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Post by Elystole » Sat Jan 16, 2016 10:15 pm

I'd like to have a serious conversation with people, and I'd like to remind folks that I just came back and haven't actually done anything yet so this isn't directed at anyone in particular. Nor is it in response to current events since I only have a vague idea of what is going on. Rather, I'd like to possibly avoid a blowout/burnout/whatever by talking about things before SHTF.

CLOK is weird. It's weird because it is a conflict-driven MUD but we all play cooperatively. If we play straight conflict and just pound people into the dirt then they stop playing and we have nothing to do, but if we're all best friends and cooperate with one another all the time then there's also nothing to do. We're left trying to find a balance.

Towards that end, I'd like to ask everyone (especially the people involved in various conflicts): What are your expectations?

What do you expect when you log into CLOK? We could be playing entirely different games based on what we expect.
What do you expect from your other players as the sort of unspoken rules of the game? We probably have different ideas on the "rules" based on our backgrounds.
What do you expect in terms of character development? It sucks when you are trying to get your character one way but you feel stonewalled by every around you.
How do you expect people to react to your RP? Just as an example: If you murder someone and you're expecting an epic redemption arc, a chance to have some really dramatic RP where your character falls and gets to pull themselves back up, but I see that as a signal that you're playing a villain and am expecting you to enter nemesis status then we are both going to have a really bad time.

Please note: This isn't an opportunity to say, "You're playing the game wrong." The only people who get to say that are the GMs. Instead, things that have been strange or tense will hopefully make more sense if we know what people's expectations are, and once we know those we might even be able to agree on what the "unspoken" rules of the game are so that we all have more fun.

I'm not trying to stir things up, though I worry that'll happen. Rather, to use a tabletop idea, see this as the opportunity to talk to the other party members and say, "What kind of game are we hoping to play?" (I'm sure everyone who has played tabletop has experienced what happens when That Guy is just out of sync with everyone else) Or see it as the opportunity to take the DM aside and say, "So I want to try this really crazy/awesome/exciting/dramatic thing with my character. What do you think?"

Because CLOK is also weird in that, though we aren't GMs and don't have any behind-the-scenes powers, we both play and make the story for the other players around us.
You overhear the following rumor:
"I saw one of those Shadgard folk come barging into Grif's and shoot one of the patrons on the spot. Shadgard must be a pretty rough place with such outlaws running rampant."

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Re: Expectations

Post by Dakhal » Sat Jan 16, 2016 10:58 pm

I'm playing purely because being a villain is fun. This isn't to say that I don't play other characters that are good, but they for the most part have been of some negative spectrum in their own ways, with the exception of one that I very rarely play. I take a lot of my enjoyment in setting something out there, and seeing a reaction to it; it just so happens that people respond very extremely to something BAD. Of course, that has it's ramifications in the form of "Ow my body", or "We don't like you".. but that's not really a big deal at the end of the day.

What I don't like is blatant metagame, such as when people read off my character's name as though he has a name badge on. Which has indeed happened, as I've had a character that mine has never came across quite blatantly declare my name over the ESP. Of course, there are a few ways that they may have known.. but the general mannerisms of all of it lead me to believe it was just someone who didn't fully understand RP settings.

I personally feel that the truest form of cruelty on Clok isn't in the form of someone being a villain to you, and murderizing your face.. but for someone to steal items that are precious to you. Ones that can be replaced, certainly, but I mean those ones that are very important to you. Of course, this is to tell the thieves to go bugger off, and that's not really an answer to things. Which is why I will take the time to remind people to register items they love. (I have never done this, because I'm an idiot.)

I have thus far avoided a lot of the questions, so to make a point:

What I expect when I log into Clok: I have none. I have hopes, of which are mostly "has anything come of this".
What do I expect of my other players regarding unspoken rules: There's a manner of badgering that each person can handle. Our playerbase is pretty sensible, so if you start to be quite seriously bothered.. you're not hurting anybody but yourself by not shooting them a tell to let them know how you feel. I have fallen to this before, so I speak from experience.
What do I expect in terms of character development: This is very open-ended, a lot of my RP is self-progressing as I don't have a large number of people to do it with. Being a villain and all.
How do I expect people to react: I would say that I'd expect them to react as any normal human would, given the actions that my character has done (although not all are known), as what is known isn't nice. Of course, this isn't to say they shouldn't play their cards in a manner that would spare themselves some pain, so long as it lives up to their character. Play dumb, play nice. Do whatever, so long as it fits.

