Thoughts on interaction and more

TeaniTeani Shadow MistressSweden
Over the years, the game has made a lot of changes, most for the better, but some have been for the worse. There are more people sitting around afk-ing, more people hiding (in havens or behind cloaks) and a lot less chance for spontaneous RP to happen. At least that's the feeling I've gotten. So, I'd like to propose a few changes and see what people think about them.

- Havens

Problems: As it is, Havens are used by people to escape interaction, to afk in private or to have private interaction that can't be interrupted by others walking in. There are probably other uses for them, but these (I think) are the main ones. They don't promote interaction, rather the opposite. They allow undisturbed afk-ing for hours and hours when people should perhaps log out instead.

Suggested solution: Change Havens to an area connected to the Material plane so that people can actually utilize it/reach it to interact with people inside, and not an unreachable retreat from which people can shout at the masses without fear of retribution. Make -one- room into a "True-Haven" to which you can retreat for shorter periods of time (need to use the bathroom, have to walk the dog/run to the store real quick). Put a timer on the True-Haven entrance and have people automatically log off after x minutes (independent on activity) so that you can't hide away indefinitely. This will minimize people's afk time, or at least be a potential risk to the one afk-ing.

- Hoods

Problem: People use hoods to avoid interaction, hide from potential danger or as a "surprise, I'm here!" element when it comes to fighting. It doesn't promote interaction, rather the opposite. They don't show up as online, making it seem like less people actually playing the game than there really are, which doesn't promote it to new players.

Related problem: People have invested money in these things and don't like the idea of losing them.

Suggested solution:
Remove the hood and leave hiding to the skills of various classes instead of hiding even more people in the game. Either reimburse those who had them or find something else that they might be interested in owning that doesn't prevent interaction and visibility in the game.

- Death

Problems: As it is there are few consequences for anyone's actions. Dying basically means nothing. Just one more round grinding through an area and you're back up to where you were before. I also know that not everyone enjoys the grinding. This means that if you do something to get yourself into trouble, it won't really mean a whole lot. You can "get away" with just about anything.

Suggested solution: Add more of a penalty to PK-deaths. There's already a safety net when it comes to ylem-auras not draining any xp on death, meaning those who are casual participants on the PK arena can still assist in certain ways. Those who enjoy hunting can still go on with their thing. However, this would mean that your actions (pissing someone else off enough to want to PK you) has a consequence. It will hurt. This could be loss of XP or temporary loss of health when returning from the death sequence or a weakening of stats for a short period. It could even be a delayed function, perhaps, meaning that if you are killed, you have a penalty to inflict on yourself at later time, so that you can return to fighting in case it's not ended after one death.

Player A gets killed and receives a penalty point. Once the fighting is over, the player can redeem the penalty and receive something negative for a certain time frame (won't count down when logged off)

- Admin

In addition to these things, I would like to propose that the Admin take a firmer stance against people afking. Having a lot of people simply stand around doing nothing and not responding to questions/tells/what-have-you is not helpful. I know it's not fair to put even more work on the volunteer's shoulders (they're a hard-working bunch as it is!) but I think it would do good.

Perhaps not all of the ideas are to your liking, but I'd still be interested in hearing what people think. Feel free to send messages if you don't want to make a public post.



  • AishiaAishia Queen Bee
    Eh only one I'm really on board with is the hood thing. I definitely see a lot more pk participation since it was made less punishing. Especially at pre-endgame levels. Havens being accessible would just be a can of worms. Policing afk just will end up forcing people to log off just because they don't want to get in trouble if they are idling, and then be less likely to be around at all or catch things going on or respond ever. Probably not the kind of game to discourage people from staying latched on as much as possible haha.
  • EmelleEmelle Dreamshaper Tecpatl's Cradle
    I agree with @Teani re: the AFK-supportive atmosphere and it being detrimental to the game. It inflates numbers and creates situations where you try to contact someone and never receive a response (or only much later), and things like the hood and havens make it difficult to create spontaneous interaction.

