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Old 09-08-2010, 05:58 PM   #41
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Re: Veterans of Roleplay Intensive MUDs

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Originally Posted by DonathinFrye View Post
We have players that do not browser hop, talk on chat-clients or watch television while they roleplay. For the sake of their immersion, I find it better to use an Atonement chat client. Every player can choose their own level of distractions no matter the design, but a personal preference for myself (and most RPI players) is to keep what happens in the MUD Client screen as immersive as possible.
I strongly agree, here.

I do not like chat channels in the same window as my game client when I am on a game for roleplaying. It's easy to get distracted, and it takes time to remove it when I'm cleaning up logs. I also find that sometimes another player will get interested in the chatter going on in the game and instantly forget they're in the middle of a session with me -- and it kind of puts the breaks on roleplaying, moreso than if they had to have a separate client open.

I also wanted to comment on the assertion that adding chat channels to a game would serve to keep players from running to outside messengers to trade game secrets. People who intend to cheat are going to do it anyway. You adding a channel to your game won't convince them not to do it, as a result, the only thing you've accomplished is creating a avenue for OOC chatter. This can be good if you want to provide a space for players to kick back and get to know each other, but it's also not really a necessary (or even wanted) feature of RPI-typed games.
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Old 09-08-2010, 08:40 PM   #42
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Re: Veterans of Roleplay Intensive MUDs

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Originally Posted by Parhelion View Post
I do not like chat channels in the same window as my game client when I am on a game for roleplaying. It's easy to get distracted, and it takes time to remove it when I'm cleaning up logs.
Is there a reason you cannot just tune out?

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I also find that sometimes another player will get interested in the chatter going on in the game and instantly forget they're in the middle of a session with me -- and it kind of puts the breaks on roleplaying, moreso than if they had to have a separate client open.
Moreso? How in the heck is that possible? At least if the OOC chat is in the same window, they can SEE the other people tapping their feet, chatting, or whatever. If they tab out to another window they stop paying attention COMPLETELY to their MUD window.

I'm sorry, but this just makes no sense at all.

I can understand someone just deciding to be stubborn and insist it is better this way or that they just like it better this way. But you simply cannot argue that it results in less OOC chat, because IM clients are too widespread. And you definitely cannot argue that it is less of a distraction, because tabbing out to another program draws someone's attention away far more.


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I also wanted to comment on the assertion that adding chat channels to a game would serve to keep players from running to outside messengers to trade game secrets. People who intend to cheat are going to do it anyway.
That's true. But there are a lot of people who would never cheat without an outside impetus. Once they start talking to people OFF your game, that outside negative peer pressure can kick in. And don't say "yeah but that's rare", because I've dealt with hundreds of customers that have been sucked into cheating in this exact manner.
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Old 09-08-2010, 10:02 PM   #43
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Re: Veterans of Roleplay Intensive MUDs

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Originally Posted by DonathinFrye View Post
We have players that do not browser hop, talk on chat-clients or watch television while they roleplay. For the sake of their immersion, I find it better to use an Atonement chat client. Every player can choose their own level of distractions no matter the design, but a personal preference for myself (and most RPI players) is to keep what happens in the MUD Client screen as immersive as possible.
Like Threshold said below, if you tune out of the ooc channels there is total immersion without another chat window around. If your players don't use the chat window it is exactly the same as tuning out of an ooc channel, I would think. In both instances both players have zero chat or ooc distraction.
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Old 09-09-2010, 08:47 AM   #44
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Re: Veterans of Roleplay Intensive MUDs

I think an analogy previously brought up can be extended.

Mud + OOC chat in client = tabletop RPG
Mud + OOC chat somewhere other than client = live action RPG

When you're playing live action, you're wearing your costume, you're carrying your fake bludgeon of doom, you're holding the polished runestone of death and descruction, and you're not reaching into the fridge for a beer while the kobold swarm is descending.

It's also a psychological seperation between OOC and IC. Just knowing that the game HAS chat channels and I'm not a part of them, causes a blip in my enjoyment level, because I know that these chats are in game. I -know- this. I -know- that it's likely that everyone who isn't responding, is too busy chatting over the chat channel to bother playing their role.

