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Author Topic: Community Building  (Read 7365 times)

Shiokara

Re: Community Building
« Reply #100 on: August 11, 2012, 01:42:20 am »
Quote from: Guardian 452
And he certainly has not been the only one in this thread with a "do this, do that" structure... yet he's the one getting fired back at.


The "do this, do that" structure isn't the issue. It is very easy to read the latest series of posts and see why things are getting defensive. Let's deconstruct a few responses into the base argument.

Drosk's first post can be summarized as, "This thread is pointless." Already that should raise some flags. I know if I were a forum mod, I'd be watching this thread real close with the lock key at this point.

Then there was a response that could essentially be summarized as, "Let me explain why this is not pointless."

Drosk replies with, "My X number of years experience allows me to tell you what you're doing wrong and why this is pointless if it continues like this."

Response was met with, "No doubt things could be better, but you're kind of being an arse."

The team did ask for community input, it's true. What they didn't ask for was a project manager or taskmaster. This thread is for suggestions regarding the in-game client, not for the way the game as a whole is developed. They didn't ask for the gaming equivalent of Gordon Ramsey. I suggest any such advice (if it is welcomed) would be best handled through personal tells rather than airing such dirty laundry in front of the players.
 

davidhoff

Re: Community Building
« Reply #101 on: August 11, 2012, 06:33:01 am »
*Leans back in his eeezy chair in "our" living room and watches Drosk run out the front door, leaving wet and muddy boot prints on the rug as he goes.  Leans back a bit more and takes a puff of his fat cigar*

"Pitty, I thought the lad had some zip"

----

Sorry that image came to me and I couldn't resist.  In all seriousness, I agree Drosk's post came across as condescending, self promoting and a bit insulting you could say.  It happens.  I'd probably consider a small appology if I was him, but I'm not.  Still I give the guy kudos for coming into a "hot" thread when he's such a new player.  He gave it a shot; cut him a bit of slack.

Dorg, Row and the team have a right to be defensive and return fire and I understand that.  We also do really appreciate all the work you guys on the team do for us for free.  Sometimes sitting on this side its hard to see all the work going on behind my screen.

This thread is about bringing in new people, but it seems to have had the reverse affect in this case(if Drosk does leave us; which I think he won't; hoping anyways).  In my time here I've seen several new faces come in and leave for various reasons.  The written medium makes things difficult.  Things are sometimes not what they seem.  Some folks just don't have the experience or skill to write what they mean in a nice way and they tend to come across harshly; this is true more often for the computer/geeky/programer types.  We did ask somewhere back to be brutally honest I thought.

It's such a fine line really.  I hate to see new folks come and go, but at the same time I understand the teams right to be defensive.  Guardian finally convinces this guy to give us a go and then he gets flogged on the forums..rightfully or not.  Anyways, I take my leave with a final thought.  If we want to open our living room to the public, maybe we should have a bucket of soapy water and a brush handy instead of a whip?
 

Link092

Re: Community Building
« Reply #102 on: August 11, 2012, 09:18:38 am »
Well, I think everyone here, myself included, needs to take a step back and let our undies air out a bit before we start un-bunching them. You might be thinking "Way to go Link, fuel the fire ya arse!" But think about this. We're communicating on a forum. Text only. As such, we're missing about 80-90% of communication. The non-verbal part. Needless to say, it is easy to misinterpret anything because we only have 10-20% of what is said to work with. The context behind it is missing.

SO, I'm not saying this to defend anyone, nor am I taking sides. But I do feel a build up of tension here, and I would just like to drop in a friendly reminder that Drosk may not have intended to offend anyone. (Okay, okay, maybe I'm playing devil's advocate :U but that's not the point.)


Cheers. :3
 

Link092

Re: Community Building
« Reply #103 on: August 11, 2012, 09:20:22 am »
If I didn't care about ya'll, I wouldn't comment. :U
 

Drosk

Re: Community Building
« Reply #104 on: August 11, 2012, 10:39:05 am »
Well, this puts the point on things.

Rowana and Dorgnath I think you both have exposed the complete problem here.

You are determined that you are the experts and anything that doesn't fit your world view is condescending, personal, and inflammatory.