    The thing is, I don't know if a lot of people would agree that these things are a problem. I've logged into plenty of MU*s where people have been logged in and idle for DAYS, thus hugely inflating numbers, and yet no one seems to care. Personally, I'd prefer an apparently small playerbase that's consistently active when I log in so that I know my time investment is going to be worth it -- but maybe that's just me.
  • TeaniTeani Shadow Mistress Sweden
    @Aishia : The number of people who participate in combat would not diminish. Most people begin their fighting at Lessers, and since the aura there protects them from huge losses, this would make no difference to them. It would only affect them once they turn to PK outside these events.

  • Removing safe idling will not lead to more interaction. It will lead to less people logging in. I'm logged in a lot, doing other things and watching the game every now and then to see if something is happening. If this becomes impossible, I won't idle less. I just won't be logged in at all.

  • I had this idea kicking around in my head for a while that I was thinking of posting in the Small Ideas thread, but it seems more relevant here!

    I mean, I totally get where @Teani is coming from. I can't count the number of times I've tried throwing emotes at someone or tried engaging them in conversation that's more than perfunctory, only to find out they were afk, multitasking and not in the mood, or were simply not interested in roleplay/interaction (either with new people, or in general). It was disheartening, and for the first couple of weeks I started the game, I genuinely came close to giving up on Aetolia because I didn't have any substantive interaction with almost anyone, despite my best efforts.

    At the same time, I also get @Ilyon's point. People have a right to play the game how they want, and different people play for different reasons. Like @Emelle said, it kind of feels like afking is a necessary evil in muds. I feel like trying to prevent afking/seclusion from happening (as much as I personally dig it) just ultimately isn't practical.

    My own idea probably isn't viable either, but I thought I'd throw it out there for the sake of brainstorming! When I come across people in rooms and want to pester them with spontaneous interaction, I always wonder if they're (1) actually there, (2) actually enjoy and want roleplay, and (3) even if so, are not currently busy doing some other game thing. Wouldn't it be cool if all the people who are present/open/interested in interaction could signal it to everyone else? Not flamboyantly or anything, but maybe there's a mechanic where, if you're open and available to random interaction, you can designate yourself so, and it shows up on the who list or when you're looking in a room. Maybe an asterisk, or something more subtle than that.

    I dunno, you can make the argument that people should just pester everyone and get a sense for who's open to what, but it would be kinda neat for efficiency's sake if I knew immediately who was up for being bothered. I always feel kinda guilty pestering people, in case they're busy or not in the mood, and this would encourage me.

    Sorry for the long post! It's something I've been thinking about for a while, and I'm glad you brought it up because it's an interesting discussion. And I want more rp. :(
  • I'm not a particular fan of seeing punishments for AFKing. I absolutely love that @Ilyon is around all the time - even if he's afk for a bit, he pops in when he can, answers and addresses issues and my pestering. I would rather be able to do this, also, then think 'I have to be sitting at my computer or I can't play this game.' I pause my console games for hours and get distracted. I idle on MMO's for hours. Let's face it, I'm a scatterbrain, and I'll literally find myself getting up for a drink and an hour later I'm playing fetch with my dog and forgot I'm logged in. Or hey, parents. I'm sorry, but if I have a child getting into something and need to dart for a bit.. I am -not- going to play a game that demands me to stop and log out completely before doing so before attending to my child. It's highly unrealistic. I can understand where idling makes it hard to find interactions sometimes, but man. If you can't find something to entertain yourself with in the downtimes, that's not anyone else's fault.

    As far as conflict and pk, more penalties and consequences are not going to fix -anything-. If anything, they should do away with the experience loss completely. People don't participate in conflict because they enjoy losing something. They also don't have incentive to start participating if there's big losses. New players are going to die, a lot. Hell, I am just rolling with a membership and not making any big purchases/investments for artifacts, and I die all the time. I'm not tanky. I lose a lot of XP. Do I care particularly? No, but I'm 10+ years into these games and kinda get it.

  • edited November 2015
    I don't necessarily agree with any of the pointed out issues. Hoods/gems/items-that-hide-on-WHO are not huge issues, because you can still see them on CWHO/GWHO/HWHO/HELP [city]... so this a moot point of contention and thus serves more as more of a defensive strategy for us PKers, because it forces you to look for us, which allows us to prepare to fight you.

