Townhall part 2

RazmaelRazmael Administrator, Immortal
edited December 2021 in Aetolia Development
Ictinus said: For those of you who missed the first Town Hall, thanks for coming to this one today! My name is Sam/Ictinus, and I'm the new producer of Aetolia!

Alii emoted: emote lets out a resounding cheer.

Ictinus said: I'll cut to the case and get started with the first person in the queue.

Sarran asks about public systems and their effects on the game, as well as the administration roles as it pertains to game factions
Sarran said: First, how do you feel about widely available scripts/systems like our Sunder? Do you feel that things like that detract from the game overall, have the potential to be good or bad, or generally have a positive impact on player involvement and retention? Are there any kinds of things or features you wish were /not/ included in such resources?

Sarran said: Secondly, what, if any, do you feel the administration's role is/should be in regards to faction balance within the game? Like if, say, spirit suddenly had all the players, is that a player issue that players alone should try to resolve?

Ictinus said: I appreciate the need for things like Sunder to exist, particularly with how brutal the barrier to entry can be sometimes.

Ictinus said: Anything like that comes with advantages and disadvantages, but in this case I think it's almost all positives when you consider it from that perspective. I don't know enough about the specifics of the system to identify things that are wrong or missing from it, but I am also interested in making that entry barrier lower through game systems, not only external systems.

Sarran emoted: emote nods

Ictinus said: The second question is one that I don't think has a simple answer. I do think there is an element of responsibility when it comes to faction balance, but in my experience it's something that always swings back and forth over time, and interfering with the player agency of choosing where and what to play is not something I like doing.

Ictinus said: If ever we were in a situation that was as one-sided as you describe, I think we'd be aware of it before it happened and be brainstorming what went wrong.

Sarran said: That makes sense, yes. There's definitely a degree of players gravitating toward the more 'interesting' side.

Ictinus said: I think it also ties in somewhat to what I said on Friday about factional proactivity, and ensuring from a "dungeon master" side of things that a two-faction world really enables both factions to shine in their own right.

Ictinus emoted: thank

Oba asks about possibility of tying Yeleni/Azudim back to gods, timezones for events, and ideas on milestones tasks
Ictinus said: Hello!

Oba said: Hello! First off, glad to have you with us. I have three questions for you.

Oba said: Question 1. And this might be an unpopular opinion, but still.. Back in the day when someone ascended they were only able to become Azudim or Yeleni through the help of a Divine. Usually, the player was given a task to perform in order to become the race of choice. Now Idreth is available, which is ascension through Willpower and focus and a more "neutral" race. While both Spirit and Shadow allow Yeleni and Azudim these days, would it be possible to have these two races being handled by Divine again? If the specific Divine you are following isn't active at the moment, you can be both a Tekal Lord/Lady or an Idreth, or talk to one of the active Divines, so it's not like you are completely left hanging. The races themselves are not that different when it comes to mechanics, so giving Yeleni and Azudim their old flair again would be amazing and it would bring out some more rp opportunities.

Oba said: Question B. I know this was touched upon in the last Townhall meeting, but I wanna elaborate. I think a lot of us Euro/African/Asian/Aussie people are feeling left out from events and have been for a long time. Usually we only get the scraps of world-wide events, small crumbs either in the beginning leading up to the events, or afterwards. While I understand that Prime time is Prime time and most of the players are american, the rest of us deserve a chance to be a hero, or at least be a part of interesting events, without ruining our sleep schedules completely. We want a piece of the cake and not just the leftover crumbs. Will we see big/medium sized events happening during different timezones other than Howling from now on?

Oba said: Question Purple. Are you interested in hearing ideas for more Keystone Milestone tasks? Cause I have at least one idea and I am sure others have too. Mine involves spiders. It's pretty cool.

Ictinus said: The Yeleni/Azudim change was, I think, made with the intention of eliminating wait times because of the situation you described. I don't think that's something we want to revert, and waiting to roleplay it out -is- still something that those who are into that style of RP can choose to do.

Ictinus said: On two, my UK timezone makes me very conscious of how late the Howling is for EU in particular. We will definitely be more inclusive there, since most major events can at least have several parts that take place at different times as the context allows.

Benedicto emoted: emote fistpumps

Ictinus said: And lastly, expanding milestone options is something I would like to do at some point, but I don't have immediate plans to tackle that. I'd say submit an idea through the system and when we get to freshening that up we'll go through the list for inspiration.

Ictinus emoted: thank

Macavity asks about potentially less active gods being tied to organizational requests, having equal opportunity for different groups, guilds or factions to receive divine attention/storytelling and about the celani application process
Ictinus said: Hello!

Macavity said: Greetings and thank you for allowing me to ask a few questions. Welcome to Aetolia and I look forward to seeing changes that will come. I have three main questions.

Macavity said: Question 1) It has been said in the other town hall meeting that you will not force a volunteer to play a God they do not want or have passion to play. However, what is going to be done with the Gods we have currently that are inactive, or rarely come online. It was always believed that in the past if an Org wanted something for their group that the God was the main contact point to the Pools, however with that line of communications gone, it makes it hard to get anywhere with OrgReq or other issues that the group needs assistance with. In essence we need active Gods or another means to get stuff going for our groups, when Gods are simply not here.

Macavity said: Question 2) The perception from the pools, rather or not done on purpose, has been that some groups get more attention... in general as in focus, items, and whatnot that other groups do not simply get. Is there a plan to make sure that all groups are created equal and be given the same amount of attention? And for those that have been given little to no attention will they get the much needed assistance they have been crying out for, for years? Also what is the driving force to give some Guilds more attention over all? Population of the guild? As a side note it seems that certain individuals have the ears of the pools a lot more than others.

Macavity said: Question 3) when calling for new volunteers into the pools can the character names be omitted from the application process? I understand that this is needed as they cannot play those characters while being in the pools however I feel that linking an application to a character name may draw undue bias to the selection process. Since that process has never been made public at all. The character name should be revealed after being selected to be elevated. Just my opinion.