When the chat is done outside the game, I have absolutely no way of knowing what the players are doing. I could assume they're on one of a dozen different chat clients or IMs. I could assume they're writing up their character report. I could assume they're taking the dog for a walk, or making supper, or picking up their toddler who just fell. But the psychological connection will have that divider. I won't know. I won't be *given* the assumption, by the game, that they're all in the game's chat. I won't be given that assumption, because that game doesn't HAVE a chat. I can then freely continue in my ignorance, not really knowing a damned thing about what people are doing when they suddenly ignore a scene.

As Threshold said, he's encountered hundreds of customers who enjoy their chats outside the game, and he even has in-game chats. So he's proven to himself, that people are gonna do that anyway. It doesn't matter if there's in-game chat. People who want to chat outside the game, will. No amount of in-game option is going to change that.
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Old 09-09-2010, 01:54 PM   #45
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Re: Veterans of Roleplay Intensive MUDs

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Moreso? How in the heck is that possible? At least if the OOC chat is in the same window, they can SEE the other people tapping their feet, chatting, or whatever. If they tab out to another window they stop paying attention COMPLETELY to their MUD window.

I'm sorry, but this just makes no sense at all.

I can understand someone just deciding to be stubborn and insist it is better this way or that they just like it better this way. But you simply cannot argue that it results in less OOC chat, because IM clients are too widespread. And you definitely cannot argue that it is less of a distraction, because tabbing out to another program draws someone's attention away far more.

I should have explained that more fully.

When someone has to go and open a fully separate client to chat, they do so because they have the very specific intent of chatting. While I can't speak for other players, for me, this makes me slightly more aware of my time spent between the chat client and the game client, because I am forced to literally choose which of the two I pay attention to.

When a channel is just a part of the game, tunable or not, it's extremely easy to ignore the content of the chat -- until something catches your eye. This is when channels become the most distracting, because then you'll be trying to juggle your responses between the chatter and the gameplay.

A separate client furthermore enables you to "leave" the chat (by switching windows to the game), finish what you're doing, and come back to still have it neat and orderly and (mostly) on-topic. This works vice-versa, as I can't tell you how many times I've lost my place in a game or forgot what I was doing because of a temporary explosion in chatter. If you're forced to tune out a channel, you're no longer able to be a part of it in most cases.

Essentially, it has to do with time management and subconscious attention, and how aware (or not) a player is.

Jaz's expansion on the slight psychological effects of even HAVING a channel at all really hits the nail on the head.
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Old 09-09-2010, 02:21 PM   #46
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Re: Veterans of Roleplay Intensive MUDs

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Originally Posted by Jazuela View Post
As Threshold said, he's encountered hundreds of customers who enjoy their chats outside the game, and he even has in-game chats. So he's proven to himself, that people are gonna do that anyway. It doesn't matter if there's in-game chat. People who want to chat outside the game, will. No amount of in-game option is going to change that.
You missed the point there.

If you don't have any sort of built in OOC outlet, you push people to the off game methods that are far more damaging to your game.

People are going to talk OOC no matter what. To whatever extent you can mitigate the damage the better. You can mitigate it by supporting it in game, in a way that can be totally tuned out. In this manner it is almost like a pressure valve that lets off some of that OOC steam in a safe, non-cheating manner.
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Old 09-09-2010, 02:28 PM   #47
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Re: Veterans of Roleplay Intensive MUDs

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When someone has to go and open a fully separate client to chat, they do so because they have the very specific intent of chatting.
Uh, not really. Do you have a browser open? There's your chat client. Facebook, gmail, etc. have made it so you don't even need a standalone IM client any more.

None of this changes the fact that when someone is tabbed out to their chat window, they can't see what is going on in the game at all, and thus they are FAR MORE distracted. They are physically distracted as well as mentally.

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Jaz's expansion on the slight psychological effects of even HAVING a channel at all really hits the nail on the head.
I think this is the real reason right here, and honestly this strikes me as just stubbornness. At some point, some people decided "OOC channels = bad, m'kay" and they don't want to budge regardless of the reality of the situation.

