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Author Topic: Community Building  (Read 9249 times)

Dorganath

Re: Community Building
« Reply #40 on: August 02, 2012, 10:46:59 pm »
Taking West alone, there are 557 areas.  Even if you take out...let's say 125 of those for player housing, GM-only and quest areas, you're still left with 432 areas on a single server geared toward lower-level characters. Though I agree with taking Central out of the picture, it has even more explorable areas.

I think your real complaint is that you, as an experienced, long-time player has seen all or most of them, and you're tired of the same scene.  Am I far off here?  These are all fair observations, but you cannot really apply that same perspective to a new player.  Over 400 areas, of which 2/3rds of them are quite likely adventuring areas to some extent or the other, is not a small world by any stretch. The comments about challenge level are good, but then there's the question of what's the right way to "fix" it?  It's very circular. Make them easier? OK, but what happens when we get more people taking a run at the same places? Are they too easy now. Do we re-balance them again? Or do we focus on getting more people on at a time and hope the momentum holds? Which is better? I don't know.  Do you? I think the answer to that depends on one's perspective.

Compared to when I started, which is somewhat after you started, the West module alone is somewhere between 50% and 100% larger now than it was then.  Sure, there was growth then, but there could be. The problem is, we're hitting real technical limitations with the size of our modules now. It's similar to but different from the palette issue.  The point is, to "grow" what's available, we have to look at taking things away or make small, incremental changes and hope they don't break. That, or we have to have a major overhaul like we had with v3 several years ago.  I know I don't have time for such a project.  Do you?

Regarding the content system being "too slow", I'm not going to discuss that here. We can take it up in the Project Team forum if you wish; this is not the place for it.
 

Teo

Re: Community Building
« Reply #41 on: August 02, 2012, 11:02:14 pm »
Maybe we need to start thinking back to how we found Layo, and what kept us hooked, and then try to resurface those more if they have dissipated and maybe make more of it if it is still around. There is a great community here, but why do we stay? For many of us, it is the love of our characters. But maybe it's time to think back to when we first joined, and what made us like it.

When I first joined I was only 9, and I mainly enjoyed playing with my dad, Merlin34. That may not be the greatest of examples, but its all I have. But each and every active player has one of those examples, and that's a fair enough sample size to make an assumption on what people are looking for, and focus something onto that in game or on the forums or elsewhere.
 

Guardian 452

Re: Community Building
« Reply #42 on: August 03, 2012, 12:31:42 am »
I find myself seeing new areas often... when enough people are on when I get to play that is. I know their is even some high end areas on West too. So those as well get removed from the new player scenario. Its not about me saying... been there done that. So give me personally something new....Or Id have asked for more areas geared to my characters specifically, not the new players we're trying to bring in. I'm fully aware of the limits we are have reached inside the NWN toolset regarding areas, and items etc. Which is why I suggested we go thru what we have and determine if its good for new players or we needed to change this and that... remove some things and add some to cater to the new folks.
 

Gunther

Re: Community Building
« Reply #43 on: August 03, 2012, 12:48:02 am »
What worked for me was a sense of discovery, this was comprised of a couple factors which may not be practical anymore, but anyway;

1)  Going to Hlint and seeing a crowd gathered around Ozy, listening to his stories and/or prevarications.  This also held true for Rhizome and others who almost always seemed to have time to devote to new players and their questions.

2)  Bruenor Wildbeard and one or two others that would take groups of newbies and lowbies on quests or just out to kill something.  Or a bunch of somethings.  This enabled Gunther to get to a level where he could almost fend for himself.  Once Gunther got to that point then I felt confident in signing up for quests, mining ore for crafting, and exploring more of layo.  Whatever may have been said about old Bruenor, he was an extrovert and went out of his way to invite people on trips and make them feel welcome.

Anyway, thats what worked for me way back when.
 