Ictinus said: The way that org requests work now specifically divorces them from any one patron or God, which with a more efficient system in place (a few of you have gotten responses already today as I go through the backlog), will essentially mean that anyone in the Pools can take them on as a project. I actually think this increases the likelihood of them getting done in a timely manner, rather than decreasing it.

Macavity said: OrgReq was always deemed as something for BIG things, and not little things like fixing an npc.

Ictinus said: My policy is actually the opposite. I don't think big things should be handled through orggreq at all, and most big changes are not things that should really be done on request.

Macavity emoted: emote nods

Ictinus said: On two, I have already touched on this already but the nature of Tethers demands that both sides get their time in the spotlight as circumstances or storylines dictate. Population almost never impacts that sort of thing, but it does go back to my policy of not forcing a volunteer into a role they don't want to be in.

Ictinus said: That's something that is essential to making good Gods. Logging in to a role you didn't choose for yourself and aren't passionate about is the fastest road towards burnout and loss of interest.

Ictinus said: We also have just done a Celani call recently, which should address some activity issues in the future.

Ictinus said: Which leads me into the application process. I think when applying to join an established team, obscuring character name is not a great idea. That isn't to say the current process is perfect, but character history in the community is important to ensure a good transition into Celani from player.

Ictinus emoted: thank

Saltz asks about promotions, the effect of unique or promotional items on combat and the producer's stance on balancing or removing paid items
Saltz said: Welcome to Aetolia and thanks for the EU friendly Townhall. Promotions lacking oomph, has been a contentious topic especially with the arti auctions of last month. If I recall correct, in your introductory post, you mentioned that the time/effort spent to engineer promotions will diminish greatly as there are other concerns for the game to keep things fresh, which is great. Keeping that in mind, should we expect introduction of more items/mechanics that might impact the general balance of combat in close future? Or will the general policy of being careful with them will remain in place? (Which I am a big fan of, by the way.) Finally, what's the administrative stance going to be on making changes on/removing the existing artifacts, relics, special auction artifacts and salvage items if it's pointed out that they are impacting the combat experience and/or balance negatively. Because there's a general perception that the previous stance of the game was to not to take away, what people have paid for. (Which I personally disagree with, for the sake of a better balance.) Thanks for the answers in advance.

Ictinus said: I have no plans or interest in introducing artifacts that have combat breaking potential.

Ictinus said: That isn't to say there will be no combat relevant artifacts ever, but we'll always aim to make sure their effects are kept tame.

Ictinus said: I don't have a great picture of the artifact situation in Aetolia yet, but I am usually loath to outright remove anything that people have spent money to obtain. That sort of thing usually needs at least a short conversation on an IRE level.

Macavity emoted: emote claps

Ictinus emoted: thank

Rasani asks about the current storyline, org input and mortal storytellers
Rasani said: First of all, welcome and I'm sure we're all very excited to see what you do! Second of all, I'd like to know what the plan, or even the barest hints of a plan, is for moving plot and story forward, both on a game wide scale and on smaller, more org based scales. Do you think the two problems will be resolved together, or that the resolution of one might mean the resolution of another? Is there any plan to talk to the orgs on their own and see what sort of things they think they could benefit from?

Rasani said: Additionally, I totally understand that there's a lot we should like, disregard from conversations with Tiur, but there had been some conversation and interest in a player storyteller system. Is that anything you are considering looking into?

Ictinus said: I can say that there is a plan forming, and that my education in Aetolia's vast lore and history has already begun. I'll reiterate from the previous Town Hall that events are my favourite thing to do as a producer. I know that isn't a specific answer, but you can expect more 'things happening' to materialise on an org and world level much more than before.

Ictinus said: I don't have a specific plan to hold org meetings on that sort of thing, but people should always feel free to reach out to me with suggestions. I just have to disclaim that there is always a chance that ideas don't work or won't be accepted.

Ictinus said: I think players can already be storytellers in a large number of ways without needing additional admin-side tools in order to tell them. My instinct there is always to encouraging doing more with what you have, while again reiterating that the dearth of stories coming out of the Pools is a thing of the past.

Ictinus emoted: thank

Rihrin comments about orgreqs and asks about options to get more iron coins and changes to the crafting system
Rihrin said: Alright, I have two questions, my first is going to end up being a statement now.

Rihrin said: Question 1 is turning into more of a statement since Rasani asked related to it. The Sentaari have recently revamped a lot of things to re-identify themselves as an org, most of which admin know about from orgreqs having been submitted related. So, I think all orgs would like a new round of meetings to find out what our current role/lore/story should be in the makeup of the game and level set on both sides on what should be pushed forward.

Rihrin said: Question 2. Have you considered adding the option to buy iron coins from milestones potentially? Since they can be harder to obtain than some of the other currencies and are often required for certain types of customization. And if this is a 'submit the idea' question, I can just do that. No problem.

Rihrin said: Question 3. Crafting related, so might be something to idea. But, are there any considerations to remove base commodities from designs and forget the 'cost' aspect? Because with jewelcrafting in particular, gold and silver are rarer these days and harder to come by because of being used by Apothecary to make the skill worthwhile.

Rihrin said: And that's it! Thank you so much for this.

Ictinus said: I think I need to learn a lot more about that current role, lore, and story set up from an org standpoint before taking any further action there.

Ictinus said: On 2, it's not something I've specifically thought about but I have some ideas circling in my head about iron coins as a whole.

Ictinus said: The rarity of gold and silver should largely be addressed with the release of mining, but the base costs are there to ensure there's a minimum price point before the addition of extra materials. That's something we want to preserve for the time being.

Rihrin emoted: emote nods

Ictinus emoted: thank

Neoma asks about the Indorani novice experience and the Ashes of the Indorani faction
Neoma said: Hello, glad to have you with us Ictinus. In the first town hall someone was asking about the Indorani novices, there is certainly a huge need there. I dont think they mentioned that at the time of the demise of the guild a faction was created Ashes of the Indorani. Created and forgotten it seems. Is there a timeline we can expect to see the faction 'Ashes of the Indorani' move ahead with work and ranks? Also is it possible to link it with Children of Despair? There use to be 3 guilds of necromancers now there are none. Yet people regularly ask me to apprentice them in the skills. So there is a void for both novices and seasoned players whom practice the Indo skills.