Here's the unfortunate truth: Every single game has OOC chat channels. I don't like it, but its the sad reality we've been living in ever since ICQ. Whether its AIM, Facebook, Gmail, or "[chat]" in game, you have them. Anyone who thinks they don't have ooc channels in their game is just being ignorant of the reality of the internet. In the end, every game has OOC channels whether they like them or not. The difference is whether you maintain SOME level of control and discipline over them (in game) or just let people go crazy and do whatever abuse they want (out of game).
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Old 09-09-2010, 05:41 PM   #48
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Re: Veterans of Roleplay Intensive MUDs

Maybe I'm just paranoid, but I'm much more comfortable with OOC that I can see. I believe that the players who know each other IRL or via other IM type - out of game channels have an advantage over players who are new to a game, don't know the other players and aren't willing to go out of game to IM with them to meet them.

And it seems like a lot of the folks in RPI type games know each other beyond the game, so I can understand why they don't care if the game supports OOC. They don't need it to.

Now, I don't expect RPIs to change. They have a set of guidelines that they want to follow and I can respect that. I personally don't see the advantage, but if it works for them, that's cool. But, if a set of guidelines was hurting the game by making it harder for new players to get involved or if the games seem to stagnate as old players lose interest, then maybe it is time to consider what really makes a difference and what doesn't.

Funny thing though. The first thing I do on a game that has OOC channels is turn them off. I don't like using them and really hate the spam they generate, but I like to know they are there for those who want to use them. Sort of the same way I feel about hobbits.
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Old 09-09-2010, 06:55 PM   #49
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Re: Veterans of Roleplay Intensive MUDs

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Originally Posted by Jazuela View Post
I think an analogy previously brought up can be extended.

Mud + OOC chat in client = tabletop RPG
Mud + OOC chat somewhere other than client = live action RPG

When you're playing live action, you're wearing your costume, you're carrying your fake bludgeon of doom, you're holding the polished runestone of death and descruction, and you're not reaching into the fridge for a beer while the kobold swarm is descending.
Completely subjective and has no bearing in reality. If you have to go to the bathroom you don't wet yourself just to not step away from your game and you don't put on a costume to play your MUD, so let's be realistic here.

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It's also a psychological seperation between OOC and IC. Just knowing that the game HAS chat channels and I'm not a part of them, causes a blip in my enjoyment level, because I know that these chats are in game. I -know- this. I -know- that it's likely that everyone who isn't responding, is too busy chatting over the chat channel to bother playing their role.
Again, this is silly. This is like being angry because you know someone is playing while on the phone, watching tv, reading a book, eating, looking at forums, chatting on an outside IRC. All things people do when playing MUDs regardless of the genre or whether they are RPE or not.
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Old 09-09-2010, 06:59 PM   #50
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Re: Veterans of Roleplay Intensive MUDs

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And it seems like a lot of the folks in RPI type games know each other beyond the game, so I can understand why they don't care if the game supports OOC. They don't need it to.

Now, I don't expect RPIs to change. They have a set of guidelines that they want to follow and I can respect that. I personally don't see the advantage, but if it works for them, that's cool.
I agree with this. If this is your games guidelines I'm all for it, however, taking a position that it is better to have an secondary chat client than a chat channel is simply subjective and personal choice rather than actually better for immersive roleplay.
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Old 09-09-2010, 07:07 PM   #51
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Re: Veterans of Roleplay Intensive MUDs

In the midst of responding about the chat channel vs chat client I got to wondering. Why is it that anytime there is discussion on an RPI topic, people from the genre defend the guidelines (whatever they may be) of that genre as if it is the only way for a roleplay MUD to operate properly? I've seen this with the argument of channels, permadeath, skills, guilds, pk, etc. Anyone know why this is? This isn't a bait tactic, I honestly am baffled by it.
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Old 09-09-2010, 08:04 PM   #52
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Re: Veterans of Roleplay Intensive MUDs

Um. If you are going to bother quoting and responding to my posts, please do so without blowing my content out of context, over-generalizing a concept, and then essentially calling me stubborn. Threshold, I think you're letting you're success as an admin go to your head here, because your response REEKS of "I'm right because I say so."

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Uh, not really. Do you have a browser open? There's your chat client. Facebook, gmail, etc. have made it so you don't even need a standalone IM client any more.

None of this changes the fact that when someone is tabbed out to their chat window, they can't see what is going on in the game at all, and thus they are FAR MORE distracted. They are physically distracted as well as mentally.
My use of the word "chat client" included browsers, or any other medium specifically OFF the game.

Your second paragraph flat out ignores my original argument and just restates your original position. Sounds kinda stubborn to me.