    Havens should not be able to get into because sometimes we want to have those private roleplays with the people that its designed for. If I can no longer have a private roleplay with Coribhell or the City Council because some jackwagon Spirean wants to be like 'HEY YOU GUUUUUUUUUUUUYS!!!' I'm just not gonna RP at all. Period, end of story.

    While death does have no real down side, I don't see any reason to make it worse.. because if I die 20 times while hunting, 1) i'm already pissed off because I've died 20 times and its decreasing my hunting speed, but I'm going to be even more pissed off because now I have to commit to my 20 penalty counts and have to stop bashing EVEN LONGER just to get rid of my penalties. So this would also be counter productive, especially towards younger players who are getting a) powerbashed, b) focused cause they're a newb, or c) you took on a mob that you thought you could handle. This would cause whatever newbs Aetolia DID get, to just flat out quit.

    Admin policing AFK?? No, just no.
    (Oasis): Benedicto says, "There was like 0.5 seconds between "Oh hey, they're in area. That was quick." and "OMFG THEY'RE IN THE AREA STAHP STAHP!""

  • TeaniTeani Shadow Mistress Sweden
    Yeah, I can see now that some people decided to just skim through what I wrote and not read everything. I did -not- say that the penalty for dying would be for hunting, only for PK deaths. Apparently that was completely lost in translation (need to get better at English or something?)

    Also, for those not seeing an issue with people afk-ing or hiding with hoods, good for you! I'm glad you always seem to find people to answer your questions and that the people you wish to interact with are visible to you through all the organizations you have in common. It's a bit of an issue when it comes to interacting with people outside your organization, though. It's also an issue in certain organizations where there are few members and a novice comes around, seeing people in GWHO and asks questions not knowing that half the game is afk.

    It would be nice with at least some kind of indicator that shows how long a person has been inactive (in [ORG]WHO) and delete the whole log-out timer so people don't have to trigger a loop of QW/GW/CW to remain online.

    It could show as this if someone has been inactive for more than 10 minutes:
    The following citizens of Spinesreach are in the realm:
    Citizen Rank Position [CT?] [Idle?]
    Teani Princeps Aide to Chancellor [OFF] [10]
    Also, mind you all, all I did was give suggestions. My suggestions might not be the best ones or even close, but I wanted to voice concerns I've heard others have as well. I know I'm not alone thinking these things.

  • EmelleEmelle Dreamshaper Tecpatl's Cradle
    edited November 2015
    Re: @Iselle's suggestion, someone (@Teani?) suggested a RP flag awhile back, but that idea didn't gain any traction afaik.

    ETA: I think @Anfini's suggestion is way more workable, though, because I could see people forgetting to toggle RP flags on and off (unless they go away automatically when you're idle for 20+ minutes or something).
  • @Emelle: Oh, had no idea it was already suggested! That's too bad. Maybe in lieu of that there can be uhhh a roleplay clan or something, haha.

    Anyway, the afk/idleness indicator sounds more elegant and easier to implement! Won't account for openness to interaction, but at least there's a direct correlation.
  • edited November 2015
    Even if you put a penalty counter on PK, it'll just make PK even more undesirable. Because now, on top of the "PK is hard", "Coding is hard", "People are mean with PK", + the 50 million other excuses people give to not PK, if you tack on a penalty to PK.... it just won't be a good thing. We're always trying to encourage people to PK, not discourage them.

    Also, I've been on both sides of the fence in regards to afk-responsiveness. It gets to a point where I will send you a message, or a follow up tell, asking if you got my question/request. Likewise, there have been a few times where someone asked me something and I was afk. There are ways to get around people not always answering your questions right away. I'm not saying it's the best ways, but its a way.

    Though, I can agree with maybe putting on an indicator in your orgs, but this won't be an accurate thing because of triggers like mass, novice tells, etc... but its a good start. :)

    @Iselle: If you want to make a clan for roleplay, by all means, go for it. :)
    (Oasis): Benedicto says, "There was like 0.5 seconds between "Oh hey, they're in area. That was quick." and "OMFG THEY'RE IN THE AREA STAHP STAHP!""

  • I have thought a solution to havens would be to give players an ENTIRELY VOLUNTARY (as to not interfere with people wanting to be alone) mechanic to open a portal to the prime plane so that they can be accessed. They could have basically "on" or "off" setting so that it could be accessed while you're away, etc.