Neoma said: This is less of a question and more an observation. It seems to me that over time the game has become cushier, the shadow side is certainly less dark. The game feels like 'Aetolia Light' compared to when I started playing 15 years ago.I would love to see changes in that area.

Ictinus said: From my brief look into that, the Ashes faction that is, it was a Celani passion project at the time. I have no objections to it being picked up again, but it's not something on the Official List.

Ictinus said: The newbie experience for Indorani (and Wayfarer) is on the list to come up with a solution for.

Ictinus emoted: thank

Teani asks about the Yeleni/Azudim relationship with god ascension, changing the costs for crafting system, using the events news more often and an idea for a new crafting item
Teani said: First off, I want to say I'm really pleased with the quick responses I've got from you so far, and you've already been very helpful and clear in your messages. That is much appreciated. I want to comment on two things mentioned before, and then ask two different questions myself.

Teani said: Oba mentioned the endgame races, and I just wanted to make clear that those who don't want to engage in Divine RP has the choice to become an Idreth already, so they don't have to wait. How would reverting two of the three options to DivineRP requirement be a bad thing for future ascended when that option exists?

Teani said: Rihrin mentioned the base costs of designs, and I think a better solution for a gold sink would be to not use base commodities, but rather raise the costs of submitting designs to the Crafting guild, or even set a gold-based cost of using said design instead of specific, hard-to-come-by commodities that others desperately want. Would that be an option?

Teani said: My first own question is that sometimes it can be very difficult for people to learn what is going on in the world. This is often not for lack of trying, but lack of avenues for information to be passed on to those who are not online at peak hours. No matter what people say or claim, or how much people feel it is up to individuals to find things out, there are some people out there who quite frankly don't share information no matter what, even if you are on the same tether or even city or guild. Would it be possible for even small scale events to make it to the Event posts? As an alternative, if you would rather keep that board for larger events, could we create a Bulletin board for quicker posts about things that happen (accessible by Admin, org-leaders and Ministers of Culture, for example)? I feel like this would also showcase just how alive this game can be. Just knowing that there's a lot going on in different orgs might bring more players.

Teani said: My second question is related to crafting, so if you feel like fielding this off to Becue at a different time, please let me know. Since it's a bit of a bigger thing, I thought I might just bring it up here. Is it possible to make a charm-holder template, which can hold up to X amount of charms attached to it? It could be described as a charm bracelet/anklet/what have you, and when looking at it, it would show either just the number of charms it holds, or the appearances of each one when using SHOWOFF. It would give even more meaning to the charm design. They could even be handed out as prizes at events, and not clutter up people's appearances too much.

Ictinus said: The short answer for your first question is that I don't think Idreth being the only option is the right way forward. Reverting to God only would remove choices and options, while the current system still allows for both.

Teani said: Would it then be possible for Divine-only RP races to be a thing?

Ictinus said: We still need to preserve commodity sinks which mining will help with. To sidetrack slightly on mining in case anyone missed my remarks in the last Town Hall: I've had a crash course in the system, and we've agreed on an end point for implementation. It is coming!

Ictinus said: I'm actually glad you asked about the events news. I'm definitely in favour of more events news posts for smaller scale things. I think it goes a long way to making the world feel more alive.

Ictinus said: The charm bracelet question will probably need an answer from Becue, I think.

Teani said: I'll ask Becue about that later then. About my follow-up?

Ictinus said: I do like the idea though, re: charm bracelet.

Ictinus said: I don't have any plans for Divine only RP races, but if something in the story made sense for it to happen, it MAY be something we consider. But that is a very large MAY.

Teani said: I only have epic memories when it comes to Divine-assisted Ascension RP, which is why I think God-connected endgame races would be amazing.

Ictinus emoted: thank

Lin asks about updating older areas and their maps, the producer's opinion on Albedos and how content might be delivered, werecats
Lin said: Hi Ictinus! I'll try to keep these nice and brief.

Lin said: [1]: Aetolia has a number of very old areas that suffer from outmoded writing standards (see: the Siroccians, the Ithmias, etc) and really crappy, often nonsensical maps. Would you be amenable to a project in which those areas are 'remastered', for lack of a better word?

Lin said: [2]: Given total creative freedom and no obligation to continue past unfinished efforts, what would be your ideal way to realize Albedos? Would you keep it as an 'expansion pack' continent? Would you release its areas in discrete chunks that we get to by ship or by portal? Would you say 'screw it' and concoct an event to set the entire continent ablaze? What would be your ideal way to handle an incredibly large-scale ambitious project like this? No wrong answers.

Lin said: [3]: Will you add werecats?

Lin said: Oh secret question [4]: did you play Bob in Starmourn?

Ictinus said: I'm absolutely amenable to a project that freshens up old legacy areas. It's something I had a hand in several times in Achaea.

Ictinus said: Albedos. I had been waiting for a question on it.

Ictinus emoted: chuckle

Lin said: I'm shocked no one's mentioned it yet!

Ictinus said: I'll preface this with the comment that there is a lot for me to unpack with Albedos. It's been through so many different pairs of hads over the years and I am not ready to have a conversation on any specifics. But I'd lean towards the 'discrete chunks' method, if I had to choose.

Ictinus said: 3. No.

Lin said: That's it, we're writing another letter.

Ictinus said: Oh. I thought that was the Bob question. But the same answer applies.

Lin said: Hahahaha. Thanks a lot, Icty. I appreciate it.

Ictinus emoted: thank

Xenia asks about being able to make on the fly items/props, anonymousRP + other tools for RP and ways to offer ideas on them
Ictinus said: Hi!

Xenia said: Hey. Glad to see you in this role. Looking forward to whatever it is you are going do. I have two questions pertaining towards RP.

