Why have you been inactive?

Discussion in 'Polls' started by a rabbit, May 24, 2018.

  1. Server Status
    Hi Guest,

    We have an issue with the chatbox when we updated to the weather build. The dev seems to claimed that they have fixed this bug in the IWBUMS version.

    To join the server, please install the IWBUMS version via the beta tab.

    Your friendly Dorumon,
    jianmingyong
  2. ROLEPLAYER OF THE MONTH

    Winners for July:

    Draco
    Joe

    Both players won a FREE Item Rename.

    If you'd like to vote for someone for August 

    Vote Here


    Dismiss Notice
  3. Information

    View the lore information BEFORE posting an application.

    Event Notices

    >Click here to view<

    Character Creation Information

    >Click here to view<

    Lore Information

    >Click here to view<

  4. Factions News



    Click the link to view information regarding playable IC Factions



    >> Click HERE for Lore Information <<



    Dismiss Notice
?

Why have you been inactive?

  1. My real-life commitments outweigh my playing time.

  2. I've burned out on Zomboid/RP in-general.

  3. I'm unsatisfied with the current state of the server/lore.

Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. a rabbit

    a rabbit Administrator
    Staff Member Senior Admin

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2015
    Messages:
    362
    Likes Received:
    245
    Please elaborate on your reason for voting option number 3, as the other two are rather self-explanatory. What is it that has reduced your inspiration to play? Collectively in the admin-team, we would very much enjoy hearing what the players have to say, because although we can come up with lists and lists of our own interpretations of the issue, it’s always more helpful to hear it directly from the source. At the same time, we ask that you as players keep this discussion productive, and more importantly civil. This isn’t a call-out thread to start pointing fingers, as everyone has their own opinion or impressions. This discussion is about what you personally as an individual feel about the issue, and what you would personally like to see change in relation to the state of the server itself.


    -x-


    I’d like to add in my own thoughts here as a player as opposed to an admin, as I’ve only become an admin very recently, but have been an active player for the majority of the lore. From my point of view, the initial lore take-off was a major success. Our opening event had a record-high of 40 players, and even after that we kept an average player count of 20-25 for several weeks. This lore however, we’d just jumped off the sinking ship that was the U.S.S. Ashwood Cove lore, and were determined to surpass that lore in terms of success. (I think most here could agree that Ashwood was easily the most effective and engaging lore we’ve ever had on New Dawn, as it kept an active player base for far longer than any other lore before it.) But, what happened? If you compare the activity that we face now compared to the earlier parts of the lore, it’s clear that the spark of engagement that we had captured during Ashwood is not present as the lore sits right now. I’ve spoken to several other players about the potential issues and my own thoughts on the matter, and though I do believe there are several causes for our current problem, the major one is that the optional story-line and plot that we had hoped to achieve were not entirely optional at all.


    Let me explain my case:


    When most think of an “optional event”, their impression is that it’s an event (plot-related or not) that they have the full liberty of choosing to participate in or not. For example, in the Ashwood Cove lore (which I will be using as an example several times here), it was possible to go the entire time that the lore went on for without ever engaging in the main “critical” part of the story, and in fact I know of several players who did just that. That isn’t to say that they didn’t have fun or didn’t engage with the plot at all, but instead that they simply weren’t a part of the main story progressions that moved the lore forward. Take our current lore, “The Road Ahead”, however. I think most can agree that when the threat of the bomb-drops were introduced, that it was the first major step forward in terms of story-progression for the lore. Here’s where the problem first began though—despite the event being optional on a TECHNICAL level, this particular part of the story was in reality not optional at all. The reason is very simple: when a threat so great that it is impossible to ignore is introduced, the players will not ignore it. From a game-play standpoint, yes, players were allowed to exit the compound that they were directed towards at any moment. The problem here is that the bombs were supposedly meant to drop at any moment, and as a result your character would have to have a potato in place of a brain to think that leaving the safety of the compound to return to their junky survival-base would be a good idea. Sure, the option was technically there that you could leave, but it was all but impossible to justify it in-character without coming off as a lunatic. (I’ll leave a quick note here that although the people who were living in the resort did not stay in the compound, their base location was practically in walking distance of the compound, so they could essentially be there in a moment’s notice. They didn’t really “leave”.) As another example, take the helicopter event. Yes, on a technical level, you didn’t have to go with the group on their attempt to escape the Illinois quarantine. That said, what reason could your character possibly have to dodge such an opportunity, unless they had some sort of tether that kept them to the area (such as looking for a loved one)? As a player, I want the ability to be able to craft my own stories with my character for other players, not be forced to mold to the over-arching story-line of the lore itself. The Ashwood Cove lore is a perfect example of this. Although there was an existing story-line, players were largely allowed to do their own things, and many did—either through regular citizens taking investigations into their own hands, or even people trying to contact spirits. This lore however, you’ve either been along for the ride, or you’ve been off.


    As a lesser point, I also believe that we were far too ambitious with the map size this go around. It was initially designed to be as large as it is so that we could use the vehicles branch, but that was too unstable to work. As a result, we’ve been left with a play-space that goes 80%* unused. Ashwood Cove, once again, had an extremely small map compared to what we’ve had in the past, but it still was large enough that it didn’t feel restrictive. There were still places to go to get away from others, or to hide.


    This isn’t all to say that this lore isn’t without its successes, though. I think the sprinters were a fantastic choice (not that we need to continue having them every lore, but it was a welcome change) and players were able to adapt to new ways to handle them. Wasn’t all fire and brimstone as most initially thought (though they were kinda laggy). I also thoroughly enjoyed the pitch-black nights. I know most just set the shaders to off and basically bypass it altogether, but I like the atmosphere when it was appropriate. I also appreciate that the lore isn't set so much in the “apocalypse” so much as it is just an afflicted part of the nation, and how the incentive to get back to regular society has played a large part in many characters’ progression.

    -x-


    In any case, that just about does it for my own thoughts on the matter, but I’m still interested in hearing more. All in all, I don’t think that this lore is “dead”, or even close to finishing up, but I do think that there needs to be a change in its current direction. Either way, I highly encourage that those of you who want to see change accomplished pick up a bit in the activity if you’re able, as a large part of the admin team’s inspiration to continue running things comes from the activity itself. When players complain but give bare-minimum effort to get things to change, all it does is drag everyone down. As admins, we will ALWAYS hear about the bad things or what went wrong, but these guys are rarely told about what was done right or what was enjoyable. On a final note, keep things productive here, as mentioned above. Excessive joking around or off-topic posts are liable to get cleaned up for the sake of a coherent discussion. Thanks!

    *rabbit statistics are not to be taken as concrete fact, but as a general figure of speech
     
    Lucky Duck, Devon, Draco and 3 others like this.
  2. John/Jane Doe

    John/Jane Doe Still Alive.

