AFK

RazmaelRazmael Member, Administrator, Immortal Posts: 1,397 admin
This discussion was created from comments split from: Small Ideas - AIN'T NO COMBAT THREAD.
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  • JulesJules Member Posts: 55 ✭✭
    edited August 2016
    Anfini said:

    Easy fix: mark AFK players with dark grey names on who lists.

    What ever happened with this suggestion? It's from a thread from late last year, and a lot of people seemed to like the idea. I do too - I think it would be neat to have in all of the games.

    In addition, could just let people stay logged in forever without needing something to keep them logged in - although I want to say that is already possible. Maybe just underutilized.

    I don't totally get hard core AFK-ing, but people are going to do what they are going to do. If I could know for sure that someone was AFK, though, I would just not talk to them in the first place.

    What I really like about this guy's solution is that it helps me avoid feeling like an idiot trying to talk to someone who may or may not even be there, but it also doesn't try to punish people who want to AFK.

    I mean, the part I find tricky/uncomfortable about people AFK-ing is that sometimes you aren't sure if the person is AFK, or if they just don't want to be bothered. Either way, I rarely send more than one tell. Still, something like this makes things more clear cut. If they are AFK, that's that, and if they're not AFK and you address them and they don't answer, it's super clear that they are busy/don't want to talk to you.

    And if you check various who lists and there is a lot of gray, you can just log out if you were looking to do things that require more live bodies :/ I realize that this last thing (which I do think would be one consequence of Anfini's suggestion) might scare the pants off of admin at first glance, but in the long run, I think you would retain more players.
    Post edited by Jules on
    Xenia
  • YeroYero Member Posts: 18 ✭✭
    @Jules I think the issue is that most people stay on forever through automation means (putting up chameleon, warmth, etc...). Timeout can only be set between 2 and 60 minutes, unless I'm missing something. So, it would probably never actually show afk people unless certain skills didn't make you active.
  • DraimanDraiman Dr. Drai Member Posts: 1,094 ✭✭✭✭✭
    sendGMCP("Core.KeepAlive") on one minute timer, no def spam needed.
    "You ever been divided by zero?" Nia asks you with a squint.



  • JulesJules Member Posts: 55 ✭✭
    edited August 2016
    Maybe make certain things like that keep the char logged on, but not count as "not AFK". That way they get to stay logged on, but people know not to try to engage/talk to them.

    EDIT:

    here's a story from my other IRE game (Imperian) that illustrates just how prevalent this is in general, and how frustrating it can be.

    So, a person who I very much like and am friends with, wanted this soul splinter thing we both had half of for a recent event there. They had messaged me asking if they could have it. I didn't like that event so I avoided logging in. But... I also hate to waste stuff, and I always want to help my friends, especially if it is a simple thing to do.

    So, knowing that good god everyone is AFK more often than not, I messaged the person to make sure they weren't AFK before I logged in. Then I waited... Get message saying they were AFK before but they're awake now. I log in VERY soon after that message is sent. Send tell saying "okay, do thing". And there was STILL a small delay before they responded. I didn't want to stay online very long, because the nature of the event meant that for every second I was online, the higher the chance that I would be sucked right back into the event I was avoiding, and I would have felt obligated to participate/resolve things before logging off again.

    And that is just... par for the course. It's not just the odd guy who is super, super AFK. It's not just people who fear or dislike you and think it is wiser, or just plain funny to not respond. Of course those things happen too, and are also great reasons it's better to have an instant way of working out whether you're being actively ignored or the person just isn't there.

    In fact, the AFK problem is so deep-seated and widespread that admin actually changed the mechanics of that event specifically to deal with people who were AFK, by the way. My feeling is that it is what it is, and I don't want to try to send out lynch mobs for AFK-ers (we all do SOME amount of AFK at some point, at the very least when we need to code), but I just want to be able to not try to talk to people who are basically NPCs at the moment :/ It seems to be very prevalent in all of the games, too (or at least all of the ones that I spend a decent amount of time in).
    Post edited by Jules on
  • AtrapoemaAtrapoema Member Posts: 248 ✭✭✭
    Frankly, Havens should just remove people from CT/GT/OT/etc. or wholesale shut their channels off. That would solve the problem without the need to worry about figuring out if they're AFK.
    JulesIngramIrae
  • JulesJules Member Posts: 55 ✭✭
    edited August 2016
    That might work too. When they want to be "awake" again, they can just talk.