Xenia said: The biggest value in this game for me is RP and one of the issues I've had is what feels like a glass ceiling on how much agency characters have on affecting the world around them. I don't mean so much on a large scale or in the scope of events and player contributions weighing in there (though obviously that's important) and instead curious about potential of increasing player agency in the day to day. Two major RP QoL tools would be granting the players the permissions to create props on the fly, bypassing (or maybe eliminiating!) the crafting approval system all together, as well as an ability to leave addendum descriptions to rooms, something similar perhaps to the spraypaint item abilities but can be deleted/edited at will by any player. The goal in granting players these tools being to allow them to really drive, flush out and insert life into the small-scale story arcs taking place day to day. Do you think granting players this kind of agency to support their RP is something that you might consider down the road or implement?

Xenia said: Secondly: I know there's a new anonymous RP tool available, it's new to me and I don't know very much about it. I do know that I think this is probably a great tool for facilitating more meaningful scenes that players can create for flushing the world out and doing their part to keep the world vibrant. While I belive world events and storylines are really good and important, I think there need to also be more tools for the players to facilitate story telling between themselves as probably a self-sustaining story environment for such a large player base needs to enable the players in more ways. Do you have plans for implementing more RP tools, and if so would you be willing to involve players in the brainstorming process?

Ictinus said: I'm not against adding additional quality of life tools or methods that allow for more immersive and compelling RP as a whole. I'm not sure on props specifically because there are some backend considerations to make on that which I'm not qualified to comment on. Though I think the pose system helps somewhat with the desire to see things look differently in a room.

Ictinus said: And I think that (admittedly broad) answer mostly addresses your second question as well. There will be a help file made for the anonymous RP tool which should promote more usage of it, and I actually have some vague ideas for putting it to use in an event context already too.

Ictinus said: And I'm absolutely willing to consider player-side ideas for more RP things. No promises on implementation, but they won't be ignored.

Ictinus emoted: thank

Alii asks about the producer's decision to move from Achaea->Aetolia, shops being added to the game, keeping up with Aetolia's vast array of choices re: story
Alii said: First, thank you for being willing to engage us in discourse. I truly do not want to imagine how much...shudder...paperwork you probably have. That being said...

Ictinus emoted: grin

Alii emoted: emote mutters something about a darn eye of a hurricane.

Ictinus said: No problem!

Alii said: I am pretty sure this has probably been asked before but... why the change from Achaea to Aetolia?

Alii said: The third question is this. Do you forsee any other skills being added to the normally marketable ones? If so, do you see the possibility of more shops to be available to players to lease?

Alii said: Thank you for the hard work you have done. That thanks extends to all of the admins who work their derriers off in what can often be a thankless at best and a complaint department at worst job.

Razmael said: I think your second question didn't get asked.

Ictinus emoted: nod

Ictinus said: I can go ahead and answer about making the change though while you write that up.

Alii said: Another question is this. Achaea and Aetolia seem to be rather different in regards to how varied the rp potential is as well as the driving forces behind them... at least to me. Do you intend on helping keep Aetolia with the myriad of options and opportunities that it currently has? If so, how?

Alii said: Those are the questions.

Ictinus said: It did somewhat come out of the blue, and moving to Aetolia wasn't something I expected. But the reason I said yes is because I saw a really great opportunity to come back here after 10+ years. And because Aetolia is better than Achaea, obviously.

Raah said: Boo yah.

Razmael emoted: flex

Ictinus said: More shops are not likely to happen outside of very rare cases unfortunately.

Ictinus said: During my time in Achaea I was one of the primary voices on the admin team asking / nagging for more RP options for Gods and players both to make the RP experience better. I like to think I was a positive influence while I was there from that regard. So in short yes, I absolutely intend to maintain and build on the myriad of options available.

Alii emoted: emote cheers wildly with unbridled joy.

Ictinus emoted: thank

Legyn asks about meaningful conflict for organizations and what types of items are relevant to the orgreq system
Legyn said: There are two questions I thought about after the first Town Hall.

Legyn said: Question 1) From your perspective as a producer, what do you think Aetolia's organizations should be getting into conflict over, concretely?

Legyn said: Question 2) This one has sort of been discussed today already, but I think it'd be useful to get into the specifics. What do you consider the smallest relevant scale for OrgReq? Say someone wants to set up an event or storyline for their character and it's going to involve their city/guild to a certain extent, and they want to notify the Pools to let the Celani know the storyline is a "resource" they can use if they think it's appropriate for their current even or lore plans. Is that something OrgReq should be used for, or is there a better way to signal that?

Legyn said: Thank you!

Ictinus said: I'll have to disappoint you with a non-concrete answer on number one I'm afraid. I've not had near enough time to get up to scratch on what typical conflicts look like or play out. Though, I think there's almost no "bad" conflict outside of something like major internal strife.

Legyn said: Sure.

Ictinus said: Though even that can have its place as long as it's all IC.

Ictinus said: On two, the smallest relevant scale would probably be minor tweaks or fixes to existing things - shop stock, new doors, keys, or whatever. Ultimately though they should be things that have a positive impact on an org-wide level, and typically not be large shifts in identity or focus, and not requests for single-player event narratives.

Legyn emoted: emote nods.

Ictinus said: The #1 question to consider when coming up with one is: What does this -add- to the organisation that makes it better to play in that organisation?

Ictinus said: I should also add that I don't think leaders generally should be judged on how many extra toys they can add during their tenure, but for the impact they had from a roleplaying perspective.

Ictinus said: Thank you for letting me segue a bit there!

Jhin asks about different types of auctions, live auction, cities using their resources during auctions, sect additions
Jhin said: Say Question 1: In your purview was does the future of special artifact auctions look like? What is your expected frequency of these events and would you consider bringing back live auctions. I think the idea of having black box live auctions was really exciting. Because you never know whats going to be introduced! I've heard concerns about timezones and I don't mind timezones being cycled back and forth. One year its 5pm for me and the next 5am.

