+wantrp Command Suggestion


  • Pitcrew

    So, people will doubtless argue with me on this, but I don't think the "Looking for RP" command/channel is effective when it comes to people actually finding RP. Yes, it switches a tag on, but most often the tag gets ignored. I think this is because so and so doesn't know you from Adam.

    In the mean time, there is no good way for me to let a person know that I would like to RP with them other than paging them. If they're a busy person, it may take a while before we can connect, and because I'm proactive, I page them, and then I page them again the next day, and the next day and the next day. It gets annoying. Having been on both ends of this, it is annoying to be both the person paging and the person being paged.

    Most recently, I've been on the receiving end. I've been busy and coming onto a game and getting pages every day, or every other day from people who I know want to RP with me and who are waiting so patiently makes me feel awful. And when I feel awful, I tend to try and avoid the person and situation making me feel awful, making me even less likely to RP with them.

    There has to be a better way. So, what would people think about a command that worked like this?

    PlayerA types: +wantRP PlayerB=Need update on plot.

    Player B then gets a notification that PlayerA requested RP. Plus, PlayerB can also type something like +wantrp on its own and get a quick list of people waiting on scenes, and people that they've requested scenes from.

    After PlayerA and PlayerB RP, PlayerB could type something like +wantrp/clear PlayerA to remove them from their list.

    It's only a rough idea, and I have no authority to implement this anywhere, but thoughts?



  • @Lisse24 I like this idea as an addition more than a replacement, since 'generic cattle call' is still something worthwhile (even if it isn't necessarily useful all the time).

    The reason I like this one: it gives someone a chance to pitch the idea for wanting the scene or a scene suggestion. This cuts out the 'Wanna RP?' 'Sure.' 'What do you want to do?' '...uh, you asked me, I thought you had an idea... ' song and dance that can be pretty painful.

    In my dream world, we could also have something like +wantRP/faction <faction>=I want to get together with members of the faction to discuss my nefarious plan to monopolize the world's supply of Cheezits or +wantRP/sphere <sphere>=I'm new to the sphere and trying to make connections, if anyone is interested in RP with a pan flute player with a raccoon fetish, please get in touch for a scene!



  • @surreality said in +wantrp Command Suggestion:

    In my dream world, we could also have something like +wantRP/faction <faction>=I want to get together with members of the faction to discuss my nefarious plan to monopolize the world's supply of Cheezits or +wantRP/sphere <sphere>=I'm new to the sphere and trying to make connections, if anyone is interested in RP with a pan flute player with a raccoon fetish, please get in touch for a scene!

    The extreme specificity of this example has me somewhat curious. And aroused.


  • Coder

    @Lisse24 yeah ok.

    I like adding in @surreality's suggestion.

    Personally, I'd tie the /clear command to XP gain. That'd be fun.


  • Coder

    To mildly hijack the suggestions, I'm the kind of person who never uses or looks at want-RP flags. I rarely look at finger anymore, which is where I would be inclined at putting the output, something I didn't see mentioned. Being able to ask for very specific RP can go to @mail, jobs, board, finger, page, a lot of places.

    Actually, I'd use @mail or board. We have a wanted concept board, why not a wanted RP board? But what if someone wants RP that is more secret? Maybe we need sphere-based boards to...wait, we already do, don't we.

    @mail Thenomain=Can I get a scene about Hedge monster hunting?

    +bbpost changeling/Hedge Hunt=Who can run me a Hedge hunt?

    I suppose I'm now asking what these commands do that isn't already done by other systems?


  • Pitcrew

    @Thenomain

    Because generally +bboards are a sucking chest wound of bad introduction posts, staff putting out fire long since burned through their course, and other stuff nobody really wants to read?

    Even more sarcastically: another +bboard full of timed-out posts and no way to tell if the person asking for the scene ever got it /except paging them to do Round Seven Million of Surreality's dance/? Sign me up!

    As I'm reading it, this is a suggestion being put forward that (1) isn't mired in mostly-useless means of communicating like a +bboard, and (2) isn't as high-pressure as a @mail. Mail is directly to you, no two ways about it, and it stares at you with its beady, judgy eyes. It's maybe even worse than Surreality's dance.

