Incentives for RP



  • This came up in the thread on working hard for RP and made me curious. Could be better in that thread, but it seems good for a thread of its own too. I never know.

    @Arkandel said in If you work hard, son, maybe someday you'll RP:

    @faraday I've found (and obviously YMMV) that the use of tools like those is cultural. In some games they are commonly employed and it's nearly a no-brainer, and in others few players even know that they exist.

    One way to do it is to incentivize them. For example games like Arx explicitly make it 'profitable' to play with new people (they have a flag, basically, that offers free XPs if they +recc others).

    But other times it just... happens, organically, and people use the tools coded for this purpose. I don't know why since the syntax is usually very similar and fairly simple in all those games.

    Having followed some of the Arx Peeve threads (2 active, 3+ total?), I have seen folks complain how some players do try to game the system of incentives for RP'ing with new players. Is making the incentive to RP a bonus to XP or character development the right incentive?

    Are there other incentives that might contribute to stimulating RP? What if people running scenes got RP points to spend, like double XP scenes for all who join, or extension of PRP Policy (you can now blow up major world banks in your plots if you wish, or major landmarks), or another system that is less gamey then trying to get +votes for being on the grid around other people actually RP'ing?


  • Pitcrew

    @Lotherio said in Incentives for RP:

    Having followed some of the Arx Peeve threads (2 active, 3+ total?), I have seen folks complain how some players do try to game the system of incentives for RP'ing with new players. Is making the incentive to RP a bonus to XP or character development the right incentive?

    FWIW, while some people might sometimes be annoying about the system and require reminders from staff to utilize it properly, I'd still say that by and large it's VERY much worth it in practice.



  • I think it's important to balance outcome with the required work. Special points that can alter game-related things, like policy or special scene types or whatever, takes more work from staff to look at and judge and approve and just generally deal with when compared to a handful of people that abuse the system.


  • Pitcrew

    I've always been of the opinion that while people do try to game the system, the benefits that new players get from being pulled into RP and meeting a wide variety of people off the bat outweigh any potential 'cheating', but that's a decision game creator's will have to weigh for themselves.



  • I think the randomscenes on Arx work pretty well for what they're intended to do. The players who abuse it (hello person who was mass-paging the entire newbie list, I still see you) need to be reported but there will always be players who abuse anything and they're the minority.

    I don't think it's portable as-is to every game but it seems to generally do the thing it's designed to.


  • Pitcrew

    @Three-Eyed-Crow said in Incentives for RP:

    I think the randomscenes on Arx work pretty well for what they're intended to do. The players who abuse it (hello person who was mass-paging the entire newbie list, I still see you) need to be reported but there will always be players who abuse anything and they're the minority.

    I don't think it's portable as-is to every game but it seems to generally do the thing it's designed to.

    I mean, I'd make slight tweaks to it, but that's what they'd be: tweaks. The tool itself is great at doing what it was designed to do.



  • Let's pretend I didn't mention Arx, have of it feels defensive. I support Evennia and Arx development, I like what I've seen.

    My question is more, must everything be XP oriented incentive wise or are there other incentives that could work that are less, well, gamey to me. @Tinuviel made a great comment, it takes more work and XP is easier to hand out.

    Only curious, because when I MU, it is not game oriented to be honest, never has been.



  • If there's a system, certain kinds of people are going to find a way to break it. Having a simple system that makes breakages/cheating obvious involves less clean up. I go back and forth between liking and loathing the "rewarding players by advancing characters" thing, but it mostly works.


  • Pitcrew

    @Lotherio Oh, sorry, I wasn't clear to me that you were specifically looking for non-XP incentives. I just thought that you'd seen some passing mention of the @randomscene system on Arx via MSB and had gotten the impression that the overall feeling regarding it was that it was just gamed and not useful, so I only meant to present that despite gaming I thought most people still found it useful and effective in case people were considering something similar. I didn't think you were bashing Arx by any means!



  • @Tinuviel said in Incentives for RP:

    Having a simple system that makes breakages/cheating obvious involves less clean up.

    It could be simple system. Player A runs event or just a scene, Players B and C join in and liked it, they +PRPvote Player A. They reach Tier 2 and instead of running common thugs, they can check out Magneto for a plot or whatever.

    This is a simple overview and could be coded up in a number of ways to monitor it. Like an events system that includes votes by players that joined if they liked it. Or other @systems for those that like them. I am curious what sort of rewards may be out there that could incite RP that are not tied to XP/character advancement.



  • @Roz said in Incentives for RP:

    I wasn't clear to me that you were specifically looking for non-XP incentives.

    Sorry, that's on me for not being clear. My brain mixes it up for me, makes sense to me, but confuses everyone else.