    Well, no idea about the Havens, but if they're AFK, just maybe automatically shut their channels off/remove them from the relevant who lists like you say, could work. Talking or otherwise becoming actually uh, not AFK, switches it back on... And I mean, if you make a trigger to say "I am here" every few minutes at that point you really are just a mother unicorns and I don't understand why you are being such a unicorns (although, I guess at least I do probably know you're definitely not actually there, heh).

    I don't know why I even think people would do that, but I bet some might for reasons I don't fully grasp.
  • DraimanDraiman Dr. Drai Member Posts: 1,094 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2016
    I don't stay logged on 24/7 anymore because I don't have phase anymore, but it was nice to not miss any shouts or interesting chatter in webs or ooc clans. But at least with phase+haven it's pretty damn obvious you're afk at that point. 

    Maybe people do it for voting strength or something, who knows. 
    "You ever been divided by zero?" Nia asks you with a squint.



    Jules
  • JulesJules Member Posts: 55 ✭✭
    edited August 2016
    Yeah, it sounds like the things you were doing inherently dealt with the "is he AFK?" question before it even arose.

    I have a feeling it's often the lurking that has the appeal, now that you say it. Voting strength to a point if the figures quoted in that other thread Anfini posted in are still valid. Actually, I misspoke, voting weights (and house stuff) came up in a much, much older thread I read. But yeah, lurking probably even bigger reason.

    I don't even mind the lurking, or, I am willing to accept it. I do want to know those guys are still part of the the channel (like, show up on WEB MEMBERS or w/e), and that they're also not fully there, though. Becoming grayed out like Anfini suggested is probably the most solid solution still.
    Post edited by Jules on
  • ErzsebetErzsebet Altaholic Member Posts: 1,113 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The only downside to a mechanic that'd make you afk after awhile is that I spend a portion of my time semi-afk and like, watching netflix or doodling or whatever else, but when folk talk to me, I come back, 'cause I'm still paying enough attention that I catch the text there. Think the easiest fix would be something that lets you set yourself as afk on purpose.

    Can't speak for anyone else, but typically, I idle because IMO Aetolia is boring without other people to RP with and I'm not always social enough to attempt to go out and make new friends, so if none of the usual suspects are around/available for RP and there aren't any newbs around in my organizations, I have a tendency to idle until those folks come around unless there's something I want/need to be doing solo.

    Don't agree that havens should auto shut down all your channels and thing. I RP in mine--that's ostensibly what they're for, even if folk do use them for idling, and I don't think that should shut me off from interacting with organizational channels.
  • JulesJules Member Posts: 55 ✭✭
    edited August 2016
    People won't use a flag they have to activate themselves. Or, not nearly enough people will. It's kind of crap, but they just won't. I dug through a decent number of old to newish threads on AFK-ing, and player activated flags did come up, both as a suggestion, and then as a refutation (often from people who said "I AFK all the time, and you are welcome to implement this, but I won't bother using it").

    The only thing that would happen with the graying out is that people would know not to try to talk to you while you are watching Netflix or w/e. And while some people might be (sort of) paying attention and ready/willing to respond, I still think it is incredibly unfair to the other person to be in the position of considering whether they should bother trying to interact with someone who may or may not even be there. So I think some kind of automatic, non-punitive flag that lets others know someone probably isn't actually there is more than warranted.

    And ofc in your case if someone knows YOU, and knows you're usually kind of there and willing engage maybe they will say something to you.

    I mean, I am at the point in these games, where I get the feeling that a lot of people are pretty hard core AFK a lot of the time they're online - Netflix, reorganizing their sock drawer, who knows. One of the funnier scenarios is when one guy says something to someone else, but that person is AFK. Sometime later, that guy responds - and now the first guy is AFK, heh. And hey, fair enough. But I don't want to be part of games where people are that detached - not just sometimes, but most of the time. So if I can log in and see that that is pretty much what's going on, I can make a quick decision and log off - and hopefully things look a bit less gray (har) when I log in again sometime.
    Post edited by Jules on
  • ErzsebetErzsebet Altaholic Member Posts: 1,113 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Think it should be self-activated, but honestly, it probably has to be because otherwise the folk who are afk aren't likely to be hit with it. Even if you make defs not work to make you not marked as afk, there are people who use other things to keep them active. And honestly, because I'm not afk when I'd usually be labeled as afk, I'd specifically make my stay active thing something that makes me not afk, and just turn it off when I'm afk. Though, when I'm actually afk I usually earthmeld.

