Home > Game Development, Jointhesaga.com, OtherSpace > Thinking About: Word of Mouth

Thinking About: Word of Mouth

We haven’t had a contribution toward server and marketing costs for OtherSpace since the middle of October 2009. Not a dime to put toward even one month of banner advertising. That’s not the worst news, though. The games of Jointhesaga.com aren’t a full-fledged business venture for me and haven’t been for a couple of years. They’re part of a hobby that I would like to see pay for itself. The economy being what it is, though, I’m not weeping over the lack of revenue. The game’s not in any danger of shutting down. Please don’t take this as whining for contributions – I know people are stretched thin, we all are, so that isn’t what this is about. I’m troubled by a different deficit.

I’m concerned because even when we’ve lacked server contributions in the past we’ve had a decent amount of word-of-mouth, which we’ve lacked that lately, and *that* is the worst news.

The game’s not dying. When I log on any given night, I see at least 30-50 characters online. So, the *people* are there. They’re just not talking much about the game. And that means less chance for the game to grow. We might not see the game die, but it’ll certainly stagnate.

That’s a little troubling to me. The best thing any MUSH can have going for it is word of mouth from the players to draw in new people. It’s really not enough for me to yammer about the game, but yammer I do. During the holiday break, I posted repeatedly about OtherSpace in the following places:

* Our Facebook fan page
* My Twitter feed
* Top MUD Sites
* The MUD Connector
* Web Game Friends
* MUDGamers.com
* About a dozen Yahoogroup mailing lists
* My WordPress blog, with posts like this one

So, yours truly is busy waving the flag. It’s a start, but it’s akin to treading water. I just don’t think it does the job well enough. We need to be swimming with stronger strokes.

Years ago, I could expect to visit TMS or TMC and see our players posting reviews or discussion threads. They’d make their own websites – I remember fondly the epic job that Blackstone did with Sivad’s site and the effort Stargazer put into her Quaquan site. Now? We’re lucky if players even use their community site blogs or post in the forums. I asked for testimonial blurbs via the forums this past weekend. I think we got three. THREE? Really? I think we can do better.

What do you think is going on here? Would it help if I reminded people that they can earn badges for this sort of thing? Is it something we can fix? Are we not getting word of mouth because there’s nothing to talk about? Do people just have nothing to say? Or am I worrying about nothing?

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  1. Sergeytov
    January 4, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    As a resident tin foil hatter, I figure it’s okay to open with: “It’s natural to worry about something like this.”

    1) As far as posting on web sites right now? Web sites certainly feel like they’re in a state of flux. I know that’s being worked on. There’s still information all over the place and it’s in the process of being transferred. Old-wiki, New-wiki, community site, forums, this blog. While some of these are phased out in favor of the newer sites, it’s a reasonable expectation for this to happen. This is nothing new. I’ve known my forum threads seemed to get lost in all that shuffle too. Admittedly it could be annoying for some players to think they need to make four different accounts just to keep up (new wiki, here, community site, forum). This will probably get better as site functions are centralized and tightened to work better.

    2) This centralization is probably why ‘independent web sites’ aren’t such a big thing anymore. Truth be told, I found their presence to be somewhat annoying, another site to remember to keep in touch with. They might have done good marketing, you’d probably know better than I, but as player resources it was better just to wiki them or put them somewhere centralized.

    3) Plot-wise, the game is similarly in a state of flux. Some of us are trying to work on developing and using tools to help players out. Getting players to be less dependent on staff run plots and use plot tools for players is a big goal. We know this change won’t take place overnight, and at some points there’ll be lulls as some players step down plot initiation and others haven’t quite stepped up. This is part of why I’m very much in favor of developing useful tools/advice to help novice plot-runners. I could go on for a very long time on this topic, but have threads elsewhere to try and begin the work of covering this.

    —-

    It’s no secret I’m an advocate of the way the game looks like it’s moving in. It’s not an easy road. Psi is being worked on, plot-focus is being shifted, we have shuttles to planets and other locales, and the web resources are being refined. I might be missing a thing or two, but I think it’s largely a case of growing pains, and players trying to figure out their place in the game and community as things change.