    Joined:
    May 26, 2017
    Messages:
    194
    Likes Received:
    76
    I was generally trying to steer clear of listing my main reason why I left as I fear it will start some kind of campaign against me, but since it was asked I suppose I will give an answer to the question. I fear I won't be very articulate as I often struggle to put my exact thoughts to words but I'll give it a go.

    There is a variety of reasons I am unsatisfied with the current state of the server, but I'd say it centers around bleeding and feeling like a pawn in an admin made story rather than a creator of a story of my own. I will elaborate.

    I will start with the bleeding as it's rather simple. I got a lot of hate, mainly from a couple of people, about my characters and I definitely noticed what I interpreted as bleeding in that the characters controlled by those people often acted overtly hostile towards my character when that did not fit the characters personality. Clearly there's not way of PROVING that and I'm not going to go calling anybody out, but it was for sure how I interpreted things and it sort of killed things for me. I am always open for constructive criticism on my roleplay (Not saying everyone has to be, but I like seeing how I can improve and grow) but to me it felt less like good feedback and teetering on bullying and straight bleeding. I don't know if that's a problem with the community or just with me, but it certainly squashed my desire to play.

    Now to the main thing.

    I'll sort of give an overview of my situation here. I played on the lore from day one, and was an admin on it for a few months. I had a character that I played from day one and logged many, many hours on. I wrote many pages of backstory for the character and enjoyed playing them, and throughout the lore I formed relationships and developed the character. I then was constantly told in private chat that I should move my character off my base I created for them and into a compound. While I didn't want to do that, I also had no IC reason too as I didn't know about the bombs. So a character was tped to my base to inform me about the impending disaster. While I could've done without the tp so someone had to work to tell me, I also understand how shitty it is on a map of this size to walk for HOURS and it made IC sense for this character to come warn me, so even if it felt a bit like I was being coerced I don't have a problem with it per se. However I do have a problem with what came next. I entered into a helicopter, crashed (or got shot-down, I think), lost consciousness by admin directive, woke up in some weird military-esque facility, got sent to an unlocked hospital room for treatment, passed out during treatment. I awoke, and my character was afraid and wanted to know where his friends were. He left the unlocked hospital room and started yelling out to call for his friends. All of a sudden, two military characters I've never seen before (admins) came at me with guns, yelled at me to put my hands up, and shoved me into a container. They asked me my name, I shouted out trying to figure out what was happening, I got gassed, and then NPCs that weren't even toons (like admins just said they were there) removed my characters brain and killed him. So long story short, I played and developed a character for months on end, spent a ton of time writing up story, and was then was given no reasonable choice other than to follow the linear plot where I was promptly killed by NPCs for leaving an unlocked room. Add that in with the person controlling the NPCs being one of the people who'd constantly shit on my character and was the person who highly encouraged me to be a part of that plot (going so far as to tp people to drag me into it) it just felt like I was not writing a story, but rather being dragged along in someone elses. That may be what New Dawn is now and people may like that. I do not. I do not come here to develop a character to have them killed by NPCs for leaving an unlocked room. I have ZERO problem with beloved characters you have developed and worked hard on dying, but I like that to be part of some kind of meaningful story or to at least be done in logical progression by a player. When your brain is pulled out of your head by an army of NPCs after you get surrounded by a bunch of admins with guns because you left an unlocked room you were never told you couldn't leave? That simply isn't something I want to play on.

    Again, there is nothing inherently wrong with a story that we all watch play out and are used as pieces in, it just isn't particularly what I view as roleplaying and it certainly isn't what I want to do.

    I did not proofread this and it almost certainly needs to be edited for clarity but... meh. I put enough work into New Dawn to constantly be shut down, this is the best explanation I'm gonna give for now.

    I sincerely hope this helps you admins in your journey to boost the population.

    Best of luck,

    JJ
     
    Holt and Felidae like this.
  3. Lemis

    Lemis Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2016
    Messages:
    140
    Likes Received:
    41
    like many of my previous characters, my current character had a forced scenario created by an admin inflicted on to them. i understand that in hindsight it may have made sense, but like the user above mentioned, it just felt like i was a piece in a big game of chess.

    ashwood cove, one of the best lores i had ever played. it was amazing, and the freedom was outstounding, however the admins faced the problem of the story becoming stagnant, thus entering admin controlled events to bring life to the server.

    these events were fun for the most part, but ultimately they forced our characters in to a place where most of the players didn’t feel comfortable, we were pushed in to scenarios that we didn’t a want to be a part of, and for me and others i have spoken to, our characters were essentially broken due to the plot.

    you could say that, sure, shit happens to everybody in the real world, and as players it’s our responsibility to lead our characters through these events and to ultimately build off of them and shape them from it, but this isn’t the real world, it’s a game. most of the people on this server create characters using an archetype, it’s comfortable and easy to do. the majority of people on this server, including myself, aren’t master tier writers, so when our characters are pushed in to situations in which we feel out of place, and basically out of character, we’re unsure of how to act, we may make decisions that are completely out of character without realising, or be put in situations that we didn’t want to be in.

    i’m not the best writer in the world, so when my characters are backed in to a corner and i’m unsure of how to get them out of it, i either attempt to resurrect their arc and end up butchering the characters completely, or i give up and either kill them off or just stop playing as them.

    take this as you want, whether you think i’m bitching or whining, but just know that it’s not not just me that feels this way. i really appreciate the stories that the admin team create for us, they’re in depth and filled with beauty, created with compassion and time, but each lore always crosses the threshold after several months where the story is driven in to a place beyond player control, and it just loses it’s charm.
     
    Draco, Manic Pixie and Chaos Theory like this.
  4. Chaos Theory

    Chaos Theory Active Member
    Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Messages:
    163
    Likes Received:
    82
    Well first of all I think we all need to understand what time of the year it is now. For many people who go to either school or university it's the exam time and that takes a lot of effort and time and many, including myself, just dont really have the time to focus on the game. It just so happened to fall in the same timeframe when most of the population was locked up with little to do but the "oh no, we're locked, we're in pain, bla bla" and you can do monotone RP for just so long until you just get sick and bored of it while not being able to leave (at the time). For that very reason I'll always be against bunker scenarios that last more than 3-5 days.

    I understand how this server depends on some linear plot points and it's a must as we have lores instead of a constant 24/7 open server and I'm perfectly fine with it. While Ashwood has its downsides I still loved the whole concept. We had more or less a choice at start on what to do before people were either dragged to a confined bunker or left out to be Nr.1 target for the cultists.

    Many people who play nerdy stuff as RP like freedom to express themselves. I like to express my less than amateur writing in a constructed semi-linear world and that's fine, however thus far this whole lore has been on rails and it's not my cup of tea. It's like a doll house in which our characters are puppets that are at the whim of staff team and they can be killed off, moved or forced to do whatever for whatever reasons. Wasn't there an event team or such with their special event characters a while ago or that idea flopped?