Guardian 452

Re: Community Building
« Reply #44 on: August 03, 2012, 01:02:41 am »
I started in October 2003, I found Layo by a general search for NWN persistent worlds. Layo was my first.. and my only NWN persistent world Ive played. ive played Everquest 2 and LOTRO neither of which I have found equal RP and ive even steered away from wanting to RP on other games.... not sure why.
When I stated playing Layo I was instantly welcomed with open arms by lots of people who were playing back then. Made to feel a part of the community from almost day 1. Earned my chance to GM here and have been a member of the content team here (off and on).
The main thing that drew me in was the Roleplay and the intensity that it could deliver... from anger to the point of wanting to punch a wall. To being so worked up by what was happening to my character and my friends that I was crying and hands shaking so bad I could no longer type. And a rainbow of emotions in between.
Also the number of people playing.... was great at nearly anytime of day you could see a dozen people on... not just when a quest was happening...  out doing their thing.. killing, crafting, roleplaying etc. The level gap wasnt what it is now... so anyone could run with about anybody and not feel worthless like today when a level 9 tries to keep up with a bunch of epics.

Ive always been a crafting addict and always will be even with my hatred of d20 LOL... im still crafring ;)

Ive had gaps of burn out with Layo and went off to persue other games... Everquest2, LOTRO (Lord Of The Rings Online), Battlefield 3. I always find myself coming back to try and feel that old spark again. Truly though its never been the same as it was those first few years. Why? probably because my own RL changes stopped allowing me to play 5 to 8 hours or more each day here. No longer feeling like I was truly connected to the world and having my finger on the pulse of things. Another reason why I said before I doubted if I were just now discovering Layonara that I probably wouldnt stick around. I wouldnt have had the same addicted reaction that I did back then. With less players here now, less quests, less signs of new things on the horizion.
 

LordCove

Re: Community Building
« Reply #45 on: August 03, 2012, 10:45:30 am »
I had wrote a lot, but it took me so long to do that I was logged out and forgot to copy it.

So summed up...

" Make the early level's of Layo solo-able"

No one likes to log on to an new, empty server, wander around for ten minutes and get killed by a rat... or a skeleton... or skunk.
Even if they find a group, chances are its a group of epics , of which 90% of the current community is....
Infact, most of what I was going to write is already echoed in other peoples posts.
 

Nehetsrev

Re: Community Building
« Reply #46 on: August 03, 2012, 11:21:22 am »
I'm part of that 10% minority of players who's never really had an epic character....  well okay, there was Amgine, but he permed almost immediately after reaching level 21.  He had a couple really bad strings of rolls versus the Soul Mother in his earlier levels.
 

xsweetpeaxs

Re: Community Building
« Reply #47 on: August 03, 2012, 08:55:40 pm »
Here is an idea to hasten the leveling of the early levels seeing how a lot of people complains about slow leveling and not being able to travel with groups because everyone is "epic":

First of all, everyone can agree agree getting from level 1-7 is pretty quick? Doing all the static quests get you there almost instantaneously. Then, it starts to slow down dramatically.

So, an alternative to leveling can be this, from level 8 to level 9, if player X goes on 3 quests, he/she gets the level. Or, he/she can still get level by the "old grind for xp" method.

Then from level 9 to level 10, if player X goes on 3 quests (or 4), he/she gets the level. Or, he/she can still get level by the "old grind for xp" method.

This can continue on until level 20?

The number of quests is arbitrary. I just made that up. Obviously, the Team can decide what is fair. With this idea, players can level more quickly by going on quests and getting involved with RP instead of having to "grind it out." Once they are higher, they can explore more of Layo without the fear of getting killed by a "rat, skeleton, skunk, etc." They will also have more opportunities to travel in larger group to join the old timers that are "epic."

Just a thought :)
 

jadewillow

Re: Community Building
« Reply #48 on: August 03, 2012, 10:41:43 pm »
I agree with almost everything already said, so I'm not going to repeat. Although I've been with Layonara since 2005, I consider myself a casual player. With three young children my time is not my own, and I basically log in between crisis (whenever those may occur). As a result, the set time slot for quests does not work well for me and I suspect for others with similar time constraints. That being said, I think the community needs to focus on those things that make Layonara unique, not the things it is not (which is a long list). Below are a few of those things the community should be marketing or developing further in order to attract more players.

1. The Soul Mother is certainly a differentiator for Layo. Don't touch it! Although maybe as a reward for good RP, give out Soul Mother protection items (i.e. for your next death you are shielded from her sight), or provide an avenue (very difficult avenue) for getting strands back. The GP system was a great start, but I think even more options would be better and give players alternatives to leaving Layonara.

