The elusive yes-first game.


  • Admin

    Hey folks,

    Some folks lately have argued we are settling into groupthink around here and they may have a point. That we have been doing something a certain way doesn't mean it's the only way it can work. So this is something I'm working on and I can use help with - namely, I am after criticism, ideas, brainstorming and fresh approaches.

    My only request is this: Be as brutal as you need to be with the implementation but let's not waste time debating the core goals; those are axiomatic, a given. It's what I want a game to be.

    In other words I'd like y'all to shoot as many holes as you like into the proposed means for this game to achieve its goals, but not those goals themselves.

    The Goals:

    1. Create a liberal, yes-first roleplaying game. If we say no it's for a really good, thematic reason.
    2. Focus on gameplay first, remove all possible obstacles and bottlenecks between players and scenes.
    3. In the IC setting roleplay and players decide as much as possible. Staff decides as little as possible.
    4. Automate anything that can be reasonably automated. Job monkeys should be needed as little as possible, eliminate all needless overhead for both players and staff.
    5. Audit, do not approve. If possible including CGen in that. Do not pre-empty checks, trust players.
    6. Offer incentives to excel, allow casual players to keep up.
    7. Limit the impact of character death, encourage new character ideas.
    8. Coopt the game to its players so they will have a reason to invest creatively in its course. Allow them to have a lasting impact.

    So, my means and methods. The numbers in parenthesis are there to designate which idea is aimed at which goal:

    • ( 3, 4, 5 ) Being staff is a role, not a privilege. All staff must contribute and their number should be small. Since the importance of handling +jobs is minimized the main duty is handling interpersonal issues, auditing potential cases of system abuse, but mainly running and coordinating running plot. Staff never decides on character positions or non-mechanical eligibility for ability or power purchases.

    • ( 3, 6, 8 ) Characters decide their own groups' composition. Status-weighted votes determine ranks, positions and membership. To facilitate early game launches NPCs are set in place who can be voted out or competed with as normal by PCs. Conversely that means there are no protections for IC actions; highly ranked characters are bigger targets who may be eliminated in the same way as NPCs. Staff only audits this process to ensure OOC behavior remains civil and, to the extent it is possible for them to establish, that no OOC means or information were employed.

    • ( 2, 3, 8 ) Plot is the game's lifeblood. The game comes with its own metaplot which is written to be modular and altered by characters. Staff's primary concern is to coordinate players and either run plots contributing to the overall story themselves or support players in running their own. This takes precedence over all other staff concerns save ones which make the game actually unplayable, staff should never feel they can't run an event because they're busy dealing with a troublesome player. Move the distraction in whatever manner is most appropriate and run the event.

    • ( 3, 6 ) There are no feature characters, restricted features or application-only concepts. Anything up for grabs is available to all players. Characters are elevated based on the merit of their own ability to roleplay.

    • ( 1, 2, 4 ) CGen has no non-automated approval conditions and there are no 'special' cases; roll what you will. It will check if you have a description and that your numbers check out, then you're on your way. If (due to code limitations) staff has to set things by hand it can happen after characters hit the grid with the understanding you can't use any missing attributes or resources in the meantime, in order to prevent mistakes or misunderstandings about mechanics ('oh, sorry, I thought I could buy Sleepwalker merits as a ghoul' -- which would be an example of one of the 'good, thematic reasons' to say no, as described above).

    • ( 4, 6, 7 ) All automated XP are handed on a weekly basis to characters who were in at least two scenes (detected automagically by the code) in that period. Characters also receive a smaller portion of their XP based on incentives - Beats, PrPs ran, etc. Beats are earned on request, audited after the fact if needed to prevent abuse, up to a modest cap per week. New characters receive more automatic XP than older ones until that portion of their XP is equal, although incentive-based XP remain on the characters who earned them without catching up mechanisms. On character death or permanent retirement the majority of all their XP may be transfered to a new PC.

    • ( 4, 6, 7 ) There is no justification requirement for any XP expenditure. If you have the XP you can purchase anything you wish that's mechanically available to your PC. There are time delays to preserve a believable progression in raising skills, attributes and abilities. However justifications are still optional and, on staff's discretion and subject to incentive-based caps, may be rewarded Beats by staff.

