A review of clok.

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A review of clok.

Postby blindndangerous » Mon Sep 21, 2015 7:08 pm

Thought you guys might want to see this. I kind of agree with it, and a lot of it has to do with the small playerbase.
http://www.mudconnect.com/cgi-bin/prev/review.cgi?rid=38425
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Re: A review of clok.

Postby ydia » Mon Sep 21, 2015 7:17 pm

I totally agree with this review as a new player, and I think players should rp the toughness out and only bring gms in when necessary.
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Re: A review of clok.

Postby blindndangerous » Mon Sep 21, 2015 7:31 pm

One other thing I saw was that what you have is great for a mud that has hundreds of players, but not for this size.
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Re: A review of clok.

Postby Kunren » Mon Sep 21, 2015 8:30 pm

While missing out on several aspects In some cases(most notably the GM portion, from MUDs I've played before clok GMs are far, far more active in the playerbase) the review does make some good points. A larger playerbase would fill in the gaps created by certain mechanics at times, and yes the game can be quite harsh in both combat and survival (personally love that though, honestly). Another point the review made that I feel hits home slightly is the portion where its stated that many players will simply nod then continue off on their grinding business. I try to avoid doing that whenever possible but I can think of one or two circumstances where I was guilty of it. Hopefully we can as a playerbase try to fight that trend, I've seen many people do such already and love that fact. The difficulties with getting into some guilds are certainly there as well, for many of the reasons stated. Would a larger playerbase help with that problem? I'm not certain, but I feel it is the easiest method to ease the strain on a portion of clok that I personally have a love/hate relationship with.
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Re: A review of clok.

Postby artus » Mon Sep 21, 2015 8:42 pm

Hmm, a review would be awesome, and more player-based action would be awesome too. I admist I'm the one who's sick of having to wait for gms for some rp situation, rather than doing it or have some pcs do it. And I totally agree of the fact about pcs and npcs you all mentioned. it can make things easier.
A little more suggestion : What about...a little more explaination about rp? i don't think some new players get it, and it's still the reason why they leave.

Ps. Is there any kind hand around? Fix my ridinopted g please! lol a little off topic.
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Re: A review of clok.

Postby blindndangerous » Tue Sep 22, 2015 12:56 am

Fix your what?
In response to what is RP, what more could be suggested? I'm a little lost on that point. Clok's not one to hold your hand. As for situations, I guess I can't speak on that since I haven't been around for a while, but I've seen a few times where PC's have started things, but it's mainly NPC's controlled by GM's that start things. I've also seen the opposite on a different mud where hardly any host interaction was done, but PC's did a lot of their own things with their guild members, or, with others in the mud just by using the tools that the hosts had coded. This mud also had on average about 130 to 150 players on at any given time of day so take from that what you will.
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Re: A review of clok.

Postby Jirato » Tue Sep 22, 2015 3:34 am

First, yea, I'm aware of the pains with gaining access to certain guilds. While I think having player or GM interaction required to join them was a good idea, with our limitedtime and resource, I think this can probably be changed on a few guilds. Namely, the Brotherhood of the Fist and the two Tse Gaiyan guilds.

Certain other guilds are likely not going to change, such as Thieves or Lorekeepers. One other guild, the Claw, actually WAS an open guild until a player character outed the Bronze Blade's secret location. Who knows, maybe there will be another assassin den hidden somewhere else in the future, or maybe there already is one.

Now, there is a bit of misinformation in that review. I don't want to be all defenseive at the first sign of negativity, but the misinformation presented in there is kind of frustrating.

The reviewer makes it sound like you have to have three Thieves or Rooks online at the same time, which is totally not the case. These nominations persist until you join the guild. We fully expect it to take days, or even weeks, to find the required nominations. But guess what? Several of the more notable/trusted players in those guilds have the ability to initiate someone with only their single nomination.

Guilds aren't necessary. Moreso now than ever with the introduction of ability generalization. I'd like to think there is plenty to do in CLOK as a guildless player.

He then goes to talk about the "rogue" guild, which I assume he means Thieves, as the only group with access to lockpicking and uses it as an example of why joining a guild is a necessity. First, the Utasa can open locks as well. Second, this statement has a really "lone-wolf" vibe to it. "I need to play a thief because I need to open my own boxes." I see other players opening boxes as a service all the time. All you have to do is ask on ESP. This will be even more apparent once we open the Utasa guild back to standard initiations.