2. Another big draw for Layo is the LORE. It is deep and alive and makes the world seem real. Don't change it. Keep augmenting it, and making it even more a part of the world.

3. Another great part of Layo is the ability to make real lasting impacts on the world. However, the casual player is kind of left out of this if they can't make the numerous world events. If there were a way to allow casual players to participate even though they may not be able to attend these quests on a regular basis. And I am not talking about Forums stuff, I'm talking IG participation.

4. An lastly is the great RP community here and intimate setting. Yes we want more players, but we never want to lose that feeling of knowing the people you come across in the world. Let's try to preserve that.
 

Teo

Re: Community Building
« Reply #49 on: August 03, 2012, 11:10:06 pm »
jadewillow makes a great point.

The bounty board was a great quest for casual players, you could log on at any time and role play and have a quick adventure, with or without a GM or party. Prehaps do something with the plot like that, set it up and then let an adventurer go through the adventure and make an impact, even if he/she cant find a party. It would keep people feeling involved, even if they play in a time zone where not many people are on with them.
 

Link092

Re: Community Building
« Reply #50 on: August 04, 2012, 12:51:35 am »
Quote from: Teo
Maybe we need to start thinking back to how we found Layo, and what kept us hooked, and then try to resurface those more if they have dissipated and maybe make more of it if it is still around. There is a great community here, but why do we stay? For many of us, it is the love of our characters. But maybe it's time to think back to when we first joined, and what made us like it.

When I first joined I was only 9, and I mainly enjoyed playing with my dad, Merlin34. That may not be the greatest of examples, but its all I have. But each and every active player has one of those examples, and that's a fair enough sample size to make an assumption on what people are looking for, and focus something onto that in game or on the forums or elsewhere.


Everyone go home, 'cuz this guy hit the nail head on. :U

But in all seriousness, Teo makes an excellent point. We should poll together the ideas of what hooked us. as individuals. Then take that and think about how we can bring that back around.

In my case, I joined several years back. I would try to calculate my age at the time I joined, but that's trivial (and I'm not old enough to be complaining about my age anyhow). Regardless, I was looking for something that I was interested in. D&D, like an actual PnP campaign, but online. Unlike recently, I haven't had the opportunity or the contacts to join any PnP games because of 1) where I live and 2) the community I live in has a general lack of people who enjoy this kind of activity (those weirdos don't know what they are missing. :U).

So I hunted around online for all but, Iunno... 3 minutes? I had my first character written up rather quickly, and I was chomping at the bit waiting for approval. NEEDLESS to say, I won't go into the bit about Rowana scolding me (sorry Row :3 ). But as soon as I got in, what had me hooked was exportability. The place was huge. HUGE. GINORMOUS. I felt like I could fit half a dozen earth's into layo. Which is good for an online campaign, because the worst thing about ANY videogame is the limitation of movement and travel. The second part? well, I'll get to that in a second... :U teehee.


Quote from: Gunther
What worked for me was a sense of discovery, this was comprised of a couple factors which may not be practical anymore, but anyway;

1)  Going to Hlint and seeing a crowd gathered around Ozy, listening to his stories and/or prevarications.  This also held true for Rhizome and others who almost always seemed to have time to devote to new players and their questions.

2)  Bruenor Wildbeard and one or two others that would take groups of newbies and lowbies on quests or just out to kill something.  Or a bunch of somethings.  This enabled Gunther to get to a level where he could almost fend for himself.  Once Gunther got to that point then I felt confident in signing up for quests, mining ore for crafting, and exploring more of layo.  Whatever may have been said about old Bruenor, he was an extrovert and went out of his way to invite people on trips and make them feel welcome.

Anyway, that's what worked for me way back when.


SO second point! The community is great. It really is. But with any 2-bit noob who arrives on his/her first day like I did, after the initial overload from the small bits of exploration, a sudden dread sets in...

Quote

"Ermahgerd... I have to TALK TO PEOPLE." *Proceeds to rip hair out*


Some of us don't really know where to start. Or even how to get something going. In my case, I read some rather stringent looking rules about OOC chat, so I didn't send a tell to anyone. :Y for like... a week. And I think Erin or Jil were the first to send me a poke.