  • @Lotherio That depends entirely on how tightly controlled staff want their plots and NPCs and such. But given we've been doing this for decades, and we keep circling back to XP (or equivalent) as a reward... seems that it's the best compromise in general. Anything else would be game-and-culture-specific, so nothing we can categorically dismiss or approve of here.


  • Pitcrew

    You should incentivize whatever you want to see more of in your game/app/activity. If you want people to play with your code and get addicted to advancement...you code in rewards. If you want to foster a big community where people rp outside their usual circles so that new people can be incorporated, you incentivize that. HOW is open for debate and suggestion, but should you? For sure.



  • I've often considered this.

    What you want: Players to actually spread out role play

    I think you're on to something, because I've often wondered if xp (I.e. The thing that puts one player higher than another in terms of ability/in game currency) is the right way to incentivize what you want, which is spreading out the role play. If you think about it from a certain perspective, this xp-for-HangingWithN00bs arrangement might spread out role play, but it may also be the very thing that results in Alpha roleplayers dominating the environment from the very people they're generating XP from.

    One thing that I think is fair (though doesn't seem to work; I can only theorize why) is to incentivize the players who are welcoming and inclusive with leadership positions. The last thing you want is to hand a faction over to a player who only RPs with two of their friends and a close TS partner. No, you want people who are inclusive in those positions (faction heads, primogen, Lord or Lady, etc).

    So it makes sense to me to say: "Hey, I know you want to be in charge ICly, but that comes at a price. You've got to show the game that you're gonna be welcoming and inclusive. The more you spread your RP around, the more you'll be incentivized with leadership. Then...you have to keep using that code that shows you're spreading your RP around to maintain it."

    So, in the sense of "reward the behavior you want", this seems logical to me. You want to reward the spread of RP, and this option would reward inclusive RP with being at the forefront of the RP and further incentivize doing so.



  • @Ghost said in Incentives for RP:

    is to incentivize the players who are welcoming and inclusive with leadership positions.

    I would agree... to a point. Depending on the game, of course, leadership positions come with some level of OOC overhead that tends to restrict one's effective "free" play time. Meetings one must attend, problems one must deal with, et cetera. Leaving little time for free time.

    I agree that we want the welcoming and RP-spreading folks in charge, but at the same time I worry that we would be removing people from the pool of welcomers and RP-spreaders.



  • Rewarding of IC positions (fachead) and OOC positions (you get more permissions to alter the actual mu*/game, like building, etc.) are ponderance.

    @Tinuviel said in Incentives for RP:

    but at the same time I worry that we would be removing people from the pool of welcomers and RP-spreaders

    This ^^ is a concern. Not just removing them from that pool but removing what they enjoy the most (or maybe not, just an assumption), the RP they are generating that is.

    I much prefer this to random staff bits by applications, I'd rather give this as reward to players contributing to that which is being promoted; in this case RP.



  • @Lotherio With IC positions, that's also rewarding the character for player action. Unless we're talking about opening up a special slot for them to make a character for.

    And OOC ones..? Eh. Staff bit applications usually take note of player contributions, and aren't usually subject to the same popularity contest breaking as your suggestions. Besides, being good at getting out and roleplaying doesn't mean you'll make a good staffer.



  • @Ghost said in Incentives for RP:

    One thing that I think is fair (though doesn't seem to work; I can only theorize why) is to incentivize the players who are welcoming and inclusive with leadership positions. The last thing you want is to hand a faction over to a player who only RPs with two of their friends and a close TS partner. No, you want people who are inclusive in those positions (faction heads, primogen, Lord or Lady, etc).

    I presume you mean voluntary positions of leadership.

    Even so, it's redundant. Players who are welcoming and inclusive often fall into positions of leadership because other people notice how welcoming and inclusive they are. It is better policy to withhold or remove positions of leadership from players who are neither welcoming nor inclusive.

    If you keep the awarding voluntary, I believe you can avoid the problem of losing RP-spreaders.



  • @Lotherio said in Incentives for RP:

    My question is more, must everything be XP oriented incentive wise or are there other incentives that could work that are less, well, gamey to me. @Tinuviel made a great comment, it takes more work and XP is easier to hand out.

    I dislike handing out XP for this kind of thing, because it creates a power imbalance between characters for OOC reasons that I don't really think should exist. FS3 games have Luck Points for a reward system. It gives folks a slight edge without making them overpowered.

    I think it's a fine line to tread, though, between making these super-enticing rewards that people will jump to get but then throw game balance out of whack, or more modest rewards that might not provide the motivation you desire.



  • @Ganymede said in Incentives for RP:

    I presume you mean voluntary positions of leadership

    Oh. Absolutely.

    Unless it's StalinMush(tm). Then, mandated leadership is encouraged and bannings for failure/cowardice (enforced by staff-appointed Commissar) will help keep the people strong.


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