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  • #16
    Originally posted by Blodwen View Post
    I'm not reading/responding to all of this, but...

    Re Halvard's post on Kona:

    This is being looked into IC by Blodwen to try and fix some of the negative side effects and hopefully provide some story.

    Hopefully no one has been saying otherwise OOC, since a handful of characters know IC it's being looked into.
    Excellent, this is the kind of thing that helps people deal with the consequences beyond just 'suffering is RP too'. I hadn't heard if anything was happening one way or the other, just using it as a currently relevant example to articulate my extremely long-winded point.
    Ser Halvard
    Bodyservant to the Lord Chancellor

    Comment


    • #17
      Originally posted by Halvard View Post
      So, the character of Kona is physically wrecked. Maybe she brought it on herself with her actions. Maybe her actions were forced on her by the story. We probably all have an opinion on it. Those who survived the Hand of Five plot got our own RP out of it. Our characters had success, they lived with stories to tell, or valuable knowledge to feel slightly smug about having (come on, we all feel a little smug when our character knows something most don't). We get to speculate about what's next, because it isn't properly over until a certain thing happens and now we have characters who are actively involved in pursuing that end. Then there's Kona, who not only died but got all the negatives of being a sorcerer, physically, without getting any of the benefits (that we're aware of). She is unique in her suffering of consequences regarding that plot. Now, like I said I'm not going to pretend I know what the right course of action is. But I think staff have a duty of care toward her and her alone, because she is the only one really suffering. Should her consequences just be undone? No, I don't think so. It kind of invalidates the choices she made to get where she is, and cheapens the experience and the story. But she has to believe there is opportunity for something, anything, to come from the consequences, and she shouldn't have to be the only person trying to find that something.
      Thanks Hal. I appreciate your concern, but actually disagree with your viewpoint...not just about vegemite this time, but, for the record you're also wrong about that.

      I apologize for derailing the thread a bit but I'd like to touch on some of whats been said. To start things off, yes the character has been given fairly extreme consequences for her part in said plot. I would argue that while -I- quite obviously gave my full consent to said plot, there is in fact no way for the character to have done so, a kidnapping victim who is faced with certain death should not be held morally responsible for things they "agree" to in an attempt to save their own skin and escape said situation, especially since this particular agreement (if it was agreed upon, I'm not eluding to the fact that it was or wasn't) would have harmed no one but the character and in fact likely would have spared the others the same fate if Jallon's experiment would have succeeded. There was obviously no way for the character to know a rescue was so close on the horizon, despite me knowing it full well, so she proceeded as if it wasn't. People can take that how they want and I completely understand that some characters view her as a traitor because of how they think that situation went down, just another hurdle the character has to jump along with the death, physical weakening, and mental trauma of the entire ordeal. I hate to use the word "ruined" but this entire plot has fundamentally changed almost every aspect of the character, as it should, for better or worse.

      Here's where I disagree. I don't think the character is owed anything, Have I as a player spent months at this point looking into some way to -fix- her? Yes of course, it's become the characters main goal as she struggles with her misplaced sense of self worth which has been a driving force in her pursuit. Has she and in turn I spent hours almost every night for the past four months digging through chronicles and looking for a way? Once again, yes. Has the character contacted nearly everyone with the power to assist her? To the best of my knowledge, yes. I as a player have put in far more time than I'd even like to admit trying to solve this problem, but that doesn't mean that it's a problem that can or should be solved. My investment in no way, shape, or forum should have an impact on the outcome. To put it lightly, sometimes even your best isn't good enough and sometimes there isn't a solution to be had. She has possibilities on the horizon and that's comforting to me as a player, but I'm not entitled to them at all. Staff has no duty to care for the character in any way, they don't owe her anything, they don't owe her some form of balancing of power to make her viable or even owe her involvement in further hand of five plots.

      To touch on that last bit, the character does think there is an opportunity for her at this point, much like Blodwen said something is being done or at least in the works. Like I've expressed to a couple of people OOCly at this point, I admittedly wouldn't let it work if I were in charge due to some things that I've gleaned from IC interactions, if those are to be hand waved in order to help me as a player feel better, I don't want that. If I'm mistaken because I've been feed sketchy information ICly then let it happen. If her binding will only result in a death, kill her. That may seem dark but it's the only mercy I'm going to ask for.