Not to mention that the contents of those boxes is fairly minimal. They are a completely optional portion of the game....
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Re: A review of clok.

Postby Dorn » Tue Sep 22, 2015 4:49 am

Yeah, while there are some things that I can agree with there is a lot of misinformation.

As a lone wolf player myself, especially the part about death. "Theft from corpses isn't uncommon and you're often stuck waiting for someone to drag your corpse to a guild capable of resurrecting you." Somewhat true, but represented without the full facts. Departing is an option and one I have to use heavily (Can't wait for the IC method to be put in) and if you're walking around loaded full of riln you're IMO "not doing it right" and asking for a lot of trouble anyway.

The Guilds, I rather like how some are open, and some aren't. Guilding has never been necessary, and it sounds like I should apologize about the Claws... as I had no idea... but even before Generalization it wasn't needed. Now, you can be perfectly content and powerful without ever touching a single guild ability even if you are part of one. I'll agree I'm not a fan of having "secret" guilds as in, people not even aware of their existence until far into playing the game which they do point out. I can imagine that being frustrating for someone who sees a Guild they think will fit their character, joins it, and finds a Guild a month down the line that would fit their RP even better. That could be frustrating.

In terms of finding RP, Clok does have its flaws due to size of the world and the population but unlike them I do find that the ESP is really rather neat. Town channels are also neat. They tend to be a great way to get involved, and I think a lot of people have trouble getting over throwing themselves out there like that.

The bit about GM interaction, it sounds like they're not very well aware of how to use the various things that are available to players. NPC Mail, and even just writing up a brief email of what your character has been getting up to and sending it out could possibly have aided with a few of their issues. Not always the immediate response that people want, but GMs can't be around all the time.

As for their issues with Artisans, well a lot of things about the Artisans irritate the heck out of me so while I don't 100% agree I can see where they're coming from.

It also sounds like this person is very used to zoned games, like a MMO world, instead of an old school one. I rather like it about Clok.

I will agree with the fact that some commands be clunky, but I somewhat feel that is simply because you can do so much in Clok that streamlining all these different ones would be a horrifying process.
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Re: A review of clok.

Postby Kunren » Tue Sep 22, 2015 4:56 am

artus wrote:Hmm, a review would be awesome, and more player-based action would be awesome too. I admist I'm the one who's sick of having to wait for gms for some rp situation, rather than doing it or have some pcs do it. And I totally agree of the fact about pcs and npcs you all mentioned. it can make things easier.
A little more suggestion : What about...a little more explaination about rp? i don't think some new players get it, and it's still the reason why they leave.

Ps. Is there any kind hand around? Fix my ridinopted g please! lol a little off topic.

I have a suggestion that may fix this. In a few MUDs I have played before, a backstory on a character was a requirement before the character could be activated. While an annoyance in that it means that players cannot instantly play as soon as a character is made, it does give you a stronger attachment to that particular character and a great base of operations to begin your RP from. To help with this, I would also suggest a backstory corner. Something that I've personally had a bit of confusion with even as a generally knowledgable player is how growing up in the lands is. This backstory corner would allow direct questions that would help with backstories (what would someone growing up in mistral generally know? Do they have an education system to teach numbers or reading? As its on a lake, do most families have a fishing background? Ect) While the majority of such questions might need GM answers, players would likely be able to answer a large chunk themselves. These required backstories would either need to be approved by GMs, or particularly Lore savvy players chosen by GMs for such.
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Re: A review of clok.

Postby preiman » Tue Sep 22, 2015 8:41 am

I wasn't going to jump in here, because I've mostly been trying to stay out of things here for a bit, but The review bothered me, not because the person didn't like the game, bad reviews are part of doing anything creative, but because a lot of what they said misrepresented what CLOK is on a sight where we get a lot of our new players. I'm going to probably post my own review soon, both there and a plug over on my blog, I urge all of you to do the same, not to counter that person's opinion so to speak, but to make sure there are enough other ones out there that a new player has a bunch of viewpoints to consider.
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Re: A review of clok.

Postby blindndangerous » Tue Sep 22, 2015 9:27 am

I like that idea, will help out. Also voting of course, pull us back in line with the Iron Realms games.
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Re: A review of clok.

