Something That Sucks. How do we make it not suck?

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The system in place will correct for the mathematical bias against new characters if the standing population of characters is understanding, welcoming and inclusive. The same is true of new players and current players. If a given chapter is experiencing stagnation it's because they're either not recruiting or not welcoming new players OOG and new characters IG; after all, if an established player has a poor experience their first time at a given chapter they will have reservations about going back that may well have nothing to do with character power levels. There is more to the game than character cards.
 

Wraith

Newbie
Dan Nickname Beshers said:
The system in place will correct for the mathematical bias against new characters if the standing population of characters is understanding, welcoming and inclusive. The same is true of new players and current players. If a given chapter is experiencing stagnation it's because they're either not recruiting or not welcoming new players OOG and new characters IG; after all, if an established player has a poor experience their first time at a given chapter they will have reservations about going back that may well have nothing to do with character power levels. There is more to the game than character cards.
I'd like to think so, but then again I've attended a National Event where one of the chapters literally had to cancel their showcase mod in order for there to be any plot go out scaled for the sub-level-20 crowd. This isn't a chapter issue, it's a cultural issue for the game.
 
I would argue that the national event is the worst possible environment for low level players, as the attempt to cram an event story and roughly a dozen chapters' worth of plot into even a three day weekend is an exercise in modest madness. There will generally be very little time for anything else, and the large attendance size of the event will further contribute to more passive characters/players getting left behind. A more established setting with commensurately more established character interactions and history provide a stronger framework for players to attach to.
 

phedre

Squire
If you're talking about the National 3 years ago, that was an event fraught with issues.

It wasn't the best example of how a game should be run, because there didn't seem to be much of a cohesive event plan. To me, it just looked like lots and lots of individually planned and run mods for the various chapters attending. It was my impression that each chapter went for its neatest and scariest stuff to showcase plot for their chapter, with no one mentioning scaling in the pre-event meetings. There were also very few NPCs and a whole lot of PCs who'd travelled decently far to play and weren't likely to hop fence, leading to bigger stat cards to make fights last longer.

Unless you were part of the Orc moot, they and the kyn got some neat plot.
 

markusdark

Knight
I'm sorry but am I the only one seeing the semi-elitist attitude here towards new players?

First it was that the game mechanics aren't tailored towards new players being effective in the game. Sure, with proper support from both PC's and plot, this can be a moot point but that is true with any game system. Heck, you can even have a game with NO rules if the players and plot were good enough to work together. However, as noted by others here, this isn't always the case. Rules make it easier to tell the story and the better they're set up for new players to have an impact upon the world, the more fun they'll have and the better retention rate you'll have.

But, of course, that would require a major rules overhaul so this point is moot.

Next was the comment of the National events are "... the worst possible environment for low level players". We're really going to say that?

"Hey everyone, we're having this huge event with everyone from all the chapters coming out to play. You'll get to meet people you've seen on these boards, see different ways people play races, the different costuming and makeup and... What? You're a new player and only level 6 and still jazzed with that new player energy about the whole game? Oh, you shouldn't come."

If anything, these events should tailor towards new players - see why it's worth traveling from one chapter to another (the unique thing Alliance has over most games) and really see what happens when multiple talented storytellers get together for a real bash.

Guys, I know that a lot of us are 'old guard' and are quite set in our ways, but there's new players out there and once we pass, it will be up to them to continue carrying the banner. There has to be ways to encourage them to play - to enjoy playing and NOT working and slogging through years and dollars or pain and misery to finally get to the good stuff. Or have them create their own entertainment for themselves and the other 'neglected' players and then pay plot for the privilege.

Yes, we need to continue to work towards satisfying our current player base and make sure they have fun but it needs to also be done for the new crowd. If we're such 'great gamers' then we should be willing to allow our events to focus on lowbies just as much as highbies.
 