      I'd like to stress that Kona is my only character and despite that I still feel this way. I'm also a rather new player having only had a couple trial accounts over the past decade or so and maybe played a month between them at best. I'm still learning the way things work, but I don't want the plotters to give me some sort of hand out and I don't want them to harm the integrity of the story and lore just to make sure I'm having a good time. My enjoyment isn't a reason to give myself and my character what I want. No matter how impossibly stressful this character is for me to play, I'll continue to tread forward until she can't, maybe I'm just a masochist, but the bulk of stress I endure from playing this character is because she is trying to put a square peg in a round hole. That isn't the fault of any of the storyplotters, that's the way the characters personality has evolved. Would I like her to be viable to participate in combat? Sure, who doesn't want to play with the combat system in a meaningful way? The combat is great and I enjoy watching and more recently participating, even if the odds will forever be stacked against her and she'll never be a real threat because of her condition. Most of the OOC knowledge of her condition that I've released I really shouldn't have, but I found the constant push ICly of "You can do it" a bit taxing and eventually released her fatigue numbers OOCly just to give myself a bit of relief from the constant prodding of such. I should have kept that to myself but I found it nearly impossible to RP exactly how weak she really was. Once I let that cat out of the bag I felt that both players and characters were more understanding of her being a bench warmer and that lightened the emotional load of both myself and the character. She has since moved off the bench after a LOT or personal work, growth, training, and the help and understanding of those around her, thanks all of you for the great and meaningful RP. It's also refreshing to know that if the character does fall to permanent death that she'll be missed and no matter what happens I've enjoyed role playing her with all of you, those interactions are what keeps me coming back everyday.

      TL;DR

      Nobody owes myself or my character anything.

      Comment


      • #18
        This is a topic I've wanted to bring up for a bit and I'm super glad to see people discussing it.

        Originally posted by Ra'Dorcha View Post
        ...to the staff: what are some things that you would like to see us players helping to do. We may not have staff powers, but there are plenty of toys we can play with that will push along various stories. So ...
        is there an inactive guild/group/hobby that needs more leadership?
        a political/social issue some of us can gather around?
        If I were to sum it up in two words: proactive storytelling

        Something I've observed in our community, and it's by no means a recent observation, is how heavily the game today relies on major Plotter run plots to bolster the game's activity, and how immediately and drastically the who list drops off in between these major events. What I would like to see is players running their own plots and telling their own stories that don't require StoryPlotters to write, code, build for and run these tales during the downtime in between Plotter run major plot events.

        By this I'm actually not referring to guilds, hobbies or socials at all. It's probably fair to say that we currently have more regular small events such as guild meetings, socials, teas, breakfasts, crafting bells and martial practices than pretty much any other time I can immediately recall in CM's history. The IC forum is a new page each day filled with threads advertising events. And to that I say "excellent", it's great we have players trying to push activity in the game through small events like that. Be that as it may, I think it's also worth stating that "my character went to a breakfast social and chatted for awhile" isn't really a 'story'. It's not something I'd care to read a book about, or to watch on TV, and it doesn't play into the community's stated themes of mystery, intrigue or romance.

        I don't want to give a long speech about how in my early CM days we used to walk uphill to school both ways. Suffice to say, while I do feel the game has a far better support system for players wanting to tell fantastical stories today than we did 15 years ago, we also have to cede to the reality that the online gaming community is different today with different expectations and standards than it had at Marrach's conception, and that being 'better than we used to be' doesn't necessarily mean 'good enough for today's gaming community'. I think my early memories of CM, a time when there were always duels and crimes and trials and political rivalries going on, benefited a lot from the fact that online gaming during the innocent days of the 56k phoneline modem was really restricted to MUDs and a couple other avenues, whereas today in contrast we're competing with a plethora of online graphical games. To meet that competition it's necessary that we up our own game and not use 'the way things used to be' as an excuse not to pursue 'what things could be'.

        To that end I really do want to know what support or incentives players would like that Staff can provide, which would encourage you to write and engage in your own initiated stories of deep political intrigue or other riveting conflict.

        Conflict is the bread and butter of story, and right now it very rarely occurs outside of Plotter initiated scenes (and when it does there's more-often-than-not OOC resentment and dissatisfaction involved). I think this is largely due to the avatarism that has invaded the community; that being the mentality of playing the game as essentially a glorified chatroom with the express goal of making friends, obtaining rank and acquiring nice clothing and items, as opposed to treating the game as a storytelling theater wherein the goal is to play a memorable character in a story.
        StoryHost Kurzon
        Castle Marrach Staff

        kurzon.marrach@outlook.com

        The destiny of the world is determined less by the battles that are lost and won than by the stories it loves and believes in.