    In honesty though, you hit the reason they're unlikely to give us this feature ever. If you can log on and there are 40 people online and your response is going to be to log off because 2/3 of them are calculated as afk, the feature is bad for business, bad for activity and discouraging to newblets.
  • JulesJules Member Posts: 55 ✭✭
    edited August 2016
    If people want to make "keep not marked AFK" things, that is fine. I am not sure why being subtly grayed out to indicate they are AFK would bother someone that much in our games today, but if they mark themselves "not-AFK" and I talk to them and they don't answer, the small addition of grayed/not grayed still helps me.

    Now, I know that they either don't want to talk to me, or that they don't want to be marked AFK (but are in fact AFK). Either one is useful, really, because if you're willing to make a thing which has the sole purpose of making you look like you're not AFK, but you are AFK, I don't need that either. That really is getting solidly into "want my cake and eat it, and screw everyone else" territory. Now if you really are there, and aren't constantly going "oh sorry" 10, 15, 20 minutes later, okay.

    Even then, I don't want to have any sort of punishment associated. I literally just want to know whether I should bother (or am being a bother).

    As for the newbies, I pointed out in my first post that Anfini's idea was the sort of thing that could make admin uncomfortable initially. But I mean... if I log on to the scenario you describe, and 2/3 of people are idling, that in itself is the real problem, depending on the time of day and what I want to do. If I am bashing for Azudim, I might cheer! But if I am a player who doesn't want to play the AFK game more generally (I don't), and you don't somehow address THAT, you're still going to lose me with the current "slowly realize surrounded by zombies" approach. Except that I will be a lot less likely to give things another good go in the future, because by the time I leave, I will have truly and completely given up on your game.

    As a sidenote, a gray/not gray list gives me an EXCELLENT read on which newbies to focus on first.

    Being AFK itself actually isn't even that big a problem, or at least, I personally don't mind if that is what people want to do. What I do mind is the position that it puts me in if I don't have some way of knowing that off the bat.
    Post edited by Jules on
  • ZsadistZsadist Member Posts: 815 ✭✭✭✭
    Here's the thing. The admins have already instituted a Timeout timer that will log you off after 2-60 minutes of inactivity. This has been bypassed by automatic defense resets like miasma, density, grace, timed emotes, etc.

    Now, even if the admins implemented a marking system based on activity, people will just work together to send tells to each other that will unmark them because they successfully sent an ooc tell every 5 minutes to their buddy saying "OOC: I'm here for activity." Hell, people did this sort of thing years back in Imperian. I knew people who built an afk-thing that would specifically respond to you with "(( I'm not here at the moment, if you need me, send me a message and I'll get back to you ))"

    Now, if they implement a flagging system where the player can optionally mark themselves as afk, they just won't do it. Why should they? Do people really care if they don't mark themselves as afk while they go to take care of kids, do schoolwork, watch Netflix, play Darksouls, play FFX remastered, or whatever? No, they don't. People just won't do it.

    No matter what the admins implement, the players WILL find a way to circumvent/ignore the afk/auto-logout process. There's nothing we can do about that. A good rule of thumb is to just automatically assume that half the WHO list is afk. Who that half is, I can't tell you because it varies.... but its a safe assumption that HALF the list is afk.
    (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!""


  • TozToz Member Posts: 2,526 ✭✭✭✭✭
    While I get the frustration, I think people complaining about others being afk is kinda crappy. Sometimes stuff comes up. If I want to idle all night to watch deathsight in the morning, or listen to clans, or accidentally forget I'm logged in on a computer and accidentally multiplay for a week straight before an admin points it out and laughs at me, that's on me. Except that last one, oops. It's sorta like 'I want to be able to get what I want so be here paying attention to me/us/think of the newbies!' as a common argument...if someone's afk, they're afk. If they're always afk, then find someone else. If they need something from you and won't quit afking, then they obviously don't want/need it that bad and you should sell it on market.
    Atrapoema
  • EmelleEmelle Dreamshaper Tecpatl's CradleMember Posts: 712 ✭✭✭✭✭
    There's a difference between "stuff happens" and people who are habitually afk. The game is predicated on player interaction, and if people aren't actually present to interact, it detracts from the quality of the game for people who are looking for that interaction.
    AtrapoemaDraimanTeaniMadelade
  • DraimanDraiman Dr. Drai Member Posts: 1,094 ✭✭✭✭✭
    It's not crappy? Staying logged in to catch up on gossip while making people feel like they're being ignored is crappy -and- selfish, especially since it can happen to newbies. We kinda need to keep those guys, yeah?
    "You ever been divided by zero?" Nia asks you with a squint.