None of my posts were condescending. My posts were based on my experience, knowledge and the information I have gathered here. I am trying to share that in a way that will help the community.

As for the posts being personal, if you are in a position of leadership, everything is personal to you. None of my posts were personal attacks though. Posts about how leadership is done and statements the leadership makes are not personal attacks. If you are going to be a leader, your positions and statements are going to be challenged by the community. You have to learn to keep that in the right context. If you can't, you might want to consider stepping back from leadership.

It is apparent that the real issue here is that the leadership isn't interested in what the community has to say unless it agrees with their worldview and the direction that has already been chosen by leadership.

As for me being self-promoting, I am not promoting anything. I am stating the facts. I have a great deal of experience in this area. I am an expert. I am most probably smarter than every one of you. I solve these kinds of problems every day for large sums of money. I spend a lot of time studying and researching user experience and interaction with enterprise software systems. I know what engages users and what turns them away. These aren't statements of arrogance. They are facts.

I offered my insight without expectation of anything other than having it heard and tried to put it in the context of my experience so that you would know that I have a valid frame of reference on these things.

The leadership being defensive and "firing back" is not how leadership should work. Over the history of what I can see here on these forums, that is the basic problem. The leadership tends to be defensive, dictatorial and likes to fire back. That isn't how communities and leadership work.

You are correct, you put your time and effort into this as a volunteer. Which you are welcome to quit doing at any time, but like any volunteer effort, when you invite other people to be involved and give input, you have to put yourself in a position of service and leadership, not a position of constantly complaining about how much time and money you have put in.

So let me put a fine point on this to clear this up perfectly...

Your new player experience SUCKS. It is no wonder you have trouble attracting and keeping players. Not only is the experience difficult, frustrating,  and just generally poor, but then you start piling on the inconsistencies and glitches within the world. One the pile gets so big, it is just not worth it when there are far better gaming experiences and communities out there. This world needs a lot of polish and clean up to make the experience more enjoyable for everyone.

And then when people start trying to talk about how to make things better and you say that there will be no intensive efforts, and that this or that is off the table, or fire back at every bit of advice that is given, you are just demonstrating that there is some other agenda at play here rather than just improving the game and the community.

People that have a financial interest in the MMO should not be speaking for or leading the NWN community anymore. It is a clear conflict of interest. That is why I suggested that there should be a separate team not involved with the MMO taking care of this community.
 

Dorganath

Re: Community Building
« Reply #105 on: August 11, 2012, 12:11:51 pm »
Ah yes, I so so enjoy this one...the one where someone accuses us of being "defensive", which either invites us to respond in some way to say we're not, ironically proving the point, or invites us to simply not say anything, thereby implying the point was correct and tacitly accepted.

In truth, I am defensive...though "protective" may be a better word.  But to be accurate, I'm protective of the world as a whole, not necessarily in its current state. There's fairly significant difference, but I'm not going to elaborate. I don't want to be seen as defensive.

Quote from: Drosk
You are determined that you are the experts and anything that doesn't fit your world view is condescending, personal, and inflammatory.

I do not have an issue with you making any constructive suggestions about how to improve the world.  I may disagree, discuss, try to draw out more, offer insight when matters turn technical or whatever, but I still read and consider every bit of advice that is given. I don't have a problem with it. None.

I also know I am a leader, and as a leader, my words and actions will be scrutinized under a microscope....like has been going on for the last several years. Oh yes, I'm well aware. This is nothing new.

I took exception solely to being told what I am thinking...to being told what we have decided and what our intentions are.  I don't mind being criticized, but if you're going to criticize me, at least be accurate.  You're not, where my mindset is concerned. You may think you are, but you're not.  Had you offered them as an observation (i.e. "It seems like the lead staff thinks...") rather than a statement of "fact" as you worded things, my response may have been different.

Apparently, Rowana and I were not the only ones who took exception to  your comments, but as Link092 observed, this is text, and some people do  not come across as well as it sounds in their heads in text.  Context  and visual cues are lost. I'm giving some benefit of the doubt as a result of this, but you could still offer positive suggestions and take the force of your posts back a notch or two. Right now, we're both talking and not really communicating.  That's a problem.