        Comment


        • #19
          Questions...

          What I would like to see is players running their own plots and telling their own stories that don't require StoryPlotters to write, code, build for and run these tales during the downtime in between Plotter run major plot events.
          Is that including a single item required where player is happy to pay storypoints? Speaking from own experience, see post #10.

          ---

          Glad see noted that hosting tea sippings and idle crafting bells as not being story. Or at least unlikely to be, hosting it isn't. It's what happen during that perhaps advances plots, or it is just where roleplaying along with storytelling goes to die. But, it are they prevalent because this "slice of life" roleplay is all players feel they can create now? If so - does that tie back into Adahn's question. Which also the point about avatarism does as well.

          I think my early memories of CM, a time when there were always duels and crimes and trials and political rivalries going on, benefited a lot from the fact that online gaming during the innocent days of the 56k phoneline modem was really restricted to MUDs and a couple other avenues, whereas today in contrast we're competing with a plethora of online graphical games.
          I'm not sure that technology and broadband has restricted the avenues and player base of MU based roleplaying has much of a correlation. If this was the case then new games within the digital text based roleplay world would have no hope. Instead games out there happily boasting over 500 players, with an active storytelling base. So I'm not sure I see the causation.

          To that end I really do want to know what support or incentives players would like that Staff can provide, which would encourage you to write and engage in your own initiated stories of deep political intrigue or other riveting conflict.
          Only able to speak on my own behalf, I say see post 10 again for why I personally do not feel provided for. Or supported. I think anyone brave enough to do so, doomed from the start and would have to anticipate the worst case scenario. I know I do for my own attempted current plot.

          But anyways, did actually email that to you several months ago and didn't receive a reply (although did on later emails). So could only assume the later part of my post to be true.
          "In our age there is no such thing as ‘keeping out of politics.’ All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia."

          "Although many of us consider ourselves forward-thinkers, we still cling tenaciously to the old values of the system."

          "Between two groups of people who want to make inconsistent kinds of worlds, I see no remedy but force"

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by Kona View Post
            Nobody owes myself or my character anything.
            Well, I respectfully disagree. To be clear, I mostly meant you as a player, rather than the character.

            I don't think you deserve a handout, or necessarily a reward, and I certainly don't think the game should be compromised to make you, or anyone in a similar situation now or in the future, feel better. But we have all invested time, emotional energy, and even money into this game. Therefore, if only from a purely customer service point of view, I think the players of characters who are in the least 'fun' position are owed some support.

            And this isn't to say that people aren't supported, and I certainly don't mean this to seem like I'm calling staff out for anything. I brought it up primarily as an essential aspect of dealing with the consequences of stories, so that people are more likely to accept those consequences and, therefore, run more stories themselves.

            Also you're objectively, observably wrong about Vegemite. It's bad and you should feel bad for liking it, you absolute monster.
            Ser Halvard
            Bodyservant to the Lord Chancellor

            Comment


            • #21
              Are a lot of players going to actively avoid having their characters harmed? Of course, some people will play the game that way, never getting in harms way because they don't want to lose and I don't really see a problem with it .

              Do those of us that let bad things happen to our characters deserve something more though? I'd still say no, at least not in game, I for one respect the hell out of players that are willing to take the L and keep on moving. I'm sure a lot of other new players would have just rage quit given Kona's situation, hell I've seen players rage quit over FAR less, I'm obviously not one of them. I just don't think that means I should get any special treatment. I've never requested staff involvement OOCly and don't plan to.

              Your point about us being customers is valid, but, In nearly all other situations the setbacks given to characters from plots are more easily overcome or not as crippling. Not to say they all are, there are for sure a couple others that have it as bad, it's not like she's a totally special case, but for the most part there are in game ways to heal the negatives that you're going to get from participation in a much more timely manner and without nearly the amount of work, so I don't think Kona is a good point of reference since she's on the extreme end of things.

              As far as player run plots I'd say you're digging your own grave too, but for the most part a little drama isn't discouraged and can gain you favor just as well as cost it. I've seen plenty of that myself, Kona might upset someone only to get a secret high-five from another character. Your reward is the RP as far as that goes imho.

              I'm also going to revoke your citizenship if you keep talking bad about vegemite lol jk.