Postby merin » Tue Sep 22, 2015 9:36 am

I can agree heavily with the whole grinding part. While I think that Clok is grindy by nature, I feel sometimes in order to get quite good at things, you must, in fact, put in a bunch of time doing it. I do believe that makes RP suffer.

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Re: A review of clok.

Postby Xanthe » Tue Sep 22, 2015 11:05 am

I've been in a lot of different Muds/etc. Each one has its ups, and downs.

Yes, smaller player base can be a down- but also an up. You can have a stronger community in a smaller one, with closer knit players. Bigger ones can look more 'active' but without people willing to RP, you've basically got a bashing mud.


I love that Clok is eccentric, having its own look and feel to it. Yes, getting into guilds is a pain- but there's reason to it. Ever tried giving a kid something rather than getting them to make it? The more time someone invests into something, the more value it has. The bought object doesn't have the same value- usually, as the thing they invested time in.(Thus, the idea that someone isn't going to drop a guild and whine about needing another immediately). Yes, there are issues that need fixing. But nowhere is perfect.

I love that the GM's interact with us and talk to us. I'm guessing there are a lot of highs and lows running a game. Highs- seeing people interact with something they've built, getting surprised by what players do. Lows.. sometimes we, as players, forget how much time and effort that's invested in things and sometimes- we gripe a little more than we mean to. The fact they still calmly talk to us (Most places I've been to, they do rarely.. or don't at all because of griping) Is special to me.

The fact that we, as players, help shape the world around us by our interactions, is special.

I'll probably write a review down the road, but I'm happy just to be here right now. Just my opinion. Take it or leave it.

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Re: A review of clok.

Postby Dorn » Wed Sep 23, 2015 2:42 am

Question time. I think we can all admit, there can be a lot of grind in Clok. There doesn't have to be admittedly, there are some characters who never really skill anything at all, but the majority of us to try and level our abilities.

Without taking the actual open nature of many skills, and the difficulty that some of them have to level up... what could we, both as players, and in terms of game design, be done to change that without totally ripping up the nature of Clok while trying to get away from the fact a lot of people seem to experience this "Nod and move on" which makes them think this is how the entire mud is like.
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Re: A review of clok.

Postby blindndangerous » Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:30 am

I've thought about this myself, but like you said, if you don't grind, you're kind of useless.
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Re: A review of clok.

Postby Lysse » Wed Sep 23, 2015 10:52 am

You're only as useless as the average player.

The issue is people, generally, see a (for all intents and purposes) limitless skill cap and rather than allow their skills to settle at levels that are realistic and make sense, they grind them up to unbelievable levels. With generally the reasoning of "my PC would do it, to get stronger". This is something that makes the power creep on Clok kind of a terror to deal with, and ends up leaving people feeling like they can't compete as long as these year, and two year, and three plus year old characters that have been grinding regularly been around.

Ultimately, I think that's why the RP community on Clok kind of suffers. There's zero incentive for most people to actually roleplay, except for RPAs. And RPAs further promote grinding.

I'm not sure there IS a way to fix it, without a complete overhaul of the way skills are handled on Clok. But it's something to take into consideration.


That being said, I think this review is largely overly negative, and casts unfair lights on a lot of the aspects of Clok. But I do think that there's some merit in the frustration regarding GM interaction, even if that person didn't actually take the proper routes and channels to contact the GMs.
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Re: A review of clok.

Postby Dorn » Wed Sep 23, 2015 11:10 am

Lysse wrote:Ultimately, I think that's why the RP community on Clok kind of suffers. There's zero incentive for most people to actually roleplay, except for RPAs. And RPAs further promote grinding.


I've often thought an easy way to "fix" the RPAs just promoting further grinding, would be to simply turn them into a number of points a player could then assign to skills of their choice. I don't know whether that would promote more people to focus more on the RP aspect or not, but it would stop RPAs promoting further grinding.
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Re: A review of clok.

Postby Rias » Wed Sep 23, 2015 11:22 am

I would love to have a MUD sometime that doesn't involve a skill grind, but that's a big part of what CLOK is, and always has been. If we say "I don't want the grind" we're pretty much saying "I don't want CLOK to be what it started out as and has been for years (and let's screw over all the people who put the time/effort in over all those years by making it not matter anymore)." It'd kind of be a new, different game. I also know that we would lose a lot of people if there was no lasting sense of progression. If we make the grind go away, or accelerate it significantly so that people quickly run out of things to grind for that sense of progression, we're still going to lose people.