    Anyway. It's hard to commit to a character and scene if you know that the next week, or 2 weeks later an event will come and you'll have to run.. again.. The lack of bases or communities that wasn't birthed at the end of large events might have played a part in that as well.

    As for the containment, like it or not it's the same old bunker type of situation. You're locked in there and logically your character, sane person, wouldn't want to leave such a safe facility but on the other hand this is still a game. For how long were we expected to sit in a tiny room, eat, chat etc. etc. when just a few lores ago everyone complained about campfire chats. Yes, yes, it fell in an awkward time with the exams and finals and yes, yes, now you're free to request to be TPed out as far as I understand but to be honest? The 'damage' has already been done. People were separated and continue to be separated for too long and it minimizes the changes of organic player built settlement creation and forces us to yet again follow the rail laid out for us. It's limiting to RP, like it or not.

    However I'm not blind to the facts. I see perfectly fine that a large portion of players log on only for events and that motivates the staff team to construct story for them as well and, well, for them it's linear. Too linear for those who like more freedom on what they do or the fate of their characters.

    I don't know the full story of Jane/John's character and their brain scooping, so I won't go into much details there, however if the staff feels like it's perfectly okay to kill of a non-staff non-event character or severely damage them or cripple them then it's a huge red flag for me. But I don't know the full details so take this part with a grain of salt from me.

    At the end of the day it's about organic freedom. Stories between player built characters and other players or even staff characters that aren't lore-important, that leads to all sorts of situations, even the prior mentioned death, crippling and what not. If that happened in that organic way then I'd be perfectly fine with it. You reap what you sow, however when it's done by the staff during certain events that you didn't necessary want to be a part of but it'd be illogical for your character to skip it then it feels like you've hit the brick wall and all motivation is gone.

    Just my two cents.

    Also pardon my English and any inconsistent sentences or grammar mistakes. It's not my native tongue.

    P.S. Please don't take this as some sort of bashing of the staff team or the events or the lore itself. I see that a lot of effort has gone into it and that deserves some respect so hats down to the staff on that regard. The effort is there, I just think it should be focused elsewhere. However there needs to be a conversation about issues such as this.
     
    #4 Chaos Theory, May 24, 2018
    Last edited: May 24, 2018
  5. Charlie!

    Charlie! Friendly Neighborhood Nerdmin
    Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2018
    Messages:
    85
    Likes Received:
    61
    For me, it's a bit of a mixed situation. There are real life circumstances, but as of now, our characters has been put in a situation that is more or less unplayable and thus there is nobody to roleplay with, when I get on. The characters has been put against a wall and to many it feels like there is no way of getting out. Procession cannot really be made without admin intevention either, which kills the roleplay.

    I am going to point my criticism at specific events, not to be negative but to be constructive. This is purely constructive criticism and I have no intentions of offending anyone. I have lots of respect for the admin team, your dedication and what you do, and I know from first-hand experience how difficult it can be at times.

    With that said, this lore started out really well. We had a dangerous situation and an environment which gave us a lot of roleplay, many things to react to and generally a really good environment to get a story going and it seemed really promising. The characters had reasons to interact. Supplies were scarce, groups formed and ended up having plenty of reason to trade with each other, due to that very lack of supplies, and we had some other player-driven moments which created the right kind of conflict, such as the whole Dekker situation.

    Many of the events were really good as well. We had a few airdrops and 'go save this person' events, which provided some more pieces of the puzzle, not to mention the whole Baez situation, and the threat with the mongols (in the beginning) which was also really well done and you all needs all kinds of kudos for this! We were up for a good setup. The zombie disease was dangerous, there were common threats (Baez, the Mongols) which banded people together and there was conflict, which pushed a lot of character development.

    Now. I think the point where it started to go downhill was during the evacuation event. It felt somewhat both useless and forced, and it took away a lot of what we had built up and a lot of the roleplay. The idea itself wasn't bad of course, but the way it was pulled off could be done differently. Such as, instead of forcing people to evacuate (as it felt forced) it could be transmitted to the various groups either by someone coming up and giving the offer (and time to prepare) or through a radio broadcast, to leave it for people to decide for themselves whether or not they would want to be evacuated.

    From that point on it was quite a mess. The bit with the firebombing and the whole 'getting out' scenario sort of beat the whole purpose of banding together and forming a structured group, as it was made to be temporary. The mongols grew into something a bit too large-scale, and as that plot was picked up and in the middle of being solved, the infamous bunker plot was pushed.

    I don't want to say the bunker plot was what killed the lore... It is a harsh way of putting it, but so many opportunities were botched there and so many mistakes were made from a GM perspective (I use the term 'GM', as GMing is what you, the admins, are technically doing). This haven't been balanced properly. One mistake is leaving the players in an enclosed space, unable to do anything about the situation. For this specific set-up to work, there would have to be multiple admins online at all times to take on NPC roles and keep the people stuck in quarantine. Leaving the area open for people to explore and use and have more participation from the players' side by maybe assigning some tasks and the like would solve a whole bunch of issues, but even that would be hard to pull off with this small of an admin team.

    Getting out leaves for yet one more situation people cannot get out of with the bomb implants that can't be removed, and as of now there is a lack of general progress in a linear setting.

    To sum up what I'm saying with this. Many things have been done right this lore, but some of the mistakes made has been major. The admins has put up too much for a team this small. It leaves for a lack of progress in the general story. Setting up a story this linear requires a lot from the GM, but when the GM isn't available, there's not a lot for the players to do but sit around and have mental breakdowns. This lore is simply too much for the current team, and it makes it hard as a player to be engaged in the roleplay, as there is very little of it. Plot is supposed to create roleplay, but the biggest fault with the current plotline is that it takes it away.
     
  6. Draco

    Draco Administrator
    Staff Member Lore Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2017
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    4
    While there are some things I'd like to be seen improved, for the most part my experience here has been VERY good and for that I'd like to thank the admins and the community for the opportunity given to me. Even as a relatively new player, I can see a lot of time and effort has been put into this server by the admins, and by some of the players who are trying their very best to contribute to the server. Despite the massive success in player population early on, we've dropped to an all-time low where it's only me and 1-3 other people logging in nightly, with very little to go on.

    The primary reason given, is because of the lore. Linear plot. Non-optional events. (Everyone above has said enough, and there's no need to repeat them.)

    We are currently stuck in a bad situation regarding the lore. Most of our RP as of now is derived from the Pathfinder mission, to venture into King's Mill and collect samples in a dangerous environment. On the side, it would be to appease the Mongols from decimating us. While admins shouldn't be the sole drive of your RP, in our current circumstances, we need them.