One other point. I don't mention the time and financial investments of keeping NWN running for sympathy. I mention it for perspective. If we didn't care about keeping the community alive and going, it would make absolutely no sense for us to continue to do either.  That's all.

Quote
As for me being self-promoting, I am not promoting anything. I am  stating the facts. I have a great deal of experience in this area. I am  an expert. I am most probably smarter than everyone of you. I solve  these kinds of problems every day for large sums of money. I spend a lot  of time studying and researching user experience and interaction with  enterprise software systems. I know what engages users and what turns  them away.

I'm offering the bolded text free of comment.

In truth, I have nothing but respect for your years of experience in such matters, and I really wish our first communication would have been on better terms and less adversarial from the first post. I think your insight and experience could actually be helpful, and many things you have said that were actually worded as constructive feedback are already on our minds. I don't question your advice; I question your approach.  I would hope that in your highly-paid day job that you might at least take the time to talk with and interact with the people involved before you start drawing conclusions. If so, I would have appreciated the same courtesy.

On that note, if you would care to continue this conversation, or try to start it over, I refer you to my PM inbox. As it is now, this sidebar is detracting from the thread.
 

Rowana

Re: Community Building
« Reply #106 on: August 11, 2012, 01:10:59 pm »
Two things. I opened this thread to be a subject specific discussion on how to make this community stronger. I didn't open the thread so people could trash those who have spent countless hours trying to maintain and better it. We DO welcome feedback. We don't welcome people attacking others. When the accusations start flying at people, things like accusing others of lying and attacking volunteer work ethic, we've a right to defend ourselves. People are welcome to their opinions, and we won't be stifling that. However, the reverse has to be respected as well. We're not doormats to be kicked and scuffed against without rebuke.

As has been stated, this thread is getting long and starting to get extremely off track. I'm going to leave it open for a few more days for those who'd like to offer suggestions about developing a stronger community. This thread will close on or around noon CDT of the 15th. The GM team/lead staff will not be responding any further though it's members are more than welcome to make suggestions as full members of this community.

We will be combing over the thread and the offered suggestions. We'll offer a synopsis and some commentary at that time. What we will or will not be able to do with the suggestions will depend on availability of manpower.

Thanks in advance,

~row
 

Maestro3P

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    Re: Community Building
    « Reply #107 on: August 11, 2012, 04:08:14 pm »
    Not having read most of this thread, I thought it still might be useful that I, as a new player, explain how I ended up at Layonara.

    The server I last played on is dying and beyond repair. That made me look around, first via the NWN GameSpy list. Of course, I had the password protected servers turned off. I did not see any servers that appealed to me, so I simply googled nwn rp server. I found this list, and at #9 I found Layonara.

    Since no one is unique, there's probably more people trying to find a good server the same way I did. While I write this, three suggestions come to mind (like I said, I haven't read most of this thread, so maybe others suggested the same, but here it is anyway):

    1) Remove the password from the server. Allow people to log in and then ask for the password via a voice command. It allows people to see Layonara, even when they're excluding password protected servers.

    2) Try to get into lists like on gamesites200 and try to move up to high positions.

    3) There's a lot of dying servers out there. Find them, because there's always a few players left on them. Most of them will be looking for a new server, or will be as soon as their server is officially dead. You don't have to "steal" players, just make them aware of our existence.
     

    Shiokara

    Re: Community Building
    « Reply #108 on: August 11, 2012, 04:21:04 pm »
    Going to throw a card in for the increased xp rates / lowered xp cap suggestion. It might not help for attracting new RPers, but it will help with player retention despite its being a mechanical tweak.

    Here are my RP-related arguments for why this mechanical change would help hold onto players longer.

    First, the player would feel more prepared to venture into new territories. Layonara is a large world with a rich lore, but a newer player won't be able to see the areas tied to that lore. One of my favorite things to do on Agmundr is to go around Mistone/Dregar exploring, and that exploration allows me to show areas to other players during RP. I also had a great RP experience with an impromptu during one of these trips. It was when there were blockades set up around Prantz. A GM seized control of one of the guards and started questioning Andrew. As I walked back from one of my exploration trips, I spotted them and I had to vouch for "William's" existence as a performer. Good stuff.