    • ( 4, 5 ) Cut down on building delays; in most MU* this is time consuming, requiring checks on behalf of staff, setting exit/entrance messages, etc. It's cool to see 'Bob gets in from the street' but it doesn't provide enough to the game - "Bob has arrived" is sufficient if it cuts down on time. Let players make their own rooms on the grid, even businesses, and simply have a periodic auditing process to make sure they comply with writing regulations (tabs, linefeeds between paragraphs) so the game maintains a consistent style.

    This ought to do for the time being. I've other ideas, including some level-of-consent based schemas and consideration for power disparities across different character type tiers (thanks @Misadventure) but those probably fall outside the scope of this particular thread and can wait to be introduced later depending on how this goes.

    So... the floor is yours, kids.



  • @Arkandel said:

    • ( 3, 4, 5 ) Being staff is a role, not a privilege. All staff must contribute and their number should be small. Since the importance of handling +jobs is minimized the main duty is handling interpersonal issues, auditing potential cases of system abuse, but mainly running and coordinating running plot. Staff never decides on character positions or non-mechanical eligibility for ability or power purchases.

    I love this a lot, but I think the biggest problems will be in auditing to keep consistency and making sure all staff is on the same page, though I'm sure you know this. What I think might be more worrying is trying to coordinate PRP with a true metaplot, because that requires either that you basically really work with players to keep internal consistency in the story (and that would also require you telling them enough of the plot to keep them from contradicting it) or constantly limit their story's scope and access to what's truly going on. So I think you'd just have to decide what approach you want fairly early on, whether you want to make the metaplot revealed to all and have no surprises, whether you want to have PRPs be extremely limited in what they can do, or whether you want to have enough staff where you are running enough stories that PRP don't really feel necessary. All of these are fine you'd just need to know going in.

    • ( 3, 6, 8 ) Characters decide their own groups' composition. Status-weighted votes determine ranks, positions and membership. To facilitate early game launches NPCs are set in place who can be voted out or competed with as normal by PCs. Conversely that means there are no protections for IC actions; highly ranked characters are bigger targets who may be eliminated in the same way as NPCs. Staff only audits this process to ensure OOC behavior remains civil and, to the extent it is possible for them to establish, that no OOC means or information were employed.

    Good, and my preferred method, but you must make sure the means of removal of the barely active are very accessible to players. I'd say players that get a title/position/whatever and then idle out and stifle all RP around them are more common than the players that are big contributors to activity in a game. If you don't have good means of players doing this themselves, you could be dragged into endless GM'd pvp arbitration that leaves everyone unhappy.

    • ( 2, 3, 8 ) Plot is the game's lifeblood. The game comes with its own metaplot which is written to be modular and altered by characters. Staff's primary concern is to coordinate players and either run plots contributing to the overall story themselves or support players in running their own. This takes precedence over all other staff concerns save ones which make the game actually unplayable, staff should never feel they can't run an event because they're busy dealing with a troublesome player. Move the distraction in whatever manner is most appropriate and run the event.

    Extremely good, but to be frank I think most MU admins are way too soft a touch and not even close to ruthless enough to really do this. You see posts about giving people MONTHS of second chances for a wildly disruptive player. You absolutely will not have time to run things if you administrate like that. If someone is disruptive, you need to show them the door immediately. No second choices, no long debates. Nothing. They have to just be gone and that's that and deal with the angry threads here calling you hitler. I believe you can't get away with any less and reasonably run the game.

    • ( 1, 2, 4 ) CGen has no non-automated approval conditions and there are no 'special' cases; roll what you will. It will check if you have a description and that your numbers check out, then you're on your way. If (due to code limitations) staff has to set things by hand it can happen after characters hit the grid with the understanding you can't use any missing attributes or resources in the meantime, in order to prevent mistakes or misunderstandings about mechanics ('oh, sorry, I thought I could buy Sleepwalker merits as a ghoul' -- which would be an example of one of the 'good, thematic reasons' to say no, as described above).

    Very sandbox-y, I think you might be underestimating the amount of disruptive concepts you have to deal with. Also the whole 'check to make sure if they are thematic' might have a really wide interpretation among staff which will lead to a lot of debates, and can be around something like, 'Is a troll playing a graphically sexualized character that some players find offensive worth removing or not'. Either answer will probably have some players leaving, and is a stark reminder you really can't please everyone. I'd decide early on which you want to keep rather than have a constant unhappy attrition there.

