Failure > Winning (It's way more important.)

Discussion in 'General Topics' started by MindGate, Sep 13, 2018.

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  1. MindGate

    MindGate Totally Overkill
    Staff Member Lore master

    Sep 22, 2015
    Likes Received:
    Hi, I'm wanting to go into detail on a concern I've had for the past three years here as lore master. I feel now is the right time to finally post about this and go into detail on what exactly I mean while trying to keep an understanding that I'm not ragging on the general player base. I would simply like to see an improvement on everyone's part. So, with that in mind ... I'll get straight into this.

    Failure and Winning is the bane of my existence as a lore master. It's one of those things that makes me really bash my head into the wall because I get the general outlook on it from the player base but I also understand it from the perspective of the lore master trying to push story. We are faced with an issue where players more often than not will choose to win over failing.

    You might be asking, why's this an issue, MindGate. We're the main characters. - And right, you are. I'll never say that you as players aren't the main characters, I write these things for you and myself as a whole to enjoy. But I've reached this point where this has become one of the biggest issues on New Dawn. People just don't fail anymore, very rarely actually.

    These instances can range from so many things, from simple to complex. Why is failure so important, though? Because that's part of the story. It's a whole half of it, without failure there cannot be a satisfying win and with all the wins the people who do roleplay these failures are undermined by these characters constant greatness. It's painful and brings that stigma in, if you fail? You're nothing but a loser and you cannot do anything to recover your reputation because these other people are so great.

    I'll give an example from this lore and one from a movie:

    Imagine Star Wars, Darth Vader has Luke Skywalker pinned down and is giving his speech.

    "We can rule the galaxy together, as father and son."

    There is a pause, a dramatic pause as the wind gusts intensify. The setting is hopeless, Luke is faced with death from his own father or falling.

    "Come with me. It is the only way"

    And then? Luke kills Darth Vader. He force pulls his lightsaber over and beheads him. How anti-climatic is that? There is no struggle and I don't claim to be a Star Wars aficionado but that was a very prolific moment within the film series, imagine if everything after that was discarded by the death of Vader, so much stuff is gone. That applies to New Dawn too, there are thousands of unrealized moments because people decided to win over fail.

    Another example? The helicopter crash this lore. It was wholly undermined by a large majority of the people on board simply not roleplaying the injuries which they acquired. Most people bounced back within a week, some even less. Some chose to not even roleplay it ... and yes, a small section of that falls back on us for not telling them that this is powergaming but the sentiment still remains - even the people who did roleplay it for more than ten minutes bounced back immediately.

    My roll was very good, my player character should've been fine but I decided to not go that route. I wanted there to be a failure and weight to the crash so I took a far more severe route. I roleplayed being in a wheelchair for three IRL months as well as a rehab process before I started walking again and yes. It did give me fun roleplay and I'm not saying you should do something as extreme as that - but some more roleplay past "Bandage me up, Doc! I'll be fine in the morning" to every single thing can bring more story chances that don't have to be written and supplied by me.

    It's a complaint I see so much, MindGate, you're spoonfeeding us and then when I don't I hear the polar opposite MindGate, you're not doing enough. I love this server and I think most of you understand this by now, why else would I remain in this role for as long as I have. I want to see improvement but that improvement doesn't start with the admin side anymore, it starts with you as a collective.

    You can serve so many more important roles when you're not winning. I'm serious on this, you don't have to be the coolest person on the server to have your character be remembered. That's not how it works, I'll be honest - me, personally? I usually forget about these characters. I try to repress them to the deepest parts of my mind because of the level of absurdity it entails, usually. Not the good kind, either.

    I remember people who made willing sacrifices and gave development to their communities.

    I remember people who made hasty decisions and fucked it up.

    I remember people who did something as simple as slipping on the ice in combat.

    I remember people who just couldn't save that person they loved.

    I remember people who couldn't save the day and set out on a journey of redemption.

    I remember people who were afraid of the zombies and showed distress.

    I remember the cowards who ran away from combat and got people killed.

    I remember people who weren't awesome badasses.

    I remember them because they all provided something similar, events. Events caused by players, whether it be a panic attack, mental breakdown or a genuine quest of redemption. Things that people who can win at everything on their own never do, because they don't need anybody. They're the greatest, ever. Anyone who isn't on their level is useless.