I have absolutely zero intentions to, as a player, have a character that is villainous and suddenly make a 180 and walk towards "Good". It doesn't feel fair to my hard work and effort, nor to those who look to my conflict for things to do.
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Re: Expectations

Post by sona » Sat Jan 16, 2016 11:32 pm

It's a pretty complex topic, RP. So I'll break down my own feelings into a few different areas.

1) CVC Conflict:
a) There's lots of RP, significant back and forth antagonism, but probably not much, if any PK: This can be pretty fun and rewarding, but also pretty rare. It can be seen as an opportunity to engage in RP, show superiority, inferiority, or equality in power to another - which can also be a dickish move. Sort of am "Im codedly better than you, neener, neener."
b) Little RP, straight up PK 24/7: I feel like most PK falls into this. Not all, certainly, but a good deal. This is what I call a "You're doing something my character doesn't like! Im going to kill you!" In games, even RP games, we don't put a lot of seriousness into PK, CVC activity, unless we understand there's a significant chance of permadeath. Because OOCly, you're in the mindset of "they'll just respawn, it's all good." you never think, "Holy crap! I just removed <Char> from the -game-? That sucks, I really liked <Char> and I didn't even give them a chance to opt out of this."

RP routes in general:
We are, for the most part left to RP with other characters,with relatively little NPC interaction, and while I think this is a shame - I do believe NPCs add huge depth and matter to a game world. I also understand the resources to handle these things, are rather slim at the moment and may be for awhile. So it's unrealistic to expect a ton of quick followup and RP with various game NPCs. The downside to this is that in terms of many major things (Guilds, outposts, hamlets, etc) executive power isn't held by players, either as a group or individual, which can, again in my own opinion lead to a sense of superficiality in RP. Actions have minor, not long-reaching consequence, the game world is more static than dynamic, all impact will be shared with, or felt amongst the players you RP/CVC/Co-op with.

Disclaimer: I really am not a fan of CVC for my feelings above, but also because it's super frustrating- which is ok from time to time, but it also leaves me, personally, feeling pigeonholed to either 1) accept it, or 2) get better than/group with/grief my antagonists, because tit for tat. What are our other options left available to us other than killing them in return.

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Re: Expectations

Post by Elystole » Sun Jan 17, 2016 1:22 am

I certainly haven't synced with a lot of people, so I'll post too. And while there isn't anyone in particular that prompted me to start this thread, I have heard that "Team Evil" has been doing cool stuff lately and the sudden return of a few good guys and especially Elystole, with his brand of rabid vengeance, could put a stop to that. I'd like to avoid that because there's some good RP potential there hence this discussion.

So I've been RPing online in some form for... fifteen years give or take. I forget exactly. And I have always played on PvP/CvC games/servers because, in my mind, you can't have true RP without that possibility. That's not to say that you can't have RP without CvC but that without the possibility for CvC the RP is shallow since a whole realm of possible consequences to actions has been eliminated. That's probably my biggest thing: I'm severe on IC Actions = IC Consequences.

But for me that's the fun of RP: We do stuff, it has unexpected consequences, and we play with those consequences. I mean, one of the biggest complaints I hear about some big RPGs is that nothing you do ever really matters. It's why I've stopped playing other games. The crazy stuff that happens when we try things is what makes games memorable.

I've also been playing CvC for so long that it doesn't really upset me. Yeah, it can be upsetting when something bad happens, but you shake it off, maybe take a little break, and jump right back to it. I mean, CLOK has one of the most forgiving death penalties that I've ever seen. Our stuff doesn't even suffer damage when we die. Most of the time we don't even lose experience or riln. So when people get really upset that they've been killed... It just doesn't click with me. Especially since the people that Elystole kills did something to deserve it so it's not like it was a surprise ganking.