    AtrapoemaEmelleTeani
  • JulesJules Member Posts: 55 ✭✭
    edited August 2016
    Yeah, my thought was to let people not get logged out automatically unless they really want to. At that point, if someone is going out of their way to mark themselves as "present" when they really aren't, you can easily write them off as "why bother".

    Because right now, there is the argument that "I just do blah because I don't want to get logged off". So sure, let's allow a far, far more generous timer, but not have defs like mass "count" towards being "active" etc... Alternatively, could have certain things like redeffing count towards not being logged off, but NOT count towards whether you are "active" or not. That way you avoid a DC'd char being stuck in limbo for long periods.

    So at that point the only reason to do any automated "keep awake" stuff is to avoid the scary gray flag (which I can't imagine actually being that scary here, or in Impy or Lusternia).

    Basically, I don't actually care what players do (or at least, I realize it's not worth getting the pitchforks out for), I just want to be able to make a quicker assessment of whatever they are doing, so I can adjust accordingly - and save myself some frustration and wasted time.

    I mean, as long as you just play it straight, if you ARE AFK it just means people know to check in later. You are of course absolutely free to actively ignore them when you become "active" again, too, and if that doesn't send a clear message, I don't know what would. That is a good thing for everyone!
    Post edited by Jules on
  • TozToz Member Posts: 2,526 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Eh. Guess that means I'll just keep not poking my head in, then! RL is busy and it's nice to have the game to check every once in awhile, but not gonna sweat it.
  • JulesJules Member Posts: 55 ✭✭
    edited August 2016
    Why? There is absolutely nothing even minutely punitive about the suggestion.

    I mean, there is one kind of person I can see having a problem with it - and that is the person who actually kind of enjoys the idea that people might try to interact with them, and that they can, at least for awhile, be in a sort of power position by making the other person do a certain amount of mental gymnastics that rely on the inherent ambiguity of "is this person AFK or what"? Oh yeah, this suggestion does make EXACTLY that sort of thing a lot easier to avoid. And seriously, that guy can go unicorns himself.

    For everyone else, it just clarifies things (even for people who can't stand each other, actually).
    MissariAtrapoema
  • RasharRashar Member Posts: 1,609 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Some of us have quite a bit going on irl. If you start taking away our ability to float in game and casually monitor until something interesting pops up, we're just going to not log in.

    Not being responded to may be bad for the game, but not nearly so much as an empty who list.

  • JulesJules Member Posts: 55 ✭✭
    edited August 2016
    You could still TOTALLY do that though... No infringement on floating whatsoever.

    It just means no one will waste their time saying "hey, Rashar, long time no see, what's up"? *crickets* :/
    Atrapoema
  • KerrynKerryn The Black Flagon InnMember Posts: 270 ✭✭✭✭
    Jules said:

    You could still TOTALLY do that though... No infringement on floating whatsoever.

    It just means no one will waste their time saying "hey, Rashar, long time no see, what's up"? *crickets* :/

    You could turn tells off, for extended afk. It lets the person know you're not available. For brief afk or idling till something happens, no need to turn tells off, as you'll likely respond when you return or notice the tell 15-20 minutes later. Both sides need to be more patient and understanding of others play style. If you want to idle 24/7 go for it. If you don't like it, no one is forcing you to do it. I fully understand why some people are upset at idlers. However, I feel neither option is 'right' or 'wrong'. It's a game, do what you enjoy. If idling was -truly- harming IRE's bottom line, I can bet they'd take steps to make it impossible. They haven't. So, just play the game instead of worrying about flags and who's afk or idling. It's pretty easy to find rp or cool people to interact with, you just have to explore and approach people. If that specific person you are trying to reach doesn't respond, try again later. You'll eventually catch them. Not everything must be -now, now, now-. Can it be frustrating to not get a response? Sure! But this is where patience comes in to play. If I don't get a response, I go bug someone else and likely have fun while I wait for the other person to get back with me. And nine times out of ten, they do indeed get back with me.