Jhin said: Question 2: I overheard some concerns about corruption as it relates to city/guild resources and personal auctions. I asked Tiur about this and his response was, "you know, corruption." And I thought that answer was a bit incomplete because I'm not sure if its the admins intention is to allow cities to lend gold/credits to individuals to win admin-created auctions. What are the checks and balances in this area because I don't think the city logs are public as it relates to withdrawals from the city coffers. I think transparency in these areas for guilds and cities would be great. Typically once the leadership structure is built within the organization its hard for city/guild members not apart of it to know whats going on.

Jhin said: Question 3: Whats your all-time favorite creature or pet in the history of iron realms?

Jhin said: Lastly, this is an idea for Sect. (Doesnt require an answer). Currently the system is SECT CHALLENGE and then SECT ACCEPT. It would be neat I think to have SECT CHALLENGE create a 30 second or minute queue. Anyone can add their name into that list and itll randomize the battles between people.

Jhin said: And thank you for being on the brink of carpal tunnel after this townhill.

Ictinus said: 1. I've done live auctions in the past and I am not very fond of them for a variety of reasons.

Ictinus said: Two, I don't think that it is a problem for organisations to make use of their resources in an auction that way. Though, if there are transparency issues with withdrawals, that is something that should probably be fixed.

Ictinus said: Ah, I didn't answer on special artifact auctions. My answer earlier about no combat breaking artifacts typically applies here too.

Ictinus said: My all time favourite creature is the Dreadpilar in Achaea.

Ictinus said: But that is subject to change!

Ictinus said: And lastly, I have talked through a couple of ideas to solve sect problems and we'll see what we can do to make that experience better.

Macavity emoted: emote wonders what the deadpilar artifact does

Ictinus emoted: thank

Mati asks if there's a chance of a celani call with the new producer, mortal storytellers, airships for Albedos
Mati said: Well first off let me say there's going to be some superfluous words here, not the least of which are just because I didn't have time to edit it down coherently while tring to read the new questions and answers. Also because I just stream of consciousness. I promise I tried, I'm so sorry ;-; But.

Mati said: Hi! Glad to have you, long-time listener, first time caller, etc. I know there was a Celani call recently, but I was curious if you have considered having a temporary extension or even just reviewing those rejected in the last call. I know a few people who really have wanted to be Celani, and least from my biased POV would probably be pretty good at it, but either didn't make the cut for whatever reason (which could be valid) or decided not to apply because, at the time, we were all so disillusioned with the game as a whole and the possibility of making any real impact or improvement under the previous producer.

Mati said: The next isn't so much a question as a question and an idea wrapped in one, so understandable if you don't have an answer for it right now or want to receive it some other way. Just piggybacking off the idea of a mortal storyteller, perhaps it could be similar to how god shells work (?) where a notable player (such as GM or CL) is enabled access to a temporary Celani shell, and supervised by an admin, to run a pre-approved (small) event or lore dump for their specific org. Just to help take the burden off you guys for knowing every scrap of lore, or particularly inspired to step in and make an event for an org, and also to make it feel like we have some agency in progressing the world without requiring you guys to be staring down and monitoring us for story lines to pick up on or devising lines and hoping -we- pick up on them. Players, especially org leaders, certainly have the ability to be big names and influence the path of their org, but there's not much denying that if it comes (even in perception) from On High, people are more likely to get on board and get excited and roll with the punches. It could also help alleviate the burden of timezones somewhat depending. Well, actually, maybe it is a question, in wondering if that's in the scope of orgreqs, since you mentioned seeing their scope as for less groundbreaking things?

Mati said: Sorry these are still giant, I promise I did try to revise, I just wanted to make sure my line of reasoning was clear. Thanks! Also, woof, run-ons abound, sorry again. Also also, throwing my hat into the ring for what Iazamat and Lin suggested on Discord and what you mentioned about disparate pieces for Albedos, connected by (airship?) travel to help scale it down to manageable chunks that can be reliably fleshed out. A lot of players and admin have spent a lot of man hours on Albedos, both RP/lore and building wise, and it just sucks to see it go by the wayside for years and years. I know you're inheriting a (bitter) can of worms, but you've got good people on your team, so I'm actually pretty confident you can make heads or tails of it.

Ictinus said: I have put some time into #1 already, but I'm not comfortable taking on or considering new Celani until I've really gotten to know the current team better and have some time behind me that means I'm competent at helping them through their training.

Mati emoted: emote understands

Ictinus said: Orgreqs are a good venue for making storyline suggestions on a small scale, and I'm not opposed to that in principle. For larger story beats, these would as you've said require supervision and in those instances I don't think mortal storytellers would be able to have the agency to make it an enjoyable experience due to the way it would have to be handled.

Mati said: Fair enough.

Ictinus said: Let me sidetrack a tiny bit again here to say that you all have every right to be sceptical about what's to come and I completely understand the desire for more story. It will happen.

Ictinus said: As you are the first person to bring up airships, I'll say that I think it's a fun idea, but there are no immediate plans in the works to make these a reality.

Ictinus emoted: thank

Sarran asks about newbie data, helpfiles and some specific areas lacking, how players can support the new producer
Sarran said: Three more questions, so sorry for badgering you all the time and thanks for your patience with the Hard Questions.

Sarran said: First, is there any possibility we could have insight into (I'm sure not actual access to) data about newbies? The anecdotal belief here is that there are no newbies, only alts, but that seems to color player perception in some very negative ways and I was wondering if there's any chance of having that officially debunked?

Sarran said: Second, information is really tragically scattered in this game. As a newer player, it's almost impossible to find comprehensive info on a given topic, and this is especially pronounced with things like promo items and research ministry stuff, as two strong examples. Is this issue on your radar/priority list at all, and if so, what is the best way we can point out specific issues or offer suggestions regarding this?

Sarran said: Last question I /promise/, what can we, as players, do to help/support you?

Ictinus said: I'm not sure we have a great way to track the newbie to not-newbie ratio at a glance, I'll need to ask Jeremy about it.

Ictinus said: But I am also not keen on releasing information like that, since it has a lot of potential to badly affect the experience.

Sarran said: I understand, I was mostly just hoping someone official could say 'there are new players, stop being dumb' to the playerbase at large.

