My humble opinion on why this MUD isn't growing

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21 Aug 2007 16:44 #5568 by Musica

<snip> Personally, the only problem this game has is that a lot of people think...

OMFG, AL ISZ DYIN'!!!!!

It's not like there are constant roving bands of so called "twink" players running around with the help of corrupt creators who have their mentor pets give assistance to the over powered animals while the Vnpcs run amok.


<snip>


AL isn't dying, precisely, so much as it seems fairly stagnant.  New people come, but leave after some time for one reason or another.  We all (I think I can speak for almost everyone here) want AL to grow.  

And to the second, I do recall a case.... but that group's effects haven't be felt badly for some time, thankfully.


Suggestions

1. One day a month, just one day, all creators stop what they are working on and interact with the playerbase. How about the 1st day of each month. All players would look forward to the first day of each month and the things that happen that day will carry over and ripple out until the next month comes around.


That'd be neat. If such a thing was done, and done well, nearly every character would have an ongoing 'something' about them. A strange artifact, a vision of some great and noble (or ignoble) purpose, etc. The Creators could use the characters' rpprofiles to make a stab at what would create some great RP for each person. And, I suppose, you could institute: no rpprofile, no fun RP every month.


2. Allow limited IC info over public channels so that people can organize groups more effectively.
[quest chat] Bear Quest is forming at the well in <type in city name> We will begin when we have (x number of people)
(small bit of time goes by)
[quest chat] I can be there in 20 min
[quest chat] Be there shortly.

Quest chat wouldn't be designated by names, so people would not know who is going to show up, only that people will be arriving soon.
(20 min pass by)
[quest chat] Bear Quest group has been formed and will now get underway.


The closest thing I've ever I ever saw to this was one of the SarDragaeon events... there were screams, menacing rumbles, bells tolling... way, way far north of the actual event. And there was a feeling that the character should go south. And that was all. It was neat, props to the Creator in charge of that. But I've never seen such a thing happen again.

All the rest of my RP I've had to either make myself or stumble upon.

I wouldn't be opposed to a quest chat. But it'd be neater if we could find some way to combine the experience I listed above and quest chat.


3. Allow players to designate for themselves whether or not they can be attacked by other players and alternatively they will also not be able to attack other players as well. (hireguard    dismissguard )  Each command will last for a week (real life) time.
If I want to work in the fields, rp with my fellow man and not worry about some random killer coming along to kill me, I could type hireguard
A vnpc guard would watch over me and not allow any other players to attack me, until such time when I would type dismissguard.

Once I type dismissguard then for one week (real time) I would not be able to use the hireguard command and be vulnerable to attack.


This would be a quick and dirty way of protecting craftsmen who just wanted to be craftsmen. As with many good ideas, it needs twink-proofing. I'd suggest not allowing people to use it when immediately threatened by someone. It'd need to be a more long term sort of deal, a lifestyle sort of choice as opposed to an "oh-snap-I-might-die" decision. Having guards only hirable in a populated area might be a good start.

Realistically, hiring a guard would cost money. Especially a good guard. I'd suggest, for the sake of crafters just trying to find a place to make a living, that it not be horribly expensive. 10 farthings, perhaps. Not enough to wipe out their newbie savings before they find someplace to work, but enough that they'll actively want to find a place to work to start replenishing their savings.


I don't care what you change, just change a bit......change a little, cause if you don't.....nothing will ever change.


I'd second this.

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21 Aug 2007 23:03 #5569 by Shadowslay
On the side, a thought inspired by Grendal's post: I have always been of the opinion that information on history, theme, and culture should just be flat out provided on the website (or in the help files) for anybody to access, to learn about Terrinor so that they can make informed decisions on what kind of character to play. At one point I was very adamant about this, but I no longer believe this is a serious problem. AL is already moving that direction, sorta', with help files on races... and the 'recall' command (props to whoever designed that.)



I like your ideas, G'. Quest chat's unorthodox nature doesn't bother me... I would love to see more creator interaction with the playerbase (I've seen more in the past 3 weeks than I saw in a while; this leads me to believe some creators are listening to the constant demands about this.)
I'm not too keen on the third, namely because I cannot think of any way such a thing could be wholly IC and not stupid unless the mechanics were substantially different than proposed, but it touches upon an existing problem. I personally know a number of people who have either changed their character priorities or quit the game over twinks randomly attacking people without roleplay, though it doesn't happen on the scale of... 'twink armies' with 'creator driven wars' and all that. That's the equivalent of radical conspiracy theory stuff, right there.