On the flip side, I take killing NPCs super seriously because they don't come back and I see it as you damaging the game. And there are a few examples of exactly that where someone murdered an NPC for some reason and the game lost something that never came back: trainers, shops, locations, personalities, RP opportunities, etc. I'll be honest: At that point I don't want you to play the game anymore because you're breaking it. We're trying to build something really cool, and you're knocking it down for some reason.

And for some reason I really emphasize with these fictional people. I played a mage on another MUD that refused to use one of his most powerful spells, Charm Person, because it essentially enslaved NPCs and forced them to fight for him. One of the first things I discovered when I came back is that someone murdered the sweet old man in Nelra and probably for no reason. Now there's this heartbroken young girl sitting there angry at an unjust world and Elystole has a new name that needs to be added to The List.

When I play CLOK, I'm looking to unwind for a couple of hours. I'm working 40 hours a week and taking 12 credits, and I came back because I found I still needed an hour or two every night to just decompress. As such, I'm really jealous of my time and get frustrated when it is wasted. Inefficient training kills me. So does running around in circles for hours.

When it comes to other players... I actually like it when we have some sort of code of conduct that we abide by in our conflicts with one another. When I play villains on other games, I err on the side of giving people an out because I know that I can really wreck their day. Now that I'm playing a vigilante, I'd like to figure out what are rules are going to be for interacting with one another. Believe it or not, always being on-call and feeling like if I don't hunt this ne'er-do-well down then no one will is stressful. If you kill someone and I hunt you down and kill you, are we square or are you mad? What if you do it again? If our two characters hate each other's guts but we don't want to be trying to kill each other 24/7, do we just stay away from each other?

As far as character development... Man, I have no idea. This is not at all what I expected when I made Elystole. "CLOK is a text-based MUD based in an original fantasy world where magical and clockwork technologies are becoming developed." I saw "clockwork technologies" and thought I'd have the opportunity to make a steampunk mad scientist. Surprise! I probably would have quit then and there but some people had been super nice when I showed up so I stuck it out. A few chance encounters made this grim, grizzled vigilante step out from where my eccentric tinkerer was going to be and I've just been along for the ride. Eventually, I think I want Elystole to be that guy that you don't call unless you want everything dead or on fire so you don't call him often, but the fact that he's an option is enough to make some unsavory sorts steer clear of Shadgard. And I really want to know what is going on with him, Verungnr, Aranas, and Undm. Why is he Undying? What is his final fate? What do those three have to do with it? I don't know the answers.

As far as other people's reactions? For now I'll just say that I expect people who do Bad Things to know that means there will be other people who want to do Bad Things to them in turn. And that "good" doesn't mean "nice."
You overhear the following rumor:
"I saw one of those Shadgard folk come barging into Grif's and shoot one of the patrons on the spot. Shadgard must be a pretty rough place with such outlaws running rampant."

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Re: Expectations

Post by Elystole » Sun Jan 17, 2016 1:23 am

I had included a few examples of past RP in my previous post to try and illuminate how I see things concerning ICA = ICC, but that post is already really long. So if you're not interested in shenanigans, you can safely skip this post.

On one of my past MUDs I played the only vampire character. I was kill-on-sight game-wide and had to be sneaky as hell, and since I was new I was super-squishy while the good guys were established characters. But I had to feed or the god of secrets who sponsored me would do terrible, terrible things to me, so I was always eventually outed and lynched. Then I would spend one to three weeks in time-out while my disembodied spirit searched the world for my body and put it back together. Then I'd be wake up, go be evil, and eventually get ganked again. One time I spent a week in the Void after being chased down by the mob before the GMs asked me to log in and incarnate. I did just to find that I was tied up and on a pyre surrounded by good guys holding torches. They said some mean things, I laughed and told them that nothing they did could ever bring back the people that I killed, they lit me on fire, and I RPed being burned alive before spending another three weeks in the Void because they scattered my ashes in the sea.

It's not all bad though. Sometimes ICA = ICC means that ridiculous gambit pays off.

When I DMed a tabletop campaign, I ran a random encounter where a group of gryphons attacked this group of NPC miners returning to town. The party drove the gryphons off and then the paladin lassoed one around the ankle and held on while they flew away. Back at town, everyone's all, "That was pretty awesome. But that dude is dead." Then he flies in the next day on his tamed gryphon since he had made his Handle Animal checks. Saves the day, impresses the local miner girl that he likes, and retires there to establish a group of gryphon knights. Good times.