Ictinus said: Second. YES. I already have a list of documentation that I want to tackle.

Ictinus said: HELP HELPEDIT also lets you submit revisions for helps too, where things are missing.

Raah said: You can even helpedit help helpedit, if editing it is helpful.

Sarran said: Now I'm going to do that.

Sarran said: Look what you've done.

Ictinus said: And on your final question, constructive feedback is probably the best way to help.

Sarran said: I think that a lot of us are really hoping for anything concrete we can do besides being patient.

Ictinus said: That is, if you have any spare time from editing help files.

Ictinus said: I'll be straight up on that, the backlog I inherited this week is enormous.

Sarran said: That's understandable. Maybe when you reach a point where there is something we can do can you commit to letting us know?

Ictinus emoted: yes

Ictinus said: For sure.

Sarran said: In the meantime we can helpedit and embrace all the newbies you brought in with you.

Ictinus emoted: gan

Ictinus emoted: thank

Chassity asks about a small change to apothecary and information that is available to Celani
Chassity said: Thank you for holding a second townhall and giving those that weren't able to attend a chance to attend and those that did a chance to further ask questions.

Chassity said: I have a few questions one is a bug that i have submitted about the new relic cache that some peices are over looked.

Ictinus emoted: point

Ictinus said: It's his fault. Probably.

Chassity said: A question that I have is there something that can be done to make apothecary more user friendly and easier to do. Currently there is auto outc for curing is there a way that we can have it setup for herbalism,apothecary, and the other mercantile skills to make it easier for those to effectively enjoy getting these skills and using them? A suggestion would be to make it auto outc the necessary items for the number of items needed and then make it confirm like many other things do so that you can't accidentally make something you didn't want to make?

Chassity said: The next one i warn you all is very long turn your eyes now.

Razmael emoted: chin

Razmael said: Probably because those are considered to be real relic pieces in the system.

Razmael said: Aren't, rather.

Chassity said: My other question is not going to be popular by any means especially with the pools however truly at this point, I really think it should be addressed. Earlier in this town hall you had mentioned a characters background should be considered when looking at applications and candidates for the pools. The unfortunate thing that I am thinking about is the egotisical maniacal players/volunteers that take advantage of their position and even to the point of abusing their position. With playing this game for close to 20years with a large break involved because of how one sided the administration was/still is towards certain groups of players in the game and continually allow the rules to be broken regardless then punishing people for no real reason. I remember a time when there was a log running around about some things that were said in the pools about a particular player that actually caused that player to quit playing all together. This being said What are your plans as producer to safeguard and protect the player base from those volunteers that you bring to the pools from looking at the information of other players such as their alternate characters, personal information such as emails, and over all protecting the player base from the harassment that some see more than others from the pools?

Razmael said: They don't work with other relic commands either I think.

Ictinus said: We can look into streamlining the skills you mentioned. I'll have to defer to the code wizards on that, but we'll see what we can do.

Ictinus said: Let me clear up a misconception on your first question - volunteers are absolutely not able to see alts or emails or any personal information at all.

Ictinus said: Or rather, the first part of your last question. Pardon.

Ictinus emoted: blink

Chassity said: I brought my last topic up because it is seen time and time again. That certain groups of people are allowed to violate rules and get away with it while other groups of people violate the exact same rules and get godsmited, banned, disfavored, muted, or shrubbed.

Macavity emoted: emote claps

Ictinus said: Without going into details on any specifics here because I think this is not the venue for that, I can unequivocally say that most admin-level punishments, if not all, are not in the hands of volunteers to begin with. What happens IC with Gods is and should remain a viable IC consequence for IC actions. I'm considering this something of a clean slate when it comes to rule enforcement, and I plan to be as consistent as possible, keeping in mind that no two situations are the same, no matter how much it may seem that way from the outside.

Chassity said: If not the right venue then where.

Chassity said: Its better in the public eye so that these questions can be answered openly and transparently.

Ictinus said: You're welcome to email me again to discuss appeals or punishments. But I am never going to be willing to discuss a specific player punishment or issue response in a public venue.

Ictinus said: I'm also going to say that I have nothing but the highest of praise for the team so far.

Ictinus emoted: thank


  • RazmaelRazmael Administrator, Immortal
    edited August 2021
    Tina asks about minipet championships/derbies, release of new minipets, conflicting lore from different in game sources, the producer's stance on existing story from before he got in vs how the story will progress with him
    Tina said: Alright, now that I've gotten some sleep I have a few morew questions. Will the minipet race championship derby mentioned in the help derby file ever be implemented so we can have a world champion minipet? Secondly, are there plans to feed our addiction by continuing to release new minipets at a steady pace?

    Tina said: Thirdly, a lot of lore is conflicting, or half finished, or plain confusing. In the past we were told this was on purpose, because one player or group isn't suppose to have the full lore, just little bits and pieces. And false lore and blatantly contradicting lore is introduced to create conflicts between orgs. And what you have can be straight up be wrong or missinformed, even if a god provided it, cause everyone makes mistakes. Do you agree with this, and will this continue with future lore drops?

    Tina said: Lastly after going through multiple new producers now, it seems whenever a new one takes the helm they have their own views over where the game should head, in terms of the overall lore. The big story. That's natural, different people different views. This often means when there are big shakeups, lots of story lines are just dropped, and new ones are started. From what you've been able to see from the game lore you have learned so far, are you leaning more towards a fresh direction for the overall story of the game and dropping a lot of old things, continuing things from where they were left off, or a mix of both? Especially in regards to the big world story, which in vague terms for a while now the build has been to uncovering the truth behind the grand artifice and learning more about the true history of Sapience, mixed with uncovering of Albedos and the ongoing war with their slowly returning gods. Is that still gonna be the main narrative driving us forward, or will we be going in a whole new direction?

    Ictinus said: It sounds like 1 was another feature that was left incomplete. It's not at the top of the list but we'll look into it now I'm aware of the problem.

    Ictinus said: There will surely be more minipets at some point. I don't have any designs on new promo content for a while, but maybe later in the year.

