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Tiur · Producer · admin

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Tiur
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  • Re: shrinking playerbase - critically low

    Admittedly, the title here is so inflammatory most of Us didn't want to answer, for fear of getting crazy defensive.

    We host things on EU timezones. A lot of Tanix stuff happened late (for US) so we could get it early over there. We CAN, however, do better. Which we will. I'm considering a command to show player numbers/regular logins for a given timezone and try to tailor a bit.

    But seriously, with that title, @Kyna is the only one of us that kept a cool head.
    ZailaVyxsis
  • Culture Judging Q&A

    Hello everyone! What follows is the promised feedback thread on the Culture Contest. I'll explain how we did the voting, throw in some of the major comments that happened across the board, and then open things up to questions from you. Feedback I'd appreciate would include thoughts on improving our judging process, and ways we can get away with subjective events without the salt budget for a small nation.

    The How

    • Every Room has 6 sections:
      1. Room Description
      2. NPC Description
      3. NPC Script
      4. Item #1 w/ Interactions
      5. Item #2 w/ Interactions
      6. Item #3 w/ Interactions
    • Each section had 3 scores of 1-5
      1. Theme
        1. Mostly "How well did it mesh with the city and other parts of the exhibit"
      2. Quality
        1. Flat out "How well done was this"
      3. Appropriateness
        1. How well did this fit in the celebration exhibit?
        2. How did Delve feel about this room?
        3. Did it hit any really good points with Delve?
    • And each exhibit had a summary 1-5 score, with comments, but that was not used for decisions or scoring. It was just for completeness.
    That breaks down to each room being worth 90 points. With 5 rooms, each exhibit had a possible 450 points.

      The judge pool was comprised of
    • Two paid staff
    • One mostly Spirit volunteer
    • One mostly Shadow volunteer
      For a total of 1800 possible points.
    Average points/450 were used to determine winners.

    Comments

    I'm not going to post every single comment, and I'm also going to avoid throwing any salt in wounds. Instead I'll summarize our feelings on the exhibits, and call out glaring errors. If you really feel like a specific thing might have been overlooked, MAYBE some one on one discussion of actual comments.

    Duiran
    • Really got the concept and thought about what they emphasized.
    • Solid design all around. While this ate into anything showing up as amazing, the quality is high and consistent.
    • Delve walked in here and learned what Duiran is. Even the admin learned some history.
    • Average Theme: 141/150
    • Average Quality: 125/150
    • Average Appropriateness: 140/150
    Bloodloch
    • Best overall room design, looks perfect as an exhibit, everything meshes
    • Good writing, but might have missed the diplomacy concept here and there
    • Shows a feeling of "We are warriors, and a little crazy". Delve can get behind that, in general. Some specifics are a bit offputting to non-vampires.
    • Not everything flows item/npc wise. While the rooms are gorgeous, sometimes the NPCs are off-putting. Tongue-in-cheek jokes hit the admin, but not Delve.
    • Average Theme: 134/150
    • Average Quality: 120/150
    • Average Appropriateness: 124/150
    • Special Callout: Average Room Quality: 5/5
    • Secret note: The ylem gauntlet was hugely divided, either we thought it was a hilarious joke about Rhyot, or Delve was just confused as to why their own tech was being shown to them.
    Enorian
    • Time constraints do show, room consistency is a little off
    • Biggest malus: Room building components. While it fits Enorian dead on to build everything out of marble, it's a bit much for the Celebration exhibit grounds.
    • Some problems with long scripts without any emotive breakup in the content.
    • Much love for the pudgy Aspirant.
    • Average Theme: 130/150
    • Average Quality: 121/150
    • Average Appropriateness: 126/150
    • Special Callout: Ascendril Apprentice Averages 5/5, 5/5, and 5/5
    Spinesreach
    • Doesn't really fit as an exhibit. Superb museum, but not really fitting this competition.
    • Retrospect and discussion with creators has rectified this, but walking through casually, the theme is hard to catch right off the start.
    • The voidstaff may have gotten the admin fuming. No quality for giving us our own descriptions back!
    • Frequently nailed the appropriateness in items, just not in room, and the NPCs could have discussed the items to help explain their connections. Like the Umbral constellation.. which forced a regrade when we were shamed for not immediately recognizing the purpose.
    • A lot of consistency confusion in judges
    • Average Theme: 129/150
    • Quality: 120/150
    • Appropriateness: 126/150
    And that's that!

