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Old 08-01-2007, 09:10 PM   #1
Threshold
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Dealing with RP Attention Hogs

How do you, as player and/or administrator, deal with RP attention hogs?

Do you just let them be?

Do you try to talk to them privately about why it might be better to share the spotlight?

Do you even consider this a problem?

I generally think RP attention hogs are a bad thing - more so if they are actually good role players. A good RP environment needs people who are willing to share the spotlight. People need to be willing to participate in a supporting role as well. People who expect to always be the main character alienate people fast, and then the game ends up losing out on their RP contributions.
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Old 08-01-2007, 09:17 PM   #2
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Re: Dealing with RP Attention Hogs

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Originally Posted by Threshold View Post
How do you, as player and/or administrator, deal with RP attention hogs?

Do you just let them be?

Do you try to talk to them privately about why it might be better to share the spotlight?

Do you even consider this a problem?

I generally think RP attention hogs are a bad thing - more so if they are actually good role players. A good RP environment needs people who are willing to share the spotlight. People need to be willing to participate in a supporting role as well. People who expect to always be the main character alienate people fast, and then the game ends up losing out on their RP contributions.
Good questions. I try to coach them. If coaching doesn't work, the problem tends to solve itself as other players just start ignoring/shunning them. Eventually, they go away.

I agree that it can be unfortunate in the short term when they're driven away, but long-term it might be the best thing for the game to cut its losses and try to find new blood that's less driven to be the center of attention all the time.
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Old 08-02-2007, 12:15 AM   #3
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Re: Dealing with RP Attention Hogs

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Good questions. I try to coach them. If coaching doesn't work, the problem tends to solve itself as other players just start ignoring/shunning them. Eventually, they go away.
This is what we do as well. It seems to work... sometimes.

I wish I could figure out a way to deal with this and have a higher success rate. I define success here as:
  • The player stops hogging the spotlight.
  • The player learns how to be an equally interesting character even in a support or just witness mode.
  • The player doesn't quit.

I think there are honestly some people out there who absolutely WILL NOT play a game unless they can be in the spotlight 24/7. Since some of these people actually are decent RPers, you can see why they might have been able to get away with this elsewhere. Those are probably the types that are hopeless and thus you just have to sigh sadly as they eventually drift away.

I wonder if there are people who think players like this are no big deal, and no administrative involvement is needed, necessary, or even desired.

Is it better for the admins to just stay out of it and let it totally take its course in game?

Personally, I think an admin has to always be somewhat involved, and always be aware of things like this going on in his/her/their game. Involved admins are the difference, imho, between a mediocre free-for-all and a quality RP environment.
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Old 08-02-2007, 12:28 AM   #4
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Re: Dealing with RP Attention Hogs

I agree that admins need to stay involved, especially in an RP-enforced environment, but that's not just because of keeping quality assurance for RP. It's for everything. Got to keep the game's heartbeat going. Schedule events, promote peer recognition activities (like RP +voting), help newbies, and make sure players who are allegedly helping newbies are actually being helpful.

I've taken time off from my games in the past and every time I take a hiatus, things start to slide until I bounce back into active mode again. Even if I'm just around a little at night to handle +staffrequests, talk to admins, work on the latest Wiki-filling drive, I make myself available and make people aware that I've got an eye and an ear to what's going on.

Tends to keep the admins on their toes, too, which helps feed the beast as they schedule their own activities and work on projects to better the MUSHes.
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Old 08-02-2007, 03:41 AM   #5
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Re: Dealing with RP Attention Hogs

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I agree that admins need to stay involved, especially in an RP-enforced environment, but that's not just because of keeping quality assurance for RP. It's for everything. Got to keep the game's heartbeat going. Schedule events, promote peer recognition activities (like RP +voting), help newbies, and make sure players who are allegedly helping newbies are actually being helpful.
That is very, very true. Oh how the mice will play when the cat's away... eh?

I'm curious if any other folks have suggestions for dealing with this phenomenon, or examples of how they have dealt with it on their own game.
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Old 08-02-2007, 08:52 AM   #6
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Re: Dealing with RP Attention Hogs

For my part, I just ignore them (publically, sometimes I swear to myself and wish they leave quickly). That's generally the attitude we take towards most things like this - very hands off and just observational for the most part, unless things really get out of hand. It probably helps that we don't have a lot of staff-player interaction like other games do, for example we don't have staff-played deities or much of any kind of "immortal on the ground" behaviour, if staff wish to play with mortals then they play a mortal, for the most part. Instead, we try to give players the tools to run things like that themselves, where possible. As most RP hogs seem to seek staff/imm attention for the most part, this helps to keep things quiet on that front.

Another reason is that there are always two sides to a coin, and people can spin the same event whichever way they prefer. It's easy for a disgruntled player to honestly believe that their RP was great and that the game staff are just jealous and/or wouldn't know good RP if it bit their collective noses off, or that they're being spied upon and kept down, etc. This can quickly spread through that individual's friends, clan and whatever else. So, while you might be totally in the right to coach/guide and are probably acting for the greater good of the game, it isn't without its problems. Not to say that admins should just put the blinkers on and not care - but we watch and keep close tabs, and only intervene when it is truly necessary. Then I go and play rugby to take out any aggression.