    The Pathfinder mission was on a volunteer-basis, but was it really so? Would you stay back and risk the chance of becoming Uncle Sam's experimental rabbit, or would you go out and experience some sort of freedom? Even said freedom, comes with a price. The original nine members of the Pathfinder group have trackers (potentially bombs as many of them believe) stuck in the back of their heads. It's not their choice to simply abandon the mission, but to wait for the government's move into King's Mill. Most of the players are stuck waiting for the mission. We've run out of things to do on the side with the amount of time waiting; supplies have been secured and won't be a problem for quite a while, all constructional projects have been completed, and even the zombies around town have all been exterminated. We've interacted as much as we could inside of the factory, and at this point, I believe an event's needed ASAP to wrap up this Pathfinder business.

    Another general complaint I have seen for quite a while.

    I understand a lot of people have lost the will to play after the entire "bunker" (laboratory) situation, especially after it took 2-3 weeks to get the first people out. I will reiterate this, even though the admins have clarified this for quite a while now. The player may be teleported from the lab, to Pathfinder's base and you can get some RP going on from there. Players, I urge you to begin RP now, instead of waiting for the event to begin doing so. Besides saving admins time on the day of an event with the TP, there's also the chance we'll get a visit from the mini-event god. (Shout-out to Tucker)

    With that being said, please, do NOT let the lore die off. I've seen a lot of good things so far, and I believe this lore still has a lot of potential. I have faith that we will pull through this, and as I've said above, thank you to the admins and players who have made this a pleasurable experience.
     
    MindGate, Tucker and Manic Pixie like this.
  7. Felidae

    Felidae Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2018
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    35
    I feel like when I brought this up the first time one of (or a few of, actually) the admins got sort of irritated/annoyed with me, but since it seems like the general consensus, yeah, the linearity just isn't sitting well with me at all-- I feel like my character is in a play pen and only has a select set of tools to play with, or only serves as another piece in another person's game. There's no point in building too much on the warehouse because it feels like we're just going to pack up and move as soon as we're "done" there, and progress even in the Pathfinder regard doesn't seem to be really rolling forward-- coupled with a lot of the people Locke used to roleplay with or would like to roleplay with being on an entirely different, inaccessible portion of the map just doesn't make me feel like I'm playing out my character's story.

    And this might seem like a weird hang up, but the whole thing with Chuck just arbitrarily getting killed off kind of left a bad taste in my mouth, too? It really seemed like a lame way to bid that character farewell, and I wouldn't be content with it in the slightest if that's how, say, Locke wound up dying-- I always put a lot of effort into my characters, and I could tell Chuck/John did too, and there's really nothing quite as unsatisfying as having to close their story on a lousy note after you stock so much time into it, and if it happened to them, it could happen to me in pretty much any event, which... I'll be honest, doesn't even really make me want to participate in those either, nowadays.
     
    John/Jane Doe and Charlie! like this.
  8. Manic Pixie

    Manic Pixie Dream Girl
    Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2017
    Messages:
    98
    Likes Received:
    126
    This does seem to be the consensus, and as somebody who's been playing on AGN on and off for about two years now, I'd like to discuss just how fine the line is between too much restriction and too much freedom.

    Those of you who were here as far back as the West Point lore should know that "apocalypse sandbox" with zero staff input is dull. People max out the stats they want, fuck Hydrocraft into the dirt, and get bored. Conversely, the current lore has been very highly structured and followed a very narrow path—there have been some opportunities for player input, but overall we've spent a lot of time being railroaded. Both the WP lore and the current lore culminated in a thread like this, where we all scratch our heads and ask each other what went wrong, bandy about ideas, and hope something better is coming down the pipe.

    I don't know exactly what the answer is, but I think—like Rabbit said—Ashwood Cove is worth taking a long, hard look at. That lore was just shy of non-apoc, for the most part. I have never before seen so many people on this server log on and roleplay while we had electricity and water and no zombies. Why? Because the atmosphere was wonderful, the map was new and exciting, and staff were very hands-off early on. Like I said, it's a fine line to walk, but I think the first month or two of the Ashwood Cove lore is an excellent example of staff providing minor events for individual characters and larger events that you can opt into, while avoiding pigeonholing anybody into a spot that doesn't make sense for their character, or where they're not having fun.

    People want freedom, but they don't need so much freedom that they have no structure. Moving forward, I think we need to strike a balance between providing opportunities for players to interact with the world around them and each other in meaningful and exciting ways without pushing them in a predestined direction. Whether that means making changes to the current lore, scrapping it and starting over, or something in between, I really don't know. But those are my two cents.

    Also, I wanna compliment everybody on how civil and thoughtful they've been. We're all adults here, and I'm glad to see we can have a calm, rational chat about what we all want out of this server without flipping our lids on one another. Please keep it up!
     
  9. MrBlue

    MrBlue Newdawn Lifer

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2015
    Messages:
    466
    Likes Received:
    334
    First and foremost I haven't been playing the last few lores consistently, so this might make what I say less valid. However I think ever since the Mall Lore and onward New Dawn has been on a steady slope to a more event-driven format, which is not inherently wrong, but is certainly a divergence from the original. This has indeed put me off a little, although I would say a little bit from column A and B too, now that summer's approached I'll be more active, but getting burnt on PZ is something that happens to all of us because of the unbelievably slow development, just to name one reason.

    There's certainly a solution to whatever's causing this shift. I'm just going to pop in here and give my two cents since I think this is applicable. I think there's some merit to these words:


    "Events should be icing on the cake, not the cake itself,"

    By the gist of it I hear that New Dawn has become more event reliant, to such an extent that, as Autodidact described them as Game Masters like it was Dungeons and Dragons. And there's nothing wrong with that, but not everyone goes into New Dawn wanting their hand held to be told a story, but rather make their own. One of the things us Old Dawners always feared was the server becoming event-driven, because the fact is if you maintain a solid player-base purely on organic interaction, you get much deeper connections among characters and the stories become all the more solid.

    It's like "yeah, that's an experience I made - that happened." With events, as good as it is to be told a story and brought into someone's world, some of that charm is lost. The nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat unpredictability with player-to-player interaction with no intervention gets replaced with tropes that at times feel generic and almost ... determinant.

    There's certainly a case to be made for the events and how they took over though. Hardly anyone comes online when there's not an event. Is this effect even more noticeable when events are implemented as the proverbial "cake," I mentioned earlier, because people don't want to bother getting on when no intense RP will go on? Perhaps. Events bring people together though, it brings life to the server when it comes, and that's imminently desirable for anyone in our small community, because RP in larger groups tends to have a certain appeal to it. You can definitely pull off RP in your small pairs, but there's so much more suspense and action when you have the entire group on.

    I think some people really dig the whole linear story-line, start to finish, television-series like format. I mean we've even gotten to calling them "seasons," and have these "Character wiki," pages. I'm not having a go at them for that either, it's understandable why someone might lean toward that, but as a community I think New Dawn will have to decide how it can cater to all, or go in one direction, the former tending to be the better option. I for one would like us to meet in between and have events carry significance, but not to build on some overarching plot but the role-play of groups themselves. Tailor it to the people in the groups, see what's best. I'm not sure how defined that solution will be, but I'd like to hear some thoughts on how that could be carried out.
     