    Salt

    Someone has to lose. I'm sorry, that's just how it is. I accept as a valid complaint that you don't want subjective contests like this anymore. That's fine! Let's discuss it, maybe there's a compromise. In this case, we felt the sheer builder nature of this would help offset the large number of credits we gave out for things that frankly, can be triggered and scripted.

    We went to great lengths to keep this fair. I think the scores reflect that. I will NOT accept any claims of bias in the Pools, or that we purposefully discredited your efforts. This was fun for us, until those complaints flew. Please recognize that we are people, and yes are fallible, but also are not automatons immune to insults.
    XeniaLeanaMarienaVyxsisPhoeneciaZailaIshin
  • Re: Mage Revamp Lies. LIES.

    Elemancy
    You know the following Fire spells:
    Ignite Render them ablaze with a snap of your fingers.
    * Scorch A gout of flame will cripple their limbs.
    * Firelash Whip their body with a lash of flame.
    * Conflagrate Bolster the flames upon their body.
    Fireball Send a flaming meteor at your foe.
    Cauterize Seal their wounds with agony.
    Inferno Master the flames around you.
    Consume Envelop yourself in the flame.

    You know the following Water spells:
    Flood Cover your surroundings with water.
    Hailstorm Pelt them with frozen stones.
    * Frostblade Carve into their body with a frozen sword.
    Torrent Send someone flying into the sky.
    Fog Conjure up an obscuring fog.
    Direfrost A creeping, perpetual chill.
    * Coldsnap A chilling burst to deaden the mind.
    * Gorge Cause an opponent to have their fill.
    Icicle Pierce their body with a frigid spike.
    Shatter Cause them to fall to pieces.
    Blizzard Create a powerful winter storm.

    You know the following Air spells:
    Gust Knock your target from your location.
    * Pressurize A sudden shift in local air pressure.
    Cyclone Pull them from the skies.
    * Lightning Shock your victim with a burst of electricity.
    * Windlance Send a spear of air to pierce their shields.
    * Thunder Crush them with the roar of the storm.
    Transfix Create a dazzling whirl of colour.
    Whirlwind Make egress an impossibility.

    (There's a skill or two strategically deleted from these lists)
    EmirTeaniEliadonKelliaraSatomi
  • 2017 Year In Review

    Hello everyone! Here's something we prepare for the IRE Bigwigs, but formulated a bit towards players! I took out the bits where I brutally insult myself for our mistakes over the year. But, I'll leave some notes about improvements we're shooting for, in so you know we're aware of our shortcomings. Pardon if the language is a bit for non-Aetolians. Feel free to comment and discuss, but there's no real goal here except to excite you all for 2018, and acknowledge the work of 2017.

    Major Things of 2017

    • New Class/Guild - Archivist. Cabalist was a bit of an unloved class and had a very low player adoption rate. Archivists removed its reliance on two copied skills (Necromancy, Domination) and gave it two new skills that are vastly different and new. (Bioessence, Geometrics) The guild was closed down and a new RP vector given to the brand new guild!

    • New Class - Wayfarer. This is essentially our only non-tethered neutral class that isn't a Shapeshifter like Werewolf (those classes have different skill structures). Both sides have access, and it has a really good player violence interest. It has been adopted by players on both sides and has become very popular.

    • Curing system overhaul - Previously our healing system was bifurcated between Undead and Living. It was unnecessarily complicated and made curing systems a nightmare. They were essentially the same, but all code work was doubled. They are now unified into ONE curing system with two major Mercantile Skills making the items, intertwined to keep the economy moving. Rapture backend completely recoded to handle old cure substitution and make for an easier transition.

    • Novicehood revamp - Novicehood was revamped before, but now we've fully incorporated academies via code. They break in new ways, but are vastly easier to change and update, as well as give more information tailored to each group. Guild requirements have changed a great deal as well.

