New Games and Feature Characters...

  • So, say there is a new comic book game about to open and they're wondering how to handle new players and feature character grabs. As players which option is more appealing?

  • @zombiegenesis

    Option 4: Allow players to play one character, period.

  • Pitcrew


    Are you interested in discussion of possible other options, or are you very set on only those listed above? I'm kinda with @Bobotron on this, but I don't really want to break out into discussion if you're already mostly set. And if you are, that's not a bad thing!

  • Pitcrew

    I also think @Bobotron makes a good point.

  • I'm not necessarily opposed to discussing the alt-grab situation but I'm not sure I'm too keen on limiting players to 1 alt permanently. I think there are enough characters in most comic universes (in this instance DC specifically) for alts to be a good thing but I also want to see about avoiding the alt-grab fest that tends to plague a lot of games.

    I am open to ideas though.

  • @zombiegenesis

    Yeah, but what do you get out of allowing players to play more than one character, other than potentially neglected characters and an inflated player count?

    It's become very clear in the past few years that, in the largest majority of MU*er cases, multi-playing is one of the biggest sources of distraction ('Lol, sorry, I got caught up in another window!' after a half hour of waiting on someone to pose, especially if someone is multi-scening on the same game) or someone jumps a character and does the barest minimum to maintain that character.

    Having one character ideally promotes focus, so a guy playing Batman is focused on doing Batman stuff rather than trying to juggle Batman/Brainiac 5/Taserface/Thor/Rocket Raccoon. But a lot of this also stems from breadth of what is covered in a game as well, as I'm a proponent of focused games as well.

    That aside, the 'tier' option is an okay idea and about the easiest one to implement, because after that month, as soon as one of the 'popular' guys drops, they're snapped up by the character hogs.

  • Pitcrew

    Here's another option, since some folks are discussing them. For the first month of the game, only allow people to apply/play a single Secondary/Tertiary Tier character each. Then, when you have (hopefully) built up a playerbase, allow each person to app a single Primary Tier character in addition to their Secondary/Tertiary.

  • Pitcrew


    I don't think 'because alts are distractions' is a valid point in relation to alts or alt limits, because if they don't allow them, people will just play on another game. I don't disagree that an alt limit is good, but I think discussing it for reasons that do make differences is probably more helpful.

  • @sunny said in New Games and Feature Characters...:

    if they don't allow them, people will just play on another game.

    That's not a universal truth, particularly if the game in question is a 'niche' game with something special about it or the only one in its genre. That said, I agree that 'limiting multitasking' is a pretty thin reason for restricting alts, since they could always find something else to fill their time somewhere - whether it's another MU or watching TV in-between poses. Multi-taskers gonna multi-task.

    I confess I don't really play on comic games, but I've never understood the whole letting people play multiple FCs thing. I've never seen that work on any other kind of game genre. Heck, most games have trouble getting people to maintain even one FC, let alone multiples.

  • Pitcrew

    One plan I'd heard about for a comic game that never got off the ground, (I am making assumptions here): Someone can have one Primary, and as many OCs as they wanted. They could have two Features that are Secondary/Tertiary, and as many OCs as they wanted.

  • Here's the thing. With the diminishing numbers of muers nowadays, plus how comic mus don't seem to be quite as popular as they were several years ago, you're going to wind up with a real small player base if you limit players to one alt. Yes, activity levels are a concern, I get that, and people will sometimes not play one alt while playing others, letting them languish, but that's something to be concerned about on any game, not just one with FCs involved.

    I say give it some thought. Put some consideration into what you expect/hope the playerbase size will be, and figure out a reasonable alt policy from there.

  • I've been a fan also of the concept of 'One major FC and an antagonist' and the antagonist is quicker to get taken away if you never run any encounters on them (one-on-ones) for supers to do things.

    But I do think the issue on comic games of the alt hogs who have to be all the things is a real one. Because those people exist. There are those of us who really just want to be able to play one or two characters (I have about 3-4 people I regularly want to play and never all at once: if I can get onto a game and app one of them, I stay as that one)...