    Ictinus said: I think recognising that unreliable narrators exist is important when it comes to lore, especially in the context of Aetolia's story with the Grand Artifice clouding the memories of Gods.

    Ictinus said: It's probably a safe bet to say that anything 'laid down' through most methods should be examined critically and not instantly taken as absolute truth, because where it comes from is important.

    Ictinus said: I have no plans to abandon the major storylines of the past in a ham-fisted attempt to leave behind my own mark on the story. I'd much rather work with what is already established and keep it going. I'll have my own ideas of course but throwing everything out just to start new is a terrible idea and one I won't be doing.

    Ictinus emoted: thank

    Cayden asks about new PvE content, referencing past dungeons
    Cayden said: Hi! Nothing so divisive here, hopefully. I had a question about PvE content. There has been and still is some cool stuff out there - the Beneath instance, the various colossal elds, as well as the Flintbeard and Terry instances we had not too long ago. I've always really enjoyed those, because they offer something that's quite rare in Aetolia: a chance to test yourself against the code and work together with your fellow players to get cool stuff. PvE is something that isn't nearly as controversial as events, divine things, PvP, and the like are, which is why I think it goes undermentioned, but adding to it is likely the safest way to create more fun things in Aetolia that everyone can benefit from. So, with that in mind: is there anything in the works similar to the places I mentioned, and would you be open to building more of them? I think it'd be great if you did!

    Ictinus said: Nothing in the works right now that I can talk about, but building dungeons and making bosses are some of my favourite things to do, and I know there are some people on the team that are very into it as well. So we'll definitely be doing more there.

    Ictinus emoted: thank

    Yettave asks about bringing back forest fires, Hansel/Gretel
    Yettave said: Hello again Ictinus, only have one question. Also wanted to thank all the other Celeni/gods/volunteers for the constant work and dealing with important, redundant, and remedial tasks that are required here.

    Yettave said: What would you think about adding in forest fires again, maybe not us being able to "DO" them but maybe spontaneous fires for whatever reason, camp fire out of control, squirrels running through torches, ect.

    Yettave said: 2. What would you think about bringing back Hansel/Gretel characters for newbie channel?

    Ictinus said: No bringing back forest fires unfortunately.

    Yettave said: Ok.

    Ictinus said: I'm not sure on Hansel and Gretel yet. Maybe if newbie volume demands it.

    Yettave said: Thanks.

    Ictinus emoted: thank

    Ictinus emoted: nod

    Gyana asks about best ways to handle changes that may be out of scope for orgreq process
    Gyana said: Hello! A quick question, since I don't think this particular point's been answered, though forgive me if it has! Earlier, you mentioned that orgreqs should generally not be used for big changes in identity or focus. If an org does seem to be changing direction due to events and RP, and supposing the org is by and large on board with the changes, how do you think org leaders and members should handle it? What, ideally, would the process be like from org -> admin?

    Ictinus said: In an ideal world, we'd already be aware of it happening and be willing to support where we can. If not from the admin side then from conversations with patrons (if active), but I think having our finger on the pulse for things like that shouldn't be unexpected. If somehow it does slip past us then an orgreq is probably fine to make us aware, my main objection is to spontaneous desires for large changes being requested on demand, which doesn't really fit with my view of how these things should evolve.

    Ictinus emoted: thank

    Gyana said: Fair!

    Isia asked about minipet exchange tokens for milestones prizes
    Isia said: Hi, so Tina was asking about minipets and Tiur had previously mentioned maybe adding the minipet exchange tokens - mayyyyyyybe even the golden ones as possible milestone prizes? Is this something you'd be considering doing? The gold keystone minipet is expensive and the way it is set up, spending something you can only get two of per month on a possible duplicate.. and for people like me it is USUALLY a duplicate - is really disheartening. But like a golden exchange token at that price or maybe a regular exchange token at silver could be nice for those of us who like to collect. Is this something you'd be willing to take into consideration or possibly make happen?

    Isia said: I forgot I was speaking Mhun so I'll repeat!

    Isia said: Hi, so Tina was asking about minipets and Tiur had previously mentioned maybe adding the minipet exchange tokens - mayyyyyyybe even the golden ones as possible milestone prizes? Is this something you'd be considering doing? The gold keystone minipet is expensive and the way it is set up, spending something you can only get two of per month on a possible duplicate.. and for people like me it is USUALLY a duplicate - is really disheartening. But like a golden exchange token at that price or maybe a regular exchange token at silver could be nice for those of us who like to collect. Is this something you'd be willing to take into consideration or possibly make happen?

    Ictinus said: I'm open to thinking it over as an option, but nothing concrete on that right now.

    Isia said: Thank you.

    Ictinus emoted: thank

    Oba asked about PvE areas for 70-99 and the AREAS command in general
    Oba said: Hi again! A question about PvE. I feel that there is a bit of a lack of mid-tier hunting areas. With how many over-artifacted endgame characters hunting the endgame areas, the not so over-artifacted ones tend to lower their standards and go for lvl70-99 areas, forcing the players who are lvl70-99 to go to even lower areas. There has been a lot of new endgame areas, but from what I have heard, most of them are really difficult. Are there any plans to put in more non-endgame areas?

    Ictinus said: We'll look into the spread of things there a bit. I'm not going to say it won't happen, but most of the focus has been on 99+ endgame areas, so we can definitely look it over and see if there's more we can add.

    Oba said: Also, the levels in AREAS are kinda off too. There are certainly areas that are way out of bounds and that non-artifacted characters can't handle. Most lvl80 areas, for example.

    Oba said: I have no artifacts and I would be dead setting foot in most of the areas around my might.

    Ictinus said: I've just added areas to my list of things to look over. Thanks for mentioning that. I'm not sure how easily / if at all we can make it clearer, but I'll take a look into it.

    Oba said: Thank you!