I think you're reading the worst possible attitude in what's been written. I pointed out that logistically a national event is likely to be less able to provide encounters specifically targeted at low-level players than a local event. Since an event can either be local or nation and there is no third option I'm aware of, the national event becomes the worst possible venue for low level encounters; the worst of two.

Also, please consider that if older players with higher level characters have been welcoming and encouraging new players, those new players will have access to additional content via their character's companions. There is no reason for this to not be true at a national level event. A mod team of 18, 22, 23, 26, 33 and 6 that doesn't treat the level 6 as a burden will absolutely find ways for that character and player to contribute, allowing them to gain valuable experience (and experience points, tee hee). That's not a random example, I marshaled that group three days ago. It's not uncommon at all in the North East.
 

Wraith

Newbie
phedre said:
If you're talking about the National 3 years ago, that was an event fraught with issues.

It wasn't the best example of how a game should be run, because there didn't seem to be much of a cohesive event plan. To me, it just looked like lots and lots of individually planned and run mods for the various chapters attending. It was my impression that each chapter went for its neatest and scariest stuff to showcase plot for their chapter, with no one mentioning scaling in the pre-event meetings. There were also very few NPCs and a whole lot of PCs who'd travelled decently far to play and weren't likely to hop fence, leading to bigger stat cards to make fights last longer.

Unless you were part of the Orc moot, they and the kyn got some neat plot.
That was my impression too. That said, the 'Lowbie Mod' put together on the fly was really fun, even if Paul nearly killed himself playing a goblin. The folks who put it together for the ~20 players running characters under level 20 also managed to use it to create an effect that gave us all something to do during the big dracolich battle where we were all going to be effectively useless. It was a great seat of the pants recovery, but the fact that it was necessary in a game where 90% of the players were pre-regged months in advance so the level spread was available to planning is the clearest example I've yet found of something that really, really needs looking at badly.

This is not an issue that should be realized at 3pm Saturday on an event with a year and a half of work-up.
 

phedre

Squire
In the isolated case of that National (not the case at the other 2 I've attended) there was work that didn't get done. We've all attended events where the ball got dropped.

It doesn't make all National events just like that. It's not an indicator that National Events are bad.
 

Wraith

Newbie
phedre said:
In the isolated case of that National (not the case at the other 2 I've attended) there was work that didn't get done. We've all attended events where the ball got dropped.

It doesn't make all National events just like that. It's not an indicator that National Events are bad.
Of course it doesn't. But it is both embarrassing and indicative of the attitudes we're discussing that an event with plot staff and players from every chapter, and most if not all of the owners present, didn't even think to go 'oh, yeah, lowbies' until players started bitching and sitting around bored during the event.
 

Lurin

Duke
I think that, by and large, the idea of applying a blanket statement to either side is silly. Even in the same chapter I've seen mods that reward high build, mods that reward high RL skill, mods that reward bigger numbers, mods that award a willingness to say yes to anything, mods that reward a willingness to say no to things. The biggest issue in regards to new players is in how much support that have from others more than anything else. A level 5 being coached/helped by a team, will do just fine, and often have a higher power level then their equal build fellows. However even a small team of newer players that work together can quickly assemble a decent set of toys in most chapters.

I've been playing an artisan for about a year and a half now, partly to see how the game might be at a perpetual low power level. (Yes artisans can be extremely effective at times with sufficient resources, which is part of the reason it's a cowardly rabbitkin) and frankly once I got over the natural desire to determine my fun by whether or not I was 'winning' it's become an amazingly entertaining character to play, even though he's extremely easy to bully/push out of auctions (even if my money stack dwarfs yours) and goes down to a stiff breeze (no armor, no arcane). The only major frustration is in throwing 100 bolts (all my quiver holds) in a module, hitting with ~95 of them, and failing to kill anything frequently, but even that has a tendency to be noticed by plot teams that try to offer up some targets I can kill given enough time.