    • Guild revamp - Guilds are now contained in a much better code wrapper, and have an extremely malleable structure. This is a step towards other IRE standards, but without destroying the guilds we know and love. Every guild could set itself up so differently!

    • Vampire restructuring - Vampires are a big part of Aetolia, and they didn't work right. There was a great deal of clique behavior, and a lot of misunderstanding about how they worked. The system now encourages consequences for bad actors, as well as a more guild-like treatment of their members over families or elitists.

    • Expanded Rankings - The response to this has been huge. People love comparing their achievements in various fields. Adding more places for them to compete has made everyone more liable to take part. Explorers have more places to compare their discoveries, Achievers their collections of things, and even a few social categories. Providing a unified format for the different types to compare one another has been hugely positive.

    • Celebrations - Our Celebration of the Stars has been huge, and players loved it. It eats two months of work, but the response is just joy all around.

    What went wrong this year?

    • Haven Changes - Havens were private homes provided to all players. Unexpectedly, they became places to hide and chat from without engaging the rest of the game, leading to some strange population issues. With a year to look over this, we have not solved the problem with the few changes we made. This may need to be revisited.

    • Tiur hired - We hired a new producer who is a huge jerk. Seriously, screw that guy.

    • Documentation - We've had some Pools' changes, including some stepping down. A lot of stories and things were left a little nebulous, and we're having to redo how we document things. It's led to some slowdown in certain stories (Albedos, you are complicated!) but we're working on it!

    • Mage Revamps - Massively underestimated the amount of effort required. Perfectly logical decisions kept adding to the amount of work, and despite Razmael's warnings, Tiur foolishly kept going. Huge amount of work, still unfinished. Scheduling it alongside two player facing events slowed both things down, and in the future we're going to be more careful about this sort of fatigue/overwork.

    How did you do in achieving the player-facing goals you put forth a year ago?

    • We burned this down and said it's all new. There was a townhall in August to discuss our future, and I'll be first to admit that I was overly optimistic. I'm learning how to plan these things better and slowly the newness is rubbing off. This coming year should be much more solidly planned!

    GOALS FOR 2018

    I'm going to be a little more vague here, in part because I don't want to spoil a lot of what's coming, and in part because I don't want to promise something and then fail to deliver. We're entering 2018 with a list of internal goals and scheduling, but there's many things that can and will go wrong between here and then.

    May I also add that I am super impatient and want everything NOW, so putting things in Q3 or Q4 is causing me physical pain.

    That said, it wouldn't be fun to keep everything to myself, so here's some teasers of what we have planned!
    • Our biggest priority for the start of 2018 is getting the Mage revamps finished and out, look for those in Q1.

    • We're going to be continuing to make gradual adjustments and improvements to our PvE. We'll be working towards our endgoal of having a more interesting PvE system in mild increments. Tentatively, plans go worldmap-dungeon-endgame, but that WILL get mixed up, as things are interconnected.

    • Similar to how we gave attention to Bloodloch at the start of 2017 when they were struggling, we're going to be looking to give attention to orgs with membership issues in early 2018.

    • Conflict will be stirring in central-west Sapience! Actually, this was something we had planned for 2017 but we had to delay it for various reasons. A story with multiple outcomes depending on which way players will go! It will also be testing some new war-ish ideas.

    • This is our shoot for the moon goal for 2018, but there might be certain unidentified flying objects in the skies of Aetolia before 2018 is over. Who knows!
    This is not the full list, of course. Various events all year, plus our usual things every month or two. We also have constant things like bugfixes, revamps of systems, classleads, etc. Including a new tradeskill, family work, and a few other surprises.




    HammarDidiAxiusArbreZailaVyxsisTeaniAeden
  • Re: Mage Revamp Lies. LIES.

    Razmael, the Synthesist says, "IF YOU HAD AS MANY GOOD IDEAS AS I DID SCIOMANCERS WOULD BE DONE BY NOW."


    My bathtub of tears is now a swimming pool. But I'm working on it.

    Razmael, the Synthesist says, "Tiur posts on the mage reavmp thread 'mages delayed another week because raz made fun of me and now I'm too upset to work on it'"
    KynaZailaTozArbreTeaniHavenXeniaCaolanRunasAxiusVyxsisIshin