Let us agree to disagree. Your position is that games must have an in-game chat channel to have a positive effect, and mine is that they are not necessary and often are not wanted in games that specifically target the kind of audience that this thread was originally made to talk about ("elitist" RPIers). Your games do not attract this particular type of player, and from what I understand, it was never meant to.

Case in point, your logic works fine when you are seeking to appeal to a mass of players who like chat channels. It does not work fine when you try to apply it to a sub-genre that doesn't welcome OOC chatter.



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I think this is the real reason right here, and honestly this strikes me as just stubbornness. At some point, some people decided "OOC channels = bad, m'kay" and they don't want to budge regardless of the reality of the situation.
Yes. Stubborn. That's what you call the opposing party in a debate when they continue to disagree with you over what is essentially a topic about personal preferences.


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Originally Posted by Threshold View Post
Here's the unfortunate truth: Every single game has OOC chat channels. I don't like it, but its the sad reality we've been living in ever since ICQ. Whether its AIM, Facebook, Gmail, or "[chat]" in game, you have them. Anyone who thinks they don't have ooc channels in their game is just being ignorant of the reality of the internet. In the end, every game has OOC channels whether they like them or not. The difference is whether you maintain SOME level of control and discipline over them (in game) or just let people go crazy and do whatever abuse they want (out of game).
This is an over-generalization.

Yes, the internet is one giant bubbly chat client. Nobody is contesting that here -- and if you read into my posts, you'd see that I actually made a point to say that people are going to use off-game channels regardless.

Saying that an administrator is wrong to say they don't have chat channels simply because their game is on the internet and the internet has messaging capabilities is... well, you know, asinine. This isn't even a valid argument, because "the internet" and a game are not even on the same page.

Again, I (and so far, nobody in this thread) is saying that players do not and would not use internet chat clients like AIM or Facebook to talk off-game. However, you will never be able to exert ANY sort of control over that chatter -- regardless of whether or not your game has a channel or not. If somebody is going to say something they shouldn't say in the game, they're going to use an external channel or ask their friend to use one. The only thing you do by allowing in-game chat is creating the illusion of safety. Until you can publish some real, factual, hard numbers within the scope of this problem by a third party that takes into consideration game type and audience type, I'm not going to be convinced otherwise.


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Originally Posted by Newworlds
Completely subjective and has no bearing in reality. If you have to go to the bathroom you don't wet yourself just to not step away from your game and you don't put on a costume to play your MUD, so let's be realistic here.
"Subjective"? The entire notion that having a channel is either good or bad for any one particular game is subjective.

I think Jazuela's entire statement was lost on you. It was not to be taken literally, but was an exaggeration to draw the differences between the immersion levels of some "dudes" bull-****tin' around a board and someone who actually has an imagination and has put themselves right into their stories. They are not "looking down" into a village swarmed by goblins, they ARE a goblin.

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Originally Posted by Newworlds
Again, this is silly. This is like being angry because you know someone is playing while on the phone, watching tv, reading a book, eating, looking at forums, chatting on an outside IRC. All things people do when playing MUDs regardless of the genre or whether they are RPE or not.
Again, I suspect Jaz's point was lost on you. :/


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Originally Posted by Newworlds
I agree with this. If this is your games guidelines I'm all for it, however, taking a position that it is better to have an secondary chat client than a chat channel is simply subjective and personal choice rather than actually better for immersive roleplay.
You're right. The positions we're all taking is subjective, especially when you try to apply them univerally across all MUDs with roleplaying. However, this thread was started to discuss "veterans of roleplay intensive MUDs." Last time I checked, that meant RPIs. So the scope of this topic has been narrowed.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Newworlds
In the midst of responding about the chat channel vs chat client I got to wondering. Why is it that anytime there is discussion on an RPI topic, people from the genre defend the guidelines (whatever they may be) of that genre as if it is the only way for a roleplay MUD to operate properly? I've seen this with the argument of channels, permadeath, skills, guilds, pk, etc. Anyone know why this is? This isn't a bait tactic, I honestly am baffled by it.
Let's be honest: this thread was an attempt to troll something Prof1212 or whatever he calls himself around here said in another thread.

This thread is about RPIs. RPIs have a strict set of guidelines that they use to define which games are technically RPIs and which games are not. We're talking about RPI players here -- so, it should be reasonable to conclude that RPI players are going to talk about features that they think are "best" within this context.