It was after overcoming that first bit that I actively looked for new players whenever I joined the server, because I wanted them to feel welcome and immersed IMMEDIATELY. I feel it goes a long way to have someone help show you the ropes from the get go. And I didn't want them to wait a week like I did.  ;n;

Now, this isn't to say "oh jebus, the first time here is bad." It's quiet the opposite. And I had a blast playing my first character after I finally figured out who was doing those "let's drag the newbies on a suicide mission and laugh at them", because it's those bits that I derive the most enjoyment from. Not quests, or Red Light runs, but those small gatherings where everyone may or may not shout at each other for 10 minutes because they are dwarves. *cough* :3


So off to the third point.


Quote from: Nehetsrev
I'm part of that 10% minority of players who's never really had an epic character....  well okay, there was Amgine, but he permed almost immediately after reaching level 21.  He had a couple really bad strings of rolls versus the Soul Mother in his earlier levels.


I enjoyed the slow leveling. Sure, it's frustrating to have a squirrel take your nuts and not being strong enough to do jack diddly squat about it (It should never happen D:< but it does anyways. besides, it makes for good horror stories). But it deters grinding (which bores me) and it pushes people to be more group oriented. Running off on your own and soloing some big bad is nice once and a while, but what makes roleplay fun is the story that YOU write. And a story with no interaction is kinda sad (relatively speaking). The fact that Layo forgoes the focus on increasing your character's level in favor of character driven story directed by the players themselves is great, and that is what makes Layo what it is.

Now, that all being said, it can also get frustrating for some older players to make a new character and start at zero. No one comes to show you the ropes because you already know them silly. :U But it's still difficult to get a foot up because usually, a lot of folks are on their "more grown up" characters, and from a in character perspective, a level 21 and up, by nature of some perceived power and status, would likely find it hard to relate to a green ear who just rose out of the dirt. Sure, they're better then average, so to speak, but they are still level 1. And let's face it. there isn't a whole lot a lvl 1 and a lvl 21 character would do beside RP a conversation or another at some location where deer wouldn't rip the teeth out of the lvl 1 character. Not to imply that NOTHING can be done, but more often then not, as a player, you're looking for a little action as well, so that usually, as I perceive it, stops some of the interaction.

This is why occasionally, provided I have enough planning room, I'm going to try and coordinate some events for just lower level characters to derp around with. By lower, I mean under lvl 20. And by derping around, I mean 20% running some moderate static quest, and 80% doing something else as a group. Developing story, relationship, and/or shenanigans. Why? Because some of the best experiences I have had on Layo didn't have any sort of reward attached to them, because the interaction and fun had was the reward itself.

...

Okay, I'm done now. :U *cough*

EDIT: Almost lost this because I got logged out... LOL
 

Link092

Re: Community Building
« Reply #51 on: August 04, 2012, 12:52:34 am »
._.


I think that is the most constructive feedback I have ever given here on Layo... I kinda feel bad now... LOL
 

Teo

Re: Community Building
« Reply #52 on: August 04, 2012, 01:03:41 am »
I don't know how, but maybe its time to start a poll thread on why we came here and another on why we stayed? Or just a normal thread for JUST those to things, rather than everyone's ideas on how to improve so it's easier for the GM team to sort it out?
 

tom bombadill

Re: Community Building
« Reply #53 on: August 04, 2012, 02:00:09 pm »
Greetings all,

I am most likely unfamiliar to most of you unless you have a great memory. I haven't been on the server for about 5 years. I started layonara at the end of V1. I have never had a character who made it past lvl 10 so I never made any large impressions to the world  but i hope many small ones. For those who may remember my most gregarious character was Amalric Gniess a paladin of Rofirein. I have been lurking for a while now debating if i should attempt to join back into the server and in the meantime i started to grind in DDO which actually feels like a meaning less job. I hesitated coming back as I have a large family and the quality of RP here is top notch which can become quite distracting and if your sweetie isn't a gamer then she begins to frown at me for all the hours i spend killing red light goblins instead of pruning the hedges.