AL isn't ... dying... (well, unless you count being only 6 players being on AL right now, creators included, at mid-day... as dying... some would)... but there are serious issues that drive people away from the game.

That sounds lame and cliche'.

Here's another take on it:
There are enough roleplaying MUDder's out there to bring any given MUD's population into the hundreds, and probably thousands.  

... It just so happens that a lot of those people aren't playing -this- game. Some of that's inevitable. Of course we don't expect everyone to play the same game.

But now, look over to the votes Armageddon receives on TMS: 180 compared to AL's 15. In general AL'er's aren't as fanatic about voting as they could be and focus their efforts on fights in other websites, like RPIMud - but a MUD in our basic genre (albeit with its own differences) beats us for how many people play it. Badly. Not all of that can be attributed to laziness.

People migrate from MUD to MUD - none will deny this. Some who play now have come from Arm or another MUD, and many who've left AL have gone to other MUDs.

None of these are inherently bad things, but the point I'm trying to build up to, is:
AL has the potential to have a much bigger playerbase than it has now.
Anything that has the potential to seriously attract or push players away from the game without taking much away from its essence... is worth consideration. AL does not necessarily need more players - very few of anything needs anything - I'm pretty sure that there will always be at least a few people playing the game at any given time, unless the MUD is physically shut down.

But gee, man, it's really nice to actually have a playerbase to roleplay with every now and then, you know?
I'm active in two RP MUDs. The second MUD is good; I like both, but I like AL more.

I'd like to be able to get away with playing AL primarily or exclusively. Except that after being online on both for about 12 hours, I found nobody to play with on AL and many hours of stuff to do on the other game, which is still in Alpha...
That sounds awfully juvenile, but it's true. And I really would rather play AL than the other game.

Am I that much of a natural hermit that I can't find people when there actually are plenty of people to find regularly? Or does anyone else also experience this problem - not finding people to roleplay with?

This invitation is open to everyone: Either shoot me down or throw me a bone, here. Reaffirm with your own stories or tell me, with candid honesty, that a small playerbase isn't an issue on AL. Or that it shouldn't be taken seriously.

Then, evaluate whether you or anybody else should care. Some can be perfectly content with an active MUD population in the single digits, or a little higher. I personally would like to see more - and believe that AL could (and should) do better than that.

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21 Aug 2007 23:49 #5570 by Musica


This invitation is open to everyone: Either shoot me down or throw me a bone, here. Reaffirm with your own stories or tell me, with candid honesty, that a small playerbase isn't an issue on AL. Or that it shouldn't be taken seriously.

Then, evaluate whether you or anybody else should care. Some can be perfectly content with an active MUD population in the single digits, or a little higher. I personally would like to see more - and believe that AL could (and should) do better than that.


I would honestly like more people to RP with. My first character, the dimwit that he was, got lucky and managed to attract the attention of one oldbie. The oldbie then introduced my character to other characters. But without that oldbie stepping up to the plate and taking opportunities as they came?

Let's just say it's no wonder people use OOC communication in violations of the rules. Without coordinating meeting places, it's dratted near impossible to find one person, let alone several, to RP with.

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25 Aug 2007 18:32 #5571 by Alluthia
*emerges from the lurking shadows*

I just wanted to comment that I don't think creators' interaction with the players/lack of it has anything to do with how "alive" a MUD is. I know of another RPI MUD where there is no sign of creators in-game, and yet the player base is very strong.

Oh, and.... Just because we're stuck doesn't mean there is no hope... Obstacles are opportunities in disguise... At least that's what I read somewhere....

*walks away with a twinkle in the eye*

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29 Aug 2007 19:42 #5572 by Musica
I don't want to be a downer, but right now, we don't have enough playerbase to make creator intervention unnecessary. I think with enough work on the parts of both players and Creators, we can get AL to grow. Perhaps, when the playerbase is around Xman's wish of 100 or even 200, we won't need RPEs and big brush strokes so much.