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by Anton View Post
                I think you are right on one part here, but perhaps that is the culture of Marrach through years of indoctrination that discussing anything OOC seems to be bad. Some of my dearest friends I have met via this game, then in person later thanks to thinking - fuck it, why not? Why are we pushed to thinking that asking how someone is doing OOC is bad and could influence IC things.
                This is an old Marrachian cultural phenomena dating back to at least when I started playing. It's one that I've tried to move the community away from, even though I understand both sides of the argument.

                The principal behind this point of view is simple enough; what we don't know OOCly can't OOCly influence our IC actions. And so the culture arose that "IC is IC" and that any time we allow OOC knowledge to in any way affect our IC actions, we're committing "crossover" and are essentially "cheating".

                It's not a point of view I subscribe to personally in CM, particularly because CM's stated goal is not simply to mimic the most realistic, lifelike reaction we can in any circumstance our characters are presented with. The goal rather is to tell stories, and stories require collaboration. Stories thrive on larger-than-life events and the reactions to those events. Often I feel a good portion of our community approaches their roleplay as an episode of Doctor Phil instead of an episode of Game of Thrones. Often still, I feel the players who approach it as the latter are shunned as being 'dramatic' by players who would rather treat the game as the former.

                Granted, I've also been on the other side of things, particularly during my time in the IC law enforcement community. Stories along the lines of "some high ranking official got bored and wandered unescorted into a secluded area of the Outer Bailey, where newly criminal Joe happens upon them, knocks them out with a scroll and steals their sword". Inevitably due to the OOC setup involved, 'Joe' makes his escape to his room, no one ever finds out who attacked said 'high ranking official', no further story ever comes from the 'plot' save "Joe got a weapon and the Watch is left picking their noses".

                We had a plot once where a criminal character pushed an armoire over the parapets of the OBCY north tower, into the OBCY, landing it squarely on her target and killing them, then fleeing to her room and logging out before anyone could begin to respond. She committed 3 or 4 similar crimes over a stretch of time, all so outrageous and yet so deliberately organized OOCly that no one could ever follow up on it, find out who was committing these weird murders, how, why, etc. There was no story to be had for anyone but that one person.

                These types of 'collaboration plots' rather jaded a good portion of the playerbase-of-that-time against player plots which were clearly pre-arranged OOCly to allow a criminal a risk free guarantee to get away with whatever crime they wanted, so I can understand that point of view even if ultimately I feel OOC collaboration in plots does more good than it does harm. It's a case of a few bad apples spoiling the rest.

                In all, I think flexibility is the key. Don't try to railroad your plot into only one possible outcome no matter how implausible. And if your story involves some crime, intrigue or other mystery, try to bear in mind that if the mystery is never solved, it's a dead end story for everyone else in the game. Castle Marrach isn't a novel by a single author, it's improv, your skill as a roleplayer and ours as Staff revolves around our ability to adapt to the situations unfolding before us and still push the story towards an outcome everyone can partake in.

                StoryHost Kurzon
                Castle Marrach Staff

                kurzon.marrach@outlook.com

                The destiny of the world is determined less by the battles that are lost and won than by the stories it loves and believes in.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by Anton View Post
                  An example that I saw would be, during the Anton and Juliee 'disagreements' they would quite openly argue with each other. Speak ill, murmur hushed, and slander each other. I remember there was one scene in particular where Juliee said something to him, then left and receiving a @page from someone asking if I was okay??? - Umm yeah. I was. Anton wasn't but I was totally chill as we players discussed them meeting up and how the scene might go if people left them unchecked.
                  To touch again on the topic of Avatarism, I feel a large ratio of the current playerbase interprets IC conflict as OOC animosity, often even those who like to tote "IC is IC" on their sleeve whenever they 'go after' another character themselves.

                  If you play a confrontational character, there's a good chance you can expect players slander you OOCly for being 'mean' or have them decide they're 'uncomfortable interacting with you'.

                  The last time I challenged someone to a duel on one of my own PCs, the player paged me upset that 'this type of RP was being forced on them'. That's bearing in mind that there aren't even really any consequences to losing a duel, they stood to lose nothing no matter which way the duel went.

                  The last time a VP came out and mildly criticized someone, Staff received 2 separate @assists complaining that VPs should not be mean to player characters (I kid you not). That's a VP who, by the way, has existed almost expressly for the purpose of doing precisely what she was doing at the time since the beginning of this game.