    Second, the player will have an easier time catching up to more experienced players. One of the common gripes of new players seems to be that they feel insignificant in a world of epics. It doesn't help that some quests lines are sometimes leveled at 10+ or 15+. If lower players do attend these quests, then they are really just along for the ride. This helps RP by getting players to those suggested level caps, which allows players to add to their CDT's, form relationships with other players, and become more personally engaged in the world.

    The level caps used to not be so insurmountable because a player could attend (provided he or she had the time) three or four quests a week and pick up a decent chunk of experience. The current level caps seem like a mechanic left over from a Layo that no longer exists.

    I have a question. Is there any chance we can recruit people from other diminishing roleplaying communities? It might be worth doing some research, but there has to be some Rhy'din-esque community that's hurting right now. They would likely not be bothered by the graphical limitations.
     

    Link092

    Re: Community Building
    « Reply #109 on: August 11, 2012, 05:49:48 pm »
    Continuing on the matter of other servers.

    Perhaps there are a few other dying, but established RP servers around. Why not only introduce them, but incorporate them? No no, silly goose! not take them over. But perhaps the owner(s) and player(s) might be interested in the transition, perhaps bringing some of their world to layonara? Not changing the dynamics and such, but what about locations? Another interesting idea is the concept of culture. Layonara, veiwing as an actual world, not an RP server, should have a multitude of diverse cultures present. Relatively speaking, that isn't well displayed at all. AT ALL! :U

    *ahem* but to the point, presented with the idea, perhaps we could expand even some of the unknown lore that is tied to Layo, as it is, in my eyes, ever-changing and developing (once again, as a world, not as a server).

    Yes yes, I know this might be sticky and icky and layered with red tape, blue tape, yellow tape and all sorts of other tape (fly tape is the worst :U), but it's a potential idea. Servers with a large player base tend to maintain a strong base. Layo is a particular exception to how some RP servers work, but in example, look at Arabel. Their character process and the the like is much more lax then what we see here. is it bad? no. but I don't care for it as much. But also, I don't think I've ever seen that server below 15 players, and I did play there a bit. but for me there was something missing. when I started, I knew NOTHING about anything. There was no lore to reference, and the Roleplay style was... off, to me. I like Layo because it's lore has a strong structure and a strong base. Sure, I may not be able to start off with a sea elf monk (*cries*), but the base provided for you makes not only developing a story easier for you, but there is an extremely fun challenge in adapting your ideas to a world that exists.

    So to my point, your only going to attract and maintain those that have a direct interest in Roleplay and/or willingness to explore it and maintain their interest in it (Much like Señor DavidHoff started with bashy in mind, but found out that Roleplay was the pizza to his beer). And if we roll with the idea of looking for other players from other roleplay servers, particularly one's that are going kaputt, your gonna need a sample of the spice on their pizza. Something made them choose that server over yours, so either an adaptation or acknowledgment that there is something similar between the two will be needed.

    dunno if that made sense... I just got back from a long hike in the mountains and my legs are screaming at my mind to shut down and sleep, not slap the keyboard like a chimp. ;A; shhhhhushshshsh, legs. I'll go to bed eventually.
     

    merlin34baseball

    Re: Community Building
    « Reply #110 on: August 11, 2012, 09:10:48 pm »
    I would make a respectful request.

    I would like to maintain this thread for it's original purpose, to talk about increasing player base, not to talk trash.

    I understand why people get upset, especially if they feel attacked, and as Link said, text DOES NOT convey actual emotions.

    Please everyone, view this thread as a way to make Layo better, not criticize what has been done in the past.

    I have greatly enjoyed my years here, and it makes me cringe watching people bash the VOLUNTEERS that have kept me, and my son, and now my daughter, entertained for years.

    My Thanks,
    Merlin34
     

    Link092

    Re: Community Building
    « Reply #111 on: August 12, 2012, 08:36:27 am »
    Quote from: merlin34baseball
    I would make a respectful request.

    I would like to maintain this thread for it's original purpose, to talk about increasing player base, not to talk trash.

