, to players of lower tiered characters, to players of naturals, to players of victims, to social players, to house players, to people that work too much to keep up with Haven's demands, and to pretty much everything in between.

3. People actually have alternatives now. I think that before, even if Haven was as bad as it's become, people would have stuck around just because there weren't any sufficiently supported alternatives to keep their interests. Now there are. A lot of people play Arx. Some people are MUSHing. Some people are LabMUDding. Some of us are focusing on real life, or writing. In my case, I'd pretty much rather RP by mail, but I think that the existence of some options to fill the niche has made a difference.
"The day our glorious collective decides that being decent is as important as being competent (as they often go hand in hand), I'm sure several people will decide that the forums are suddenly a much more welcoming place to share ideas." - Dev
#13
Also, #ribbirtisgross.

I would also advocate for a small town, devoid of factions/societies. I would also advocate for removal or diminishing of most of the mechanics that revolve around monster-on-monster competition, heavily revamp the tiers, make naturals feel a lot more rewarding to play, revamp combat to focus on flight over fight, and flip the focus of the game as far away from competition and group conflict and towards personalized player-driven horror stories as possible. I would probably look towards systems that create randomized encounters ranging from horror to simple social scenes, alongside some sort of matchmaking system. I'd keep systems like destinies and some of the patrols, and probably build more heavily around them. I also think Blackfield being completely cut off is kind of dumb, and have been on board with the weekend passes thing for a while.
"The day our glorious collective decides that being decent is as important as being competent (as they often go hand in hand), I'm sure several people will decide that the forums are suddenly a much more welcoming place to share ideas." - Dev
#14
(03-13-2018, 02:59 AM)Amatsuka Wrote: Without veering down an SJW rabbithole, it's more like a comparison of behavior than an insult.  Labeling it an insult misses atleast 50% of the meaning.

I'm suggesting that the social behaviors exhibited are and ability to recognize the worth of the experiences of other playmates is subpar.

Play nice.

I understood its meaning, I just thought it was rather ironic, considering how socially oblivious one has to be to make such a blundering faux pas.

Not to mention you were advocating respect, and the manner in which you were doing it was disrespectful.

I have no further thoughts to add other than those I've voiced above. I like Haven's secret society war, I just don't like how time-consuming and finicky it is.

As you were.

"Our pain is the mirror in which we can see the reflection of our humanity."
Make a difference.
[OOC] dev: 'when kes says ur goin 2 hard, u know u need 2 rethink ur life choices'
#15
I'm glad people are weighing in with different points of view. Mine has always been similar to what Cliffracer said: 4.0 had a lot of choices and maybe that was a little bit overwhelming for the player base.

I always felt the forced villainy thing was a problem, as well. I know some disagree, but it really put us in an odd situation where so many mechanics were added to incentivize being on the losing end of big evil types. Life force isn't terribly fun, and neither is secrecy; many posters hold this point of view. We've all of these mechanics that make being a casual player incredibly difficult, with a lot of "Wizard of Oz" behind the curtain tomfoolery that most of us will never be privy to the workings of unless we ask specific questions on ATS.


I wish that we could go back to the time of early 2.0. We had more story support from the staff, the spheres were pretty limited and people played together because of it, and not everyone was a villain that was going over the top, looking for specific ways to teabag other people.

Maybe it's just the nostalgia goggles blurring my vision.
#16
I mostly agree with Stacie.

I would say as far as the other posters saying it's incentivized to be a maximum dick to people, that that's true codely and codely it probably won't change, but building an IC structure where people are punished ICly for going to extremes 'just for the lulz' or just for 'MAX BENz' could work. Supernatural codes of conduct and such basically where people don't take things up to 11, retribution wise.

If staff wanted to do this, they could do it fairly easily via Venetian decree or something. I'm skeptical this would happen, so I really feel like this is in the hands of the players if they want this to change.