There is a point at which you are giving to much attention to new customers, long term players often tend to form the core basis of donation pools, and are very often willing/happy to help when needed, by double hooking, or holding back to help train up new folks, and no amount of newbie mods will integrate new players into the existing pool, and that NEEDS to happen to keep the community growing.
 

Paladin of Ice

Artisan
Moderator
Remember, Please attempt to keep all discussion positive and forward moving.

If you have a criticism, please attempt to include a suggestion to go with it.

If this thread becomes overly negative in this second round of commenting on it, it will be frozen. Remember, we want our boards to be just as welcoming as we want our events to be.

Thank you,

Paladin of Ice
 
Wraith said:
phedre said:
If you're talking about the National 3 years ago, that was an event fraught with issues.

It wasn't the best example of how a game should be run, because there didn't seem to be much of a cohesive event plan. To me, it just looked like lots and lots of individually planned and run mods for the various chapters attending. It was my impression that each chapter went for its neatest and scariest stuff to showcase plot for their chapter, with no one mentioning scaling in the pre-event meetings. There were also very few NPCs and a whole lot of PCs who'd travelled decently far to play and weren't likely to hop fence, leading to bigger stat cards to make fights last longer.

Unless you were part of the Orc moot, they and the kyn got some neat plot.
That was my impression too. That said, the 'Lowbie Mod' put together on the fly was really fun, even if Paul nearly killed himself playing a goblin. The folks who put it together for the ~20 players running characters under level 20 also managed to use it to create an effect that gave us all something to do during the big dracolich battle where we were all going to be effectively useless. It was a great seat of the pants recovery, but the fact that it was necessary in a game where 90% of the players were pre-regged months in advance so the level spread was available to planning is the clearest example I've yet found of something that really, really needs looking at badly.

This is not an issue that should be realized at 3pm Saturday on an event with a year and a half of work-up.
Perhaps instead of constantly bemoaning how terrible the Alliance is, you should join a staff and make the game better. Perhaps you should put in the hard work and dedication that players and staff members and owners across the nation do on a daily basis. You seem to have an abundance of ideas on how the game could be made better. "Be the change you want to see in the world."

Sitting behind the keyboard and constantly criticizing without actually creating anything or helping to improve anything may be the cool and easy thing to do in today's culture of facebook and social media. But the Alliance is about being brave and adventurous and making the world a better place. You should really try it. Constant negativity just detracts from the goals that 99% of us on these boards are trying to reach. We don't always reach them. Sometimes we fall far short. But we are at least trying. And we are succeeding far more than we are failing.
 

markusdark

Knight
Duke Frost said:
Perhaps instead of constantly bemoaning how terrible the Alliance is, you should join a staff and make the game better.
A few issues with that, although I do agree with the sentiment:

1) Some issues are rules based and that cannot change by joining staff. Sure, after a couple of years you might convince owners and so on to make the change but you don't have to be on staff to do that.
2) Maybe I prefer to play and since I"m paying a company money, I have a right to air my troubles with the way they're handling things
3) Some chapters may have a set story/goal in mind and not want to have anyone else on staff.
4) For the record, I've tried three times but for some reason there aren't a lot of people who like the idea of me being on an Alliance staff... :whistle:

But I am 110% behind the sentiment of 'If you don't like something, either do it better or go home.' In my case, I've done both to some degree of satisfaction towards myself and others. There's usually nothing wrong with trying to make a game better by helping it.
 

Draven

Count
Seattle Staff
Marshal
markusdark said:
Duke Frost said:
Perhaps instead of constantly bemoaning how terrible the Alliance is, you should join a staff and make the game better.
A few issues with that, although I do agree with the sentiment:

1) Some issues are rules based and that cannot change by joining staff. Sure, after a couple of years you might convince owners and so on to make the change but you don't have to be on staff to do that.
2) Maybe I prefer to play and since I"m paying a company money, I have a right to air my troubles with the way they're handling things
3) Some chapters may have a set story/goal in mind and not want to have anyone else on staff.
4) For the record, I've tried three times but for some reason there aren't a lot of people who like the idea of me being on an Alliance staff... :whistle:

But I am 110% behind the sentiment of 'If you don't like something, either do it better or go home.' In my case, I've done both to some degree of satisfaction towards myself and others. There's usually nothing wrong with trying to make a game better by helping it.
While I agree with your agreement, your not-so-subtle snark didn't exactly work for your posts' credibility.
 