    #9 MrBlue, May 24, 2018
    Last edited: May 25, 2018
    Lucky Duck and Manic Pixie like this.
  10. Devon

    Devon Administrator
    Staff Member Lore Moderator Contributor + Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2015
    Messages:
    612
    Likes Received:
    490
    I’ve gone inactive mostly due to Reason One and Reason Two. This isn’t to say they’re not deserving of elaboration. I believe Reason Three makes it difficult for those who’ve gone inactive because of Reasons One and Two to continue playing.

    Story time:

    I need to work. I need to sleep. I need to adopt intermittent fasting, embrace Transcendental Meditation, and freeze my metabolism to avoid starvation. Basically, I’ve become a filthy casual. Like all filthy casuals, I’ve transitioned into whimsical playtime by generating a bald Cirque du Soleil performer—gallivanting across corn fields, /shouting butchered English, and—well—stealing people’s carrots.

    I can’t keep up with story-based lores, these days. Only, that’s not entirely true. I can keep up with story-based lores, but the story needs to be environmental—rather than sequential. If a lore is environmental, it’s in the background. If it’s sequential, it means you need to witness most events to have a general idea of what the heck players are RPing about 90% of the time.

    The Mall Lore was environmental: I could dick around with Larue, Dallas, and friends about who’s stealing our carrots. I'd love logging in to find out if that incestual murder family had set my friends on fire or not. It was a little too nuts, yeah, but we've since ironed out a few kinks.

    The West Point Pre Apoc Lore was environmental: I could YouTube indie music, kick back, and RP with Tate about life and growing up. I could eat beans in Byron’s kitchen, waiting for my one-hand, one-eye perpetual octo-dad to stumble home while my stepmom chain-smoked Camel Crush cigarettes in the shed.

    The Cult Lore was environmental, but then it wasn’t. At first, this Frankenstein-monster design was beautiful. Then, I think it got a little to into itself. The elusive, attractive background mystery was pulled front and center for all to gander at. It felt like we were being force-fed, and it promptly keeled over.

    The beginning of The Road Ahead was fantastic because the lore was environmental. It was like The X-Files: I could miss a week, log in, and see what new, inconsequential thingamajig has happened in the background. My regular warehouse RP group could gloss over the fact that I've RPly been in the bathroom for two weeks. No biggie. I could both get highly invested in personal and group RP projects while having the OOC freedom to fulfill irl responsibilities.

    The early lore’s selling point wasn’t its die-hard, page-turning admin story. It was the world.

    You’ve got sprinters. You’ve got dark nights. You’ve got loot scarcity. You’ve got a whole lotta space! Grand. I wasn't even going to play the lore until these things piqued my curiosity. Then, I messaged a couple of players who were taking an RP break: "You should jump into AGN again. It's pretty open-world, intense, and there's plenty of room to just do your own thing. I can't play much, but I'll make a character if you do. We can just go with the flow. If we accidentally make something cool, we'll play it by ear." And, heck, it worked.

    If a lore becomes sequential, this type of casual play is out bucko.

    If a lore’s progression is contingent on these high-gravity situations (bombs, bunker, military execution, Wild Wild West neck collars with blood-thirsty, computer-traced flying saw blades), players will flee from the lore like ants in a rainstorm. It isn’t because high-gravity sequential stories are bad on their own—they’re just not healthy for big open-world RP environments.

    To put it simply: If you need to be available for events like it's your job--New Dawn stops being fun. It becomes a chore.

    You can miss an episode of The X-Files, but you can't skip an episode of Breaking Bad. Everyone who’s anyone is talking about the bombs, the Mongols, Baez, the government, something about a government experiment. Something-something about superpowers. Oh, I get superpowers too? Cool. No idea why, but that one G-man dude looks scary.
    (*Misses two events*)
    "Hey, guys. Where'd G-man dude go. Why is everyone crying? Should I cry too? Can I leave? I feel like I'm ruining this scene. I can't? Oh. Uhh. Alright. I'll RP being afraid then."

    This forced RP tends to come off as really artificial--because it is. Then, those who're heavily invested in the story treat you like a heckler for trying to make sense of things. Chill players tend to gloss over it, but the general uninformed population can't grasp that casual players are often rolled over by these quick-fire story events which are apparently pretty darn important.

    Oddly enough, one of my casual-play characters turned into a highly active one. When left to my own devices, I'll do what any fun-loving, evil bastard will do: find ways to cause trouble, play mental chess, and twirl my mustache. I became pretty dedicated because I made my own mini-game. And it was super fun.

    Again, oddly enough, I lost interest in playing my other carrot-stealing filthy casual character. I entered the bunker, had some fun, and just sort of got bored. It took me a week to realize why, but I think I've nailed it down: Again, before, I made my own fun. I could play a silly Spring-Heeled Jack type character, stalk people, be creepy, and get a kick out of it. I think I spent, like, a month in real life to stalking Flex and Nef. I didn't ask. I didn't wait around to see if they'd commit to it. I shut myself off from any OOC, made the game, and had a blast. I played hide-and-seek for a sizable portion of the lore. Did others have fun? Who knows. I did, and that's what matters.

    Then, I hopped into the bunker for funsies. I realized the mistake I'd made, quickly enough. I got super powers or something, and just kind of stopped logging in. I felt bad for entering RP sessions with dedicated players who've been playing every night, having highly emotional scenes only to have my jarring ass pop out from the shower and pretend like I knew what my character was doing.

    ------

    Early and mid Ashwood Cove was phenomenal. It was the perfect balance of an environmental lore and a sequential lore. The overarching story still mattered, but it was so “out of reach” that the players were left to elaborate, act, and get butchered by a cult of unlikely civilians. I put a lot of hours into that lore. I could impact the lore as a wayward teenager who insufflated cocaine off bed posts, assume the role of Cyber Goth Computer Sherlock Holmes, and help my pseudo-mom run her pub. I could put the lore down, pick it up, and fly it like a kite if I wanted. I was more invested in that lore than any other.

    I could play the lore when I wasn't online. No joke: On most days, I'd sit on my bed, draw social circle diagrams, and try to figure out the story. Then, I could log in and say I've been in my RP room for a week. It was the perfect balance of casual and intense play. Then, the lore flew to close to the sun; its wax wings melted, it fell into the waves, and every character sat around doing diddly because players lost control over the atmosphere.

    I was forced to log in because I was physically in the same room as 80 percent of the server. I couldn't justify the really fun playstyle I'd created by myself. I couldn't be the mysterious background entity which was active at all hours but was only able to be in-game a couple days out of the week.

    Basic Project Zomboid is just boring for me. I’m over zombies. (Sans The Last of Us.) I’m tired of the same, gritty, grimdark fictions propelled by death, destruction of property, and stealing the neighbor’s guns. It's just a personal preference, so no shame if you're someone who really likes this environment. I can still play in these environments, but I need the freedom to do my own thing. Otherwise, it's just stressful.