    • ( 4, 5 ) Cut down on building delays; in most MU* this is time consuming, requiring checks on behalf of staff, setting exit/entrance messages, etc. It's cool to see 'Bob gets in from the street' but it doesn't provide enough to the game - "Bob has arrived" is sufficient if it cuts down on time. Let players make their own rooms on the grid, even businesses, and simply have a periodic auditing process to make sure they comply with writing regulations (tabs, linefeeds between paragraphs) so the game maintains a consistent style.

    Very good but again I'd be ready for a lot of casually thematic breaks. This is not so bad if you want to have a sandbox, which is fine, but there will be a whole lot of descriptions which are inherently contradictory to other things and describe impossibilities. Imo I'd write a desc guide that specifically informs players of good practices, so you don't have multiple people trying to describe their location as the best X, the only X, whatever.


  • Coder

    @Arkandel said:

    • ( 1, 2, 4 ) CGen has no non-automated approval conditions and there are no 'special' cases; roll what you will. It will check if you have a description and that your numbers check out, then you're on your way. If (due to code limitations) staff has to set things by hand it can happen after characters hit the grid with the understanding you can't use any missing attributes or resources in the meantime, in order to prevent mistakes or misunderstandings about mechanics ('oh, sorry, I thought I could buy Sleepwalker merits as a ghoul' -- which would be an example of one of the 'good, thematic reasons' to say no, as described above).

    So, the only determination on whether that is thematic or not is where you fall on the the theme-nazi -> theme-ambivalent scale. In this case, you could likely find consensus, but in more gray-area cases, there's ambiguity and then decision-making. If you define a thematic feel for your game and then don't enforce it in CG, you don't end up with the game you want, but with the one the majority of your players want. If you're fine with that, then you can have open CG; anything else requires a thematic check of some sort, which requires approval (audit) guidelines. My assumptions based on what I know of you is that you would not be okay with the sort of concepts that would end up slipping out of CG with loose thematic enforcement.


  • Admin

    @Apos said:

    I love this a lot, but I think the biggest problems will be in auditing to keep consistency and making sure all staff is on the same page, though I'm sure you know this.

    Absolutely. You'll notice the entire game is geared toward not only having a small staff bur protecting them as well. Both parts are really important.

    If staff is large forget about having them all on the same page; politics will rear their head, communication becomes yet another tough task to be handled rather than a given and of course you have to make (more) compromises in recruitment.

    If staff is small but you don't protect them via automation, approving spends, judging backgrounds in CGen, having to decide on character ranks and parenting players then they will burn out. The pie has to be smaller (and more delicious) if you have fewer people onboard.

    • ( 3, 6, 8 ) Characters decide their own groups' composition. Status-weighted votes determine ranks, positions and membership. To facilitate early game launches NPCs are set in place who can be voted out or competed with as normal by PCs. Conversely that means there are no protections for IC actions; highly ranked characters are bigger targets who may be eliminated in the same way as NPCs. Staff only audits this process to ensure OOC behavior remains civil and, to the extent it is possible for them to establish, that no OOC means or information were employed.

    Good, and my preferred method, but you must make sure the means of removal of the barely active are very accessible to players. I'd say players that get a title/position/whatever and then idle out and stifle all RP around them are more common than the players that are big contributors to activity in a game. If you don't have good means of players doing this themselves, you could be dragged into endless GM'd pvp arbitration that leaves everyone unhappy.

    That's a good point. Do you have a mechanism in mind for pruning the trees in organizations like that? It would need to have at least some safeguards versus clique takeovers ("me and my five buddies who created yesterday have decided y'all are in the way, so bye-bye") but allow for inactive people to not form glass ceilings.

    Extremely good, but to be frank I think most MU admins are way too soft a touch and not even close to ruthless enough to really do this. You see posts about giving people MONTHS of second chances for a wildly disruptive player. You absolutely will not have time to run things if you administrate like that. If someone is disruptive, you need to show them the door immediately. No second choices, no long debates. Nothing. They have to just be gone and that's that and deal with the angry threads here calling you hitler. I believe you can't get away with any less and reasonably run the game.

    Again, having a small staff helps there because you can assume you have the others' backing. Remember, this is a yes-first game for IC things; you trust your players to play. That doesn't limit your authority as an administrator to remove problematic players - indeed in some ways it increases it because you don't have to squander your players' good will by giving them unnecessary "you can't do that"'s over and over again; after all the weird shit you allow in the name of creativity when you do step in it means something.