Sphere-wise, I completely agree. It's basically the Institute, which itself is split into 3, societies, which are massively split and then hardcore dreamworlders and there's almost 20 dreamworlds. A little more focus would go a long way. As far as how to solve this without just eliminating some of them, I have no idea.
#17
I mean Haven's been 'dying' for at least three years, I'm not sure it's terribly newsworthy. All games hit a peak early on and then slowly lose players, temporarily reversed by new expansion packs or in Haven's case, reboots.

Within that you have peaks and troughs, so recently for instance drama caused a few people to meh out and play less, and a few other people also stopped playing or started playing less for unrelated reasons, which has a knock on effect since if the people you aren't RPing with aren't around, you're less likely to stick around etc, so you get a slump.

It's not really a great mystery, it'll either pick back up or it'll become the new baseline. Fundamentally nothing changes though, you play the game if it's fun, you don't play it if it isn't.
#18
(03-13-2018, 11:12 AM)SubtleBeast Wrote: Sphere-wise, I completely agree. It's basically the Institute, which itself is split into 3, societies, which are massively split and then hardcore dreamworlders and there's almost 20 dreamworlds. A little more focus would go a long way. As far as how to solve this without just eliminating some of them, I have no idea.

While I'd argue that dreamworlds aren't "another sphere" (everyone can dream, or walk into one via the nightmare, except living nightmares), here I want just to say that the number of dreamworlds doesn't really have an impact. If you go to one, you can go to another, and it's not as if it is usual to see activity in more than one at the same time (and I never saw activity in three at the same time). Saying that too many dreamworlds is fragmenting RP is like saying having dozens of stores is fragmenting. Where in fact, I'd even say that some shops can fragment RP more than dreamworlds (some characters won't have a reason to go to a strip club, for instance, not to speak of outer forest and offworld stores).
#19
(03-13-2018, 08:51 PM)Acheron Wrote: I mean Haven's been 'dying' for at least three years, I'm not sure it's terribly newsworthy. All games hit a peak early on and then slowly lose players, temporarily reversed by new expansion packs or in Haven's case, reboots.

Within that you have peaks and troughs, so recently for instance drama caused a few people to meh out and play less, and a few other people also stopped playing or started playing less for unrelated reasons, which has a knock on effect since if the people you aren't RPing with aren't around, you're less likely to stick around etc, so you get a slump.

It's not really a great mystery, it'll either pick back up or it'll become the new baseline. Fundamentally nothing changes though, you play the game if it's fun, you don't play it if it isn't.

While it's true that this is the life cycle of a game, it certainly hasn't been helped by an arrogant, condescending attitude from staff that often comes across as lecturing, rejection of the idea that there could be anything wrong with the game, or even flat out ignoring some of the bugs that have been reported multiple times (some of which are literally fixable by flipping a negative). Posts like this one aren't particularly helpful for actually figuring out what the issues of the game are and how to address them, which is what most people are trying to do here.

There are also games that still manage to go strong for years and years despite this life cycle, usually by offering novelty while being responsive to the playerbase.
#20
The biggest problem with the playerbase retention here, in my opinion, is Haven's constant wipes and reboots. I'm pretty sure that people understand by this point that every new version of Haven is less a need of purging player files to embrace new code and more of the staff making an attempt at a new start so that they can artificially stoke excitement, reuse storylines, and nerf down individuals that are in power to give a chance for everyone to start on a level playing field again. It's gotten so transparent that some people just don't want to put up with it and less and less people return each wipe. No one likes to lose hard earned work, after all, even if it's for the stoking of the flames to try to breathe life back into the game. Or, the flip side, you have people that can 'feel' the end of the version coming along and they just stop playing, claiming to return in the new version, sometimes months before a pwipe is ever officially announced.

Just wait, you think it's bad now? The moment people get legitimate wind that the next wipe is coming, it'll be a ghost town. People will have even less motive to play because, once again, back to square one.
I randomly decided I'm going to put my two cents after years of ignoring 90 percent of OOC, including this Forum. Don't make me regret it.


Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)