I get that that not everyone here is saying "get rid of the grind", but I know some people do wish that there was no grind, and I think it'd be such a severe change to CLOK that it's not overly likely. So what are some ways the progression process could be made to be more fun, more interesting, or at least more bearable? Is it wrong that some things are intentionally more difficult to get good at, in order to discourage the "not really important to my character concept but why not" issue?
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Re: A review of clok.

Postby Aranon » Wed Sep 23, 2015 11:31 am

One simple idea might be along lines of General Abilities. We can also have 'General Skills' upon creating a character. This would give a starting character a choice of a few skills to automatically raise to 100 to match their preferred background. This would in no way invalidate the players who have spent a long time raising their skills and it would allow some of our new players (or alts) to skip some of the beginning content if they choose to use those points towards combat.
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Re: A review of clok.

Postby Rias » Wed Sep 23, 2015 11:36 am

Some "starting skill packages" and stuff like that have been discussed at various points in the past, and I've always liked the idea personally. I think this would exacerbate excessive alt-making, though, so I would hope there was some kind of standardized limitation on alts, first.
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Re: A review of clok.

Postby blindndangerous » Wed Sep 23, 2015 10:38 pm

That's why I can't wait until this account system is put into place.
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Re: A review of clok.

Postby Fayne » Thu Sep 24, 2015 10:07 am

I honestly hate grinding and like RP a lot more, but at the same time we need grinding for the times when we don't have anything to RP, or to even encourage RP at times. I don't know how to fix the problem though, unfortunately. I do think what Lysse said plays a major factor in it. There are so many uber-strong mobs out there, most events involve mobs with no less than 500 or 600 attack/defense rolls, and so many players have skills that are well above 600, that there is more incentive to grind than to RP. If you choose to focus your character on RP instead of grinding, you soon realize you're always going to be prey to everything. And if you aren't capable of playing all day almost every day? Well, you better have a character that is already well established, or hate RP, because that's the only way your skills are going to be worth anything, unless you're okay with it taking months and months for your skills to become mediocre.

There's just so little incentive to RP in this RP-enforced game that it's no wonder newbies often feel frustrated when trying to find it.

CLOK is a good game, and the review is certainly off on a few things. But at the same time, CLOK's nature makes it so nearly anyone could write a similar review of it. CLOK has a lot of things for all types of people; we have lots of RP and events for people who love RP, and we have tons of grinding for people who love hack-and-slash, but we have such an odd combination of the two that everyone is going to hate something about the game.

I think the only "fix" to grinding is to eliminate it and make the game mostly RP-exclusive, or reduce the tedium of it in such a way that the people who do grind a lot will quickly become OP and bored. But lile Rias said, that's drastically changing what CLOK is at its core, and we would lose many players that way.

Perhaps a real fix would be a way to earn skillgains through RP, not just RPAs that boost skillgain while grinding. If it were done right, it would give those who like to focus more on RP a way to keep pace with those who grind all the time without making those players feel cheated for working for all their skills.
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Re: A review of clok.

Postby ydia » Thu Sep 24, 2015 3:31 pm

I think at this point my biggest frustration is hearing it could take months to get into a guild, or close to a year. That is far to long, a few months I could get, but more than that is pretty bad.
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Re: A review of clok.

Postby Dorn » Thu Sep 24, 2015 3:33 pm

ydia wrote:I think at this point my biggest frustration is hearing it could take months to get into a guild, or close to a year. That is far to long, a few months I could get, but more than that is pretty bad.


Jeez. What guild are you hearing a year on? I'm not sure even the most secret of secret guilds would take a year.
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Re: A review of clok.

Postby Rias » Thu Sep 24, 2015 3:59 pm

Disclaimer: I am not the guru of the guild in question, and stand to be corrected by Jirato on the below.

The guild you're thinking about (the Monastic Order) requires some time to observe your character, and also requires your character to be proactive in finding ways to show they have the qualities required to be in it (encouraging note: from what I've heard, it sounds like you're already working on that, so kudos!). Therefore, the more active and dedicated you are, the faster it will happen - conversely, if you're not very active or only really log in to check your mail or say "by the way, I'm still waiting to be let into the guild" and otherwise just passively hope to be let in soon, the situation will not progress at all and time will pass indefinitely until effort is made. So it's less a straight up wait time, and more a requirement that you spend time putting effort into proving your character has the qualities and dedication the Order is looking for.
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