How i found Layonara is like some of the other posts in this thread. I wanted quality PnP style gaming that i used to have growing up. In 2002ish (i think) I web searched and found layonara joined and was very pleased with what the community had created. It is a harsh world and i love that. low magic makes you value simple things like a potion of healing. my iron weapon made me proud for a while. To see the server so empty and assuming the world is similar to how i last saw it I wonder if I will enjoy myself or feel restricted and frustrated that i cant explore and play casually without a quest in case family calls and i need to log at random times. One thing that will help here is I now have some children who can join me and  that is the main reason for coming back. I know this is a family friendly place and I will sometimes have at least one or two other people to adventure with. I know if the usual quests are not in my time zone or working for me schedule wise it is possible to CDQ and that is amazing considering if i wanted that on another MMO I would likely have to pay $20 an hour, but as far i know (which is little about MMO's) its not even an option.

I have no suggestions on how to get people to find Layonara. I don't know how you are doing it now. But i did have a thought about how to deal with the low server population and starting characters. maybe its already in game i dont know. How about introducing Hirelings? It is unrealistic to think a bard is going to venture into a goblin lair and slay the chieftan. a fighter maybe. but if that bard could hire some fighters and  venture into the lair and use his skills how they are supposed to be used instead of feeling like a gimpy fighter who might be able to sing about it later if he isn't cooked in goblin stew, then that player will be happy he can exist and RP what he wants instead of wondering how to "tweek his toon to be leet" find out that isn't possible then leave. I don't fault those people it' s likely all they know as they never played PnP and discovered the romance of true RP adventure.

I will let those who deal with balancing issue handle the details of this but i would add a little more. In PnP charisma effected how many hires you could manage (I only played advanced DnD rule set so forgive me if my info is outdated). everyone should at least be able to hire one. I don't know how to avoid having a group of 4 players and then 10 more hires. but i do know that whenever Gm's found player exploiting areas or spawns or whatever it was typical for them to "modify" things a little which usually resulted in players running for there life or cautiously trying to sneak back and pray at there soulstone.

I would not think a person could hire a wizard or paladin or monk or druid but mostly fighters. they should probly max out at lvl 3 and require the player to be two or three times the hire lvl to contract. maybe it would be possible to hire a squishy cleric to heal if you had favor with the right church or temple. but i would not think a battle cleric would be for hire. the idea is to add some light support that with good tactic could allow a player to solo a little farther. a player would still consider becoming a fighter or cleric because a cleric in plate who can survive an ambush would still be someone to hug after the dust settled.

Well that is all for now, my Hak download is complete and i should start my character submission so i can get in today hopefully.

I would also like to thank Scott for all the good times i have had and hopefully that are to come. I am sure it has felt thankless at times or cost more than it should to him. I appreciate it and i am sure many others here and who may have come and gone do as well. I am sure they will never forget the adventures they had on Layonara.
 

Link092

Re: Community Building
« Reply #54 on: August 04, 2012, 04:38:48 pm »
old players coming back for more are the best. :Y

as for being time conscientious, I'm sure a lot of us understand if RL calls you away. It does for everyone. So just stick around when you can and go when you can't. :D
 

Xaltotun

Re: Community Building
« Reply #55 on: August 04, 2012, 04:59:02 pm »
That IS a name that blasts from the past - welcome back, and look forward to seeing you and yours in-game.
 

Olme

Re: Community Building
« Reply #56 on: August 05, 2012, 08:35:49 am »
Recruit Felicia Day
 

jadewillow

Re: Community Building
« Reply #57 on: August 05, 2012, 10:09:56 am »
Something that would certainly help with cuurent and past players would be an expected timeline for the MMO. I suspect many are hesitant investing much time not knowing it will pay off
 

Guardian 452

Re: Community Building
« Reply #58 on: August 05, 2012, 11:06:22 am »
Ok so we know money is off the table... but what about some kind of "recruit & reward" system?

Dont know what the rewards would be... maybe a list to choose from like:
Minus 1 SS
25,000 EXP or some percentage based on your level
A mount
Something(s) unique you wont get any other way than by recruiting people to join. Like say a positive damage enhancement, a troll ear, some kinf of enique resistance enhancement, things like that

I admit the reason I thought of this is because im pushing a close friend of mine hard to join layo... ive been on him to for years and I finally got him interested.
 

Ne'er

Re: Community Building
« Reply #59 on: August 05, 2012, 05:51:26 pm »
Hey everyone,

So most of you probably don't remember me, since my heyday at Layonara was well over 5 years ago when I was both an avid player and a GM. I've been in and out since, but I've since retired completely from the game. But I do still check these forums every once in awhile, mostly to see how the MMO is progressing and who is still around. I thought since you're looking for input, I might have some from the "old player's perspective."