People who play RPIs and think they're "best" do so because the level of immersion they personally can experience is close to nil on other games. They don't consider the kind of roleplaying that was described earlier by Jezuela as "reaching into the fridge for a beer while the kobold swarm is descending" really roleplaying. It's more like just... playing.

So the responses you get from RPI players are dependant on what they actually consider roleplaying to be.
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Old 09-09-2010, 08:34 PM   #53
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Re: Veterans of Roleplay Intensive MUDs

Thanks Parhelion. I thought the whole "this has no bearing in reality" was pretty funny actually, since we're talking about swarms of descending kobolds. If New Worlds has kobolds in his real life, descending or otherwise, then we're probably dealing with something a little more significant than game-envy.

Suffice it to say, he did create this thread asking what veterans OF RPIs feel about certain aspects of RPIs. So here's a difinitive answer regarding the OOC channels:

RPIs don't have built-in OOC channels because they don't want them.

There. Next?
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Old 09-09-2010, 08:42 PM   #54
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Re: Veterans of Roleplay Intensive MUDs

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Originally Posted by Newworlds View Post
In the midst of responding about the chat channel vs chat client I got to wondering. Why is it that anytime there is discussion on an RPI topic, people from the genre defend the guidelines (whatever they may be) of that genre as if it is the only way for a roleplay MUD to operate properly? I've seen this with the argument of channels, permadeath, skills, guilds, pk, etc. Anyone know why this is? This isn't a bait tactic, I honestly am baffled by it.
This is a thread asking for views from veterans of Role-play Intensive MUDs. The better question is why are people who are not veterans, be it staff or players, of Role-Play Intensive MUDs even commenting, much less introducing comments about OOC channels?
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Old 09-09-2010, 08:50 PM   #55
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Re: Veterans of Roleplay Intensive MUDs

Somewhere, and I thought it was in this thread, but I may be wrong and I'm too lazy to go look for it, I thought someone implied that RPIs are seeing a decline in players, both new and old. The exception appearing to be Attonement which has started out strong, and I believe will likely stay strong if they manage to come up with a good method of attracting new players who might not otherwise pick an RPI. The posts from people who have been associated with that game have been positive and open.

I consider this to be in sharp contrast to many of the people who post in support of RPIs. Way too often, I see posts that have something like "someone who actually has an imagination and has put themselves right into their stories" to describe someone who plays an RPI as opposed to someone who doesn't, which always strikes me as insulting to those who don't play RPIs.

Anyhow, are any of the existing RPIs (lets say that have been live for a year) seen a growth or a decline in their population? Is there an RPI that is noted for drawing in new players? Are there non-RPIs that are roleplaying muds that are noted for drawing in new players and that are growing? It does seem like one problem all RP games have in common is that the longer they are open, the more involved the story becomes and the harder it is for a new player to "catch up". Is anyone dealing well with this issue?

Now, I know some people like to say "our players are better than your players, so it doesn't matter if we have less players you", but that's just noise. Players are what they are and everyone has good ones and bad ones and a lot that fall in between.

Instead of picking at each, maybe if we look at what is working well now, we might be able to adapt and improve the games we play. And yes, all things have to adapt. If you think you have it perfect and aren't willing to consider change, then you are just marking time until the end comes.
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Old 09-09-2010, 09:07 PM   #56
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Re: Veterans of Roleplay Intensive MUDs

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This is a thread asking for views from veterans of Role-play Intensive MUDs. The better question is why are people who are not veterans, be it staff or players, of Role-Play Intensive MUDs even commenting, much less introducing comments about OOC channels?
Well, I've tried a hell of a lot of games that had RPI labels, and two of them were very good, but I have since learned they don't fit the description of an RPI, so I suppose they are RPI Like not RPIs. Most have been a disappointment. I don't think the concept is bad, but I wonder about the attitude of many who are public advocates of the strict definition of an RPI. I also wonder about the success or failure of them. It is very possible that the reason I've had bad experiences with RPIs is because of my own lack of knowledge of what is expected. It isn't like you can ask for clarification in game if you have a question.