    If I log in, I'm either trailing behind the story turtle or I'm playing by myself--because a lore which relies on dire-situation admin events sort of shuts out casual play. And many players become casual, at one point or another.

    Sorry if this sounds critical. This lore's background elements are really fascinating. The story, itself, is pretty darn good. It's just being shoved in our faces. In Ashwood Cove, the lore worked when players chased the lore themselves. When we were boxed in with it, when we were force-fed, it felt sort of like an abusive relationship.

    This is sort of an on-the-nose suggestion, but I'd feel bad for not saying it:

    In any story, open-world or not, bigger isn't always better. I feel like there's this. . .stress. . .Which may make admins feel like they need to up the ante to keep people interested. In Ashwood Cove, the small-town murder mystery element worked. Then, we got whispers. Then, spirits. Then, resurrection. Then, mantismen demons and all kinds of stuff. Leaving things mysterious, subtle, and not over the top, imo, might keep people more interested.

    Not to sound pushy, but don't be afraid to kill your ideas. In any story, scrapping ideas when things get stale doesn't mean you're not creative. It means you're smart enough to work through the tough spots, admit something doesn't work, and try again. Don't be afraid to kill your darlings. Escalating a story to bigger, wilder, and crazier isn't always the best. Jurassic Park does this, and it's hella floppy.

    These ideas, on their own, are really great. But if they're all tossed in together, it sort of feels like there's no logic to anything. Thus, there's no point in trying to figure out the story--and the lore, now, feels like it isn't story-optional anymore. Thus, people shrug and just sort of follow along. If they can't follow along in every event, they leave. If your character sort of loses their value as a story problem-solver, they lose value in the entire game.

    Many thanks to the admins and lore creators for doing all of this. As a final suggestion, I feel being loose enough to allow a rollover admin team and lore pushers might work. It's just an idea, but from the outside looking in it feels as if admins get really fatigued by lores. Then, the events stop rolling in, the story feels a little forced, and everything feels a little frantic.

    Again, just an opinion, but letting admins have "work leaves," having newer admins take the reigns, and having an agreement on where things should be at, could be a possible solution. Who knows? It could give admins a breather, keep the lore tight, and keep that passion flowing. A long-distance run, as opposed to a sprint.

    I hope this helps.
     
    #10 Devon, May 24, 2018
    Last edited: May 24, 2018
  11. VCarrasola

    VCarrasola Master of the Crops Nation

    Joined:
    May 28, 2015
    Messages:
    442
    Likes Received:
    408
    Honestly, I have the time to invest in roleplaying but this lore took it too far. I felt like I needed to be online a lot and at every event, but I just couldn't do that and it affected my character directly. I prefer something a lot more open and less restrictive, like the old days. People say that it's different now and that we need to change things, regulate more. I don't think so.
    I loved the beginning of this lore, remember that open world, how settlements were born and how many people would die? Now, we see zero deaths, just one settlement and people not connecting because there's absolutely nothing to do.

    I might be a filthy casual roleplayer, but I miss the days of mechanical playing. I mean, the carpenter did carpentry, the doctor did medicine and the police officer did the law. It was simple and the depth in it came from how situations grew during roleplay, how characters would react and evolve.

    Usually, when my character dies I get banned create a new one and keep on playing, but this lore, when I died I felt relieved. That's it. The end of my story. I had no interest in jump into the IC world because there was nothing to see anymore. Unless you are from day one, you can't integrate yourself in the world.
    It's so sad, because I saw a lot of potential in the beginning of the lore, but now I don't see the motivation to keep it going. It's the same old story that's been repeating since Mall's: A good concept that goes too far, lost of freedom, it dies.
     
    Draco and Manic Pixie like this.
  12. Tucker

    Tucker The Canadian Moose
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2016
    Messages:
    490
    Likes Received:
    282
    I’ll just post this here because I don’t know where else it should really go. Myself and the other admins love making this place enjoyable for other players, if we didn’t we wouldn’t have volunteered to do this. Therefore if you find yourself logging on to a desolate server with you and no one else, STAY ONLINE. Any admin will tell you that 100% of the time people will log off MINUTES before another characters logs on.

    “But Tuck, even if there are two of us what would we do?”

    Anything.

    I don’t know about the other admins, but if you see me online I’m likely watching you and waiting for an opportunity to do a mini event. If you’re unsure of what I’m doing? Send me a Pm on steam or preferably Discord.

    Btw, getting outside and roaming around makes it easier to run mini events! So get out and explore a bit, even if it’s just outside your settlement walls!

    Anywho, I might have derailed the conversation bit, apologies.
     
    Devon likes this.
  13. John/Jane Doe

    John/Jane Doe Still Alive.

    Joined:
    May 26, 2017
    Messages:
    194
    Likes Received:
    76
    I don't think player character (particularly those with lots of work behind them, but tbh /any/ player characters) should be killed by admin NPCs or ESPECIALLY literal NPCs (Characters that aren't there, admins just /say/ they are) unless they've done something unfathomably stupid or they have broken the rules (and have been given at least some form of warning that they have done so.) They certainly shouldn't be killed by an army of invisible NPCs for simply leaving an unlocked room they weren't asked not to leave. But even forgetting what I view to be that extreme example, player characters shouldn't be killed simply to progress an admins story without consent if it isn't a result of their actions. And especially if its an event that the player was forced into. To me, that was the number one offense that made me realize I was playing in a linear world and caused me to lose interest. There was an event I was all but forced to participate in without going way off character and basically making my character be brainless (pun intended) and then the character was killed by invisible NPCs for reasons that were highly unclear to me and I simply didn't want to play on that kind of server.

    I made this to try and clarify what made me realize how linear it was, as other people already mentioned other examples of how it felt linear or railroaded.
     
    Chaos Theory likes this.
  14. MrBlue

    MrBlue Newdawn Lifer

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2015
    Messages:
    466
    Likes Received:
    334
    I think there's something to be learned by the OG New Dawn formula. I don't think we ever even rotated a lore, things didn't go stagnant because the story-line wasn't fed to the players, it was the players who had to derive it on their own. Now that can change from community to community depending on the player-base's ability to do the aforesaid "deriving," because as I said previously, some people genuinely enjoy consuming the content provided rather than going out and making their own.

    The lore wasn't really the centerpiece of the game, hell, we didn't even have anything written, it was as simple as this: You're in Kentucky. It's the Zombie Apocalypse. You're fucked. Good luck!

    People weren't gripped because the next event was going to be amazing, people were gripped because the next encounter was going to be amazing. This desire we have for events was embedded in the interactions alone. Rather than needing a setting, we created one - notable areas such as Knob Creek, the Sunstar Motel, the Aisha Refugee Centre, all came from player interactions and RP alone, not being implemented by admins into the setting from the get-go. I think what I'm saying here is a non event-reliant based server tends to have more fulfilling and in-depth interactions, and it is these interactions that bring people on. Surely those other two factors of a schedule IRL and being burnt on PZ have an effect, but I feel New Dawn has been on this path for a while, and that it's much deeper than that.