    And yet almost every time, those characters are taken BY the alt hogs, so I see them just languish. And I know you guys (since mine are female chars) encounter the same issue.

  • Well, I certainly appreciate all the ideas. I know alt-hogs can be a real issue, for sure, especially on comic games. Right now my plan is to open with a 1 alt limit for a month so word of the game and get out and people won't get shafted for not being one of the first to get there and then I'll take it from there. If things are going well I might extend the 1 alt period for another month. If I feel comfortable I might open up a 2nd slot for people but there will be limits put on that alt (the tier list, no related alts, etc).

    That's the plan right now, anyway, and it may change by the time the game opens.

  • @zombiegenesis You can also do something like '1 FC, 1 OC', if you're allowing OCs. Or something like 'No more than one FC', so someone could opt for two OCs if alts were allowed, which wouldn't interfere with anyone else's want for a specific FC anyway or hoarding in that way.

  • Pitcrew

    @surreality The issue with a "1 FC" rule is that comic games will frequently have over a hundred different FC and anywhere between twenty and fifty players at most, some of which will have gone for OC instead. If you want a good part of your roster played, unless you have a small roster, you can't do that.

    It's better to limit FC by popularity and importance. If you play Superman then you can't play any other titular FC period. But even this isn't foolproof, as was seen with United Heroes where some members of staff would change the tiers of characters so they could play all the ones they wanted. You'd need a bulletproof fair and square staff...

  • @salty-secrets That's more a 'one alt period' problem.

    It's more a matter of 'I get the idea of one FC to start so people have to be initially selective and not hoard a bunch of chase FCs'. That's a fairly sensible concern for a game starting up.

    If OCs are allowed, though, they're not taking up one of those chase FC spots at all, so limiting people to one alt period creates the problem you're describing fast.

    'Two characters, no more than one can be an FC to start' just seems to make more sense to me; it preserves the 'no early rush to hoard the chase FCs' problem ZG is describing (which is a reasonable concern) without penalizing people who opt for an OC as their first character in any way, and doesn't inherently limit anyone to just one character -- someone with a FC could pick up an OC as well initially and have more options to pursue RP.

  • Pitcrew

    @surreality A temporary limit makes the most sense yes. If I ever went through with my idea for a comic game, that's what I'd opt for. First month or two, two characters, only one FC. I might give leeway to people who want to play two minor FC or whose second FC is a minor villain. I probably wouldn't stop someone from playing Jubilee and also Captain Boomerang if they were promising me they'd be an active producer of role-play. These types of games tend to be made or broken based on villain population and activity, so it makes sense to make concessions for people who want to pick up those mantles. I'd still stick very firmly to "no two titular characters" as a rule, even after the initial launch period. I don't think anyone should ever be able to play Superman and Spider-man or Superman and Iron Man, etc.

  • @salty-secrets That seems to be what was being described, pretty much -- so yeah. I get the temporary limit. It makes a lot of sense to prevent too much 'first come, first served' camping.

  • I went with the first one. I get people want as many restrictions as possible, but there's some pragmatic concerns. However its also the case that the efficacy of option 1 varies a TON by how you implement.

    'No alts' (for any amount of time), is going to turn some people away and also (cynical observation or not) suppress early +who numbers and such which may well kill your game before it starts. So I think limiting them out of the gates isn't a great idea.

    The problem with just using the first option tends to be that games aren't aggressive enough with their definitions. UH was a good demonstration of this, where the Tier 1 characters were basically... the trinity on DC side and Cap/Iron Man/Jean Grey on Marvel. Then basically everyone else but the characters only the biggest nerds would know were in the next tier.

    This doesn't work so well.

    So if you're doing it this way, you need to be a bit more broad with what the tier 1s really are. Unfortunately DC has a really shallow pool of recognizable characters compared to Marvel, and I have my doubts if pure DC games are even really viable as anything but very small, personal affairs.

  • Pitcrew

    I have no good answers to this, except that from a narrative perspective tiers has never made much sense to me. You can write a story with Jimmy Olsen as the frontispiece and he can square off against all kinds of crazy crap. Because that's what Jimmy Olsen comics were, pretty much this:

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