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29 Aug 2007 20:29 #5573 by Alluthia
...but why exactly is the playerbase here usually under 10 players?

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29 Aug 2007 20:41 #5574 by Musica
There are a lot of opinions on that. Mine is that there isn't enough to keep people interested once they've got AL's system down.

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29 Aug 2007 21:50 #5575 by kaain
First, see my thread Brush Strokes for some of my ideas:

Second, I think it is in part a feed back loop, to few players makes it hard for players to stay, means fewer players.

Third, I think AL needs more flux, more change, more plot twists. The timeline and history behind AL is fantastic, but it is also stagnant. Why can't the Rowans lose all of a sudden, or a plague wipe out all but the last PC goblins? With few players I feel that the creators need to make big moves to allow for the wonderful subtle RP that so many here are capable of. It gets beyond boring, for me at least, to create a new character, or interact with a new character only to talk about the same history or events that involved the last characters. When people start here it is all new and all simply amazing, but I found over 8 months that little actually changed. People changed characters, but the story was not evolving, at least not enough to keep my attention it seems. I tried the creatorhood part, and perhaps gave up to soon, but I realized I did not want to create 5 new rooms, or 2 new NPCs and then go back to the same chapter, and I certainly don't think I deserve to be writing the huge plot twists with my limited time here.

Fourth, the world is simply too spread out for the # of players.

Fifth, and here is my broken record in hopes of change.....it has been since 180YT on the timeline since 'anything has happened' and arguably since 0YT since anything of huge RP note.

Sixth, I could see many old players coming back, and a few even staying if Xotl sent out an e-mail like this:

Accursed lands needs help, the Mysrra have secretly defeated the Rowans in an raid on their last cities. Having accomplished this feat the Mysrra have both fortunately and unfortunately altered the face of Terrinor in ways unknowable until this very moment. With the few remaining Rowan mages as their slaves, the mysrra have all seemingly found a way to travel without moving, of disappearing from one city only to be at another faster than any halak could fall from the sky. The power of this ability has brought the halaks, humans, and even peaceful moloks together to fight what has been coined the first great war of the Mysrra..

Of course I am sure there are so many 'holes or inconsistencies' for so many here about why it could not, or should not happen but since it is all fiction really anything can happen. It is also just an example, I am sure there are many more versed in AL's history that could write of the top of their head something even more grand. Give the players something to play off of other than Arianna's house being plundered again and I wager new players will stay, and old players of great talent will find themselves drawn back in.

Anybody?

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03 Sep 2007 19:26 #5576 by Devon Mullane
Why people come:

Diversity, complexity, intrigue.

Why people leave:

Bordem, lack of players.


I know a few people who have left due to creator involvement or non-creator involvement so that's just a double-edge sword right there. Some people leave because of twinks, some stay and become twinks. Others stay because they like it here and don't want things to change, other people just want to see that something is changing. The biggest threat to AL is bordem. That's pretty much it. When the players have nothing to do but skill grind that doesn't appeal to the type of player we are trying to 'recruit'. I mean if we are RPI then we are trying to attract RPI players. But when they are all alone with no players, then they start grinding. Everyone does it, some people do it because that is their enjoyment, others do it because there is nothing else to do, and some because they are afraid they'll 'fall' behind. Trust me, there is always someone who has spent more hours doing this or that and is stronger than you. Period.

It is indeed the fault of creators for not providing more non-skill building related tasks for you to enjoy, though I believe the intent was that you would make them up yourselves. The tools were simply meant to be provided to that end though they may not have been fully realized. As for player-creator interaction, Jinkarto summed it up best. When the creators play, others feel players are recieving special treatment and want it to. The honest truth would be the same as mentors, yes you are recieving special treatment when creators play with you, yes they are more likely to want to play with certain parts of the player base. Yes that is favoritism. However, if people would instead step up to the plate and swing the bat, they might find they hit the ball. Instead many sit on the benches and complain while they whittle away. If you step up your game to become a more RP-centric character, more people will want to play with you in general. I -hate- craft circles, there was a post that had a fake log which made me laugh out loud. If I find a person mindlessly doing some medial task, no, I have no desire to play with them. Because they look are boring, and I want to do something interesting.

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