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Lothex88

Roleplayer's Manifesto: Why this should feel more like an interactive experience, and a message to the community

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Since a thread offering practical suggestions has already been opened, i will do something else here, something more "abstract" and loosely defined, concerning the way i feel this sandbox should be handled, from a roleplayer's point of view.
Just my thoughts, of course.

To sum it up and hammer the nail right on its head: more interactivity, this should feel more like a game, an interactive experience.
It's what all those specific and practical suggestions boil down to.

 

I will further elaborate my thoughts here:

As things stand now, unfortunately the core mechanics essential to who the character is and what he can do are just about "watching a plant grow", where everything is already predetermined by restrictions like the 30 mins crafting delay irrespective of what is being crafted, 3 days gravely wounded no matter what, waiting for someone to go on a journey to be ressed and be able to play (being forced to wait for someone to do something about you), and of course having to wait x days to get x attributes no matter what you do, or not getting any combat xp, fatigue not influenced by resting and stuff like that.

All of this stuff breaks immersion because logically and for a roleplayer it doesn't really make any sense, and makes the experience feel like being railroaded more than a sandbox, since there are all these fixed restrictions one can't really do anything about.

And it's a pity to have not to rely on the rpg system most of the time to rp, because of those restrictions: they essentially defeat the purpose of having an rpg system in the first place, since anyway people are forced to revert to emote rp and imagination/eyeballing stuff to handle things, if they still want to play their character (especially if he is about fighting or crafting/gathering).
(Still, one can use the roll checks for attributes, that's a great feature indeed! But all the other features of the rpg system are .. kinda wasted, not used to their full potential)

Essentially, actions should impact the game, like killing a monster or sitting instead of moving around to recover faster, and all the other stuff already mentioned.

The way things are right now, it's a ... "communist" kind of experience xD where no matter what you do, everyone is treated equally but then what is the purpose of playing in the first place since everything is already pre-determined as far the pacing goes?

These restrictions restrict and enforce a set pacing on someone who actually would like something else, and they go against the very definition of what roleplay is about: freedom to be whichever way one wants to be with whatever pace he is looking for.
Same thing goes for the sandbox part, which is all about the freedom to act this or that way in regard to what one can do in the sandbox world, with any kind of pacing one feels comfortable with.


I feel a sandbox game focused on roleplaying should be able to give everyone what he is looking for:
A custom tailored experience self-created through actions in the virtual world, rather than sacrificing the custom pacing for the sake of an average fixed experience, which very likely won't ever hit exactly the sweet spot every unique player with a unique set of desires and expectations will be looking for, feeling restricted as a result.

Since this is a sandbox game focused on roleplaying, also, i think erring more on the side of freedom and less restriction rather than balance would work far better than erring on the side of balance.
Because erring on the side of balance definitely will put many roleplayers, who instead expect as much freedom as possible, more than mainstream games, in a position of feeling caged.
Whereas erring on the side of freedom will still allow freedom, which may be slightly exploited: but, in a roleplaying environment, teeming with people used to play pretend and handling things by emotes and quick eyeballed rolls, they will never be as bad as feeling caged.
Since we are not a huge population, i think the staff should be able to handle these slight exploitation occurrences, since anyway there are many exploitations bound to happen as things get ironed out.

So, you could simply err on the side of freedom for now, because anyway this is a place filled with people who already fell in love with the simple emoting thing, crafting custom taillored experiences by typing emotes one after the other, in a collaborative effort to craft a story together, since there is never winning or losing with emotes.

Whichever way you look at it, having actual roleplay mechanics to handle this is already fantastic, and much better than having to rely on eyeballing stuff and pretending this and that, with the risk of opposing views clashing without having any objective "anchor" to grab onto, which makes indeed things smooth and links everyone's subjective views together.

We as roleplayers have the right maturity and mindset to handle having more freedom and knowing how to make use of it wisely, rather than focusing on winning or losing or exploiting game mechanics, is what i'm saying.

You could then change your approach to shift more towards balance as the population increases, if it does, and as this world and its playerbase grow hand in hand together.

But for now, especially since the starting days are so important, i think erring on the side of freedom would yield far better results, considering the playerbase is made of roleplayers.


All of this said, let there not be any mistake: i absolutely greatly admire and have respect for the challenge you have decided to tackle since it is massive: setting rules and actual mechanics for roleplaying is nothing short of that, especially considering the limited tools WoW offers compared to having a full blown game engine available.