So, yep, I consider myself a veteran. If a game looks promising I'm likely to try it, although at times I feel like the guy who hit his thumb with a hammer and then does it again just to make sure that is what made it hurt the first time.
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Old 09-09-2010, 09:53 PM   #57
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Re: Veterans of Roleplay Intensive MUDs

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In brief response to Prof's points:

1) When I speak to the hay-day of the Mines of Moria, I mean further along in its life, after the Northlands staff took it over. That is when it acquired greater regulation and began to attract better roleplayers. I will not disagree with being disappointed in its opening; I was chief amongst the staff with this train of thought at the time, which is why I took it over and changed it from the ground up. As with Angost, or with Atonement ALPHA, I suppose you would've had to played there to see for yourself.
I can't say for certain from what period each opinion about Moria was made but the comments I mentioned were expressed to me from its opening through 2010. One of the main complaints was that it was too combat-oriented which happens to be one of the biggest problems with RPIs right now. More and more they're emphasizing combat over non-combat aspects.

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It's a shame you didn't give Atonement's ALPHA-phase a shot. ALPHA didn't mean that it had a ton of kinks in it
I checked out your webpage and found the information there severely lacking. Until there's sufficient information regarding the game world and other aspects, I could hardly be expected to give it a fair judgement as to its quality. Rather than prejudice my views by seeing an incomplete game, I chose to defer creating a character until you guys were up and running.

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I don't think that you have to dumb down a game to attract players, and I don't think that you want to alienate newbies. As you suggested, the greatest help that you can give is to teach newbies and guide them along a path that will improve their roleplaying ability and general enjoyment of the game.
It all comes down to the willingness of the newbies to adapt to the game instead of insisting that the game adapt to them. The latter has been consistently a problem as the RPIs' playerbases grew and they gained more attention and interest from players of other types of games.

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My problem with the "old way of thinking" is that it favors an attitude where "veteran" players are more valuable than up-and-coming players.
Not true. It favors players who are able to fit into the game world more thoroughly. While this may favor veterans over newbies, it also recognizes the contributions of both when they add to the substance of the role-play.

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My experience tells me that this attitude leads to apathy, which causes projects, storylines and roleplay to eventually stagnate and not get accomplished.
Again, not true. A good staff member shouldn't delegate everything to players. In fact, I'd say that a good admin will always keep a very tight handle on everything that's going on even as players don't realize that they do (I found that out in my first attempt ro run a RPT that I couldn't just let the players carry the RP because they quite often simply don't respond in a logical way). The problem I've seen is two-fold. First, you have lazy and incompetant admins who shouldn't be admins to begin with. Those are the ones who sometimes delegate responsibility for RP out to players when they should be participating, anticipating and reacting to everything that's going on in the game world. When you get admins who really aren't capable or interested in doing so, that's when you have problems. However, working closely with veteran players is valuable because, hopefully (more on this below), veteran players are more capable of moving the role-play along within the context of the game world.

The second problem is the one that I mentioned much earlier in this thread of new players coming in and not attempting to adapt to the game world is the outcome of staff lowering standards for new players. The apathy you mention is not the effect; it is the cause of this problem. The effect is that new players don't succeed or often times even attempt to fit their character into the game world which in turn frustrates veteran players who play the game with the expectation of such conformity with the setting.

To give an example, take Trobridge in Harshlands. You have players there who played it as a democracy and talked about "rights" and other modern concepts. They'd do things that were completely contrary to the game's setting and when veteran players reacted, they'd complain about the reaction they'd receive from those players' characters. Even though simply talking back to a nobleman could get one's tongue cut out, you'd have characters doing it all the time and thinking this was acceptable, then spouting off about how they had "freedom of speech". Not only was their behavior completely inappropriate, their mindset was because in the games' societies such concepts of "freedom of speech" not only have no meaning but have no historical context from which the idea could even be conceived much less acted upon as if it were some political theory.

Staff would often post "do not do this" topics on the forums or inform clan leaders that they were justified in taking action against such behavior but often times the situation simply necessitated staff action. At the heart of the problem though, you had people who rose up to leadship positions who had no business doing so just because they were good at emoting. Emoting is not the only part to role-play but often times the mechanics are all that are looked at. The incident that finally led to me quitting was partially caused by a clan leader who'd been playing the game for at least five years and hadn't realized that peasants were not equal to nobility. How in the name of hell can some one be promoted to clan leadship when they haven't grasped one of the fundamental aspects of the game world's societies? This isn't a case of favoring veterans leading to apathy. It's apathy and a willingness to overlook newbie mistakes leading to compounded incidents of ignorance over time to the point where you eventually have established players who know less than some newbies because they could get away with such ignorance.

