What do our players really want? Let's ask them, all of them

jpariury

Duke
Re: What do our players really want? Let's ask them, all of

I think if you'll follow the analogy, you'll see that it is about voice.

There's really only one question that needs to be asked of the playerbase as a whole: where do you want to go/what kind of game do you want the Alliance game to be? All the details that go into it: the rules, the structure, permanent death, packets for the color-blind; those are all details that do one thing: provide us the means to get there. That's for the driver to figure out, or assign to people she/he wants doing those tasks. If, after a time, the driver ain't getting the job done to your satisfaction, maybe you (generic, not specific) either pick a new driver or find a different bus.
 
Re: What do our players really want? Let's ask them, all of

Designing and implementing a very broad poll on a great number of 'key' hot point details seems like a reasonable way however to try and "determine" the general direction the populace wants to go with the game.

I don't every player could condense what they want from the game into a single simple paragraph that could be sorted and cataloged as a certain type of "direction". I think a lot of well designed and pointed questions could go a long way towards 'teasing' this desire out though in a quantifiable manner.
 

RiddickDale

Squire
Moderator
Public Relations Committee
Re: What do our players really want? Let's ask them, all of

jpariury said:
I think if you'll follow the analogy, you'll see that it is about voice.

There's really only one question that needs to be asked of the playerbase as a whole: where do you want to go/what kind of game do you want the Alliance game to be? All the details that go into it: the rules, the structure, permanent death, packets for the color-blind; those are all details that do one thing: provide us the means to get there. That's for the driver to figure out, or assign to people she/he wants doing those tasks. If, after a time, the driver ain't getting the job done to your satisfaction, maybe you (generic, not specific) either pick a new driver or find a different bus.
OK. Maybe I got heavy handed there. I apologize.

To respond to that point... if I sent a blanket email to every player in the Alliance posing that question there is no way to be certain that I would be easily able to get anything definitive out of it.

I agree that you're question is relevant... but I think it is more appropriate for it to be an overlying theme... or maybe one of the single open ended questions at the end of the survey to see what sort of unscripted responses we will get.
 

Avaran

Baron
Re: What do our players really want? Let's ask them, all of

I think the questions need to be sorted into specific categories (examples below) to better organize the data and hopefully make things a bit more focused. Obviously these are example questions.

Player-related:
How long have you been playing Alliance LARP?

How many chapters have you PC'd in?

How many chapters have you NPC'd for a full weekend in?

Have you ever held a full-time staff position? If so, which? If not, why not?

What keeps you coming back (to PC or NPC)?


Character-related:
Do you have a PC character that you play on a regular basis?

What class is your main character? Adept, Artisan, Fighter, Rogue, Scholar, Scout, or Templar?

These questions relate to the PC character that you identify with as your mainly played character. If you have yet to play the character, please answer the best you can based on your experiences with the game.

How frequently does your character come across a magic item?

If applicable, how frequently does your character make magic items for other people? For your character?


Combat-related:
How many times do you think you should be hit before your PC should "go down" and need assistance?

How many times do you feel you should need to hit an NPC with your weapon before it is defeated?

If you're a caster, how many spells? Note: This is not how many times you actually need to score a hit, but how many times you think is reasonable, both from a story-telling perspective, and how powerful you feel your character should be within that story.

How long do you feel combat should last? Why?

Production-related:
How useful do you feel the production system in the game is?

How often do you find your main PC character using production items?

How much coin does your character spend, on average, on production-related items?

What item or items does your character purchase the most?

What item or items does your character make the most (if applicable)?


Rules-related:
How important are the rules to you?

How easy do you feel it is to propose a rules change or addition?

What is the process for a rules proposal or change?

What is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?


General Questions:
What is your favorite part of the game?

Where is Waldo, anyway?
 
Re: What do our players really want? Let's ask them, all of

I think a simple Yes/No, rate this 1-5 survey is a lot more likely to see answers than a "What kind of game should Alliance fundamentally be? Support your answer with evidence." essay prompt. The framework of a survey will also really cut down on the kind of all directions shenanigans (10 points!) that you expressed concern over. Having 25-30 limited, answers provided questions and 5-10 short answer prompt questions will be a lot more user friendly on both ends. Certainly give people the space to say what's on their minds, but also ask for them to provide countable, quantitative analysis that can be compiled easily to avoid the reviewers, bless them, reading half a hundred rambles/rants and then just sorting them into "whiner", "space cadet" and "legit" piles.
 