But in that same campaign, the warlock decided he was going to win the trust of the hag coven he was communicating with through a sacrificial knife the party stole from some cultists. They told him to murder the captain of the guard. He flew in through the captain's bedroom window, immolated him in black flames, then flew out of the window laughing maniacally while the captain's wife screamed in terror. The next day the party walks into the office of the Archmagess that they've been working for. And it went down like this.

Me: "You walk into the office and Kallista is sitting behind her desk looking like she's been expecting you. Time Stop."
Party: "Uh...."
Me (to the warlock): "Roll a Fort save." He rolls and fails the save. "You're dead."
Me (to the rest of the party): "Time Stop over. On moment, Kallista is sitting at her desk. The next, she's standing behind her desk looking extremely pissed off and there's a pile of ash where the warlock used to be."
Warlock: "Dude! What the hell?"
Me: "You murdered a high-profile NPC with your signature move, laughed maniacally at the witness, then flew away. When the captain's grief-stricken wife stopped screaming, she told the guards what happened. They said, 'Hell no. That's magic.' They reported it to the mages who passed it up the chain. That report landed on Kallista's desk, whom you've been reporting to directly so that she can keep an eye on you guys, and she recognized the description of the only black fire user in the entire city. So when you walked into her office this morning, the Wizard 20 / Archmage 10 who answers to no one killed you."

So that's how I roll. Great things can happen but the risks of really bad things happening are there too.
You overhear the following rumor:
"I saw one of those Shadgard folk come barging into Grif's and shoot one of the patrons on the spot. Shadgard must be a pretty rough place with such outlaws running rampant."

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Re: Expectations

Post by Dorn » Sun Jan 17, 2016 1:48 am

What do I expect when I log into Clok?

Nothing. I tend to expect to log on, and maybe get a little (or a lot of) grinding in. When I log on, that is my usual plan and what I settle into. It is something I can just pop on, and do, and I find everything else tends to flow from that. Be it because I get some inspiration for something else, a situation comes up, or anything really. But I don't expect that to happen. That tends to be the stuff that makes Clok really awesome. The grinding, is just what I'm near enough 100% certain I can easily slot into when I log on without relying on other variables.

What do I expect from players in regards to unspoken rules?

The only unspoken rule I'd really have, is that people try and talk and discuss situations that may be pushing them in regards to tolerance so that an understanding can be reached. Not name calling, bickering, and generally acting like children. The population of Clok tends to be pretty good about that, I find. Some people don't like each other, there are disagreements and arguments but unless there are masses of things I don't know about most people seem to be handling conflict (currently at least) fairly maturely. Really. Just don't be an asshat. Conflict should be fun for both parties, if it isn't then something is going wrong somewhere.

What do I expect in terms of character development?

No idea. Deal with it all as it comes.

How do I expect people to react to my RP?

Like their character is an actual person, really. As long as it fits, whatever. I might sigh sometimes, but just because it looks one way to me doesn't mean it isn't what they'd do. I don't know all the inner workings of your character, the GMs will probably have a bit better inkling, but the only person who knows the most is you.
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Re: Expectations