    ... Or that's the theory, anyway.

    Very sandbox-y, I think you might be underestimating the amount of disruptive concepts you have to deal with. Also the whole 'check to make sure if they are thematic' might have a really wide interpretation among staff which will lead to a lot of debates, and can be around something like, 'Is a troll playing a graphically sexualized character that some players find offensive worth removing or not'. Either answer will probably have some players leaving, and is a stark reminder you really can't please everyone. I'd decide early on which you want to keep rather than have a constant unhappy attrition there.

    What I was thinking of in terms of 'being thematic' is stuff you could find on the wiki in a FAQ. Nothing subjective. In other words your example would have absolutely been fine - it's not staff's job (in the context of a yes-first game) to step in there, but they would if someone rolled a Jedi in a WoD MU*. Or tried to be a former <X> who is now <Y> (an Awakened Mage who is now Kindred). In other words all I'd be expecting them to catch is the really out-there shit, not variations of character concepts based on taste.

    Your players will have the tools to isolate and ignore anyone who disrupt their sessions, it's the responsibility which comes with the power you bestow them. Trust them. And hope it's returned.

    Very good but again I'd be ready for a lot of casually thematic breaks. This is not so bad if you want to have a sandbox, which is fine, but there will be a whole lot of descriptions which are inherently contradictory to other things and describe impossibilities. Imo I'd write a desc guide that specifically informs players of good practices, so you don't have multiple people trying to describe their location as the best X, the only X, whatever.

    Even if that happens (which I don't expect to too much) it's an acceptable compromise. I mean sure, yes, someone might write up a bad as being 'the only one in town' but what does that really, truly hurt? If it's not it's not, players can still figure out where other watering holes are. The flipside of it - not needing staff to have to set it up, check up on it, players to read long guides and have to figure out even more arcane commands - is well worth the tradeoff, IMHO.

    To be honest the building part to me are more of an example for something we can chop off which has been a staple of MU*ing forever rather than anything important. It's not. But if we're to examine our practices we should look at things like this and wonder if they're really worth it. The least 'work' a game includes the more benefits we yield from it - and in this specific case, we can still leave it to players who like setting this stuff up to do so. I'm not proposing we remove the commands themselves, just to not require them all to be set. Just... let go. It'll be okay. :) You know what I mean?


  • Politics

    @Arkandel said:

    1. Create a liberal, yes-first roleplaying game. If we say no it's for a really good, thematic reason.

    You should add to this, and amend as follows:

    1) Create a liberal, yes-first roleplaying game. If we say no, it's for a really good reason related to theme, setting, or ability to code whatever-the-fuck you want.



  • @Arkandel I think there's a few different ways to handle the idle clog, and it depends on how code heavy you want to be really and where you want the balance to fall in allowing new players to shake up the order versus preserving the old. If you want to go with totally player controlled player voting, you don't need to weight status vote at 1 vote per 1 dot either. You could change that multiplier to decide just how easy or hard you want to make ousting anyone, or even reduce/increase a modifier based on someone's activity and so on. Automated modifications based on player activity would remove accusations of staff bias but let people attempt to game whatever system you have in place.

    I would lean away from hard activity requirements as such, since they feel punitive and are a big turnoff for something as casual as a game and would be contrary to your yes-first philosophy. I would try to look more at incentives for activity for any leadership figure, particularly when they are interacting with players outside of their circle of friends. XP is probably the easiest carrot to work around, but problematic in how much you want to manage the power of characters. However I don't think a one time reward for the first time someone has a scene with another character would be unreasonable for example, and create an incentive for any leadership figure to meet a new character hitting the grid.

    I heartily approve of your style for design even if it's kind of the far other side of what I'm going for, but to me I think either tightly controlled for the story or extremely loose and liberal are totally fine as long as players are treated reasonably and with respect.


  • Admin

    @Apos said:

    @Arkandel I think there's a few different ways to handle the idle clog, and it depends on how code heavy you want to be really and where you want the balance to fall in allowing new players to shake up the order versus preserving the old.

    There are two considerations here.

    1. If you can afford to code it, IMHO, it's a fantastic investment. An enormous amount of drama is generated by rank related mishaps, so giving players the power to handle their own shit removes that burden from staff's hand and places it squarely where it truly belongs. Then staff only (?) need make sure things don't get out of hand OOC - in terms of channel rudeness, page threats, etc.