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It's the attitude that I see in some burnt-out ex-admins/admins from other games, and it worries me.
Most of the veteran admins that I know ended up that way because they got sick of dealing with two recurring problems: twinks and ignorant players who made constant demands but never carried through on their responsibility to learn and conform to the game world and, secondly, disorganization on the staff side which resulted in numerous and totally avoidable conflicts as well as encouragement of the aforementioned twinks and ignorant players in the name of attracting a bigger playerbase.

The attitude that worries me is the belief that RPIs can or need to be more than a niche genre. When they were a small trio of games which mainly attracted players via word of mouth and the damned best RP that had ever been seen at the time they had less of this problem. Sure, they also had much smaller playerbases but that goes back to my earlier sentiment about one good player being worth more than dozens of poor ones. Unfortunately, the prevailing attitude in RPIs is "more players is better". They're all too willing to lower their standards (even more than they already have) to attract five new players even if it means losing one. They just look at the veteran who quits and says that they should just accept it. But the veteran that gets fed up and quits isn't the problem; their quitting is the symptom of the problem.

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I can understand the point-of-view, but I just don't see how the problem can be solved from that point-of-view.
That point-of-view is the solution itself. RPIs need to reexamine what made them what they are and then do some soul-searching. They're victims of their own popularity. They've almost become fast food. Players used to complain on SoI if they had to wait ten hours for character approval. Hell, I used to have to wait days for approval of even simple characters when I started playing RPIs back in '99. For my last two characters I spent months designing them. For my last character, even once he was approved I still waited almost a week for the necessary elements for set-up to be finalized and even longer beyond that before fully stepping into the RP. While mine is an extreme example of what I'm talking about, it should be more of a goal for players than getting in as fast as they can. And players who stay in character and react accordingly to the game world should be the ones that staff encourage and emphasize whether veterans or newbies. Players who come in with a cavalier attitude of "I'll do what I want, the way I want, when I want" shouldn't be the norm; they should be the short-lived and ne'er seen again exception. That's how you keep veteran players in the game.

Last edited by prof1515 : 09-10-2010 at 12:25 AM.
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Old 09-09-2010, 10:13 PM   #58
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Re: Veterans of Roleplay Intensive MUDs

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Originally Posted by Sombalance View Post
Well, I've tried a hell of a lot of games that had RPI labels, and two of them were very good, but I have since learned they don't fit the description of an RPI, so I suppose they are RPI Like not RPIs.
I tend to use the term RPO. There's nothing superior/inferior about them though. Different doesn't mean inferior but some RPI veterans like myself do object to the abuse of the term because it defeats the purpose for which it was coined, namely to identify that particular style of role-play MUD.

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Most have been a disappointment.
I'm reminded of a saying by Theodore Sturgeon in regard to science fiction. "90% of science fiction is crud but, then again, 90% of everything is crud." That includes MUDs. I'd also consider Mr. Sturgeon generous; I'd place the percentage even higher.

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I don't think the concept is bad, but I wonder about the attitude of many who are public advocates of the strict definition of an RPI.
We're players who want a specific kind of game, one which employed specific features and emphasized strict in-character RP at a time when most games turned their noses at even semi-strict RP. We came up with a label to identify that particular kind of game and somewhere along the way when in-character RP became not only more acceptable but more emphasized in the MUD community, the term began to be co-opted by more and more games which didn't meet those characteristics.

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I also wonder about the success or failure of them.
To date there have been at least (I might be missing one or two as I'm just doing a rough count in my head) a total of 30 RPI MUDs. Of them, only 11 or so of them actually opened to players (even if only in beta). At present there are 4 such games (ie, open to players) and at least 5 more in development.

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It is very possible that the reason I've had bad experiences with RPIs is because of my own lack of knowledge of what is expected. It isn't like you can ask for clarification in game if you have a question.
That, my friend, is exactly why some of us are so adamant about the use and misuse of the term. For the better part of the decade after it was coined, players who knew of the term also knew what to expect. Nowadays more than half the games that identify themselves with the term don't fit that description. But that's another conversation entirely. :-D
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Old 09-09-2010, 10:46 PM   #59
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Re: Veterans of Roleplay Intensive MUDs

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Originally Posted by Sombalance View Post
Somewhere, and I thought it was in this thread, but I may be wrong and I'm too lazy to go look for it, I thought someone implied that RPIs are seeing a decline in players, both new and old.
I'm not sure about a decline in players. I have noted over the years a decline in the number of players who matched the quality of those from years past.

