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One of the hardest things as a developer...

Posted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:59 am
by Jirato
One of the hardest things as a developer is feeling that every single thing you do gets picked apart to the most minute detail, heavily scrutinized, and then brought up for debate about how it doesn't provide enough mechanical benefit or that it doesn't make sense or that it isn't realistic enough. Some of these systems are meant just for fun. Some of them are that way, because, its a game. Some of them probably do need to be re-evaluated, but the way its been presented as unfair/unjust and the inpression of "Geeze, Jirato, why the hell is it like THIS, you really need to fix this!" is just really, really, wearing on me. It's making CLOK rather unfun for me right now.

I'm not saying I'm not open to suggestions, but CHAT has been slowly devolving into the "meta game and mechanical gripe channel", and I feel that's starting to negatively impact CLOK. As developer, it bothers me, but I'm also starting to get some feedback about it from the player perspective, and I'm finding I'm not alone in my weariness of the constant chat regarding the above.

So, I'd ask those perpetuating such types of chat to please A) find a different medium for your discussions such as tell or discord, and B) please by mindful of how you present your feedback/suggestions on the BBS.

The team has been discussing that maybe it's time for another chat-free period to bring the emphasis back to the fact that CLOK is an RP sandbox game. We've got players and GMs alike out there seeking to find RP, but seems lately everyone is just too busy/distracted by the chat, and that was never the intention of having an open chat channel.

I'm not on a computer at the moment (please excuse any typos from my cell phone keyboard), but I'll be turning off chat when I get on later today. We'll go awhile without it and I'll turn it back on when I feel things have died down a bit.

Re: One of the hardest things as a developer...

Posted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:03 am
by Lun
Thanks, J. I think we all needed some time to cool off.

Everyone, remember that TELL, QUESTION, and other OOC means of communication are still around even during periods of CHAT silence.

Re: One of the hardest things as a developer...

Posted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:10 am
by ironcross32
I strongly disagree with this tactic. Either we are, or are not RPI. Just up and cutting it off seems rather, I can't even think of words at the moment. I'm apoplectic to be honest. I think there is the potential for harm to be done over the chat, but we do have a rather mature playerbase, take my word on that, there isn't a fraction of problems I've seen on other MUDs. Turning off the chat is akin to putting us all in timeout, which is unfair to those who didn't abuse it. I actually like MUDs where there is open discourse among the players. It's optional, and there is also an RP option when you are involved in RP so as to not break immersion.

This move seems jerkish to me, to say the least, and I can't say I'm impressed with the message it sends. A better way to handle this would have been to put up an announcement saying what was said in this post basically, and seeing if that didn't help, then if not, resorting to more extreme measures.

Re: One of the hardest things as a developer...

Posted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:18 am
by Sneaky
Ironcross, you are right. Clok’s player base is very mature. This is why such breaks aren’t viewed as a punishment, but really an assisted guidance towards what Clok is. It’s a game we roleplay characters in. This isn’t the first time chat has been disabled, and it may not be the last. However, I personally have found these periods to be rewarding in the long run. So try and not take offens, and enjoy the new RP experiences there are to be had now without optional global distractions.

Re: One of the hardest things as a developer...

Posted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:39 am
by Bryce
Either we are, or are not RPI.
Pretty sure we're RPE (RP-Enforced), not RPI.
Ironcross, you are right. Clok’s player base is very mature. This is why such breaks aren’t viewed as a punishment, but really an assisted guidance towards what Clok is.

Having a chat-free period is making me want to log in during that time. Hope some of you folks have some boxes and some time to chat over drinks.

Re: One of the hardest things as a developer...

Posted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:44 am
by Lun
I had a long, productive discussion with Ironcross32 this morning because I was flabbergasted by his post that perfectly reflects why this motion was necessary in the first place. I pried a bit, and discovered he was a bit taken aback by this move, since he doesn't feel it's right to punish the playerbase as a whole in order to make statements to individuals who have been regularly toxic and unproductive to an OOC environment.