    2. @Coin pointed elsewhere - and he's kinda right FOR ONCE - that people vote for OOC reasons anyway. I.e. when you vote Bob for president it's not based only on whether he is a good roleplayer but also if he's sane, active OOC, etc.

    In that case weighed votes are either still a good thing or not, depending on how the status is interpreted. If the vote is (at least partially) OOC then logic would suggest it should be 1:1 since 'status' belongs to the character, it's an IC thing. But on the other hand if status includes sanity considerations, and thus is partially based on the player as well to begin with, then the idea of letting it weigh in isn't necessarily a bad thing.

    Thoughts?

    I would lean away from hard activity requirements as such, since they feel punitive and are a big turnoff for something as casual as a game and would be contrary to your yes-first philosophy. I would try to look more at incentives for activity for any leadership figure, particularly when they are interacting with players outside of their circle of friends.

    My hope is that once power over inclusion is given entirely to players and they can manage their own affairs a lot more efficiently than we've often seen so far they will be able to value leadership figures on their own and replace them without need for external guidance. After all if your leader is in absentia and you are active... vote him down and replace him, why is that a problem? Now if he's sort of active but just logs on to resist such motions then it's an entirely different ball game.



  • Constructive Devil's Advocacy:

    So does this mean that if I really want to play a serial rapist with an immunity to jail time who uses his powers to justify uncomfortable sexual situations, that I can drag all of my Shang friends with me? Can we play a cadre of Furry BDSM experts who don't partake in plot due to what we, OOCly, really want out of the game is to have a new theme space where we can work our kink into roleplay on a new server?

    The problem I see with promoting a liberal-Yes First arena of roleplay, is that NO will become, at some point, necessary to keep the game balanced and/or in genre. Some items on your list, like automated xp spends and build requests, sound like good ideas, but what if people start to buy things with XP with no justification (I was a 7-11 clerk with no combat skills yesterday, but I saved up xp and became a secret agent with diplomatic immunity after my last Thursday shift) or building egregious sex clubs on grid that would fit NO existing ordinance code ever (Undocumented Korean Immigrant K-Pop rape club SLASH torture hotel that is protected by the mayor of the city!)

    If there's one thing I've learned from years of mushing is this: You have reasonable players, and then you have WHAT THE FUCK.

    EXAMPLE: On Battlestar Genesis, I believe, we had a char named Gars. Gars' PB was Linc from Tropic Thunder (Robert Downey Jr playing Kirk Lazarus who was playing Lincoln, an "Amos and Andrew" talking Mississippi black man from 1967 who was in the Vietnam war). The problem was, he wanted to play the character, but saw nothing thematically wrong with being a marine who, mid-firefight, would say things like "Come get some, n+gga! Huah! Mississippi Black Snake in your MOUTH, Bitch!" in a setting that took tens of thousands of years before Earth history, in outer space, where there was no Vietnam war, nor Mississippi.



  • Okay, so.. really nitpicky but... please, PLEASE for the love of God... stop forcing people to have a desc before approval. Its a pointless barrier to RP. More people desc their character at the start of a scene than ever, and forcing a desc in the 11th hour just leads to shitty descing. Hell, I have a generic desc (9 times out of 10 it doesn't even remotely describe the character I'm playing) ready that I can slap on JUST to get past that bit of stupidity. You have a wiki, right? People will be making pages, and presumably, including pics? Cool, let them run free and desc the character on their own time.



  • @Arkandel said:

    My hope is that once power over inclusion is given entirely to players and they can manage their own affairs a lot more efficiently than we've often seen so far they will be able to value leadership figures on their own and replace them without need for external guidance. After all if your leader is in absentia and you are active... vote him down and replace him, why is that a problem? Now if he's sort of active but just logs on to resist such motions then it's an entirely different ball game.

    Oh yeah my fault, I should have clarified that the final case you just described is specifically what I was thinking of, which I was thinking about 'soft' activity requirements. From how you are designing it sounds like you never want to be in the position of having staff come in and remove a position, which probably means I'd have to make the system be on the side of the insurgents.