    • January 4, 2010 at 4:10 pm

      I appreciate the feedback. I do recognize that things are in flux, but I still feel like there ought to be more going on from the player side of things. No matter how wild and crazy I might get with changing the hub website, TMS and TMC haven’t changed much at all. MUDGamers is an easy resource. Why do you suppose people aren’t involving themselves in the broader community? It’s out there (among other places) that we’re liable to latch onto people.

    • January 4, 2010 at 4:16 pm

      Also, for purposes of clarity:

      I don’t have any plans to eliminate the community site – it’s a good spot for players to have their own blogs.

      The OV Wiki at Wikia.com isn’t going anywhere, but it’s not as big a priority for my attention as the local OS Wiki and Necro Wiki.

      As for forums: Barring any hideous security issues, we should be sticking with the Simple Machines forum for the long haul.

      This blog is primarily just for my own personal ramblings, although I will direct players to it when items of particular interest to them are posted.

  2. Sergeytov
    January 4, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    If I had to guess, and extrapolate a reason similar to why I’m not out in those sections of the community: Those sites aren’t on my list of daily stops. TMC’s forums drive me mad, and last time I looked at TMS I wasn’t too wowed either. I know I’d get involved on TMS sometimes, last about three weeks, shrug and start leaving it out of my daily clicking.

    • January 4, 2010 at 4:19 pm

      Those are good points. Do you have any daily stops that are better? Or do you think we’re stuck with what we’ve got, and that’s just not serving our purposes?

  3. Sergeytov
    January 4, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    I’ve been in a recluse phase in terms of my being elsewhere in the community. I’m not even checking in on Fark on a daily basis right now.

    Are we stuck with what we have? Probably not. The best thought I have at the moment would be to try and find ‘secondary’ sites that take advertising for things similar to MU*s, like PBEM and online tabletop (via ORPG and such). No, I don’t know any such sites at the moment, and am mostly just wild guessing to try and see if someone can do something with it.

    I know I hit up a lot of the LJ RP communities that allow advertising on a six month time a couple months ago.

    If people want a ‘simple’ solution that requires little more effort than already in place is a simple three-line forum sig for people to c&p for use on other forums they visit regularly. Three lines because I think that’s some kind of common limit on sig length.

    • January 4, 2010 at 4:33 pm

      The sig suggestion is a good one – I use it on TMS, TMC, and even the World of Warcraft forums when I post there.

    • January 4, 2010 at 4:35 pm

      The Yahoogroups that I post to are like you’re talking about – PBEM, MUD, online tabletop, that sort of thing.

      I’d like to see more viral things happening via Twitter and Facebook – they’re where the action is now, rather than LJ.

  4. Arie Taylor
    January 5, 2010 at 1:35 am

    I honestly feel weird advertising a game where so many things are arbitrary, nonexistent, or halfway done. Having to tell people that yeah, the numbers on those weapons and armor are meaningless, and hey, you don’t even really *need* the objects (as an example) is just… well, weird. Skills keep getting changed. Crafting is undergoing all *sorts* of weirdness now apparently, not just with objects being added, but with the fundamentals of the entire system. I dislike feeling like everything is in a state of flux, and I feel like if I pitched it to any friends I have that are into that sort of thing they’d ask me wtf is up with the half-done game. In any case, I’ve found it hard to muster interest myself since I got back from vacation, so advertising… yeah.

    • January 5, 2010 at 7:47 am

      I appreciate where you’re coming from. Nevertheless, I’m going to call shenanigans. I accept a great deal of blame for changing websites and Wikis, but back when this game originally started in 1998, it had NO lore, NO forums, NO crafting system, NO skills, NO weapon objects – and people still had a great time roleplaying and found something to say to promote the game to their friends, even if it was as simple as: We get into trouble, chase after virtual bad guys, and save the day.

      If you’re finding it hard to muster interest, that’s an issue, but I think maybe there’s some scapegoating going on there.