    --
    Just to add - for people who weren't around for OG New Dawn, there's still an example of what I'm going for here from the Mall Lore. A bunch of people had their own reservations about the Mall itself, but afterward in that long intermission where notable communities sprung up from the warehouse, to the compound, to Hillcrest, to the Mall once more, right up to that Citadel at the end. I think it was during this lore that we saw the last of that kind of RP before events and an overarching story took precedence. Mall lore players, if you look back to that lore, you see something incredibly valuable to the experience of the server that was lost, or had at least been present to a far lesser extent afterward. It was not events that kept up coming on during that lore, it was interesting and enigmatic characters. Think about Edmund, who was so controversial, with his 'family,' (granted there was an OOC debacle to that, but the fact was you heard of him just off of rumors on the server and got freaked out of he was near)
     
    #14 MrBlue, May 25, 2018
    Last edited: May 25, 2018
    Charlie! likes this.
  15. a rabbit

    a rabbit Administrator
    Staff Member Senior Admin

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2015
    Messages:
    362
    Likes Received:
    245
    I agree to an extent, but I would venture to say that the playerbase itself has changed too much overtime to back to such a loose model for a lore. There have been much more sandbox-y periods of lores in recent time (even this current one, to an extent) and they’ve almost always begun to die out just on their own. What a lore needs to avoid dying out is a sense of agency. The sense that even when the admins aren’t online directing things, the lore itself is progressing.

    I know I’ve been going back to it a lot, but I truly believe the Ashwood Cove lore displayed quite a few telling things for the server, and we haven’t been using the lessons since. That lore, things such as the player-cultists (whether they actually did anything or not) provided a sense of atmosphere that things were happening all the time, even if sometimes they were so subtle that some never noticed. The lore was just set up in a way where it didn’t require admin intervention. Where we’re at now, it’s all too easy to check the player list, identify that there aren’t any admins online, and be confident that nothing outside of player to player interaction is going to happen. Unfortunately, the side effect is that when there are no admins present, player-creativity seems to go down the drain, and nobody tries something out of the box as opposed to just sitting around waiting for an admin to log in. The rp-environment seems to stagnate. That drive to go out and ‘do’ something isn’t there. Frankly, I find it disappointing, because as role players you’re expected to be able to create interesting interactions with other players, not play the “waiting until next event” game.

    What I would like to see would be admins in charge of more “environment” as opposed to story. The story will form itself as the lore progresses—start with a premise and some basic rules for the lore story, then let things go from there. Take Ashwood (yes, again, I know) for instance: we had players trying to contact the dead, among other things, and it wasn’t even hinted at or directed that players could even try that, they just did. It worked because instead of the players having to react to what was taking place in the lore, they were initiating what was taking place instead.

    This is where it ties into a more sandbox type of setting. Lay the groundwork for the lore. Start the mysteries off. Then, let the players figure things out for themselves. Events could be triggered to occur by player action, rather than following a timed schedule, where everyone logs until the next weekend.
     
  16. AmongTheCold

    AmongTheCold New Dawn Lifer
    Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2016
    Messages:
    346
    Likes Received:
    259
    This quote is probably the best way to describe this. Though I don't feel like I'll share ALL the reasons as to why I haven't been on as a much as it's been stated a hundred times over by other people and can be said uselessly in another hundred ways without truly reflecting a singular reason I haven't been on as a much but very much what Devon said holds true for me as well.

    I was barely around for the beginning of this lore honestly, I came in at around the point of when events were becoming a more common occurrence around here. What I can tell you is that I was here for lot of the Ashwood Cove lore and played characters that I had made the decision to look more into the lore. Ronnie Astors was my first attempt at this, and it helped show me how deep a rabbit hole can go. How much work and progress had been put into this game world, and a genuine attempt of visual story telling was being showed with such little writing or rhyme behind it. The best part about it was, that at any time I could've dropped all of it and went to being my dickhead (former) cop character.

    But even so in that lore there was times when linearity arose with certain events before the supernatural world had become so open and loud to the rest of the player-base who could've even shied away from it. The death of that cop character was very much to keep the story progressing, though I was warned before hand I wanted to see if it would make any waves or have an impact at all of a former cult member getting in too deep with the town. Rather than the waves I wanted to see, I saw admins having to make a post to tell players to not run into immediate danger without any good reason like a burning building. You see I understand I was being a bit selfish in that even, but for none of it to even had any impact in any meaningful way? The character I wanted to survive at that moment? Died in the explosion which should've been suppressed by my stomach innards.

    See the immediate world should revolve around the player-base, and outside of our little slice of the apocalypse there could be parts we could feel to. As our area should be able to make waves to other areas, other areas I agree should be able to make waves to us. But we have no influence over the story as of right now. I like a world that I can feel, and if I push onto it, it can same as push back onto me. Though I've had no opportunity to push onto it as of yet, rather I feel as though everywhere I've gone this lore has just been beating me down and despite having gone places to get things done, they are literally ripped away in the next second. Even so you roll with the punches and you go to get it back, and it still isn't there. Then you're offered it, and in one of the most player influenced events of this lore, you're able to get the one thing you had been fighting so hard for back. It's said lots of people in your base die after one character influences the story, and what happens after that? After all the fighting your character with others have been doing for this one thing? It doesn't work, and it's not ever given the opportunity for us to get it working again. Rather we go for something that honestly has no business being there.

    I don't feel comfortable knowing that the character I've made could be fucked off at any time for story progression. I don't feel comfortable to know even the immediate world that we live in isn't able to be shaped by us. It doesn't feel like we're even the players anymore, it feels like were just the tools that can be used for admins to further their story with. What felt right about the Ashwood Cove lore is that one person could slay a demon, and that person could be you. The fact that even with small parts of the lore revealed, you could with actual real life research unravel the tight knot of that lore's inner workings. In this lore? Despite everything I've done to try and make a change, and to do one thing. Another ends up happening, with minimal to no forewarning for it happening. I see a big city, and though I most definitely haven't went through all of it, and this could be totally wrong but this is from what I've seen. It's as big as an ocean, but as shallow as a puddle. There's the story of a few groups of survivors that go missing, but other than that what about the residue left behind from people? Does that disappear with them too? How come I met someone that was from outside of our little dysfunctional community and rather than feeling the world that lies beyond, I felt nothing as it was described as nothing was happening?

    This isn't an adaptive world, as much as it is a story that we're just pieces of.

    On that note, if I contradicted myself in anyway and you feel like I just rambled on and on rather than express myself better feel free to call me out on it and I may be able to expand upon it in better light if I have the ability. Even so my inner motivations as to why I haven't been on may be self-conflicting as well and I just haven't realized it. If you managed to read all of this, good job and thanks.
     