Post by Sneaky » Sun Jan 17, 2016 6:38 am

What do you expect when you log into CLOK?
When I log in, I don't expect much really. I did a long while ago, but I'm just not good at forming complex schemes using only descriptions in rooms and tidbits of information I gather from snooping. I've sort of settled into a watcher. I wait until other people do stuff and then I react accordingly. There's a few examples of me pushing for something to happen in game, but my will is pretty low, and it's rare when one of these things actually goes through to completion.
What do you expect from your other players as the sort of unspoken rules
I don't expect anything in this regard. We all come from various gaming backgrounds, and as such we don't all have the same mindset/skills. I usually just roll with whatever people choose to do, or not do. I find IC ways to try and change other character's minds, and to open up new avenues of thinking, but I don't expect them to change or do anything on an OOC level.
What do you expect in terms of character development?
Coanid is my main character. I really don't have any set goals for him to reach as far as his personality goes, which might sound boring, and sometimes it is, but it allows me to play him more freely. The character development I have with Coanid is due to other players and their actions, as well as the world around him. I think if I had some kind of future goal I want him to reach, then I'd either be forced to twist the events in the game to suit my needs, or be forced to wait an entirely too long of a time.
How do you expect people to react to your RP?
Like I said previously, I don't actively start RP. I wait for things to happen, then react. However, when I do react I'd like people to understand that I think carefully about what I do.
I'd like to address Sona's post now. She mentions that she doesn't like CVC because it pigeonholes her into doing one of two things, just ignoring it, or killing the other side of the conflict.
I think one thing that players don't really understand is that the characters we have are undying. The characters don't know that they'll be around after their next death, but the players have a pretty good idea that they will. This does allow players to do some pretty insane stuff, like charging into a canyon filled with hostile npcs and pcs with guns? lol, but it also forces players to realize that they're not just going to be able to resolve CVC just by blasting someone in the face. As long as the player has a determination to accomplish what they're goals are or what their RP is, they won't stop, and no matter how many times their player may be killed, it's not much of a deterrent. We've been told by Dorn and Dakhal that the depart penalty is laughable. I'm not their players, but judging by that statement I think it's safe to say that dying doesn't give them much pause. It isn't enough. So sure, if you want to kill someone because you don't like them, why not, but it won't fix anything.
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Re: Expectations

Post by jilliana » Sun Jan 17, 2016 1:45 pm

My two cents.

I expect to have fun. Unfortunately, that doesn't always happen, but that's the nature of a MUD. Sometimes I feel like grinding, sometimes I feel like looking for a bit of roleplay. I try to have something in mind for when I log in so I don't get bored right away, but with CLOK being the way it is these days, that usually goes out the window pretty quickly. That's not unexpected.

I expect my fellow players to have enough respect for each other's time on the game. Some players are limited on time, others not so much. Regardless of where we stand on this spectrum, everyone's time is of some kind of value. With that in mind, I do wish some would have a little consideration of other players that want to play to have fun instead of feeling they have to hide because a badguy is constantly running rampant and one doesn't have the skills yet to handle the matter.
Sometimes a cool-down period where everyone goes and does their own thing in peace isn't so bad. Sometimes we need some crazy conflict to remind us that the world our characters live in isn't the tea party some may want or wish it to be. Personally I like some breathing room after a conflict of any kind.

Character development is a relatively new thing for me so I tend to keep things open-ended. Jilliana is my most developed character and I intend to keep it that way. That's not to say that I don't have plans for her. I do enjoy that she has her history and she has gone through some things that came out of left field. I think those things were, in a sense, good ones because they created a multi-dimensional character that allowed me to see different aspects of CLOK without creating an alt right away.

Reactions to my roleplay would vary depending on the character type I'm dealing with. It doesn't bother me if someone thinks negatively about Jilliana because it is most likely the case that they don't spend enough time together to determine anything correctly. Jilliana doesn't do anything major or seemingly dramatic out of the blue unless it's something I think she has well in hand. In those cases I mainly expect people to let me know in a respectful and mature manner that my roleplay is affecting them negatively on an OOC level. Saying something nice about it doesn't hurt either.
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Re: Expectations

Post by artus » Thu Jan 28, 2016 1:48 pm

I tend to delve deep into whatever character I possess and let their personality (or a bit of my own madness) judge their course of action. Events or something new make my day when they come up, but it doesn't mean they'll await my arrival all the time. Interaction and good plan is what I aim for in the normal time. Other than that, I grind. But grind in this case is still in the character's need, not my need. (say, I log on vide and grind most of the time with pendant off...)

2: Nothing in particular. So long as everyone have fun, I do too. It just makes me happy everytime if Clok isn't quiet, or if someone shout out my name somewhere, cause that likely means a challenge or a great day comes for the character. I always feel good to help or do something for someone. But how my chars react depends on what char I possess.

3: That, admittedly, I don't know. I have said goals for certain char from time to time, to get most use out of everyone I play and to keep balance. I don't have long term goal or aim to become the cap ruler on clok, though. Grinding alone is boring, most of the time, especially when Clok is quiet.

4: I can't tell. I just hope they act out of character, not player, because that is one good sense of rp. How they react doesn't matter.
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