      Crafting is undergoing all sorts of weirdness? Really? We’re SQLifying the objects to alleviate database bloat and removing craftlevels, making it possible for anyone to make anything if they’ve got the right equipment, components, and crafting minutes. As fundamental changes go, they’re all in the right direction.

      Skills are always changing? Indeed? We’ve not changed them much since the reboot last January and those that HAVE changed have been due to player input about the system.

      We’ve NEVER been fully done. Not since 1998. I don’t really believe in a finished game. We’re always evolving.

      • Arie Taylor
        January 5, 2010 at 9:41 am

        Skills: It took how long and how much rabble-rousing to get psi negation in? Even then it wasn’t right. It took months just to get that changed.

        Crafting: Okay, those changes are in the right direction. I’ll give you that. But it’s been a year since the changeover.

        I guess my complaint is more that things happen so slowly, then.

        Admittedly some of my “out of touch-ness” with these things is probably because I do not read the forums anymore. They’ve changed so many times that it’s utterly maddening, and that’s just since I joined in 2005. I haven’t even signed up for the most recent ones. I don’t see any point.

        In any case, in 1998, the world of text-based gaming was different. We both know this. You didn’t have MMORPG’s and other long-established games to contend with. Yes, I’ll agree that the thematic reboot was needed. It made the place a lot more newbie-friendly. I’m just a person that likes my shiny code bits, I suppose. I can freeform RP with people that I trust to do so, but IMHO, the best way to arbitrate character conflicts is an impartial system.

  5. January 5, 2010 at 10:08 am

    Yeah, I absolutely agree that the forum changes are maddening. Sadly, they’ve been necessary (most of the time) due to security issues with the types of BB software that we’ve been using and the lack of a decent sysop to manage them.

    I’m NOT a decent sysop for forums.

    So, I make do with what I’ve got until Marson tells me that there’s an issue and then I change as needed. (The original OtherSpace Wiki was the same deal – it was fine until it became an insecure spam magnet, and Marson told us we had to shut it down.)

    Anyway, the world has changed for MUDs, but I would argue that it hasn’t changed for roleplaying. Tabletop gaming is still out there, despite the rise of MMORPGs – and, before that, the rise of MUDs. Books persevere despite the coming of movies, TVs, and e-readers.

    If you like shiny code bits, you ought to be loving HSpace 5.0 and the new resource system Wik put in. You certainly should enjoy crafting once it gets the new overhaul. Loki also has some ideas for the +org system that will make it more dynamic and profitable for those who run them.

    As for things happening slowly: If I was running this as a business and making substantial money at it, I’d feel compelled to work faster. As with everyone else, though, the job that DOES pay my bills must come first. During the past year, I’ve been astoundingly busy with Fallen Earth. That’s probably not changing anytime soon. So, I rely on Colchek, Loki, and Wik to carry as much of the load as they can – but they too are saddled with lives and responsibilities. Nevertheless, Colchek and Loki are doing amazing work and creating a dynamic system that I think people will really enjoy. And Wik…well, he has single-handedly brought us back together with HSpace and has done a lot of listening to feedback from players.

    We might not get things done fast, but we used to change fast left and right, often for the worse, and I’m more concerned these days with doing it right than doing it fast.

    • Arie Taylor
      January 5, 2010 at 3:47 pm

      “If you like shiny code bits, you ought to be loving HSpace 5.0 and the new resource system Wik put in. You certainly should enjoy crafting once it gets the new overhaul. Loki also has some ideas for the +org system that will make it more dynamic and profitable for those who run them.”

      …I honestly haven’t played with HSpace. It’s too gorram complex and the commands are completely unintuitive. I played with it a little bit and went: when I need a cheat sheet to *fly my ship*, it’s not worth it. There’s shiny code and then there’s *shiny* code. To me, code should be easy to use.

      I always enjoyed crafting, yes. I was one of the people that got positively rabid about wanting it to come over from OS:M.

      New +org stuff would be cool.