And it's not like this is a job or provides any kind of monetary income: it's something made by roleplayers for roleplayers out of pure passion, and i greatly admire that someone had the guts to tackle this for the sake of all of us roleplayers who instead just keep dreaming about it.


A final message and appeal to the community:
Now that someone has taken this step, we should do everything we can to work things out together instead of whining like entitled brats and being salty (talking about the discord salty ruckus here), and each one of us do everything we can, however little, to ease the massive burden these guys have taken on their shoulders, by offering suggestions in a constructive way but, most importantly, by using responsibly and in mature ways the tools we are being given to create the custom tailored experience we are looking for, and to create as little trouble for the staff as possible by not exploiting the freedom they give us, if they do decide to err on the side of freedom.

That's all folks, sorry for the wall of text (and the many english mistakes since english is my second language xD) but i felt like sharing my thoughts about this whole "whining" thing in a more structured way, which wouldn't have been lost to the tides of discord's messages xD
Happy roleplaying!

 

Edited by Lothex88
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To put my wants into very simple words:

Productivity should be back to full after 12 hours, as it stands now I log on after a fair bit of time and I've gained a whopping 30. This does nothing but encourage me to not touch the server for a few days until it completely recharges.

 

Combat should give combat XP. If making things in professions gives profession XP then the same should be said for combat. It makes no sense to kill a raptor and get no benefit in terms of your fighting ability. Isn't that a core part of an RPG?

 

Productivity shouldn't be account bound. I understand the fear of people making 10 farming alts however that is highly unlikely, what is likely however is that someone tries to make an alt to roleplay on and realises they can't leave the tutorial zone because they can't feasibly cough up 5 productivity to make watered down ale. It means people will be forced to focus on one character and with how progression heavy this server is should a player lose said character they would be left at 0 with no hope of catching up.

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Thanks for the feedback and thanks for staying so reasonable and understanding.

 

I can see and understand where you are coming from and I can agree with some points you make. However, looking at the big picture here, I do believe we should take small steps when it comes to changing this, instead of making radical changes.

I know how weird it can feel right now when you run out of productivity. It gives you the feeling that you have nothing else to do for today, or that any further roleplay is pointless. I can understand that. At the same time, I also have to argue that we designed it in this fashion to prevent a gap forming between the casual players and the hardcore grinders. Productivity has been put in place to prevent the RPG from becoming too gamey and too rewarding for people that have a lot of free time and grind away all day.

Not only that, but also Injuries, Fatigue and HP have been designed with the same goal in mind:  Put a natural and reasonable barrier in front of players to prevent them from turning the roleplay experience into a "PvE Japanese Grinding RPG" experience.

 

I have the firm believe that we can add more features, as well as fine tune the ones we already have, to find a good balance between reasonable character limitations and having a fun experience. Aside from that, due to the server just having started this weekend and everyone still being at a very low level of character progression, it is only natural that many people have the feeling that they can't really find that "niche" they wanna be in. Someone wanting to roleplay as a blacksmith can't really roleplay as a blacksmith right now, since he lacks the materials, the productivity and the experience to really act out his role. The same goes for people wanting to play healers, tanks, doctors, merchants, you name it. All this boils down to the fact that everyone just started out, so everyone is on the "same level" at the moment. I am confident that as we go along and a few weeks pass, the roles between the different kind of characters we have right now will be fleshed out more and more. The differences between people putting most of their productivity into gathering and crafting, and those who use it for combat xp, will only grow bigger and bigger as we go. A guy that gathers with Woodlander from day one will be on the same page as everyone else after just 2 days. But once 2-3 weeks have passed, he will definitely stick out a lot among the crowd as "that guy that has a lot of wood"  (lel yes that sound so wrong).

 

Regardless of all this...

We are hearing you, guys!

 

Changes, adjustments and bug fixes will happen. Please be patient with us. Many players have stepped forward to me and expressed how they can see the potential of this server. I am equally excited about what we can all build together here. But rome wasn't build in a day.

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The reason i said that at launch, especially the starting days, it's better to err on the side of freedom, is because launching days are always very important, kind of like forming a first impression, and that's always very powerful.

I've seen many great ideas and systems rise and then die because they put forth the "wrong foot", so to speak, and since this is a great thing you guys are doing it would be really a pity if the server "dried up" before blooming, being rather community-dead by the time it actually blooms and finds that sweet spot i was talking about.
Which is why i suggested rather than small steps a few bolder ones towards freedom, because right now i fear by the time those small steps take somewhere nice, people will have left or felt too caged, or like "what's the point in playing if anyway i'm treated like someone who doesn't and logs in just to see his plant grow".