That said, my formative first-year-and-a-bit of mudding was on Threshold, so at least to some degree Aristotle's way did stop me from becoming an RP hog.
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Old 08-08-2007, 01:12 PM   #7
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Re: Dealing with RP Attention Hogs

Making them leaders so they can drive play for other players is an approach that has worked well for us in some cases, but not all.
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Old 08-21-2007, 01:39 AM   #8
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Re: Dealing with RP Attention Hogs

I suppose my initial question here is: How do we define RP hog?

Is an RP hog someone who gets attention just for walking into a room?

Is an RP hog someone who demands attention just for walking into a room?

Is an RP hog someone who conducts their characters in such a way that it requires attention whenever they are in a room?

Is an RP hog someone who prefers to play in smaller groups where said person will likely receive more individualized attention just on virtue of there being fewer people to split attention between?

Is an RP hog a leader in a faction and thus receives attention whenever brought out on virtue of that?

(Why is it I always want to use 'an' as the article when referring to RP when my language lessons have taught me that it should be 'a?'

Cause if all of those are RPhogdom, then I'm an RP hog and will comment in that way. :>
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Old 08-21-2007, 02:04 AM   #9
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Re: Dealing with RP Attention Hogs

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Is an RP hog someone who demands attention just for walking into a room?
This one.

If nobody else is ever allowed to be the center of attention, then that is an RP hog.
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Old 08-21-2007, 03:03 AM   #10
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Re: Dealing with RP Attention Hogs

Personally my method is to avoid these people in large scenes. The profile I've experienced with most of these players is that they're fueled not by themselves, but by other players. If they're surrounded by their fans there's little I can do about them, as a player. If I must play with them I will often insist they come alone or with a minimal entourage.

An imperfect solution for what Threshold defines as an RP hog, yes, however it saves me as a player strife. That and I've noticed true RP hogs lose support eventually, so it's a matter of waiting some of them out.
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Old 01-21-2008, 05:08 PM   #11
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Re: Dealing with RP Attention Hogs

*bumped for further discussion*
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Old 03-12-2008, 11:04 PM   #12
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Re: Dealing with RP Attention Hogs

I love freshly dead threads. They are the most susceptible to my necro-posting habit.

I guess I don't make a huge distinction between plot/NPC-chasers and RPhogs.
Both suffer from center-of-attention-deficit disorder in some form or other.

It's a tightrope walk for admins, I imagine. Partly, you want to reward diligence, character ingenuity and decent RP, giving the benefit of the doubt where possible that it's a character rather than a player trait.

If you have multi-characters for a single account, it's a little easier to distinguish, since every character from a perpetually attention-starved player will behave similarly. "I have entered the room. All kneel, or stop what you are doing, as I ejaculate this scene unto you. I am certain it is more important than what you are doing, as it has now the impeccable virtue of my presence. You're welcome." Exeunt, stage left.
Whaddayagonnado?

Often, I've simply wondered what would happen if an NPC (presuming the interrupted scene has staff involved) said, simply enough, "Try not to talk with your mouth open." And just as easily, I imagine said character doing anything at all possible to make sure the largest text blocks or overtly interruptive actions are theirs, even if their mouth is closed. Oh, wait, I haven't imagined it, I've lived it.

Mostly, the consequences should come IC. I mean, people like that are -annoying-. Treat them as their actions merit. Players can often curb such behavior, over time.

The last thing an admin should do is reward the behavior. A minimal RPA sends a message. If you withhold the RPA, the character may even try harder to snatch that spotlight. Something that runs counter-intuitive in my experience is simply having some plots seek out those that don't seek them first.

I love examples.
In this one, most of the playerbase was in a single location for a staff-hosted event, very similar to a chess tournament. Such a player/character, arriving late, during a game match in which such spam as three paragraphs of comically blathering attention-suction can literally scroll the match player's board off the screen, and did what was typical. Burst into the room with an obviously pre-typed speech, perhaps a page and a half of scroll, and spewed it. It was humorous, no doubt, but disruptive IC and for OOC reasons.
There were several staff-run characters present, and their IC reaction was negligible, although at least four of them had not only the authority to put an end to it, but one might even argue an obligation to do so.

What would you do?
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Old 03-13-2008, 01:05 AM   #13
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Re: Dealing with RP Attention Hogs

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What would you do?
Nuke the site from orbit.

It's the only way to be sure.
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Old 03-13-2008, 01:39 AM   #14
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Re: Dealing with RP Attention Hogs

In ten minutes, this area is going to be a cloud of vapor the size of Nebraska.

I love it.
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Old 09-21-2009, 11:31 AM   #15
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Re: Dealing with RP Attention Hogs

Hope you guys don't mind me bumping this thread up a little.

I must confess; I think this describes me a little.