Thorador

Rogue
Re: What do our players really want? Let's ask them, all of

Ya, the questions need to be in a 1-5 format otherwise people that don't feel that passionate or don't want to think about the nitty gritty but still love the game will not answer and thus leave a much more biased response
 

RiddickDale

Squire
Moderator
Public Relations Committee
Re: What do our players really want? Let's ask them, all of

We can always set up an email account and encourage people to send us whatever additional feedback they would like electronically.
 

markusdark

Knight
Re: What do our players really want? Let's ask them, all of

To play the devil's advocate here, which I think should be my proper title on these boards, although I think that a national survey is a good idea, I also believe that it needs to be handled in a different avenue than just a filled out piece of paper after an event.

First off, emotions do run high after an event and what you consider a glaring issue at the moment because it messed up your PC's plans might be something that doesn't really matter all that much. Also, most games I attend have a 'wrap up' session where people voice what they liked, didn't like, etc. however I constantly hear, before and after the session, comments and views from players that they didn't mention at the wrap up. In addition, I know of extreme cases where players do not voice their opinions at all either afraid of hurting someone's feelings or receiving punishment for it. You may feel that is silly for the player to feel that way but I have witnessed such repercussions happen.

An online, anonymous system should be put into effect - maybe something that is linked to the login here on the national boards but still kept anonymous. The URL can be sent out to the player base at the games as well as via the various boards. A constant reminder could be here on the national boards and, who knows, might even foster a little more traffic here.

Second, I'm going to follow up on JP's comments and ask what is the purpose of this survey? So that we know how people feel about things? Okey, I can enjoy that - would LOVE to know it myself but what effect will that have on the game? Can you guarantee that the owners will allow changes to the rule set that show a 70% or greater consensus? Otherwise it is just a bunch of kicking up dirt with no real end result.

Having worked in the MMO industry, I found such surveys to give people a short term feeling of having helped to make the game a better place only to find out six months down the line that nothing came of it and it was just another example of "The masses being ignored" - but this time with numbers to back it up.
 

Mike Ventrella

Duke
Owner
Moderator
HQ Staff
Re: What do our players really want? Let's ask them, all of

aara said:
Why don't we focus on the places where we see ONLY the outright majority and not something that is statistically irrelevant? If 76% of players say they hate the mechanics of stun limb, then perhaps we need to focus on that (as an example). Sure, results will be ambiguous in some cases, but isn't it better to HAVE the data than to continue to speculate on it. It's all about the interpretation once it's collected - what needs to be learned from the players and what do we take from it.
I agree -- I am just pointing out what I have seen over the years running this game!

It's like politics. People tend to talk to people who are like them and as such they agree. "I've talked to all my friends and they all HATE the new health care plan!" they'll say, even though a majority approves of it. People are often convinced that their opinion is the majority one, and unless you have a scientific survey you'll never know if that's the case or not.

Sadly, like politics, the loudest people often dictate the conversation. If you follow politics at all (especially if you watch Fox and MSNBC) you'd think the entire nation was divided between crazy socialists and radical fascists when in fact the vast majority of Americans are in the middle. Partially it's because the fanatics are the ones who are most active in the system.

Well, here on this Board, we're the fanatics. :thumbsup: I don't think we necessarily represent the vast majority of Alliance players. Oh we may all think we do because "I've talked to all my friends and they all HATE the new ritual system" but I'm not always certain this is the case. Sometimes the vast majority just doesn't give their opinion.

I worry that a loud "majority" may give the impression that the game should do something that the actual majority would not agree with. That's all I'm saying.

So, as I said before, I'd really like to hear from players -- especially with open-ended questions that allow them to really give their opinions and tell us why they have them.

Wait, isn't that what this Board is for? :D :funny:
 

Mike Ventrella

Duke
Owner
Moderator
HQ Staff
Re: What do our players really want? Let's ask them, all of

jpariury said:
Let's pretend we all get on a bus together. We all throw in our ten cents and vote on where we want to go; let's say, Disneyworld. Now we need to pick a bus driver. We all vote for Stephen, because hey, we think he's got good map-reading skills. Hell, maybe he doesn't, but he knows a guy, Dan, who's good with it, and let's him pick out the route.