                  There are threads discussing the topic 'Avatarism in CM' dating back as far back as when I first started playing the game (
                  http://forum.skotos.net/forum/our-games/castle-marrach/castle-marrach-discussion/24694-wake-up-and-smell-reality ). Unfortunately we never quite nipped it in the bud and the problem spread and grew from generation to generation, until we ended up in a place where today, no one wants to risk conflict and those few who do are quickly united against by the other 95%. I'm talking about the characters who openly go against the grain of 'make friends with everyone you can' and in response get blocked ICly, avoided when they enter the room, or disparaged OOCly as being 'toxic' or whatever the word of the day is. I won't name them here, but they know who they are, and I imagine most of you do too.

                  I realize that it is easy to get invested in our characters and caught up in the arguments or confrontations they're ICly having. I realize that 'losing' a confrontation on your character generally speaking isn't as enjoyable as winning one. But literally... just don't. Draw a line between yourself and your character, there's no magic trick to it save simply deciding to do so.
                  StoryHost Kurzon
                  Castle Marrach Staff

                  kurzon.marrach@outlook.com

                  The destiny of the world is determined less by the battles that are lost and won than by the stories it loves and believes in.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Halvard View Post
                    So, the character of Kona is physically wrecked. Maybe she brought it on herself with her actions. Maybe her actions were forced on her by the story. We probably all have an opinion on it.

                    ...

                    Then there's Kona, who not only died but got all the negatives of being a sorcerer, physically, without getting any of the benefits (that we're aware of). She is unique in her suffering of consequences regarding that plot. Now, like I said I'm not going to pretend I know what the right course of action is. But I think staff have a duty of care toward her and her alone, because she is the only one really suffering. Should her consequences just be undone? No, I don't think so. It kind of invalidates the choices she made to get where she is, and cheapens the experience and the story. But she has to believe there is opportunity for something, anything, to come from the consequences, and she shouldn't have to be the only person trying to find that something.

                    Since it's come up a few times in this thread; I feel I should take at least a moment to clarify that the Plotter in charge of that plot/scene spoke OOCly with Kona's player and they together agreed on the IC consequences that befell that character before any Staff action was taken. To my knowledge, the OOC decision for Kona to be crippled was entirely her player's.

                    That said I'm fully behind the notion that players willing to put themselves out there should receive as much support and recognition from Staff as we are able to give them, particularly where they are such a rare breed. Hence my emboldened question from my first post in this thread: How can we as Staff better support you?

                    Also, we're presently looking at enacting a policy whereby vegemite is to be served to gaol prisoners instead of gruel. That is all.
                    StoryHost Kurzon
                    Castle Marrach Staff

                    kurzon.marrach@outlook.com

                    The destiny of the world is determined less by the battles that are lost and won than by the stories it loves and believes in.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Anton View Post
                      Is that including a single item required where player is happy to pay storypoints? Speaking from own experience, see post #10.
                      I don't know what item is being referenced here, so I can't easily speak to the context of your question. To answer the immediate question as it was phrased: "wanting to use an item in a plot" isn't criteria for denying a StoryPoint request, no. If you can run your story without needing to wait on a Staff created object all the better, but I'm not against whipping up something quick within reason if it'll help push a player plot forward.

                      The most common causes for a STP item request to be denied are "You need an IC means to obtain this" or "You lack the StoryPoints" with an occasional "The coding demands of this object are too significant". I assume there are reasons why the request you reference was turned down, but I don't know offhand what we're speaking of and the only recent STP request I see for you in our records was one for a gambling game which was approved and completed last May.

                      If you want to clarify here or via email, I can try to provide you a clearer answer on why a specific request was denied, if you are uncertain.
                      StoryHost Kurzon
                      Castle Marrach Staff

                      kurzon.marrach@outlook.com

                      The destiny of the world is determined less by the battles that are lost and won than by the stories it loves and believes in.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Anton View Post
                        I'm not sure that technology and broadband has restricted the avenues and player base of MU based roleplaying has much of a correlation. If this was the case then new games within the digital text based roleplay world would have no hope. Instead games out there happily boasting over 500 players, with an active storytelling base. So I'm not sure I see the causation.
                        This is getting a little off topic, but we can segue a moment.

                        I think the fact that 95% of the MUDs listed on sites such as Mudconnect and Mudstats are now defunct, or the fact that a game as small as CM can consistently sit in the top 10 on Top Mud Sites, is fairly telling as to the worldwide state of the MUD genre.

                        When I wrote my pitch to Skotos making a case for Freemium for CM, I did a fair bit of my research using a website that sends bots to log on to known MUDs once an hour and records their who lists. The data I got back was pretty devastating and doesn't speak to a scenario where 500+ player MUDs are the norm, if existing at all. Certainly there are one or two bigger MUDs hosted by large companies such as Ironworks or Simutronics which may perhaps have communities pushing on 500ish different accounts logging on throughout the course of say a month, but then there are games like WoW or Call of Duty 4 that are sitting closer to 5,000,000 accounts logging on over the same amount of time, and that's where I was going with my comment.