    You could make a few coded requirements- a vote referendum on a position can be initiated by anyone, but the position can be challenged only once every month or two months. Whatever you feel is appropriate but I'd settle it early and wouldn't change it, or you'd have players upset as they feel the rules are changed on them. Characters can't vote unless they have been active (you could base activity off some metric of scenes, plots, whatever) in the sphere for at least a month. You could limit or boost status of the incumbent by the same activity metrics.

    One tricky thing imo is in a very liberal, yes-first style is you might have to decide how much storytelling power the GMs have. Like for example you said you want all leadership positions be completely determined by players, and I like and admire that, but then you also have this kind of awkward limiting factor on storytelling where you don't want the big stories run by GMs to be seen as deciding a leadership spot by creating stories that call a leader's ability to lead into question. Since if you have those, it will be seen as GM interference and call into question staff bias, and if you don't then there's that kind of almost full-consent feel of, 'I don't have to do anything in that story as a leader, because it can't hurt me.'


  • Coder

    @Miss-Demeanor said:

    Okay, so.. really nitpicky but... please, PLEASE for the love of God... stop forcing people to have a desc before approval. Its a pointless barrier to RP. More people desc their character at the start of a scene than ever, and forcing a desc in the 11th hour just leads to shitty descing. Hell, I have a generic desc (9 times out of 10 it doesn't even remotely describe the character I'm playing) ready that I can slap on JUST to get past that bit of stupidity. You have a wiki, right? People will be making pages, and presumably, including pics? Cool, let them run free and desc the character on their own time.

    The worst imo is when the chargen is programmed such that you have to write the desc before you have even decided on your stats yet.


  • Admin

    Ghost said:

    Constructive Devil's Advocacy:

    So does this mean that if I really want to play a serial rapist with an immunity to jail time who uses his powers to justify uncomfortable sexual situations, that I can drag all of my Shang friends with me?

    Yes.

    In the context of this thread it's not staff's job to say what's ethical and what's not. Is rape wrong and illegal? Yes! So is murder. If you don't intend to ban assassins from a game why draw the line at one but not the other?

    Players have all the tools to deal with and isolate, bring IC consequences or anything else to these people. The game isn't consent-based by definition. Law enforcement PCs can imprison them, badasses can beat them up or kill them. The tools are there.

    Can we play a cadre of Furry BDSM experts who don't partake in plot due to what we, OOCly, really want out of the game is to have a new theme space where we can work our kink into roleplay on a new server?

    As long as people don't play things which are impossible in the setting and they just go to a room and... do... things to each other, more power to them. Staff would need to come in if someone's doing something entirely unthematic (as in, can't happen) such as playing Jedi in a nWoD universe and moving things telekinetically with the Force. But at that point we're really nit-picking possibilities. :)

    Look, assholes will happen. Staff has a widely defined range of authority to deal with them not merely even but especially in a game like this to step in and make them go away. "Yes-first" applies to IC actions within the broadly defined theme, it's after all part of the very first 'goal' mentioned.


  • Pitcrew

    @Arkandel said:

    Ghost said:

    Constructive Devil's Advocacy:

    So does this mean that if I really want to play a serial rapist with an immunity to jail time who uses his powers to justify uncomfortable sexual situations, that I can drag all of my Shang friends with me?

    Yes.

    In the context of this thread it's not staff's job to say what's ethical and what's not. Is rape wrong and illegal? Yes! So is murder. If you don't intend to ban assassins from a game why draw the line at one but not the other?

    Not actually arguing against your non-ban, but I think there are pretty NUMEROUS REASONS why people draw the line at one and not the other.


  • Pitcrew

    Regarding staff and plot-first stuff:

    I've been wondering if it wouldn't be better to have ST staff on time-limited appointments. For example, bringing people on for, say, three months at a time, specifically to run a plot or plots that will be wrapped up at that point. This works best, I'd suspect, in a setting that's open to having changes and variations in theme over time, and a game that's okay with some episodic things. But a) it would let STs have a discrete set of expectations to fulfill, and (b) the ability to exit stage left at the end so that they can concentrate on playing, avoid burnout, etc. It would also help /keep the game moving/, rather than risk the stagnation that you get with a core of burned-out ST staff. And you might find more people willing to sign on to be STs for a short term commitment rather than "until we get tired of you, or you learn to hate the game and avoid logging in". If it were me, I'd also want to put in a strict no-immediate-second-term rule. You MUST take at least one term off before reapplying, to keep a small number of perspectives from dominating, and as an anti-poop-socking measure.