So, here we are, on our bus, and we come to a crossroads. We can go straight, we go right, we can go left. In a sane world, we'd let Stephen pick because, hell, he's the bus driver. But this is the world of Alliance. So, instead, we all take a vote. Maybe only a few of us take a vote. But either way, we vote on whether or not we turn or go straight or stop and buy coffee. And we keep trundling on. Then someone else, I dunno, David (not that one, the other one) says "Hey, wouldn't it be neat if we stopped off at South of The Border first?" and he gets a bunch of us to all go "Heck yeah!". But on the way, we find another chance to turn, and we have to take another vote. Some people think I-95 is still the way to go - it's a straight shot. But it's I-95, so you know there's going to be a lot of traffic, and hey, why not jump off at 301 south of Lumberton? Sure, it's a bit more distance, but it's all farmland and forests, and no one uses it much anyways, so we'll save time based on speed alone.

But then Sean voices an objection to driving on roads that are prime numbers, and we have to pull off on the side of the road and explain to him that it's not really a prime number (43*7=301) and now we need to change the tires. But we can't just change the tires. We have to vote first. A - do we want the tires changed?, B - what brand of tires do we want to buy? , C - are they made out of the right color of cloth?, and D - shouldn't we define what exactly we mean by "tire"? So, eventually, we get tires, but realize that people just aren't making the ones we used before anymore, so now we have to travel in a Winnebago. But Scott doesn't like Winnebagos. They're big, they're ugly, and he once sat in a seat in a Winnebago and it poked him right between T11 and T12, and he swore off Winnebagos for the rest of his life. "Hell, now we're switching to a Winnebago just because we need new tires?!?" he says.

Meanwhile, I'm in the back of the bus with my mouse ears on, watching The Little Mermaid for the ninetieth time.

I'm all for voting on whether we want to go to Disneyworld, Islands of Adventure, or South Beach, but once we know, can we just give Stephen the keys and trust that he'll get us there? If it takes longer than five days, screw it, we can get a new driver then.
Perfect analogy. I guess that what was I was trying to get at.

Sometimes democracy doesn't work -- it's a great way for people to give their opinions, but (especially in a business or an organization like ours) maybe we should trust our drivers. Sure, tell the driver what you think but there should really only be one driver.
 

RiddickDale

Squire
Moderator
Public Relations Committee
Re: What do our players really want? Let's ask them, all of

We don't even know what questions we're asking.

Why are we worried about the results already?

So far the project owner (Gary) has made 1 post. He asked, in said post, for suggestions about what sort of things we should be asking players to get a better feel for the opinions of the player base as a whole.

If the overwhelming concern is that people will feel ignored after we get the survey... maybe we should just take that into consideration when building it? aybe we should only ask questions that we are prepared to "answer?"

Regardless... the message boards are a BAD place to gather the opinions of the game as a whole because this is a bad sample. The message boards are the VERY vocal majority. We need to hear from the people who don't come to the boards as well.
 

Michiko

Adept
Re: What do our players really want? Let's ask them, all of

This thread is hilarious. If I lose my job I will totally blame this thread.

Anyway, clearly people have opinions (even JP! If anyone believes he'd be watching The Little Mermaid on that bus I have a larp site to sell them! And what the heck? That's a lot of dudes making decisions which is your problem in the first place! j/k!!).

What's wrong with finding out what those opinions are? Especially for issues where people think "Yeah, this overhaul would probably be good for the game, but I just don't think the players would go for it." Well what if a good number of the players are thinking "Yeah, this probably needs to happen but I'm certainly not going to suggest they take my toys away." It's like love. You won't know if that person is into you unless you ask (since we're making outrageous analogies ;)).
 

markusdark

Knight
Re: What do our players really want? Let's ask them, all of

RiddickDale said:
We don't even know what questions we're asking.

Why are we worried about the results already?
Because without a knowledge of what will be done with the results, you can't ask the proper questions.

If this is meant to be a survey that has no intrinsic power and is just to gather information and hear opinions, then distribution isn't an issue as lost or unheard answers aren't necessary to gather the information - there will always be a margin.

If this is meant to steer the development of the game though, a more rigid system needs to be put into place and more directed questions need to be created so that more, proper decisions can be made and that the integrity of the data collected can be maintained.

This is directed at no one in particular but needs to be spelled out clearer about my concerns. Owner A receives in his mass of filled out surveys quite a few that are strongly against the way he feels the game should be run. What check or balances will be in place to stop said surveys from accidentally finding their way into a shredder and/or causing the plots involving those players who filled out the survey to suddenly dry up? And if it is still up to the owners at the end of the day, what more strength will such a survey have over their own, personal encounters with their players at the events?