                        The year that Castle Marrach was released, Diablo 2 held the world record for the most copies of a video game ever sold at 2.75 million, and Diablo 2 wasn't really a game that could easily be argued as one that would take roleplayers away from MUDs given how different the genres are. Four years later World of Warcraft was released, hitting over 100 million copies at peak, nearly 50x that of the previous record holder, and sporting servers specifically designed for roleplayers. In fact I know CMers who went to play on WoW's roleplay servers back then (Feathermoon is where most of us gathered if you're curious) and I distinctly recall discussing in the forums back then, the dip in CM's playerbase every time a new major WoW patch or expansion came out. This was the impact of a single game mind you, and was yet still before the advent of streaming and ESports. I don't really think there's any room at all for an argument which claims that the advent of graphical online gaming didn't impact the population of MUDs globally.

                        In any case, the direction I was going with my original comment was this: Twenty years ago CM could get away with 9 month IC jail times, 6 month waits to get the Chambers to approve a duel, no combat system (followed by a very weak combat system once we got one), no Under Bailey, no currency system, barely a sorcery system, sometimes 1 to 2 year waits in between Royal Court - and players were generally willing to tolerate that. But in today's gaming community, Castle Marrach needs to up its game if it wants to remain a competitive alternative to the WoWs and Call of Duty's that have taken over the gaming industry. It is therefore not enough to say we're better than we were 20 years ago, because we're not competing with the gaming world of 20 years ago. To that end I'm open minded to hearing suggestions on things players want to see in the game to make us more appealing than ever.

                        StoryHost Kurzon
                        Castle Marrach Staff

                        kurzon.marrach@outlook.com

                        The destiny of the world is determined less by the battles that are lost and won than by the stories it loves and believes in.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Anton View Post
                          Only able to speak on my own behalf, I say see post 10 again for why I personally do not feel provided for. Or supported. I think anyone brave enough to do so, doomed from the start and would have to anticipate the worst case scenario. I know I do for my own attempted current plot.

                          But anyways, did actually email that to you several months ago and didn't receive a reply (although did on later emails). So could only assume the later part of my post to be true.
                          I did read your post earlier in this thread, as well as your email, but I'm having a difficult time connecting your post or the quote you indicated from another forum as an answer to my earlier question.

                          What I've gathered based just on the information in this thread, is that at some point in recent months you filed a request for an item for a plot you wanted, and it was either denied or you were told you required a different means of obtaining it. To be clear, this event is the entirety of the reason you feel that "it takes a brave person doomed from the start who should anticipate the worst case scenario and never attempt a plot in CM" or is there further context or reasoning I'm failing to follow?

                          As for the email in question; yep! You emailed me, if I recall, specifically the part quoted by "cupcake" in post #10 of this thread, though you had mentioned it as a tangent on another topic we were discussing at the time. Looking back I did reply to said email conversation another 3 times, but not specifically to the part of the email with the quote, as in your email you had indicated it was 'just food for thought' and I was trying to keep on the topic of the email conversation. I didn't realize that you were actually wanting to have a further dialogue on that quote specifically.

                          That said, I'm not any more certain how to respond to that quote today than I was the first time you mentioned it. If I am understanding correctly, the quoted article references an individual that feels other players aren't excited to play with him, but I'm not sure what Staff can do to assist you with that problem specifically. For my part I haven't ever personally heard anyone speak ill of your roleplay, and sitting where I do I hear a good deal of the backchannel's smack talk. Our own roleplay interactions have been few enough over the years that I would be hard pressed to give an objective critique of my own - we've crossed paths a few times and I enjoyed it about as well as one can hope to enjoy the early morning Euro timezone scenes wherein there's perhaps 3 people to roleplay with.

                          This is getting a bit off-topic from the theme of player initiated stories, but a large part of your problem may tie in to not having access to the game during its busier hours (although FYI, there were 20+ people online this afternoon and half of them were on the bridge - I don't know if that helps you at all but we do seem to get an activity spike around noonish castle time that may be more Euro friendly). Euro/Aussie timezone is something I've been actively trying to address, but with limited success - during the Triangle chapter that just passed I held more plot scenes during the afternoon than any other timezone and it was usually difficult to gather enough players to hold those scenes. The Queen's bells are deliberately held in the afternoons to accommodate non North American players also, as is Royal Court.