    The suggestion sounds wonderfully low-key / zero pressure, which is the ideal ground to actually encourage people to pick up a loose thread and run with it. The requests for RP would be there to look at and nobody would ever have to know which ones you considered or didn't consider until you actually organized the scene with the person.


  • Coder

    I think the value here is in scene tracking, rewarding players, historical records, and managing your "to do" list.

    If I log in, and I got a list of people who want my attention and how long they've been waiting for me, personally, and it's not mixed in with mail and boards, that's a great value. I've regularly read a mail and forgot about it. This stops that.

    In addition, if someone sends a meeting request to my faction, we all see it and we all can respond, and we all can flag it as "done".


  • Pitcrew

    @Thenomain I think those are good points, and I'm not generally someone to suggest commands for commands sake, but someone sends me an @mail and within a few days its lost in a sucking void of job spam.

    As @skew says, I think there might be something to be said for having a separate system to manage and track personal requests. Especially as the MUing community ages and their ability to wait around all day for someone to happen to be available wanes.



  • @gasket said in +wantrp Command Suggestion:

    @Thenomain

    Because generally +bboards are a sucking chest wound of bad introduction posts, staff putting out fire long since burned through their course, and other stuff nobody really wants to read?

    (Gods help me I'm mentioning them again but) Shang actually has a bboard for this. Its timeout is something like 48 hours. This leads to a lot of things getting reposted when they idle out, but the short timeout does keep it relatively current. If whatever it is gets satisfied, people don't repost it -- but there is still something of a time window in which the problem you're describing can occur.


  • Pitcrew

    I like this idea. Esp. the being able to hit '+wantrp' on its own to see the list of those who have requested RP with you.

    As someone whose RL tends to be busy / explode without warning, it's not uncommon for me to have a backlog of people to get with. I also have an utterly shitty memory. If people needing/wanting RP with me could file something like that, I'd have a handy list to keep an eye on.


  • Coder

    I'll probably get to work on this soon. I dig the idea. And I doubt anyone else who does TinyMUX will get to it sooner?


  • Coder

    @Lisse24 said in +wantrp Command Suggestion:

    @Thenomain I think those are good points, and I'm not generally someone to suggest commands for commands sake, but someone sends me an @mail and within a few days its lost in a sucking void of job spam.

    This is a problem of using a hammer as a crowbar. The jobs system was meant to make things easier, not to replace Slack.

    As @skew says, I think there might be something to be said for having a separate system to manage and track personal requests.

    This is a problem of using a sledge hammer for a tack-hammer. The jobs system was never meant to be cloned, and doing so ('+tickets', the absolute worst name I've ever seen for a separate jobs database command ever of all time, I'm looking at you, Fallcoast) is a pain in the absolute ass.

    Especially as the MUing community ages and their ability to wait around all day for someone to happen to be available wanes.

    This is a problem of using a hammer as a play-by-post system. I meant Mush, not hammer. I've done play-by-jobs, and I would rather not be on a Mush if my only chance to get resolution is via passing around notes.


    @gasket said in +wantrp Command Suggestion:

    Because generally +bboards are a sucking chest wound of bad introduction posts, staff putting out fire long since burned through their course, and other stuff nobody really wants to read?

    How in the world is this bboard's fault? The best board setup I've seen has separated out IC ("introduction") posts with OOC ("rp request") posts. If you've ever played on a game I've staffed or coded on, you'll be familiar with something like the following:

    BUG: Finger and the New Map System
    

    So the sub-system could just as easily:

    RP REQ: Organized Hedge Crime
    

    Same foundation, scanning becomes easier. Information management is the point, not adding more commands onto people's already overloaded plates. Adding more plates for the smaller portions will not necessarily help. It may, but if you don't explore efficiency and effectiveness, you could be compounding the problem.

    Even more sarcastically: another +bboard full of timed-out posts and no way to tell if the person asking for the scene ever got it /except paging them to do Round Seven Million of Surreality's dance/? Sign me up!

    A timeout and checklist mechanism for fulfilled requests is a good idea. Making it completely removed from our bevvy of other information management systems (bboard, @mail, jobs, tickets, and god forbid the endless silly-dilly @walls from staff) puts me on immediate edge. Probably because I know where this road can lead.


  • Pitcrew

    @Thenomain

    This is no time to respond sensibly to my flippant snarking, dammit.

    How in the world is this bboard's fault?