It's always possible to put in restrictions later as needed, because since we are talking about a roleplaying community, like i said, we already are used to that kind of eyeballing and freedom.

The fact that we have actual rpg mechanics to support this is great, and i'm sure everybody knows that.

So nobody would complain if we had more freedom in a series of bolder steps: like i said, our community is one made of roleplayers, not of mainstream gamers who will exploit every little nook and cranny.
That has to be taken into account, and i feel the current restrictions don't do that, but are rather aimed at preventing exploitation.


To put things in a simpler way, it's akin to this: "We are caging you for your own good: this way you won't get killed or wounded and you'll be safe"
But you also end up in a cage.
This, i feel, is exactly the opposite of what roleplay is about.


I just decided to write down these things and open this topic because, as any king knows, when there is a ruckus usually something is off, and if not addressed with the right timing it might be too late afterwards.
So little steps might get someone at the right place but at the wrong time, when it's too late.

I myself have no problem waiting for you guys to sort things out and find that sweet spot little by little, but i'm sure others feel caged, and being roleplayers and this being a sandbox for roleplayers, the pressure can easily become too much, since roleplayers are much much more sensitive to being caged, especially when they went somewhere they expect to feel much more free than in other games.
Isn't freedom the reason roleplayers came here, all the fantastic possibilities this server potentially has?

I greatly admire the effort and passion being put into this.
But it would be no good if the community ended up dead before this beautiful seed can bloom.


And i'm saying this mainly because during the beta-testing there was no productivity restriction, if i understood correctly.
This is a HUGE deal for roleplayers in a sandbox game: they expect exactly a ton of freedom, enforced where possible by the game mechanics.

As an artist, i know that it's hard to look at something objectively when you have put tons of passion in it.

 

I'm just asking that you give a good objective look at the way the restrictions are caging a community of people who are very susceptible when it comes to being caged (aka roleplayers), so much that even as a normal game it wouldn't work.

I mean, you did read the "it feels like a mobile game trial" "productivity shores", the meme and that kind of stuff.
There unfortunately and sadly is some truth to them.
I think the discord ruckus shows things that shouldn't be taken lightly, which is why i'm saying what i'm saying, because i see the community is already starting to suffer these restrictions.

And if past experience is of any value, when these things happen they should be addressed decisively and quickly, before it's too late.


Essentially, i'm sorry but i really can't agree with this:

Quote

 Not only that, but also Injuries, Fatigue and HP have been designed with the same goal in mind:  Put a natural and reasonable barrier in front of players to prevent them from turning the roleplay experience into a "PvE Japanese Grinding RPG" experience.

 

Because i feel this is not taking into account the most important thing: the community, and what kind of people are attracted to a roleplay sandbox.
I'm sure many have jumped from RP server to RP server hoping to find that one server that works, and i also have looked at many of them.

Here there is such great and fantastic potential, and the only thing killing it and oppressing it right now is not a lack of features or anything like that, but rather simply the limitations!

You just lift them and handle them in a way that doesn't choke a player, and you have a fantastic game already, it doesn't really need that much fixing other than that because like i said we are roleplayers, a bug or two isn't really an issue nor 



I hope you see that, ultimately, all i'm saying is that it's really sad to see you have a beautiful and shiny sports car and keep it locked in your garage out of fear someone might ruin or destroy it.
If that's very fear that usually turns against the very object that is being protected, and i see the same thing happening here.

I have to sadly admit that, despite being ready to pour as much as possible into this server (i have played quite a lot already), i quickly hit that point of "well, now i'd just have to emote on my own since i don't even see anyone in the tavern, sssooo ... well, let me go somewhere else while i wait for them to realize they are squeezing too hard on roleplayers"

I'll still try to log in and do what i can, because i kind of enjoy the rp in silver-eye, but you have to forgive and understand me when i say there isn't really any reason to log in other than emoting and spending xp, can't even really explore in the wild because combat is really deadly until the character is strong enough, which just means i have to wait for the lil plant to grow.

You guys can handle this easily because you have grown attached and fond of the game, but someone who is new ... well i can see how he would be turned off and "choked" by all these restrictions.


Once again, i'll just say that it's really sad to see such a fantastic and marvelous thing kept locked like this, and i'll patiently wait for you to realize that.
Especially that fixing all of this would be really easy if you fixed the restrictions to be something made for roleplayers, rather than spikes to keep the grinders and exploiters out.

Because you already have most of the roleplayers in your net, and by doing this i can see how there just is no point in playing other than emoting in silver-eye.