      I grok the idea of needing to take care of what pays the bills first. That’s where I’m at, too. After having scored this (absolutely amazing) full time job, I have significantly less time to play than when I used to work part-time retail. All I have is my weekends (Wednesday and Thursday, lol) and a few hours in the evenings. That’s all my free time I have to do *everything* though so I feel like I’m having to pick and choose. My interests are cyclical. Past experience has proven this. I’ll most likely be back on the MUSH when my interest in other things wanes again.

      I also grok not wanting change for the sake of change. Bravo.

      Hn. I have someone in mind to pitch the place to. I’ll see what I can do. I could possibly put the spin on it about helping to *build* the canon. People like stuff like that. I’ll call it an experiment.

      • January 5, 2010 at 3:50 pm

        It’s appreciated. Glad to hear about your awesome new gig, though!

  6. Razorback
    January 5, 2010 at 11:51 am

    I must admit to being part of the problem in this case. I come in every couple of days, play a scene or two, maybe start some mayhem, and log off satisfied. I don’t really care too much about coded systems, as I have heretofore suggested, I’ve just always been fascinated by the story and the elements that come out of RP.
    I have more or less been feeding off of the MUSH all this time and giving precious little in return.

    Of late, with the exception of the Christmas break,I have attempted to rectify this by becoming more involved, writing my first review in years, running some minor events, and using one of my characters to generate some more political and diplomatic RP.

    I encourage everyone else to do so as well. I know we all have real lives to live. As it is, I have a fiance who has a plethora of medical conditions, a rather demanding job, an hour-long commute, and an 80 lb. Golden Retriever. The time I have to devote to MUSHing is incredibly limited and even when I do have time, I am sometimes pulled away unexpectedly. But this is something we all enjoy and putting i n a little work occasionally would be no bad thing. Thanks to all of you and the staff and especially Brody for keeping the playground I grew up on alive and kicking.

    • January 5, 2010 at 4:16 pm

      Your efforts are appreciated, Razor. However, I should reiterate (or iterate, if I haven’t said so already) that I do not think responsibility for this issue falls entirely on players, per se. It could just as easily be my fault – not for changing websites or forums, but for failing to ask this fairly fundamental question sooner.

      Hopefully, talking about it will serve the purpose of revving the engines for all of us.

  7. Sergeytov
    January 5, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    The “half-finished” thing isn’t, to my knowledge, something felt by only one or two people. Also, while I might personally understand the context of the situation, and others might as well, I’m not in the business of explaining all of this stuff to newbies.

    “but back when this game originally started in 1998, it had NO lore, NO forums, NO crafting system, NO skills, NO weapon objects – and people still had a great time roleplaying”

    While I’m not going to that kind of mentality is illegitimate (because it isn’t), that mentality hasn’t been the prevailing one here for years. It is also not, judging by the policy decisions made by staff, the direction the game is aiming to go in. So while that might have applied long ago, it’s not a justification for anything at this point.

    I know the code is being worked on, I know things are being discussed. I’m not going to come anywhere close to claiming “Staff is doing nothing.” There’s a word that comes to my mind when I think about the code side of things: Beta. It’s playable, there’s plenty of fun to be had, but there’s plenty of crunchy bits that are incomplete.

    “Crafting is undergoing all sorts of weirdness? Really? We’re SQLifying the objects to alleviate database bloat and removing craftlevels, making it possible for anyone to make anything if they’ve got the right equipment, components, and crafting minutes.”

    First time I’ve heard about this in an official sense, and I pay attention. This is probably news to just about every other non-staffer who reads this too.

    “Anyway, the world has changed for MUDs, but I would argue that it hasn’t changed for roleplaying. Tabletop gaming is still out there, despite the rise of MMORPGs – and, before that, the rise of MUDs. Books persevere despite the coming of movies, TVs, and e-readers.”