    Well, if it's not the bboard's fault, then it's the fault of /everyone who uses them/, which means the problem still comes back to the bboard. To use your hammers analogy, if you give everyone a hammer, but all they ever do is bash their thumbs bloody with it, maybe the solution is to stop trying to re-engineer the hammer and give them something else to use.

    Bboards have always felt the very opposite of responsive to me. Maybe I've just had much poorer luck with them on games than you have.

    Adding more plates for the smaller portions will not necessarily help. It may, but if you don't explore efficiency and effectiveness, you could be compounding the problem.

    This is a fair point, too. Maybe a new system just has that new car smell going for it, and that's what makes it appeal more than fixing something that's already there.


  • Coder

    @gasket said in +wantrp Command Suggestion:

    [If] you give everyone a hammer, but all they ever do is bash their thumbs bloody with it, maybe the solution is to stop trying to re-engineer the hammer and give them something else to use.

    Bboards have always felt the very opposite of responsive to me. Maybe I've just had much poorer luck with them on games than you have.

    Yet here we are, on a board, having a civil conversation about tools. I can still use email for useful conversation even though it's mostly filled with cruft. I couldn't possibly use a Mu* bboard nowadays, I wouldn't ever go back to my old email client. The tools have changed, the applications evolved, but they are fundamentally the same.

    The path I've been down before is working to create an awesome new system that would help resolve a common complaint...and it's never used. The culture has to want to use it. This very much starts with one person saying, "Hey, can I have this?" And for all my navel-gazing, that's enough to code it.

    But that navel-gazing can also be "requirements gathering". What do we have? How is it failing? What do we want? Do we have the tools? I do think that what's being asked for is a threaded bboard system, or a public jobs listing. As it's entirely possible to create a 100% public jobs bucket with aJobs, time out those jobs, maybe add some code where the job creator is @mailed when that happens, and they can close the job when they're done, most of the work has been done.

    Though the aJobs system has been stretched well beyond what it was meant to do already, which is why invoked Slack. Not as a suggestion to use it (god, can you imagine one of us paying for anything for the game that we didn't have to?), but as a comparison as to what I think is being asked for.

    Maybe if someone re-created the aJobs system from scratch with a focus on scale and UX.

    It's way easier to add more functions to the '+wantrp' command, so that's probably what will happen, and that's alright. At least this way I can be sure that my navel is very clean.


  • Pitcrew

    I will say, Faraday's (I think its hers) bbreply option (where it replies directly to the bboard post in question) is lovely in that circumstance. You have one post with replies attached rather than 15 'me too' bbposts.


  • Pitcrew

    @Thenomain said in +wantrp Command Suggestion:

    Yet here we are, on a board, having a civil conversation about tools. I can still use email for useful conversation even though it's mostly filled with cruft. I couldn't possibly use a Mu* bboard nowadays, I wouldn't ever go back to my old email client. The tools have changed, the applications evolved, but they are fundamentally the same.

    And yet, bboard doesn't fulfill the basic function of serving as a reminder to a particular player that I'm waiting on them for a scene and what I want that scene to be about. I mean, you can create a LRP/Want RP board, and some people might post to it, and the posts will be ignored and then usage will drop off because boards are a terrible way to organize RP.

    The path I've been down before is working to create an awesome new system that would help resolve a common complaint...and it's never used. The culture has to want to use it. This very much starts with one person saying, "Hey, can I have this?" And for all my navel-gazing, that's enough to code it.

    Here's the thing - I think something like this is wanted, even if people don't know it yet. Not only do I want a discrete, non-invasive way to remind people that I want RP, but what prompted this post was a discussion with a player. In this discussion, the player lamented that she was shy, and had no problem paging people once or twice, but felt self-aware doing it more than that. She admitted that she probably wasn't being aggressive enough in seeking RP, while simultaneously bemoaning that she hadn't really made "friends," despite being (from what I saw) a pretty decent RPer. I enjoyed my RP with her, and saw immediately that the chars could have connection and we agreed that we should RP again, and then that desire disappeared into the either. Maybe we will RP, but my life is busy and maybe I'll get distracted with people closer to me and she will be too shy to page and when her character drifts away, I will silently bemoan that we didn't RP more.