    I understand why people get upset, especially if they feel attacked, and as Link said, text DOES NOT convey actual emotions.

    Please everyone, view this thread as a way to make Layo better, not criticize what has been done in the past.

    I have greatly enjoyed my years here, and it makes me cringe watching people bash the VOLUNTEERS that have kept me, and my son, and now my daughter, entertained for years.

    My Thanks,
    Merlin34


    As I read this, I started singing this, LMFAO. Doesn't help the radio has been playing a lot of Marley lately. :3
     

    Teo

    Re: Community Building
    « Reply #112 on: August 12, 2012, 09:57:00 am »
    One thing that makes a lot of people leave the server is that there is a level spree from 1-7, and after that it slows down dramatically. Maybe make it a more gradual slowdown, because if you look on Lore and find all of those abandoned characters whose players haven't played in a year +, they are mostly right around level 7.
     

    Guardian 452

    Re: Community Building
    « Reply #113 on: August 12, 2012, 11:28:43 am »
    7 to say 9 I agree after that things seem to get better
     

    Pibemanden

    Re: Community Building
    « Reply #114 on: August 12, 2012, 11:43:10 am »
    I think that the problem around level 7 is that when you get there you are done with all the easy stuff like the Hempstead sewers and such, but if your build isn't combat oriented enough you will get punished.
    I can see it myself with Sebair, he can't hold his own in any "meaningful" fight for his level. This is very hard to balance really since we want to encourage RP, but some mechanical choices this enforce might end up harming the players out of RP situation enjoyment of the world since everything is designed for perfect balance against the good builds.
    Maybe small scripted quests which reset on server reset could be implemented to give maybe 1000-2500 xp for specific deeds based on alignment, deity or something different. This will probably take too much effort, but it is still worth suggesting.
    What I am mostly concerned about really is that people come here expecting that RP builds are king or might not have found the exact way through the NWN/layo mechanics to fully optimize their character for breaching level ten and starting on the grid/daily routine which comes for players who are still around.
    I know that is putting the gameplay a little down to being one dimensional, but mostly when you do not log on because you see someone else, have a quest, have a good group online so you are sure to find allies. You simply just need to power to get around the most basic challenges and find whatever it is you need to craft or kill for those extra xp/gold you need for that level/piece of gear.
    This ability is a bit missing in some common level 7 "builds"/"restrictions" because we have balanced so much towards groups that without a decent ability to 1) Have protections from abilities, 2) Have decent protection against damage, 3) Output just enough damage. You will be pretty hard pressed, and if you play a character which is somewhat gear or content restricted by choice you will be even harder pressed.
     

    Pen N Popper

    Re: Community Building
    « Reply #115 on: August 12, 2012, 12:42:16 pm »
    Crikey! Long thread and worth the read, though I may have to re-read to catch all the details.

    I've come and gone a number of times over the years. Each time I leave for very similar reasons and then in the same vein return because of what the other games lack.

    My critical posts are probably too old and numerous for anyone but the dedicated veterands to know or care about. In short, I find that grinding for XP and levels detracts from what I enjoy about Layo, the RP. I cannot stress enough how disappointing it is for a player with limited playing hours to have to spend them running solo through the woods killing bugs instead of RPing. I've asked before and I'll ask again, "What type of player do you want around, and why don't you optimize the experience for them?"

    In my opinion, Layo in its current state is optimized for solo players wishing to grind in either XP or crafting. I tried very hard with my most recent character to toe the line of "RP as its own reward." She was, like my other PCs, a facilitator of other people's stories. A "home body" townie that I wanted to be accessible and engaged in the stories spun both by GMs and other PCs. Her player, me, would purposefully misconstrue innocent player actions in order to force rumors and stories.

    This brings me to what has always brought me back to Layonara: The PC-driven stories. I believed that here player actions could and should shape the world. I think, though, that this did not scale well as the players dwindled.

    For me, I want a world that I'm invested in. I want one where my past PCs, due to their living stories, have made physical and visible impacts on the world and its history. I want to play where I can experience and share other players working towards their own histories in the making.