You can tell us to trust in the owners but if I'm not mistaken, two chapters of Alliance had been closed down in the last year because said Owners couldn't be trusted to run a proper chapter.

I suggested the internet, not the boards. There are many free survey sites out there. There could be the requirement of each survey to have in it the username on these boards and a verification key that can confirm the identity of the person. That would require every player to have an account on these boards but I don't think that that is a bad thing.
 

aara

Scholar
Re: What do our players really want? Let's ask them, all of

RiddickDale said:
Why are we worried about the results already?
Isn't that the point? Doing a survey implies that we want some sort of result. We have to figure out what result we want before we can formulate a survey. Are we targeting certain player groups? Is this a survey handed out at events? Are we sending post cards to a randomly selected group from the DB? Do we want to know what responses are for macro issues or for micro issues?

What is the scope of the results we are chasing - that's really the primary goal of collecting the data. I agree that we shouldn't stress about who will like what or whether or not JP knows all the words to "Under the Sea", but we should have a general direction of where we hope to go with this. Personally, I LOVE this idea - I'm always a fan of more statistical analysis of the game and treating it like a business in the background.

I'm not attempting to be contrary or argumentative, I'm just genuinely curious about what we hope to achieve. This could be an awesome tool to get real answers about a great many things from the player base (and even the former player base) I just want to see it used wisely.

Personally, I'm totally in favor of offering a free event blanket to any player returning after (insert arbitrary number here) that completes a survey about why they left/returned before the event... I like surveys :) :thumbsup:
 

RiddickDale

Squire
Moderator
Public Relations Committee
Re: What do our players really want? Let's ask them, all of

That's all well and good.

But, this project is less than a day old.

Whether or not the survey should be done on paper or via the web is something we can figure out once we get an idea what we are talking about no?

As I said prior. We have one post from the project owner. How about we stop "expressing concerns" and start making proactive, solution oriented suggestions?

"I'm concerned about the security of the answers. Can we use an online service to conserve the integrity of the answers?"

"I don't want to give players a false impression of what this is all about. Can we make sure that we KNOW what this is all about and clearly state it before we move forward?"

While we're at it those of us who are excited about the ide should talk about what we'd like to find out.
 

Mike Ventrella

Duke
Owner
Moderator
HQ Staff
Re: What do our players really want? Let's ask them, all of

markusdark said:
You can tell us to trust in the owners but if I'm not mistaken, two chapters of Alliance had been closed down in the last year because said Owners couldn't be trusted to run a proper chapter.
No, only one. The other one shut down when the Owner moved away and we couldn't find a suitable replacement.
 

Inaryn

Knight
Re: What do our players really want? Let's ask them, all of

I would happily collect paper surveys to send in for my chapter if paper were the decided way to go.

I'd love to see some questions on class balance, particularly in the direction of celestial and earth and the 'class within a class' aspect scholars seem to have to deal with.
 

aara

Scholar
Re: What do our players really want? Let's ask them, all of

RiddickDale said:
As I said prior. We have one post from the project owner. How about we stop "expressing concerns" and start making proactive, solution oriented suggestions?
I thought that's what I was doing?
 

Avaran

Baron
Re: What do our players really want? Let's ask them, all of

Which do you find more fun/compelling?

Swinging for 1 Normal and fighting something with 3 body OR swinging for 10 Normal and fighting something with 30 body?
 
Re: What do our players really want? Let's ask them, all of

First off a big shout out to the original poster! I am happy to see someone trying to get MANY more people involved in the conversation. Mr. Marvel I would be happy to help in this endeavor. Please reach out as needed.

Questions I would want to know answers to-

What is your ideal PC/NPC ratio?

How important is PC/NPC ratio to your enjoyment of a game?

At an average event what percentage of your entertainment/involvement is due to the actions of staff as opposed to the actions of yourself or other PCs?
What precentage would you like it to be?

How effective do you think our ruleset is at providing an appropriate and enjoyable structure for our game?
How effective do you think our ruleset is at providing appropriate challenge and entertainment given the level range at our current game?

Rank the following in order from most important to least important reasons you make Alliance a LARP destination-

Ruleset, Plot, Ability to Play Multiple Chapters, It is the game that your friends play, Price (I'm sure we can think of others/better names for the categories)


I will add more later. I think this is a GREAT idea.
 
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