At the end of the day, a lack of moderation and guidance on CHAT proves to be more of a problem than a benefit. Like a Living Will, I don't think a stack of rules should be imposed on our freedoms the moment a single infraction occurs, but should be used when an issue is on its deathbed. For recurring topics that cause nothing but negativity like the ones brought back to light recently, a set of rules and guidelines can help to guide our CHAT to a better and more productive (unproductive) place.

Ironcross32 suggested that perhaps this issue could be mitigated in the long run if there was a list of guidelines (voted among, corrected whatever by the entire GM team,) notarized and enforced as a standing policy. If someone acts continuously in a negative manner and otherwise infracts the chat guidelines, such as needling a mechanic far beyond toleration (for years!) You could have a 3 tiers of infraction list, the first tier might be a talking to regarding behavior, just to hash things out. If the disturbances continues past that, that player's chat is taken away for a week, and after that, possibly longer, or permanently.

We don't really have disciplinary actions for misbehavior here, and I think people sometimes take advantage of this to continually beat a dead horse. The poor horse is skeletal, and raised as a nethrim, at this point. And still being beaten.

Re: One of the hardest things as a developer...

Posted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:54 am
by artus
I was discussing codes with Coanid and Ironcross...and then poof.:)

We need some time to cool down, if the ongoing makes it too hott, once in a while. I love Lun and Ironcross's discussion. If it's really a thing, it could sure benefit our already mostly nice ooc communications a lot.

Re: One of the hardest things as a developer...

Posted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:16 am
by Tamsin
Awesome. Hopefully it'll still be off when I get home from class today. :)

I think you all made a good choice with turning chat off a while

Re: One of the hardest things as a developer...

Posted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:27 am
by Craig
I completely understand how crappy destructive criticism can be, it's something that happens in all forms of gaming but that doesn't make it any better for either players or staff. It's unfortunate that you feel disabling chat is necessary, there are times I enjoy the liveliness and sense of community having an out of character chat channel brings and I feel it helps seperate me from my character more by reminding me in character actions aren't personal but I also know this isn't a democracy. Clok is your baby and it's your choice how to run things, I respect your decision and I hope it has the desired effect.

Re: One of the hardest things as a developer...

Posted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:20 am
by Bryce
I think an occasional chat-free period just to have them would be great, not just at times when chat gets ugly. I can't tell you how many times I've been at the Hearth or the Hanged Man having a lively conversation when it suddenly just stops dead and the crickets start chirping. After a few attempts to start things rolling again, I stop ignoring chat and yup, everyone's too caught up in debating what the best way to prepare a chicken meal is.

To steer things back on the original topic of this thread though: Yup, tact and tone are important. Bring something up in an entitled or condescending way, you aren't going to get much consideration for your actual concern. You're just shooting yourself in the foot.

Re: One of the hardest things as a developer...

Posted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:38 am
by Rakon
I tend to leave chat off most of the time, with exceptions for if I've asked a question on questions channel and sometimes discussion or answers spill over onto chat. I use CLOKGear for Mudlet so the channels are in smaller type at the top of my screen, but even that is a touch distracting sometimes, if only in the 'are they still on about that?' kind of way.

I'm not a dev, but I am a programmer (sometimes), and know a lot of work goes into something as complex as CLOK. When I make requests or suggestions, that's all they are. I know the devs have lives too, and who wants to log into the game only to see people griping about all the stuff they think is wrong with it, especially when it's your code they're complaining about? Sure, there are some oddities in the game that are annoying sometimes. The devs can't fix them all as soon as they become annoying. I'm assured that they're working on this stuff as best they can.

So, er, that's my 2 riln on the subject. That wound up longer than I thought it would, heheh.

Re: One of the hardest things as a developer...