    I'll reiterate portions of past suggestions:

    + Please, please institute a playing-time based leveling system. I'm not sure why my "level per month" idea is continually viewed as a bad idea. You're forcing character level progression to be entirely grinding based.

    + The world is too big for so few. If you want combat to dominate play in the world, consider making it insanely easy to get the five online players in and out of areas. (Diablo 3 travel defines that well.) This makes the big world small by accessibility.

    + Pick a single town to be "player run." Political structure, military ranks, religious hierarchy, and on. Let the players truly shape the world by scheduling regular monthly area updates. The church slowly gets built, the farms get planted, etc. Make the changes require in-world cost (wood, stone, ore, etc.) to give grinding a larger purpose than just ones own progressment.

    + Increase rewards for regular playing. In Diablo if you kill a few boss groups, your chance of finding loot increases. Perhaps a simple server log scrubber to track playing time and bump up XP accrual. Heck, maybe the accrual is server wide based upon the number of unique players that show up during "recruitment week."

    Once you get a new player, your number one goal is to retain them. Give them multiple ways to be engaged with the world and its story. Make them believe that they are in fact part of that story.

    I believe it is unique in the world of shallow hack&slash online video games. Its power comes from the intricate lore its founders started and its players pushed forward. Believe me when I say that I want to come back. I have always wanted to be part of the solution.

    ~ PnP
     

    jadewillow

    Re: Community Building
    « Reply #116 on: August 12, 2012, 02:19:11 pm »
    As long as we are throwing out ideas, I think reexamining the XP progression chart would probably be a good idea.

    • As many have said the 7-9 levels seem problematic for most.
    • In addition, I'm not sure the WL hump from 20 to 21 is really serving its purpose. I suspect it is not encouraging folks to be WLs. Even if it did, not sure XP should be a motivator for a WL.
    • Not sure what the 30-40 table looks like, but I'd like to see it get a bit more difficult to progress at those levels.
    • Finally, I'm probably being ignorant here about the NWN engine, but is it possible to remove the level 40 cap? If possible, would that open up a pretty nasty can of worms?


    All of these might have an unmanageable impact on current PCs, but thought I'd throw in my two cents.
     

    Dorganath

    Re: Community Building
    « Reply #117 on: August 12, 2012, 02:32:42 pm »
    I just want to throw this into the discussion, because it's come up several times (here and at least one other thread) and I want people to know what the effect will be...

    Changing the XP progression will cause people's levels to change.  NWN defines levels by total XP numbers, not the amount it takes to get from one to the other.  If the latter was true, we could adjust things without an issue, because only all leveling from that point forward would be affected.  As it is, depending on how the table was adjusted, levels could go up or down. I don't think either is a particularly good idea. I'm sure those who would stand to gain several levels would think it's great.  People who could stand to lose levels (i.e. those above 30 in jadewillow's post) might not think it is so great.

    If we were starting over, it might be worthwhile to examine XP progression, but at this stage of the game, I'm not sure it's a wise idea.
     

    Wisper2

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      Re: Community Building
      « Reply #118 on: August 12, 2012, 09:51:47 pm »
      It's funny (well, not funny exactly, but.. bear with me.)

      I've had two run ins with Layonara. The first time, I really enjoyed it, but when the MMO was announced a lot of my friends at the time declared the NWN version of Layonara dead and moved on to other servers, and I followed and didn't look back. The loss of my beloved Hlint also kind of stole some of the magic away. Just my experience for reference sake, not saying you guys should have handled anything different, I know we're all just doing the best we can. But, well, when you announced the MMO it did basically sound like the NWN version of Layo was over.

      The second time I tried Layo was maybe 2? years ago and this exact discussion was going on in the forum. I've been thinking about checking it out again, and I probably will, but I can also see that what drove me away from the server the second time- the feeling of futility at being low level, primarily- remains.

      So just from my limited experience of generally fond but not entirely positive memories (i.e. I like the potential here more than the experience, and I definitely appreciate the community's existence even as I saw that it was really difficult to actually become an accepted member) I'd say I have a couple of.. not suggestions exactly, but maybe things that come to MY mind, at least...