When I first started at Layonara, I was about 13 years old and in love with computer RPGs like NWN. Naturally, that pushed me into looking for some decent online play. I didn't have any desire to play necessarily on a roleplaying server, but as luck would have it I ended up on Layonara, mostly through chance after searching for a good server. Everyone in the game was quite friendly, and the world seemed so huge and interesting. I made one character, and then another, and then another, until at one point I made a character named "Jet" that I grew fairly attached to. I saw players doing very exciting things, like the Grand Opening of the Leilon Arms, and I saw some very exciting quests at nearly every hour of the day.

I liked it so much that I wanted to help out. I applied to be a GM and started working on CDQs and other major questlines and to this day those are some of my fondest memories here. But at some point the magic started to wear thin.

----

So now that my experience is laid bare, my advice:

If you're looking for brand new players, good luck. The truth is (and its clear from the MMO threads that you acknowledge this), NWN is a dying engine, and you'll be hard pressed to convince new players that they should run out and find an old copy of NWN to play. Especially considering the number of games coming out today and huge RPGs on the horizon, pulling people into the past is going to be near impossible. Obviously the intent to rectify this is part of the mentality of the MMO, but if the community bleeds dry before then, it hasn't done much good.

Obviously you'd want to pull from the players that are part of the hardcore RP side of the gaming industry. To do that, I'd recommend either advertising or building a presence on forums or boards dedicated to similiar interests (specifically the PnP style gaming that so many people have already cited). Additionally, making information about the Layonara setting and history available to a broader group could grip some of these gamers. Maybe by offering tid-bits from the Layonara in form of downloadable PDFs for tabletop gamers who are looking for an interesting and dynamic setting?

----

But truth be told, I think gathering new players will probably be a tremendously daunting task. Which brings me to why more effort should maybe be put on keeping current players or wooing back former players.

I was also one of those few players who never hit epic level. My highest level character was level 15, and he played in a time where level 15 was high. Then I watched as other players shot up in level past me, mostly due to the fact that they had more time to dedicate to quests than I did. As a result, the people I used to adventure with disappeared over the horizon as my character was stuck doing his usual grind. This was, in no small part, a factor for my leaving. I tried to make other characters work since, but I simply lost interest in playing in the same areas over and over. I've had some good experiences since then, but I mostly just ran off the nostalgia from older playthroughs. It may also be important to bear in mind that this was a rather tumultuous time in Layonara's life, since the MMO was being announced, a number of players and GMs were falling out with the larger community, and things were beginning to change at a rapid rate.

What could have kept me around? The ability to solo more places, or at least explore more places. The game naturally favors groups, and that makes sense. But for people who were on at odd times or were not at the same power level as those currently logged in, your options were really limited. To this day I swear that I have only explored (in character form) under 1/6th of what Layonara had to offer. To me, that was pretty sad. Especially because these areas required huge expeditions to work, ones that required oodles of time and only the cream of the crop could get on them since more would cause the server to crash. I understand. That's life. But it was still disappointing to know that, because I didn't have the same amount of time to play with everyone else, I wouldn't be able to see some of the more interesting things.

What keeps me from coming back is a mix of things. My last attempt to integrate into the community left a foul taste in my mouth. Yes, this was due to the CA process, and no, I'm not asking you to get rid of it. I don't know what's changed, but I really doubt that the CA process is the limiting factor here. The other major things are:

-Lack of players (not really helpful, I know)

-Lack of originality: Most of the things I would have easy access to if I played again I've either seen or seen a variation of it. I'll get bored and disheartened long before I have a character that I've become really attached to and has the strength to do truly new things for me.

-Better gaming outlets: As said before, NWN simply won't cut it. I can load up Skyrim if I just want to go somewhere and hack things to pieces.

-Viable RP alternatives: Instead of logging on to Layo for an RP fix, I can play in my semi-weekly PnP game for a somewhat substitutable experience. Granted, it isn't the same, but it functions as a substitute enough for me.

----

Anyway, I hope this is helpful in some way. If not, well... good luck?
 

 

anything