You also have to forgive me when i say that unfortunately we don't live in a world where everyone will be patient enough to wait for the seed to bloom and meanwhile keep staring at a plant as it keeps growing...
Truth is most people are not that dedicated nor patient, and i see this often happen when someone is really passionate but doesn't see things in a truly objective way because of the attachment: it's easy for the creators to be attached, but this is a game based on the community, and of course should incourage new players in coming and sticking around!


There is so much potential really, and everything could become much better with so little work that all those other lacking features or bugs could be completely overlooked, at least if someone really is a roleplayer at heart.
i hope the time i took to write all of these things shows i'm really cheering for you guys!


There is already such a treasure here, just please give the key to these roleplayers before it's too late is what i'm saying, and thank you very much for having taken the time to read this and sorry if i got carried away, like i said many time and i will reinstate i really admire what you guys are doing and i'm trying to prevent this fantastic idea from dying like it has happened in the past for many other fantastic ideas and project, because when things are about the community the first and foremost thing is to really address things quickly, especially if they are a huge deal like all these restrictions!

I'll end up by saying this:
JUST TRY THIS!
I'm sure you won't regret dealing a powerful blow to demolish all these excessive chains.
If it doesn't work, you can always add in more and more chains as they are needed, and i feel this approach would prove much more effective and, most importantly, community friendly, because if would start by giving them freedom then adding more chains as needed.
This will always lead to a very nice and community supported balance.

I'm sure they won't complain, it's hard to complain about this because anything is better than not being able to do anything basically! xD
Even bugged stuff is better than nothing, the reason people play early access games with no problem.

 

Okay, i said everything i could say and did everything i could to help you guys look at the game in an objective way, contributing my suggestions and 50 cents.
There is really nothing else to add.

I pretty much ran out of metaphors to prove the point xD
No wait, got another one!

Basically by assuming everyone is guilty, you are taking a negative approach, which is never community friendly and inevitably leads to people feeling treated like prisoners for no reason.
Treating everyone by assuming "innocent until proven otherwise" has proven in our society to work far better, because ultimately it isn't about your or my ideas and beliefs but rather "is the community fine with this? Most of them? Does this encourage new players in playing, or do you need to believe in jesus and have faith until the time comes? xD"


This said, i will once again fade into the background and log in to rp some in silver-eye, while hopefully waiting for this to become a place where i can really start having an interactive experience supported by the game rules, and hoping people will be patient and understanding about the limitations.

I'd really love to be wrong about all this, you know!
So i hope i really am.
This server has just so many fantastic possibilities, i hope you'll trust the community enough to give them the keys to all of this instead of keeping things locked *.*




So yes, all of this to simply make you see this one single point i don't think is being handled with the needed care:
Trust us players as roleplayers, start with that instead of treating the community like babies to be held at bay with a ton of choking restrictions, like a community of grinders and exploiters should be treated unfortunately.
But we are roleplayers, not grinders!
Give us the keys, you'll see you can trust us, and then add chains where and if needed, as time will show.

Handle the players you attracted here the way the should be handled: as roleplayers.
This is the fundamental mistake i see being committed, and the only one actually!

When this one fundamental thing is applied, i'm sure every player, if he is a roleplayer, will put up with the lack of this or that feature, or this or that bug.
Still better than having to emote xD


So, the irony is, no time is needed to fix all of this, because like i said a billion times you have a treasure chest in your hands:
just see this one single thing please, and handle the players as roleplayers, not as potential greedy and exploiting grinders, have no fear of giving them the keys to the treasure you worked so hard to bring them! :)
 

Edited by Lothex88
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The argument that "Combat should give combat XP" is a poignant one but I think that XP as a whole needs to be revamped. It is most definitely a good system, but it deserves a fixed income, (IE - Productivity, that is given passively, over time.) and then a dynamic income with a cap, one that is earned by performing, be it combat or crafting.

Thus I would see the "45xp cap" as something to limit activities done by a player and, since Productivity is already capped at 100 anyway, release the player from the cap that keeps him from moving that Productivity where he likes.

 

(TL;DR - Up to 45xp per 'reset' by way of combat with NPCs and players. Standard productivity per 'reset' period but no cap on how it is spent. )

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Essentially it's all these restrictions that added together add up to a huge block which prevents just about anything rpg system wise.

I'm sure they'll figure something out, just hope people will still stick around meanwhile, while they address this pressing issue.

(Yes, ran out of words since i already unloaded everything recklessly in my earlier posts, literally got nothing more to say xD)

Edited by Lothex88
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