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...the exception appearing to be Attonement which has started out strong...
Technically speaking, a game which is just starting can't experience a decline in players since they have no past from which to draw data. SoI probably experienced the fastest boom of players that I ever saw from any RPI, exceeding its code-parent MUD, Harshlands, in playerbase within months of opening. That was probably due to several factors not the least of which was that SoI is Tolkien-based and debuted at a time when the LOTR films were fresh on people's minds but also because it had numerous new code features never seen in RPIs prior to that point as well as a more aggressive marketing strategy.

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Anyhow, are any of the existing RPIs (lets say that have been live for a year) seen a growth or a decline in their population? Is there an RPI that is noted for drawing in new players?
Armageddon and Shadows of Isildur (SoI) have been the two most successful in drawing in new players. I'd even wager that SoI was more so because of its Tolkien setting which at least during my time on staff used to bring in considerable numbers of people who were Tolkien fans and not MUDders.

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Are there non-RPIs that are roleplaying muds that are noted for drawing in new players and that are growing?
Threshold and NewWorlds seem, by their posts here and talks I've had with Milawe (of ThresholdMUD), to be growing and drawing in new players.

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It does seem like one problem all RP games have in common is that the longer they are open, the more involved the story becomes and the harder it is for a new player to "catch up". Is anyone dealing well with this issue?
Yes, there are games that are dealing with that as well as games for which such considerations are minor compared to others. Personally, I think the use of an overarching "story" is a bad thing be it in MUDs, films or television because it makes it difficult to enter at any point other than the beginning or without playing catch-up. Worse, once one has caught up there's always the risk that it wasn't worth the effort (SEE ALSO: Lost). This is especially true in games like RPIs where IC information isn't freely available because of the policy of IC/OOC separation.

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Now, I know some people like to say "our players are better than your players, so it doesn't matter if we have less players you", but that's just noise. Players are what they are and everyone has good ones and bad ones and a lot that fall in between.
Playerbase size doesn't matter. The best RP I've ever found was on a game which had at the time a total playerbase that probably didn't exceed 50 and on which you could rarely find more than 5-6 people. By contrast I've had nothing but horrible experiences on games which boasted a total playerbase of thousands and regularly sported triple figures online simultaneously. This isn't just the case with RPIs or RP MUDs in general; the same goes for good H&S too.

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Instead of picking at each, maybe if we look at what is working well now, we might be able to adapt and improve the games we play. And yes, all things have to adapt. If you think you have it perfect and aren't willing to consider change, then you are just marking time until the end comes.
There's different reasons for change. Some are necessary while some are not. Some are positive while others are not. The real key comes to recognizing what changes are necessary and will have a positive impact upon your goals. Further, one needs to examine those goals to see if they are constructive toward what one hopes to achieve.

One problem within the RPI community is that in recent years the goal emphasized more than anything has been playerbase size. However, this hasn't been as important to everyone in the RPI community, particularly those who valued the role-play that existed before such aims became paramount. A larger playerbase is fine but achieving it at the expense of the players you already have and to whom you owe whatever reputation you've thus far achieved might even be called a bit inconsiderate. Of course, no game is obligated to care about such things but likewise no veteran player is obligated to continue playing or have anything good to say about games which don't care.

Last edited by prof1515 : 09-10-2010 at 12:17 AM.
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Old 09-10-2010, 02:01 AM   #60
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Re: Veterans of Roleplay Intensive MUDs

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Originally Posted by Parhelion View Post
You're right. The positions we're all taking is subjective, especially when you try to apply them univerally across all MUDs with roleplaying. However, this thread was started to discuss "veterans of roleplay intensive MUDs." Last time I checked, that meant RPIs. So the scope of this topic has been narrowed.
This is true and a good point.

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Originally Posted by Parhelion View Post
Let's be honest: this thread was an attempt to troll something Prof1212 or whatever he calls himself around here said in another thread.
This is not true.
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