                          I have considered seeing if maybe the community as a whole should hold some kind of poll whereby we can vote on an agreed upon 'prime time'. Literally two times a day, once in the afternoon and once in the evening, where as a community we agree to log on (as RL permits) and come out and just... play, and see what happens.

                          StoryHost Kurzon
                          Castle Marrach Staff

                          kurzon.marrach@outlook.com

                          The destiny of the world is determined less by the battles that are lost and won than by the stories it loves and believes in.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Kurzon View Post


                            Since it's come up a few times in this thread; I feel I should take at least a moment to clarify that the Plotter in charge of that plot/scene spoke OOCly with Kona's player and they together agreed on the IC consequences that befell that character before any Staff action was taken. To my knowledge, the OOC decision for Kona to be crippled was entirely her player's.

                            I'm sorry that you felt the need to clarify this because of my ramblings. I completely believe that everything that went into the decision being made was by-the-book, agreed to, etc. I never meant to make that seem like it was in question, though I suppose it's good for the record, just in case.

                            Originally posted by Kurzon View Post


                            Also, we're presently looking at enacting a policy whereby vegemite is to be served to gaol prisoners instead of gruel. That is all.

                            Well there's a new story in itself: the inevitable creation of the CM-equivalent of the Mandela Rules. >_> Chancery's gunna be busyyyyyy.
                            Ser Halvard
                            Bodyservant to the Lord Chancellor

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Kurzon View Post


                              Since it's come up a few times in this thread; I feel I should take at least a moment to clarify that the Plotter in charge of that plot/scene spoke OOCly with Kona's player and they together agreed on the IC consequences that befell that character before any Staff action was taken. To my knowledge, the OOC decision for Kona to be crippled was entirely her player's.

                              That said I'm fully behind the notion that players willing to put themselves out there should receive as much support and recognition from Staff as we are able to give them, particularly where they are such a rare breed. .
                              Like I said before, I consented. I don't have any issue with that. I really don't have an issue with anything to do with Kona's situation. I'm not being treated unfairly so please don't think about it that way. It's been quite the journey to play this character but I have nobody to blame but myself for everything that's happened to her and any stress that I feel from the character. I know a lot of you care about the character and it's been expressed many times that what happened to her was harsh, but this isn't the plotters/staffs fault in the slightest and I can't stress that enough.

                              The option to not have her outright killed after the failed "Binding" was brought up by the plotter, but I gave it the green light for the plotter to keep her alive because they didn't seem to want to kill her. They also asked if I would have preferred a permadeath and if I would continue playing the characters if she was crippled, I obviously told them I would continue playing the character and would try to use it as a role playing opportunity, because, in a way, it is. They handled the situation flawlessly.

                              Before the entire interaction I said something to the nature of "I consent to any maiming or death, including permadeath" if I recall correctly, In fact I stated the same when I signed up for her to be taken in the plot and did so on my own accord without any prompting, so I consented twice actually. I didn't "Ask for it" per say but the plotter was in no way outside of what I consented to as a player and it's not like I harbor any personal resentment against them or any of staff for anything that happened to her.

                              Staff has done a wonderful job of handling her situation and I hold out that soon enough something more will come of her, but she's going to earn that herself or die trying.

                              Hopefully this puts all of this talk to rest once and for all. I'm finished derailing. I just wanted to reiterate all of this once again.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Kurzon View Post
                                We had a plot once where a criminal character pushed an armoire over the parapets of the OBCY north tower, into the OBCY, landing it squarely on her target and killing them, then fleeing to her room and logging out before anyone could begin to respond. She committed 3 or 4 similar crimes over a stretch of time, all so outrageous and yet so deliberately organized OOCly that no one could ever follow up on it, find out who was committing these weird murders, how, why, etc. There was no story to be had for anyone but that one person.

                                These types of 'collaboration plots' rather jaded a good portion of the playerbase-of-that-time against player plots which were clearly pre-arranged OOCly to allow a criminal a risk free guarantee to get away with whatever crime they wanted, so I can understand that point of view even if ultimately I feel OOC collaboration in plots does more good than it does harm. It's a case of a few bad apples spoiling the rest.
                                If anyone uses that as an excuse that OOC communication during plots is a bad thing, then that's a strawman argument. That example is of a shitty player avoiding consequences and dragging others in on it for lols and fun times because there's nothing better to do.