    The world of roleplaying itself has changed. It undergoes its fads, its fundamental shifts, and so on. Look at discussions of the concept of ‘dungeon ecology’ coming up every so often. It was, for some, no longer merely enough to merely throw a few monsters into a cave and say ‘have fun’, they wanted to know how the creatures interacted with each other. Belief that an activity or hobby is not changing, evolving, or trying new things is dangerous.

    —-

    At any rate, the ‘things feel half finished’ feeling some players may experience is, for them, a good enough reason to not talk about it too loudly, especially going around advertising. Whether or not they’re right isn’t the issue, but rather it’s their belief that is the issue. Suggesting that such a belief is ‘shenanigans’ or wrong certainly isn’t persuading those who feel that way that they are not correct in their assessment.

    Optimistically? It’ll take time for those changes mentioned to be completed and filter down to that mindset. Obviously those of us who stay around at the very least have faith in the potential of improvement, and generally do enjoy the game, so it’s not as uphill a battle as it might sound.

    • January 5, 2010 at 12:58 pm

      I use the word “shenanigans” with much lurve and respect. I think I’ve gone out of my way to say I understand where folks are coming from, but I *do* also want to call people out when they’re blaming the half-finished nature of things when it’s really more a lack of time or enthusiasm for the game that may have NOTHING to do with where we are with game systems and EVERYTHING to do with where they are with their feelings about MUSHing and roleplaying in general.

      There’s nothing wrong with losing interest in a hobby and moving on to something else. We’ve had lots of players come and go. I’d just like to see the people who stick with it do as Razorback has suggested and do *something*, *anything*, to raise a little bit of interest in the game. No one has to wait until we’re finished for that. Hell, the half-finished nature is a selling point in and of itself because players who come in now have the opportunity to help shape the game’s core design with their input.

      As for not announcing the crafting stuff sooner: Apparently, someone has been talking, because Arie certainly knew well enough that changes were afoot. It wasn’t me. I was hoping to wait until the work was finished to say “Okay, all craftable objects are now in an SQL database instead of object parents in the MUSH itself” – not that it should REALLY matter to players. The real change coming for players will be the elimination (or at least the severe reduction) of craftlevels and a focus on stuff you want to build as opposed to things you HAVE to build to get to the things you WANT to build. I’m only talking about it *now* because if someone is talking about it, I believe the official word needs to be set down so that we’re not off a different page.

      All of that said: I appreciate everything said so far in this discussion, whether I always agree with it or not. If you care one way or another, it’s worth hearing about. The silence was just getting a little too deafening for me.

  8. Rarrisaurus
    January 5, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    Arie Taylor :I feel like if I pitched it to any friends I have that are into that sort of thing they’d ask me wtf is up with the half-done game.

    To which one could reply: “This is a MUSH, not an MMO. You can help fill in the blanks for a better tomorrow. It’s not “half-done” – it just has space for your imagination to fill.”

    That’s how we did it OldSchool-style. We didn’t say, “Hey, where is the Demarian lore on religion?” We said, “Hey, HERE is the Demarian lore on religion!”

    We dropped that “w” and we psyched Brody the hell out! He didn’t know what the hell to do! >:3

    • January 5, 2010 at 3:36 pm

      True story.

    • Sergeytov
      January 5, 2010 at 5:35 pm

      An assessment that might actually make sense if the ‘half-done’ comments were about theme rather than coded systems.

      While the phrase ‘half-done’ might be used by some, it generally isn’t talking about theme.

      • January 5, 2010 at 6:47 pm

        Yes, it often is. Particularly about how sparse the lore is about the races. Which is accurate. Sadly, we don’t have as many people who are bold enough to suggest adopting a race to flesh out. Back in the day, we had Demarian fans and Timonae fans fleshing them out and getting my approval for what they came up with.

        We don’t HAVE that many coded systems, first of all.

        * +Vote? Solid! Works great.

        * +Org? Doing pretty well, we just want to add to it.

        * +News? Works fine.

        * HSpace? That’s in *alpha* and we’re the guinea pigs, so of course it isn’t finished, but it’s coming along.