  • Admin

    @Roz said:

    In the context of this thread it's not staff's job to say what's ethical and what's not. Is rape wrong and illegal? Yes! So is murder. If you don't intend to ban assassins from a game why draw the line at one but not the other?

    Not actually arguing against your non-ban, but I think there are pretty NUMEROUS REASONS why people draw the line at one and not the other.

    Even factoring in the first six words of the line you quoted? If so, please elaborate.



  • @Arkandel said:

    Players have all the tools to deal with and isolate, bring IC consequences or anything else to these people. The game isn't consent-based by definition. Law enforcement PCs can imprison them, badasses can beat them up or kill them. The tools are there.

    This is one interesting problem I've been having when deciding automation of combat in a MUSH, which is a logical continuation of reducing staff work as much as possible. Do you go with combat rounds being timed (which would allow the death of idle/afk characters), or do you go with combat being turn based, which allow players to potentially stall by refusing to advance combat to the next round? I was leaning towards the second with potential GM intervention and arbitration, since I thought it would be less disruptive than retcons (or permissiveness) of killing characters afk on the grid.


  • Coder

    @Apos said:

    @Arkandel said:

    Players have all the tools to deal with and isolate, bring IC consequences or anything else to these people. The game isn't consent-based by definition. Law enforcement PCs can imprison them, badasses can beat them up or kill them. The tools are there.

    This is one interesting problem I've been having when deciding automation of combat in a MUSH, which is a logical continuation of reducing staff work as much as possible. Do you go with combat rounds being timed (which would allow the death of idle/afk characters), or do you go with combat being turn based, which allow players to potentially stall by refusing to advance combat to the next round? I was leaning towards the second with potential GM intervention and arbitration, since I thought it would be less disruptive than retcons (or permissiveness) of killing characters afk on the grid.

    A player deliberately stalling is not something I've ever encountered in my life. I see no reason to ever put timed combat in a MUSH.


  • Pitcrew

    @Arkandel said:

    Players have all the tools to deal with and isolate, bring IC consequences or anything else to these people. The game isn't consent-based by definition. Law enforcement PCs can imprison them, badasses can beat them up or kill them. The tools are there.

    That right there is why your Yes game will have issues, either you have those pks happen which means your staff will get to spend a decent amount of time on them and dealing with the fall out. Or the same players will just avoid the others as much as possible and your game will be sand box WoD #587 regardless of how many lot staff tries to run because folks will get conditioned ot avoid public scenes to avoid those they don't want to deal with.


  • Coder

    @Pyrephox said:

    Regarding staff and plot-first stuff:

    I've been wondering if it wouldn't be better to have ST staff on time-limited appointments. For example, bringing people on for, say, three months at a time, specifically to run a plot or plots that will be wrapped up at that point. This works best, I'd suspect, in a setting that's open to having changes and variations in theme over time, and a game that's okay with some episodic things. But a) it would let STs have a discrete set of expectations to fulfill, and (b) the ability to exit stage left at the end so that they can concentrate on playing, avoid burnout, etc. It would also help /keep the game moving/, rather than risk the stagnation that you get with a core of burned-out ST staff. And you might find more people willing to sign on to be STs for a short term commitment rather than "until we get tired of you, or you learn to hate the game and avoid logging in". If it were me, I'd also want to put in a strict no-immediate-second-term rule. You MUST take at least one term off before reapplying, to keep a small number of perspectives from dominating, and as an anti-poop-socking measure.

    In a world where you have countless of competent people volunteering to staff, anything is possible. The reality of the situation is that you usually have very few staff who are very overworked because most people just want to play and many who want to help with staffing shouldn't be allowed near a staff position.


  • Admin

    Hmm. I wouldn't want anything timed, no. It seems to go too far in my opinion - unless you're making a MUD, that is. There's too much potential for something to go wrong - RL distractions, lag, disconnects, etc.

    Staff shouldn't need to be involved in combat anyway except for contested situations ("that's how power <A>" works!" "no it's not!") but I don't see any way to automate and rid staff from that headache without causing more issues than you're solving.

    Human intervention will probably be required here - unless someone in the forum has any brilliant ideas better than what we've been doing, which is page an admin to come over and resolve whatever it is. You can try to officially preempty a lot of mechanical conflicts on the wiki but obviously that can only do so much.


 

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