Huh. I didn't read any snark there. Anyways:
markusdark said:
1) Some issues are rules based and that cannot change by joining staff.
This is a thing that's going to be an issue forever. The reality of the situation is that someone will always feel that the idea that they have will make the game better, and whatever that idea is isn't necessarily something that's actually agreeable to other people. If I had my way I'd re-write and otherwise 'fix' about 50-75% of the rules that we have now, but which ones and how are different from how you or Scott or Bryan would do it, even though all of us have expressed at some point that we need to do a major revision.
markusdark said:
4) For the record, I've tried three times but for some reason there aren't a lot of people who like the idea of me being on an Alliance staff
Honestly, I think it has to do with the fact that you want to play a different game than most of the players. I know that you don't really like how easy healing is and that combat isn't scary. That's just not how the system works, and there's enough people that want to play this system (or one that closely resembles it) that they'll fight those kind of changes. I'm sure that there are other fundamental issues that you have with the game (I'm pretty sure we've talked about them before) but in the end, my reply to #1 kicks in.
markusdark said:
2) Maybe I prefer to play and since I"m paying a company money, I have a right to air my troubles with the way they're handling things.
(...)
But I am 110% behind the sentiment of 'If you don't like something, either do it better or go home.' In my case, I've done both to some degree of satisfaction towards myself and others. There's usually nothing wrong with trying to make a game better by helping it.
Oh man, I know what you mean. You and I have both been there, with the same people even. :thumbsup:
 

markusdark

Knight
Draven said:
While I agree with your agreement, your not-so-subtle snark didn't exactly work for your posts' credibility.
Not sure how that makes my comments 'less credible' though. But sorry you saw it in a negative way. I attempted to put some levity into my specific situation. I apologize.

obcidian_bandit said:
Honestly, I think it has to do with the fact that you want to play a different game than most of the players.
If this was the case, I wouldn't be bothering with posting here. First thing is that I do love the basics of Alliance. I just feel that there is room for improvement to make it a more engaging game that many people enjoy. And so do other players. I suppose if the next chapter wasn't a 12 hour drive away, or that there was another LARP within a 6 hour drive that intrigued me, I'd not be here as much.

Maybe it's been the isolation of the California chapter. Maybe I've just been out of the loop for too long. Maybe this game isn't interested in the same things I find entertaining or doesn't see running chapters and events the same way I do.

I suppose that I will stop this though as my comments are inspiring more than discussion. That wasn't my intent.
 

MaxIrons

Squire
Oregon Staff
Marshal
obcidian_bandit said:
Huh. I didn't read any snark there. Anyways:
markusdark said:
1) Some issues are rules based and that cannot change by joining staff.
This is a thing that's going to be an issue forever. The reality of the situation is that someone will always feel that the idea that they have will make the game better, and whatever that idea is isn't necessarily something that's actually agreeable to other people. If I had my way I'd re-write and otherwise 'fix' about 50-75% of the rules that we have now, but which ones and how are different from how you or Scott or Bryan would do it, even though all of us have expressed at some point that we need to do a major revision.
So, not to sound off putting, but why aren't we getting together and hashing this out? I know my talks with Jimmy, Bryan and folks online here always have me thinking on how to make the game more fun for the maximum number of people from a rules perspective. The last time I brought up the idea of actually working on Alliance 2.0 I was met more with apathy than enthusiasm, seemingly from the idea that "It'd never pass."

Maybe it's time to really get our hands dirty, rework the rules, and once done, present them to be voted on?
 