        * Crafting? It wasn’t even half done when I stepped back and said “People are bitching about this and it’s not even finished yet – we need to re-examine how it works.” Is it mission critical to the survival of the game? No. Will it be a big help when it’s finished? Yep.

        * Skills? These have always been a work in progress and are a very fair target for complaint as one of the things we’ve changed too often/too quickly. Nevertheless, they’re in much better shape now than they were in the past, but we continue to seek improvements.

        Things that really are half done, or less, include the new Wiki and the new forums. The Wiki will fill over time. The forums? Well, that’s up to the players.

      • Sergeytov
        January 5, 2010 at 7:11 pm

        If the ‘theme’ side is an issue: There’s already badges offered for planet descs, ship class descs, guide writing and a few other things. Do they exist for ‘notable thematic contributions?’ (I can’t remember any at the immediate moment)

        If there’s motivation in that form for so much else, ‘notable thematic contribution’ is probably safe to add to the list.

  9. January 5, 2010 at 7:29 pm

    Sergeytov :

    If the ‘theme’ side is an issue: There’s already badges offered for planet descs, ship class descs, guide writing and a few other things. Do they exist for ‘notable thematic contributions?’ (I can’t remember any at the immediate moment)

    If there’s motivation in that form for so much else, ‘notable thematic contribution’ is probably safe to add to the list.

    I can’t take issue with an idea that’s good. Sounds like a plan.

    • January 11, 2010 at 12:19 am

      Per a suggestion of Mikage’s (inspired by the Plattitudes blog discussion about player retention), I’ve added lots of new badges related to the creation of lore about the various races. Check out the complete list at http://www.jointhesaga.com/oswiki/index.php/Game_Development

      Earn all Lorebuilder IV badges to get the Elite Lorebuilder collection badge!

      Submit a +str to have your Wikified contributions considered for the badges. Thanks!

  10. Rarrisaurus
    January 5, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    Sergeytov :An assessment that might actually make sense if the ‘half-done’ comments were about theme rather than coded systems.

    Last time I checked, you didn’t need coded systems to RP with.

    Maybe times have changed since I was RPing myself, but if people are still able to RP-by-E-mail in this day and age, I’m still certain that coded systems are generally just fairly superfluous luxuries all told.

    And in that context, it makes pefect sense.

    • Arie Taylor
      January 8, 2010 at 3:47 pm

      Some people enjoy free-form RP. I can do free-form RP with people that I trust to do so. Generally, though, I like having the system there. Some people like systems. Some people don’t care about them. There’s all sorts of gamers. The thing is, it’s one thing to have a system and have part of the people not use it. It’s an entirely different story to *not* have a system simply because you don’t think everyone will use it. One gives a choice. One does not. Choices are tasty.

      • January 8, 2010 at 3:49 pm

        Well, I agree to an extent, but then again: I’m not making a pregnancy system or asking people to eat or use the toilet via coded system. Some choices are just…silly.

  11. Smithy
    January 6, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    Honestly, the code stuff I don’t think is a big deal. I agree with everyone who thinks those that focus that much on code on an RP MUSH probably aren’t the sort we’d be able to keep anyway. We’ve had a bunch of new people come in, but I think the biggest problem we have isn’t increasing our recruiting rate, but keeping the players we recruit. Things have been pretty spotty in the RP department and it’s hard for a newbie to stick unless they’re ferociously dedicated to doing so.

    Hell if I know how to do it, though.

    • January 6, 2010 at 5:22 pm

      Yeah, because here’s the dilemma that I face, personally, as the guy “running the show.” I’ve backed off on the big-bad arcs because many veteran players expressed frustration and burnout from them. But if they’re not stepping up to fill the gap with more day-to-day stuff, there’s nothing to engage and keep the newbies, which means someone from the staff is called upon to make things happen, which creates a vicious circle.

    • Sergeytov
      January 6, 2010 at 8:13 pm

      As one of those aforementioned veterans: I could explain all the details as to why this frustration exists. It’s been detailed elsewhere, so I’ll spare everyone. Frn probably wrote a dissertation on the topic anyway.