    Tucker, John/Jane Doe and Devon like this.
  17. Devon

    Devon Administrator
    Staff Member Lore Moderator Contributor + Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2015
    Messages:
    612
    Likes Received:
    490
    Brother Among adds some really great points.

    For me, the Mafia-style framework of the Ashwood Cove lore made it incredibly easy to get immersed in.

    It was also probably the first time in AGN history we've had characters directly and indirectly opposing one another in the lore without much OOC resentment. Because the lore was built on the premise of "who are the damn cultists," everyone contributing in their own way alleviated the stress of regular RP-PvP griefers.

    I've never played a lore where an exclusively social character was a viable influence on the lore. At times, I felt like Van Hellsing because I researched demonology and applied home-brew salt Super Soakers into the mix. It felt organic, unique, and awesome.

    Meanwhile, others were making similar theories, counter-theories, and even sabotage theories. You could never know who to trust, which made the social RP much more robust, menacing, and incredibly satisfying.

    Shoutout again to you Among for playing another research character. It was really cool having this antithesis / foil character to my own. Someone who my character could've been really close to, but because of the lore mechanics became a possible threat of circumstance--regardless of who could've been right, who could've been wrong, who could've been "good," and who could've been "bad."

    That's some ish you'd see on television.
     
    Lucky Duck, Tucker and AmongTheCold like this.
  18. Wispear

    Wispear No.
    Contributor + Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2016
    Messages:
    372
    Likes Received:
    244
    I'd like to drop my ideas-thoughts to the mix as well.

    I have mainly been absent due to two reasons. My character is stuck at the dam and until further notice, roleplaying being locked up only is enjoyable for so long. Second is that I needed a bit of time away from PZ itself, because quite honestly roleplaying here on a day to day basis, admin duties and the like start to get tolling after a while on the mind.

    Now with that out of the way, I don't want to repeat anyone's fair points previously mentioned, because I believe everything that I would state has been already done so. I would probably add one more thing - some of you have not been present for the Barter Town lore, but if we could combine that feeling of political investment (Barter town, Woodsmen, Bandits, Midgard keep...etc) that were player driven areas AND add an atmospheric lore as the Ashwood Cove one? I believe majority of the playerbase would be happy to be involved.

    "In Ashwood Cove, the lore worked when players chased the lore themselves." - this sentence was true for the early weeks/months of Barter Town lore as well. It perfectly sums up what makes a lore good. It can be short, it can be long - but the investment of characters, their impact should matter the most.

    Also I see a lot of people calling admin events a bit too forced (and yes I do agree to a certain extent)....but I'll ask you this, what have you as a player done to make an impact? Players are more than welcome to do their events. I think I can speak for all the admin team that we would be more than happy to help you make them happen. Be proactive. Invite your friends to join your raid on a highly infested area, don't expect every event to be spoonfed to you by admins. Players ARE what makes a lore complete - admins are there to help you create the world a living environment - and if players start to turn passive, or no longer bother to log in? We try to stir up the world with an event.

    I probably did repeat someone's post but eh, you get my point.
     
    Lucky Duck and Devon like this.
  19. MindGate

    MindGate Totally Overkill
    Staff Member Lore master

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2015
    Messages:
    1,088
    Likes Received:
    732
    I'll drop my opinion and observations having worked on this lore, as well as the Ashwood Cove lore.

    I wholeheartedly agree it was a mistake by this point to design this section of lore around something more linearly focused. Though, I do want to share the thoughts and views that led it on this path, I feel like that can open up more room for discussion and general advice. We came into this lore wanting to keep it pretty loose, a loose plot with story-arcs here and there (Mongols, for instance). This however clearly changed, why? By the point that we started doing small events with small story-arcs (Byron and his crew in the skyscraper) we noticed a steady decline of active players and player bases. We started looking for ways to improve this player count and from what I can say now, could have been entirely premature, we started looking at past lores for ideas. We decided on taking a page from the Bartertown lore with its narrative style ... and while yes, this has proved to be a mistake now, we did get a temporary incline on the player counts.

    Here is how we usually work things, we watch the player counts from event-to-event, or day-to-day. We keep going based on how these counts are, if we see a dramatic drop (which we have on both ways) we start looking for new ways to keep the lore going, if we see a dramatic incline (which we did for both!) we keep moving down the path we're already working. This can at times lead to mistakes like we made in the Ashwood lore, and obviously in this one.


    So, what does this all mean?

    It means we clearly made a mistake and plan on trying our hardest to correct it. You have all dropped some very helpful advice and everyone on the admin team will be taking a lot of it to heart.


    My suggestion for a solution on this? It's similar to the others, so I'll spare you all time on re-reading the same thing over and over again at length. I believe going forward we need to put more focus on loose storylines and smaller story arcs.

    We will be looking back at the Ashwood Cove lore and how we designed that the early sections of that lore so we can see how to apply this to the future of The Road Ahead.
     
    #19 MindGate, May 25, 2018
    Last edited: May 25, 2018
    Tucker, Devon, AmongTheCold and 2 others like this.
  20. Devon

    Devon Administrator
    Staff Member Lore Moderator Contributor + Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2015
    Messages:
    612
    Likes Received:
    490
    This is definitely true. Admins are constantly available to help players make their own story-toys, promoting an atmosphere which lets them grow, and genuinely help out where possible. It's something players may need a little nudge-nudge to acknowledge, because I feel they still get nervous about making their own stuff.

    There is a small downside to this, though, and it isn't necessarily anyone's fault.

    I really loved making my own "alternative story" this lore, loosely tying together my two characters (rules followed; no actual connection, etc. etc.) to hopefully make a miniature event quest for people. Thing is, I scrapped the idea as soon as the lore became hyper-linear. I didn't want to pester people with my tinker-toy quests while people were getting Mongol-bombed, fighting Baez, dealing with possible nukes, and such.

    I'm not sure if other players have felt similarly, but as vital lore events came around I started backpedaling with my own ideas. If players are given the choice between securing an anti-aircraft gun or going on some Midsummer Night's Dream acid trip in the woods in some odd quest I've made, they'll most likely push for the life-or-death quest. Anything else would sort of dishonor their character, making them seem less viable in the overarching story as a competent person.

    Any who, that's still a great point you make: Players becoming passive / not logging in is a major cause of needing that tight structure to keep people active. I feel linear events do serve a purpose in reviving a falling player count. It's just an unfortunate side effect that some players who prefer making their own projects get squeezed out a little. It's a trade-off, and one that can absolutely be respected for the sake of lore health.


    ^ Samesies here, too. The miniature quests provided (I think Tuck and JJD were two other admins I've had a blast with) are really great for character-building exercises. Those small, "what would you do" situations are incredibly valuable for helping players fill in their characters a bit.
     
    #20 Devon, May 25, 2018
    Last edited: May 25, 2018
    MindGate and Manic Pixie like this.
Server Status RolePlayer of the Month Information Factions
-->