Draven

Count
Seattle Staff
Marshal
MaxIrons said:
obcidian_bandit said:
Huh. I didn't read any snark there. Anyways:
markusdark said:
1) Some issues are rules based and that cannot change by joining staff.
This is a thing that's going to be an issue forever. The reality of the situation is that someone will always feel that the idea that they have will make the game better, and whatever that idea is isn't necessarily something that's actually agreeable to other people. If I had my way I'd re-write and otherwise 'fix' about 50-75% of the rules that we have now, but which ones and how are different from how you or Scott or Bryan would do it, even though all of us have expressed at some point that we need to do a major revision.
So, not to sound off putting, but why aren't we getting together and hashing this out? I know my talks with Jimmy, Bryan and folks online here always have me thinking on how to make the game more fun for the maximum number of people from a rules perspective. The last time I brought up the idea of actually working on Alliance 2.0 I was met more with apathy than enthusiasm, seemingly from the idea that "It'd never pass."

Maybe it's time to really get our hands dirty, rework the rules, and once done, present them to be voted on?
The reason is pretty much in Bryan's post that was copied into PR and used to open the Theory thread.

If you were to collaborate with every single person who frequented the Rules section of the forum, and somehow have the requisite series of meetings necessary to accomplish the feat of re-working the rules into a true 2.0, without people quitting out of frustration from compromises and arguments, you'd likely have done this with only a fraction of the people whose fun you'd be affecting.

Thing is, the rules as they are won't ever be that paradise of perfect. Something will always need to be tweaked, then something will have to be tweaked to cover for the first tweak, and so on. Plot will create effects that won't fit/balance well, and this will happen, and that'll happen, and...we'll all be here again.

The rules of Alliance are good enough to have a massive national playerbase, yes? If they aren't going to drive players away, why risk doing exactly that with a massive overhaul that a majority of players will have literally zero say in?

It's just not a good enough bet, IMO.
 
MaxIrons said:
So, not to sound off putting, but why aren't we getting together and hashing this out?
We do, every two years there's a symposium, where rules additions/alterations that have been proposed and vetted get voted on. It takes days just to handle a few dozen small changes each time. A lot of things fail to pass for no other reason than "It's too big of a change." Most sizable changes fail several times (so 4-10 years) before they gain enough ground to make it into the rulebook, if they ever do at all.

Aside from that, what you think will make the game better is entirely different than what other people think will make the game better. We actually play a different game than they do on the East Coast, which is also different than what is played in the Midwest. We have different issues and different attitudes, let alone the places where the rules just aren't clear so that they're played differently in different places. (Consider that enough people actually thought that the change to Massive was the best thing for the game that it got a majority Owner vote, while we on the WC are always talking about what a huge mistake that was. Now apply that to everything.)

MaxIrons said:
The last time I brought up the idea of actually working on Alliance 2.0 I was met more with apathy than enthusiasm, seemingly from the idea that "It'd never pass."
The fact is that it won't. It doesn't really even matter what "it" is, it won't pass. Not this time, probably not for a few symposium cycles if at all. Big changes don't gain ground. The Alliance Ritual committee got shat on. The Alliance Treasure Policy Committee got shat on. These are groups of people that the Owners trusted as the best people to come up with ways to improve their respective systems, and even their suggestions didn't pass. Most of us are just "some player," so when "trusted adviser's" suggestions don't even make it, it's pretty easy to be cynical about "some player's" suggestions.
 

Mike Ventrella

Duke
Owner
Moderator
HQ Staff
As has been said before, if you get 100 Alliance players in the room, you'll get 100 different versions of what the rules should be, with rules that some people hate being absolutely loved by just as many on the other side. You'll never please everyone. Even I don't like all the rules we have.

So no matter what, there will always be people with suggestions that they are convinced will make the game better.

It's like playing D&D -- no two dungeon masters play them the same, even though the rules in the book are there. We all want to do our own version.
 
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