    We all want the same thing, to tell a story. Fail more. See your characters overcome massive hurdles and rise to their stardom. You don't have to be a huge never-losing awesome bad ass to be memorable.

    Thanks to those of you who do roleplay these concepts,

    These scenes don't even look cool when you do them.
    #1 MindGate, Sep 13, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2018
  2. Espa

    Espa Ex Machina

    Aug 28, 2018
    Likes Received:
    I love it. Yes. This is what I love to read and see in characters. Flaws are SO much more compelling to see in characters, and to see them be weak in some regards and strong in others. I really enjoy seeing character progression over failure and over their fears, flaws. Great write up.
  3. El Cid

    El Cid The Old Man (apparently)
    The Old Man

    Feb 20, 2017
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    Preach brother Mind!
    MindGate likes this.
  4. Joe

    Joe New Member

    Jul 14, 2018
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    It was a fair bit to read but I'm glad I read it. :) You make some very fine points sir.
    MindGate likes this.
  5. BigDaddy666

    BigDaddy666 Member

    Sep 2, 2018
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    10/10 IGN
    MindGate likes this.
  6. xxvenomxxbro

    xxvenomxxbro Member

    Jun 4, 2018
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    We need the war
    MindGate likes this.
  7. VCarrasola

    VCarrasola Master of the Crops Nation

    May 28, 2015
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    Yeah, just die, losers. Your character isn't as cool as you think.
    Fucked up? Die. Or lose a leg. Whatever feels more organic.

    Trust me. It's not about if you want it to happen or not, things just have to happen! Or you'll find yourself stuck and every ending for your character will leave you a bitter taste.

    Speaking from experience of past mistakes.

    Let the situations generated by our actions in this little piece of simulated world flow. If you don't, it won't feel alive. This is how we kill the fun, we kill story archs and we kill lores.

    Thanks for the post, master lord and savior Mindgate. Very well explained but still very boring. Nerd.
  8. Jpurts776

    Jpurts776 Member

    Oct 21, 2015
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    I lost a head, and did it with a smile on my face.
  9. Tucker

    Tucker The Canadian Moose

    Mar 7, 2016
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    This has my stamp of approval. Winning is something that is only good when it’s been well fought for. Nothing is interesting about *Man chops head off of enemy when they attempt to kill his daughter*. What’s interesting is *Man struggles to track down the killer of his daughter, losing faith in society and his ability to parent his teenage son*. Winning is perfectly fine, as long as there’re losses along the way. I don’t mean the occasional “Oh no I was scratch, ow”, no I mean loss of life, relationships, sentimental objects. That is my view on “Winning”. It’s only sweet if it was earned, not handed to you for participating.

    Now for losing? Losing is the best thing for character development. It sets shit in motion! What good story ever began with “They lived happily ever after and never ran into any issues whatsoever”. Good stories start off with a tradgedy For example. . . .

    Back in the Bartertown lore we had a character named Damion. He died. Pretty simple right? Well not exactly, see this one characters death Started a chain of events that ended up in the murder of other characters and eventually the fall of his faction. All of which provided immense amounts of RP and basically shaped that period of the lore. That characters death basically increased his fame 10 fold. I know it sounds dark, but tragedy and death are the most exciting things to RP. They lead to revenge, intrigue and investigating. I had one of my characters falsely accused of a crime and executed. Am I bitter? You’re goddamn right I am, but I also realize that the death shaped the characters around me. Whether it made them more stoic or batshit crazy.

    I know I’m repeating some shit that Mind has said, like the broken record I am, but I really wanna make sure this resinates with folks in the future. If we hope to keep a lore going for the long term then we need to accept hardships whenever they come IC. Someone invaded your home IC and claims everything theirs? Don’t quit, don’t harass or moan and groan. Take a deep breath and seek to make the best out of the situation. Just be creative with your approach, remain open and hopeful, because a story is only good when there’s been a struggle to achieve victory. . . Or better yet, failure in the attempt.
    MindGate and Deleted member 1962 like this.
  10. AmongTheCold

    AmongTheCold Active Member

    Jan 2, 2016
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    Oh. My bad dog.
    El Cid, Tucker and MindGate like this.