Let me explain. I don't bitch oocly if I don't get attention. I don't whine and complain if I don't get attention. But I -hate- sitting on the bench and just waiting for stuff to happen, and if I am actually focusing on my RP I never do that. Nor do I sit around chatting about the weather because, frankly, if I'm gonna bore myself with small talk I might as well make it worth my while to do so, like join an RL cocktail party or something. Instead, I stir up stuff, get trouble going, do weird stuff, engage people in conflict. Basically, I do anything besides 'normal' stuff and small talk. Unfortunately (or fortunately?), that invariably ends up with me being the centre of attention. But I feel (and people have told me) that it does give the game some much-needed spice when I do so.

I don't think it's a bad thing, really. Is it?
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Old 09-21-2009, 11:46 AM   #16
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Re: Dealing with RP Attention Hogs

Perhaps it depends on the context and the setting, Misao. If, for instance, there's 4 PCs sitting at the bar, engaged in general chit-chat because they're pals and are just hanging out at night..

and you walk in and don't think people should just hang out at bars, and disrupt their conversation by taking off your clothes and dancing on the bar...

well then it would make sense for them to be/do any of the following:

entertained
irritated
fearful
amused
eager to join in the dance
oocly annoyed that someone interrupted what -they- thought was a very important bonding scene between characters who knew each other
call for the authorities to take the insane person out of public view
beat the crap out of the dancing freak
snicker
giggle
get up and go somewhere else where they don't have to deal with the distraction, which they should've expected since it's a public bar afterall.

You shouldn't expect that people will want to deal with your version of fun or drama. They might want to. Or they might not. As long as you don't expect it, or feel that your version of fun/drama trumps theirs, then it's all good.
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Old 09-21-2009, 11:51 AM   #17
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Re: Dealing with RP Attention Hogs

Those are all IC consequences, which are fine and good (except for the oocly annoyed part).

What the people are talking about here is oocly dealing with the person as an IMM though.
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Old 09-21-2009, 02:25 PM   #18
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Re: Dealing with RP Attention Hogs

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I generally think RP attention hogs are a bad thing - more so if they are actually good role players.
I've never had to try to deal with this as an administrator, but on our game, it's rarely been a problem and it does tend to sort itself out.

Certain players do try to overwhelm things, and take over the RP scene for themselves, but for us, PK tends to become the neutralizer. If a character draws too much attention to themself, they tend to get targetted by someone or another, whether it's a clan, or an individual character that takes a disliking to the person.

Attention hogs, at their best, will steer roleplay in a positive direction, because even though everything they do tends to be centered around themselves, it does create opportunities for others to step into the story and involve themselves too... whether with or without the blessing of the Hog.

Additionally, once somebody's been smacked down a few times for being a showboat, they tend to lower their profile a bit.

DAEDAL MACABRE 9000
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Old 09-21-2009, 03:42 PM   #19
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Re: Dealing with RP Attention Hogs

I believe RP spotlighters (leads in a play or even a secondary role that does so good they take the spotlight) are good. This would be attributed to someone like Michael J. Fox on Family Ties (Alex Keaton). His original part was limited and only secondary. Because of his delivery he was turned into the Lead. Same with Erkle (sp?) and that show. Erkle was a secondary role but his spotlighting made him the lead and the show very enjoyable.

The same is for roleplayers who spotlight by RP but don't "take" the spotlight by shoving the crew out of the way and pointing it at themselves. This happened on a film set I was on. One of the extras in my scene was a wannabe actor and as the A.D. yelled "background" (the action for extras) one of the extras yelled "wait, I'm not sure of my motivation for this part!" as the crew gaffawed the A.D. said, "Motivation? You want motivation? Okay, get the @!#$^% off the set!"

My point here is that some players get bored and want attention via dramatics in usually relationship rp being the wounded girlfriend that was cheated on and drawing the world into it, or pretending they have some disease or have been possessed by an evil spirit. We have rules against this, but it doesn't stop it from happening and can be annoying.

On the other hand, a good roleplayer building up a story that doesn't revolve aroune "me me me" can really enhance the game. I see this happen a lot by true selfless rpers.
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Old 09-21-2009, 07:09 PM   #20
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Re: Dealing with RP Attention Hogs

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Attention hogs, at their best, will steer roleplay in a positive direction, because even though everything they do tends to be centered around themselves, it does create opportunities for others to step into the story and involve themselves too... whether with or without the blessing of the Hog.
But that's not an RP attention hog as defined for this thread. The very fact that you said "in a positive direction" right away eliminates that type of person from being the type this thread is about.

An RP attention hog is someone who requires that all RP be all about their character all the time. If a situation evolves that puts someone else at the center of attention, even if it is enjoyed by hundreds of people who are very engaged in the RP, this type of person will do everything they can do ruin or destroy that RP plotline so they can steer things back to something about them.

I have seen a few posts here where people are basically redefining RP Attention Hog as someone who RPs in a way that generally attracts a lot of attention. That's not the same thing at all. Good RPers attract attention. That's not a bad thing, and that isn't what I was getting at with this thread.

An RP Attention Hog is the negative extreme where someone's desire to ALWAYS be the center of attention has become a problem, and thus the Admins need to do something about it.
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