                                Originally posted by Kurzon View Post
                                The last time I challenged someone to a duel on one of my own PCs, the player paged me upset that 'this type of RP was being forced on them'. That's bearing in mind that there aren't even really any consequences to losing a duel, they stood to lose nothing no matter which way the duel went.
                                Is it perhaps because the consequences aren't physical, but emotional and social. Since 1 year, 2 year or 5+ year IC grudges stick around and can be power-gamed pretty hard - there is a lot to lose? Players, or some, perhaps feel that 1 false move and that's it - Social pariah and opportunity to RP with the wider community gone. Since the game operates with the principle 'ser X said this once and support that, so if anyone is around them. They are bad folks as well' which makes total sense from a thematic point, but perhaps promotes a risk-adverse community unless you are happy to roleplay something emotionally intense - or in rare scenes on a more 1-1 basis.

                                Originally posted by Kurzon View Post
                                If you want to clarify here or via email, I can try to provide you a clearer answer on why a specific request was denied, if you are uncertain.
                                Done. In your inbox with full details.

                                Originally posted by Kurzon View Post
                                It is therefore not enough to say we're better than we were 20 years ago, because we're not competing with the gaming world of 20 years ago. To that end I'm open minded to hearing suggestions on things players want to see in the game to make us more appealing than ever.
                                I think the problem here is the mindset that it is CM vs. COD/Fortnight where I do not think they share much of the same playerbase. Yes, they are gamers but it seems akin to comparing car users and cyclists. They both transport users, but the marketing and appeal isn't usually the same to have one convert. It is CM vs. another online text based game as they do already share a potential customer base. The WoW argument might have worked when it first came out, but didn't that appear at the same time as the unpopular Consortion plots.

                                As for suggestions - I'd take the opportunity that if the game survives the move to be a solo venture to tear it up and (in part) start again. But if it did survive, and we continue as is and under the plans on the Facebook thread, I am personally not filled with confidence.

                                Originally posted by Kurzon View Post
                                Looking back I did reply to said email conversation another 3 times, but not specifically to the part of the email with the quote, as in your email you had indicated it was 'just food for thought' and I was trying to keep on the topic of the email conversation. I didn't realize that you were actually wanting to have a further dialogue on that quote specifically... If I am understanding correctly, the quoted article references an individual that feels other players aren't excited to play with them, but I'm not sure what Staff can do to assist you with that problem specifically... [bit about timezones] The Queen's bells are deliberately held in the afternoons to accommodate non North American players also, as is Royal Court... I have considered seeing if maybe the community as a whole should hold some kind of poll whereby we can vote on an agreed upon 'prime time'. Literally two times a day, once in the afternoon and once in the evening, where as a community we agree to log on (as RL permits) and come out and just play, and see what happens.
                                Sorry changed the language in the quote to be gender neutral. I do not wish to presume theirs. On this, that email actually did open with me saying "I've not been able to log him in and focus as I'm tired, have low energy and motivation for him - and most other Marrach related matters." which is then followed up by you to discuss a tent and then my own reply followed back onto the main points by me with the aforementioned quotes. So was quite in theme for the email chain.

                                Regardless of that, perhaps that staff cannot assist (or you feel unequipped to) with that problem is therein the problem? That there is at least a single player openly saying 'I don't feel comfortable here or feel wanted around the place, I want to say it is purely emotional but I don't know' which is not met with even a fake attempt at empathy - is a problem. To me it reads as, shrug - your problem, not mine. That might not be the intent, but silence speaks.

                                On timezones, likely in part right there. I've seen my timezone dwindle further-and-further as players move. This perhaps goes back up to the opening points or somewhere along the way, but if at 8pm my time (3pm EST) I have the choice between sipping tea on Marrach or truly Machiavellian politics elsewhere. Sorry guys, I'm off. Then again, it's not like the weekends are brimming either. As for QV, I'd tie back into the quotes supplied and that buggy feeling at the top of my head. Happy for you to pick this up via email if you want to take it off forums. Your call.

                                On the final bit, doesn't that go back to the main problem of people logging in but with no motive beyond sipping tea and enjoying a slice of life. Yes, the who list looks a bit nicer, but it's still not worth sticking around for and won't keep new players either.
                                "In our age there is no such thing as ‘keeping out of politics.’ All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia."

                                "Although many of us consider ourselves forward-thinkers, we still cling tenaciously to the old values of the system."

                                "Between two groups of people who want to make inconsistent kinds of worlds, I see no remedy but force"

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