      One, I think the people you could court would be from outside NWN. NWN is on its last legs, it has a reprieve in that GOG is selling it dirty cheap (with messed up online codes of course) but you're hardly going to see an influx of new players in numbers that matter.

      But if you court people from on-line RP forums, primarily from the world of PNP- as in, conventions, hobby shops, etc... I think Layo's advantage is that it is very much the PnP experience, or at least has the capability to give you that, and I could certainly see where a certain crowd who doesn't generally go for online gaming would really be into it. Maybe arrange quests out of the game, and court outsiders to join that way at appointed times, and run it all like a weekly game of PnP with friends old-school style.

      As far as character approvals go (which I personally think are a giant crocodile filled moat around this castle), here's a suggestion: allow DMs running a quest to approve PC characters for that quest. Perhaps an interested player could give a bio or a rough idea of what they want to play and the DM could give them a character they can use, who will fit into the quest as part of his backstory so a giant application isn't needed. And make this character only playable during this quest, until that series is complete.

      This seems like win-win to me for new players.. I can say I want to play a human rogue, the DM gives me a quickly drawn up human rogue to play who makes sense in the quest, no three day waiting period to find out you spelled a place name wrong. Yes, I exaggerate, but honestly, you're asking people who don't know this server, who just found it randomly from who knows where, to spend a few hours writing an application with a bio that has to make sense in your world, and then you grade them on it and often demand corrections! Think of it from an outsider's point of view- if you stumbled on a community like that you'd never heard of and they asked that of you, how many of you would really bother? Maybe that made sense when this was a popular game as a way to keep the riffraff out but honestly, in 2012?

      And hell, let DMs start at a level appropriate to the quest too, assuming it's not over, I don't know, level 10 or so. Yes, really. Which bridges to--

      Two, the level thing is a problem. You do need to make it feel POSSIBLE. You don't need time sinks in 2012 to slow people down. You need people to be of roughly the same levels to have a vibrant world where people can group up for quests and to explore, not sit on the bench because they're 10 levels too low and they know it will take 6 months at this pace to even get halfway there.

      Yes, I'm saying it... It DOES just plain suck to be low level here, or at least it did a while ago. It doesn't seem possible at all to level up when you're at level 8 and you have to solo almost all the time because there's no one else at level 8 around, ever. You're asking for an insane time commitment from people that again, made sense in 2006, but in 2012? Meanwhile for low level players there's no sense of community, no sense of camaraderie, just as I said in a post when I gave up the second time, the sense that you've arrived at what was an amazing party after the cops came and busted it up and sent everybody home.

      So why not just make it super-quick to level up to a point, or even start people higher? Why not give people a level every time they finish a quest up to a point as well? Does that mean you can rocket to level 20 much, much faster now than the current epics had to? Sure. But that person rocketing who'd be 20 doesn't have nearly the opportunity to have fun along the way that a current epic born in 2006 would have. (And if changing the XP tables throws everyone off- do it another way besides solely through killing monsters! More side quests or things to touch to give you XP to keep you on scavenger hunts way past level 5 if nothing else!)

      I think there's a lot of great people trying their best here and I definitely applaud you guys and hope for the best. I've not often wanted to cheer on a community that I had no real involvement in, as much as this one. So take my rant in the spirit it was intended, please, and I'll pop in with an old character soon to look around if nothing else.
       

      Guardian 452

      Re: Community Building
      « Reply #119 on: August 12, 2012, 10:36:09 pm »
      Nice post Whisper2. I think you have some very valid points about levels, leveling etc. I believe we most certainly have a wall that people here hit (around level 8 I agree) and I think it has been a factor in them looking elsewhere for their gaming fix. Unless they are lucky enough to play in one of the few remaining timezones that folks play in. Or they land themselves in one of the clicks (guilds) in layo and get help from them.. and their alts. Or you are lucky enough to be able to play at the time one of the remaining quest series is running.

      Outside of those areas leveling up your character is a long and seemingly impossible road... thus I believe it drives people away. I dont think everyone needs to be handed the magical keys that unlocks the doors to level 40 in a couple months of playing.... but we need to give people some feeling of accomplishment aside from the RP which no has ever came here and said was lacking.

      .