    Ictinus emoted: thank

    Aeryx asked about the deadline setting process, how dates of release will be handled
    Aeryx said: I apologize if this has been asked already, I just got home from work a bit ago. How do you feel about roadmaps, and deadlines, when it comes to developing Aetolia? Do you have any plans to be more transparent than the previous Producer when it comes to the timing of releasing new features and content? Or, I suppose a better way of putting it is, do you feel confident enough that you think you could commit to a roadmap or a deadline for things, or are the variables involved too much to be able to do that sort of thing? Thanks!

    Ictinus said: From my perspective, I've gotten the opinion that over promising has been a huge problem in the past, so I'm incredibly wary of that. I don't like introducing something in progress to the public until I'm confident that doing so isn't going to result in disappointment.

    Ictinus said: That said, I am making a concerted effort to implement a more organised project management environment in the Pools, with realistic deadlines for things.

    Ictinus said: Roadmaps and lists and plans are integral to that. I like lists a lot. And you can always expect me to be transparent with anything that gets derailed or thrown off course.

    Aeryx said: Extremely good to hear.

    Ictinus said: That may be an about face in terms of my predecessor, but I really don't believe that it's fair on player or the team to over hype for a short term gain that ends up a long term loss.

    Ictinus emoted: thank

    Ictinus said: Sorry, a little rambly there!

    Amyie asks about the order wars system and marketing for new players
    Amyie said: Hello, when is the order war system going to be fixed? Right now nobody uses it because it just has no point to it.

    Amyie said: And is any good marketing going to be done to bring in new players?

    Ictinus said: I'm not sure that it needs fixing, in terms of function, so much as having a good look taken over it (much like sect, ylem, other PK/conflict related systems). I already have this on the list to go over so it won't be ignored.

    Ictinus said: Freshening up those systems and re-injecting some interest and excitement is something I definitely want to do.

    Ictinus said: Marketing is a difficult one. IRE has made many attempts in the past to run campaigns and trial different strategies, and mostly they don't work. We DO have someone working on improved SEO for all of the websites, and from experience in Achaea it has made a bigger difference than anything direct, so we may see improvement there as that goes on.

    Ictinus said: And getting caught up and active on website news updates and social media (as time allows) is also on The List!

    Ictinus emoted: thank

    Neoma asks about first priorities for the new producer
    Neoma said: Understandably some of your answers are nothing concrete or not in the works, but it does make me curious as to what is the first thing on your plate you want to work at?

    Ictinus said: This week has mostly been about backlog catch up: emails, customisations, various requests, orgreqs, and probably the most important part: starting off as I mean to go on with communication, which is why I am doing these meetings to begin with.

    Neoma said: Ok I was secretly hoping for mining.

    Ictinus said: Heh heh heh

    Neoma said: Thank you.

    Ictinus said: Mining is very high on the list, I've gotten into it, had a look. It's coming. For real.

    Saltz asked about non-organizational bound groups of players who want to try and make something in the world
    Saltz said: This has been a curiosity of mine for some time, so I decided I should just ask. If some players gathered and formed an unofficial organization, not necessarily competing with cities or guilds, that's self-sufficien in their RP. But at some point, if they wanted some divine "help" with a roomdesc, small rp session or anything really, could it be sanctioned? And if the answer is a possible yes, depending on the request, what's the best avenue for players to send that request?

    Ictinus said: I have no problem with anyone on the team taking an idea like that and offering support for it.

    Ictinus said: It's not going to result in a brand new guild or city, but if there's a commitment to doing something special and cool, I'm all for it.

    Saltz said: Alright. So basically, it needs to catch the attention.

    Ictinus said: Yes, unless someone takes an interest as a passion project, of course.

    Saltz said: Alright, thanks for the answer.

    Ictinus emoted: thank

    Meltas asks about the ideas system/backlog of ideas as well as the same for bugs
    Meltas said: Thanks all for doing this for a second day, I thought I was going to be home, but alas, late shifts are a thing. I can't recall if it's been asked, but with respect to the Idea's system, is there any plans to either change how it works or get to the ideas that are already there and find a way to power through or reject them to clear up some of the major backlog of ideas that are currently present? Also, in regards to the bugs system basically the same questions as above?

    Ictinus said: The team has smashed a ton of bugs this week! With my taking back the reins of things that ought to be the producer's job, that should only improve.

    Ictinus said: And the same applies to ideas. It's not something I can say is a priority, at least for now, but there's scope for 'idea days' in the future for sure.

    Ictinus said: Last chance to join the queue! It looks like we're empty!

    Razmael said: On ideas, definitely make sure you take advantage of the system that lets you support or reject ideas. We definitely pay more attention to ideas that have received support!

    Meltas said: Alright, thank you much!

    Oba said: How do we best support ideas? There seems to be around a 1400 ideas, it's probably not easy sifting through that.

    Razmael said: Make sure you turn on the config that lets you see when new ideas are submitted.

    Razmael said: CONFIG IDEA_ALERTS.

    Ictinus emoted: nod

    Ictinus said: That should help a lot until we can pare down the list.

    Oba said: Thanks! And done!

    Ictinus emoted: ok

    Ictinus said: Ok!

    Oba said: Also, you are awesome.

    Razmael said: You can also do LISTIDEAS RECENT to sort them by newest.

    Oba said: Ah, that's good to know too.

    Ictinus said: That brings us to the end of the queue. Before I finish up, I just want to say that I appreciate everyone giving up their time to listen, and I know a lot of the answers are very unspecific.

    Ra'ah asks about foxgirls


    Rhine emoted: emote listens intently for a response to $Raah's question.

    Ictinus said: You didn't join the queue.

    Ictinus emoted: sigh

    Eor emoted: emote chuckles softly

    Ictinus said: But that one is a no for now I'm afraid.

    Ictinus emoted: sorry

    Ictinus said: I'm sorry.

    Raah said: Awwwww.

    Raah said: Ok. I can live w that.

    Macavity emoted: emote is off to FFXIV

    Macavity emoted: emote ducks

    Ictinus said: I am also vetoing Icky as a name. That was one of the questions I missed last time.

    Wyatt said: Slicktinus has spoken.

    Ictinus said: If anyone needs to get in touch at all, feel free. Super excited to meet you all and get really stuck into getting stuff done.
Sign In or Register to comment.