  • Emelle said:

    +1 for RP clan

    ...on it!
  • RP Flag
    Wait I thought Anfini's idea = RP flag. I supported it then and I support it now.

    PK Penalties
    I generally don't think more PK penalties are needed. I personally think people need to behave themselves, stay IC, and act like death does matter for living characters. However, that's the ideal world. So, if we want to introduce PK penalties because people are letting the OOC costlessness of death bleed into how they behave recklessly and invincibly in game, then I'd suggest maybe a small 2-3% chance of a temporary malus on death. Something high enough that you don't welcome death like you eat it for breakfast, but low enough that it's like a noticeable slap on the wrists.

    Hood needs to be deleted, or repurposed like the how it was with the syssin charm.

    Havens (and cities)
    I think there is a problem when people can hide in cities without fear of repercussions. I think there should be a safe area within cities (3-5 rooms) where there can be no combat. That is more than enough. Hiding in a safe zone should be a temporary thing with significant inconvenience, and not something that you can do indefinitely. Therefore, I would like to see guards being heavily nerfed, such that while they do contribute to some damage/afflicting, it shouldn't be debilitating to the point that you need an army (or syssin class) to kill someone who is hiding in a city. Havens are already great places to hide. For the non end-gamers, the 3-5 safe rooms should be enough.
  • TeaniTeani Shadow Mistress Sweden
    I agree, @Lim . In a perfect world, people would actually think twice about things that cause death for their characters. They are supposed to live under the assumption that Varian, at any given time, can say "enough is enough" and not let you return. Perhaps it might make people act a bit more... adult?

    I think both @Anfini and myself (and possibly even more people) have brought up the RP flag thing before. It's nice to see that there are more people out there interested in it. It would definitely help with interaction.

    Adding the dark gray for idling on WHO and Orgwho lists is a good complement, as it will show who is possible to approach. Then, if you know the person is approachable even if the name is grayed out (like @Ilyon), you can have them as a resource.

    As for hoods, most people who purchased the hood did so only because others had them and they didn't want to lose the edge in combat. Plenty of them really didn't want it simply because it ruins the part of the game which has to do with interaction.

  • OleisOleis Producer Emeritus Administrator, Immortal
    It's important to note that the logout (what we call timeout) timer is actually a safety feature for you guys. That way, if you lose your connection or your power goes out, your character isn't sitting wherever you left him or her indefinitely, just waiting to be ganked or manipulated.
    You say to Slyphe, "You're so freaking smart."
    "^," Slyphe agrees with you.
  • TeaniTeani Shadow Mistress Sweden
    Perhaps you could make the "You're about to be logged out"-line need a specific response? It would keep the safety switch there, but activity in general wouldn't matter, meaning an inactivity indicator would show things properly.

  • KerrynKerryn The Black Flagon Inn
    Teani said:

    As for hoods, most people who purchased the hood did so only because others had them and they didn't want to lose the edge in combat. Plenty of them really didn't want it simply because it ruins the part of the game which has to do with interaction.

    I feel it's important to point out that hoods were changed recently so that the hiding ability is turned on or off by the player. If someone has it on, they likely don't -want- interaction. Quite easy to toggle it off when you do and on when you don't or if you're going to do some PK, so I don't really feel they need adjusting. Add in, some people want the ability to hide, without a restriction to what class they are currently in. The hoods allow this, for everyone, regardless of side.

  • MariqueenMariqueen USA
    edited November 2015
    Kerryn said:

    If someone has it on, they likely don't -want- interaction.

    This. Why force interaction on people who don't necessarily want it?

  • I only wear my hood during group combat, or to farsee people with hoods. Or when I forget to take it off, I guess. Everyone else with a hood always on is a wuss!

    Also, I'd be happy to have a flag showing your name as grey on qw if you're afk, but I'd probably just leave it on always.

    Arbre-Today at 7:27 PM

    You're a vindictive lil unicorn

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    oh wait, toz is famous

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    You're a singularity of fucking awfulness Toz
    Didi's voice resonates across the land, "Yay tox."


    Block Toz

    limToday at 10:38 PM

    you disgust me
    (Web): Bryn says, "Toz is why we can't have nice things."