    No matter how you look at it, it's less than ideal. Either people don't idle and the who list is nearly empty and new players take one look and don't return, thinking we're a tiny mud. Or you have a larger who list with some idling players, newbie encounters a couple afkers and leaves. (I'd like to think that those that linger long enough to run into someone afk, will bump into other people that are not afk and thus stick around. Although, I freely admit this isn't always the case.) There is no single answer that makes everyone happy or fixes the 'problem'.

    Zsadist
  • JulesJules Member Posts: 55 ✭✭
    edited August 2016
    I see zero problems with a non-punitive flag system.

    None of the things you are bringing up are problems. If someone doesn't want to talk to me now (or ever), that's fine, but no, I don't want to send communication into what may or may not be a black hole. That gets real old, real quick for the person who is actually there and usually responds to people.

    This solution allows people continue to AFK if they want, and also to flat out ignore me if they want - and both of those things suddenly just became far less my problem, because I have a pretty good idea which one they're probably doing almost immediately, and I can just go "okay, cool, I will ask later" or "unicorns that guy". Sure, I'd still give people who seem like they might actually be ignoring me a chance or two, but now I can make a decision in just a couple of interactions (or non-interactions, as the case may be).

    Basically, we actually DO all tend to give people who AFK a lot of leeway, because we do understand that people's ability to play varies, and we want to be understanding. I know I do. Yeah, so and so is at work on phone... etc... I get that and I want that guy to play as able. What I don't like is this feeling that some people can and do twist that into something that, at worst, is downright mean-spirited, and at best, really inconsiderate.

    Some people clearly really like having that ambiguity, even once all of the other excuses and justifications are stripped away (which is what a well implemented flag does). Sorry, I don't think you deserve to hold that over everyone else. It's incredibly greedy.
    Post edited by Jules on
  • KerrynKerryn The Black Flagon InnMember Posts: 270 ✭✭✭✭
    Jules said:

    I see zero problems with a non-punitive flag system.

    None of the things you are bringing up are problems. If someone doesn't want to talk to me now (or ever), that's fine, but no, I don't want to send communication into what may or may not be a black hole. That gets real old, real quick for the person who is actually there and usually responds to people.

    This solution allows people continue to AFK if they want, and also to flat out ignore me if they want - and both of things suddenly just became far less my problem, because I have a pretty good idea which one they're probably doing almost immediately.

    Some people clearly really like having that ambiguity, even once all of the other excuses and justifications are stripped away (which is what a well implemented flag does). Sorry, I don't think you deserve to hold that over everyone else. It's incredibly greedy.

    I see what you are getting at, and in an ideal world, people would use an AFK flag or notification of some sort. But there's no way to really enforce or require people to use the flag, aside from attempting to use an appeal to common decency.
  • JulesJules Member Posts: 55 ✭✭
    Yeah, that is why I wasn't leaving it up to them. They'd just hit a certain point of idleness and be marked gray. Like, that is IT. You check cwho or w/e and guy's name is gray... Probably also a few tweaks to address the concern of being automatically booted from the game for people who just really want to idle.

    And at that point, if someone does a "keep alive" with emotes or tells or whatever JUST to not be marked gray, fine... because now they are actively overriding a passive system that exists solely to give others a heads up to not bug them right now... Knock yourself out.
  • DraimanDraiman Dr. Drai Member Posts: 1,094 ✭✭✭✭✭
    "Oh I'm going to be marked gray MIGHT AS WELL QUIT PLAYING THE GAME NOW CAUSE I'M GRAY."

    lol rly?
    "You ever been divided by zero?" Nia asks you with a squint.



    JulesAtrapoema
  • MissariMissari Member Posts: 208 ✭✭✭
    I think it's a race issue, they don't want to be a different color, they're afraid of getting shot.
    Ingram
  • AtrapoemaAtrapoema Member Posts: 248 ✭✭✭
    I've personally seen what AFK players do to new player retention. I'd be willing to lose a few established players if it meant higher newbie retention, but that's just me.
  • JulesJules Member Posts: 55 ✭✭
    Oh it isn't just here. I'd love to see this in a couple of games (it seems like such a simple, easy thing to ask for), and yet, I bet people would absolutely freak (which is why if I do ask for it there I will probably ask admin directly and hope for the best).

    People here are actually being really good. For one, there are actually two sides. Even better, those two sides haven't tried to eat each other. Yet.

    Across the board, when people freak the unicorns out about something like this, it often has to do with some kind of control/power they absolutely do not want to relinquish, but you'd almost never get people to admit that. It usually is though.

    And thanks for calling it out.
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