    To get more specific: We've created an environment in MUs where it's hard (not impossible) for people to break out of RP cliques and for new people to break in. We expect people to act in a way that is not in line with human nature and then bemoan the results. I think this command will be used because it will appeal to the people who are not on this board - the people who want RP, but who come onto games and struggle to get it, and don't know the crowd well enough to page or who feel self-conscious about it.


  • Admin

    @Lisse24 said in +wantrp Command Suggestion:

    And yet, bboard doesn't fulfill the basic function of serving as a reminder to a particular player that I'm waiting on them for a scene and what I want that scene to be about. I mean, you can create a LRP/Want RP board, and some people might post to it, and the posts will be ignored and then usage will drop off because boards are a terrible way to organize RP.

    I think proactive systems don't work too well. They do, but up to a point, and they depend on a cultural shift which may or not be there.

    What we had done in the past was automate the process. For starters we had a command like +where, if people were roleplaying in a room, it would tell you that room and the number of people posing in it, but not their names (that game didn't actually have +where, so you couldn't cross-reference the two lists).

    For another I don't favor systems that just flag people as 'searching' because that doesn't lead to anything at all; so I meet Jane, what do we play about? A generic bar scene? Yay.

    A more integrated system should allow for a number of official threads (staff-ran stories, PrPs, etc) to be defined and then players can express interest in playing about them. So for example in that list if #3 is "a mysterious series of robberies" you can flag yourself as interested in playing about that - then we can have the +wantrp command alert proactively and/or on demand people with a similar focus to bring you and them together.

    Just as an example.


  • Pitcrew

    @Arkandel I would be down with something like that as well.


  • Coder

    @Lisse24

    Now you're getting snippy. I also mentioned @mail, which is a perfect targeting system, and ajobs, which is a perfect targeting system with feedback and history.

    I'm not attacking you. I'm not even attacking your idea. I'm exploring it, which I feel is critical and sure as hell think is worthwhile. Do what you want, but you can let go of that gift horse's mouth. Sheesh,


  • Politics

    @Lisse24 said in +wantrp Command Suggestion:

    To get more specific: We've created an environment in MUs where it's hard (not impossible) for people to break out of RP cliques and for new people to break in. We expect people to act in a way that is not in line with human nature and then bemoan the results. I think this command will be used because it will appeal to the people who are not on this board - the people who want RP, but who come onto games and struggle to get it, and don't know the crowd well enough to page or who feel self-conscious about it.

    Unfortunately and unsurprisingly, I suppose, I find myself siding with @Thenomain. The tools are there, but no one seems to care to use them.

    Take @mail. I check these every time I log in. This is how we used to let people know that we wanted to RP with them, back in the '90's.

    Take wikis. I check these occasionally to see which new PCs have been made. I use them to figure out if there's someone out there I think my PC'd RP well with. And then I use @mail to check with the player if I can't page them.

    Take +bboards. I actually read these too, especially the Wanted Concepts or RP Wanted boards. I @mail people to see if they want to link up, if I think my PC would bump into them.

    Here's the issue I see: doing any of the above takes initiative. You can make a million tools, but they will be useless if no one takes the initiative to use them.

    Take Skew's suggestion. I like it, and there's an incentive to it. I'm generally against the idea of baiting people with tangible rewards (XP) for a behavior, but this will favor active, all-day players over casual players. Still, it's an idea, but it's not one I would implement.

    Take your idea -- a flag system that reminds you when someone wants to RP with you. I don't see how this will help a player not feel guilty about not RPing with a PC, and that leading to the PC's player fading away from a game. In fact, that might make it worse. Otherwise, I do not see how this is functionally different from @mail, which I look at every time I log in.

    Finally, the shy player. Making new code is not going to suddenly change how that player feels about reaching out to others. It is difficult; it can be painfully difficult; and I do not mean to belittle them. That said, I do not see how new code is going to help them, especially if the target player ignores them. They might think: 'well, I sent them something that reminds them constantly that I'd like to RP with them and yet they are still ignoring me.' The unintended consequence of making a player feel even more insignificant is substantial, in my opinion.

    Jumping off from Skew's idea, RfK had a system where, if you RPed with someone random, you got an extra beat. If you implement something similar via +wantrp, where you got 1 extra beat per week for completing at least one, that might be acceptable in my "I HATE POLICIES THAT FAVOR PEOPLE WITH MORE FUCKING TIME ON THEIR HANDS THAN ME" world.


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