  • Toz said:

    Also, I'd be happy to have a flag showing your name as grey on qw if you're afk, but I'd probably just leave it on always.

    I'm with Toz on this one, if there's a way to manually set your status to afk/unavailable for rp/etc, I'd have it turned on all the time. Because very similarly to what @Mariqueen stated, not everyone wants to RP with people all the time. I'm still going to suggest, though, start up the RP clan. That way, anyone who wants to start random RPs can just be like '(RP) Teani says, "Yo, anyone up to RP?"' and you can get answers or no. :)
    (Oasis): Benedicto says, "There was like 0.5 seconds between "Oh hey, they're in area. That was quick." and "OMFG THEY'RE IN THE AREA STAHP STAHP!""

  • I would love to be added to rp clan. Just throwing it out there. >.>
  • TeaniTeani Shadow Mistress Sweden
    I find it interesting that people play a multiplayer game based on interaction without wanting to interact. just saying. Also, I think it goes without saying that I'd like to be in the RP clan if one is started up.

  • Totally threw the rp clan idea out as a lark, but I'm glad it's getting some traction! Thinking about it more, it definitely could serve a function. Passively, to designate people who are interested generally in RP, but also actively, if people want to seek stuff out on it or even plan the premise of an interaction.

    Anyway, will wait a little longer to see if I can finagle a used clan over market (let me know if you have leads!), but if not, will just pony up the money soon for a new one.
  • EmelleEmelle Dreamshaper Tecpatl's Cradle
    @Teani: I think this harks back to the age-old PK vs RP motivation for playing the game -- some people simply aren't interested in both.

    (One could argue that because this is a RP-enforced game, the expectation is that anyone is up for interaction, but I think that doesn't reflect the reality of the situation...)
  • KerrynKerryn The Black Flagon Inn
    edited November 2015
    Teani said:

    I find it interesting that people play a multiplayer game based on interaction without wanting to interact. just saying. Also, I think it goes without saying that I'd like to be in the RP clan if one is started up.

    Sometimes, I'm focused on writing an orgreq or a scroll or whatever and I don't really want distracted. I already have the attention span of a goldfish as it is. Or, I've had a craptastic day and want to just hide away so as to not take it out on others and chat ooc'ly with friends or take my frustration out and bash. Neither is a crime. I think another factor of loss of interaction is, we do not have the same number of players as we once had. When I first started playing we'd have 100+ players on every night. Now? Most I've seen lately is 50-60 players.

    On occasion, it may be appropriate for a character to want to be alone. Not everyone wants to be around someone or a group of people 24/7. Happens IRL so it makes sense it'd happen here.

  • Teani said:

    I find it interesting that people play a multiplayer game based on interaction without wanting to interact. just saying. Also, I think it goes without saying that I'd like to be in the RP clan if one is started up.

    I don't think its a matter of not wanting to interact, but more of a matter of they don't NEED to interact. This might be just me, but most interaction I see outside of RP is just for general goods/business trades. For the most part, with the new Fluidcache change, I no longer need to contact a crafter to buy 500 vials, because I'm going to use the 80 artifact vials that I have instead. As the game gets older, self sufficiency becomes ever more prominent. Once you're self-sufficient, there's no real need to communicate with the dwindling playerbase unless you get the RP bug in your head or if you're in a position of leadership and need to do business.

    So in essence, interaction with people is more based on a NEED instead of a WANT.
    (Oasis): Benedicto says, "There was like 0.5 seconds between "Oh hey, they're in area. That was quick." and "OMFG THEY'RE IN THE AREA STAHP STAHP!""

  • I just want to throw out, I have a hood, always have it on. I paid a stupid amount of $ for it, I'd feel dumb not using it. -- Also the hood stops farseeing / scent, the who list is a separate artifact which costs more $.

    Typically am up for random RP, I always like the random interaction I get, granted it's pretty small as I think there's a fairly large player base assumption that PKers don't like to RP. Trial gets OOC tells to response on market for selling or looking for stuff and I'm always confused, like uhh I guess our characters will trade but never actually interact somehow? I don't really think being hidden on who limits the random interaction I get unless it's someone specifically hunting me down to interact with me, but I suspect they'd just send me a tell or ask on city/guild chat.
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