      I’m also going to say: I empathize with the idea of big bad plots. For a similar amount of effort as a smaller group you can potentially engage a wider group of players.

      Perhaps there’s something to be done with lowering the stakes or trying to appeal to a smaller group. Comorro is a reasonably captive audience and it’s where the newbies show up (which means it’s easier to hook them in), to my understanding. Mind, this probably shouldn’t be done on my advice alone, considering I have almost no presence in that area of the grid.

      I know focus on smaller groups has been done in the past. I’m not sure how well it worked out.

      Ultimately, exhaustion with ‘big bad’ plots is not the same as ‘exhaustion with any staff run plot.’

      • January 6, 2010 at 10:06 pm

        The word “shenanigans” comes to mind. But I’ll save it for later. In any event: We have Event Cards – a failsafe for players who want to lure in unsuspecting staffers to run something for them. (And some people DO take advantage of these, but not enough.)

        Event Cards were designed specifically to provide fodder for staff run plots that weren’t “big bad” but WERE by player demand, as opposed to staff-mandated, and to cater to smaller groups as you suggest.

      • Sergeytov
        January 6, 2010 at 10:51 pm

        I’m well aware of the event cards. I avoid them when reasonably possible for my own reasons that are likely independent of the average player.

        At this point it’d be worth asking, “How often are players using event cards?” and “If they aren’t being used as much as expected, why not?” And sadly I lack an answer to either question.

        The event card system isn’t inherently bad, underused, perhaps, but not bad.

      • January 6, 2010 at 11:01 pm

        I have my suspicions as to WHY they don’t get used enough. I could be wrong. If I am, it’s possible someone will step up and say so. However, I’ll give it a shot:

        Event Cards *cost* RPP for an individual player rather than giving them some kind of guaranteed reward (as arc events used to do). The provision of the event activity is the *intended* reward. Perhaps the lack of carrot (tangible reward/advancement) to go with stick (investment of RPP) is the issue.

        In which case: Maybe we need to reconsider how Event Cards function.

        One option that comes to mind immediately is removing the RPP cost, attaching them to a stipend package for players who accomplish RP belt tests – maybe a card or two per month, and then providing an RPP *reward* for the completion of the event.

  12. His Royal Rarness
    January 6, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    I grow tired of the word “shenanigans”. I demand that you use the word “chicanery” for the remainder of the week instead.

    Failure to meet this demand will be considered an act of treason. 😡

    • January 6, 2010 at 10:50 pm

      I believe that as a show of rebellion, rather than using “chicanery,” I will instead substitute “shenanigans” with “muffin tops.”

      • His Royal Rarness
        January 7, 2010 at 12:21 am

        You’re drunk on words and mad with power, Platt. MAD WITH POWER!

  13. Arie Taylor
    January 9, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    Wes Platt :Well, I agree to an extent, but then again: I’m not making a pregnancy system or asking people to eat or use the toilet via coded system. Some choices are just…silly.

    LOL, yes. That *would* be silly. Some things should be RP’ed rather than coded. I’ll give you that. But things that do better with an impartial system — like combat — should be supported imho, so that people that wish to do it that way can. The game appeals to a wider base of people that way.

    • January 9, 2010 at 6:26 pm

      Supported in what sense? It might be useful to lay out what you’re looking for. A kill command? Automated combat that doesn’t use referees?

  14. Rarrie
    January 10, 2010 at 3:54 am

    Wes Platt :I have my suspicions as to WHY they don’t get used enough.

    If it were me playing, I’d probably be saving my cards for a special occasion that is likely never to come.

    I don’t know if people share that mentality or not, but I’m one of those people that keeps potions in RPGs but never uses them because I always feel I MIGHT need them later if I waste them now.

    The same goes for (most) items that have charges on WoW – I just cannot bring myself to use them. Maybe it’s the same deal here. Something to consider, at least. 🙂

    • January 10, 2010 at 12:31 pm

      I use my potions on WoW ALL THE TIME when I’m in PUGs. Unreliable healers, sometimes!

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