Posted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:08 pm
by Jirato
There's been a noticeable increase in in-character communication and interaction today, and that's really awesome. I'm going to be leaving chat disabled for the rest of the night, but will re-enable it when I get a chance tomorrow either during a break at work or after work tomorrow.

We really do appreciate all the discussion about improving the CLOK community. I understand folks get frustrated. Sometimes, that frustration comes out perhaps a bit more harsh or negative than intended. I totally understand that, and am guilty of it myself. We do listen to and consider all feedback seriously though. Even if we may not stop to reply to every little thing said, we are always watching. I'd like to ask everyone to continue to leave constructive feedback and suggestions on the BBS where appropriate.

Please remember that the BBS is the place for feedback and suggestions, not CHAT. We monitor chat to prevent any major disruptive incidents, but it is not considered an official line of communication with the GM team or anything. I understand that several players are very passionate about mechanics and can easily converse for hours on them, but please also be mindful of how non-stop chat can be a bit disruptive to the play experience. If you and a friend find yourselves going back and forth over why you think something should be a certain way, and it's just you two for the most part, maybe its time you consider taking things to TELL instead. I totally get the whole "chat is optional" and "people can turn it off" argument, however, keep in mind two things: As a GM, -WE- can't turn it off. If there's chat happening, we need to see it in case there's some sort of disruptive/abusive behavior going on. And while player X might choose to turn it off, player Y who they are interacting with might not, and then halfway through some RP they could get caught up in something... It can make it very frustrating for people even if they have chat turned off. If you're going to be ignoring the world around you and are just logged in to chat, you'd probably be better off staying at the login screen, using discord, or at the very least making sure you're alone in a private room somewhere where you don't have GMs or players around you trying to interact with you ICly such as a closed and locked inn room, player home, or private booth/table.

I appreciate the suggestions about moderation and policy for chat usage, however, I feel that we as a whole are mature enough to use common sense and restraint where appropriate. I don't want to make it all legalistic. It's true, what someone said above that this isn't a democracy and I run things, but I don't necessarily want to be overbearing and super strict about stuff. We have several active mentors that are able to put people in a one hour time-out if needed (Mentors, the command is MENTOR KARMABLAST if you forgot), and I'm looking at adding more once I redo some account based settings and who list stuff. I really feel this is enough.

Also, unrelated to the above, but I want to toss in some good news, we've got some exciting changes being worked on by the GM team. Noctere has made a really cool adjustment to perception penalties with armor recently, Mirazia is doing some awesome stuff for the Harbingers of Aranas, and Vestyn has some neat things in store for the Mercenaries. It's a great time to play CLOK right now.

Re: One of the hardest things as a developer...

Posted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:21 pm
by Dakhal
To be honest, I much prefer CLOK without chat as a function. It much more pushes a community together ICly when their primary modem of communication (yes, I'm looking at you, chat) is taken away. As it is, we've already had one player take an interest in coming back to play simply because chat is off. While chat is a nice thing to have, it's sort of outlived it's purpose as we now have a Discord to discuss things OOCly and using it doesn't require a person to log into the game if they're not going to actually participate in the game anyways.

Not pointing fingers, because even I'm guilty of not interacting as much ICly as I would otherwise if chat is there blaring at me with constant updates and demanding I read it. Of course, one could say that I can just turn chat off.. but that doesn't mean that people are going to have the same level of attention that I will when playing CLOK and as a result, I don't think that RP would be as present or enjoyable as they'd be either pausing to speak in chat, or completely disregarding RP in the first place.

But hey, maybe I'll try playing in RP Hardcore, see if it changes my perception of things.

Re: One of the hardest things as a developer...

Posted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:25 am
by Mirazia
I'd like to say it has been fantastic to see how much RP has gone on today without the distraction of chat. I have given out more RPAs than I have before, just seeing little snippits on ESP, thinks being sent, rituals done and general interaction between players.

It makes me excited to play this game, not just as a GM, but as a player. It gave us as a team a real boost to work on things to make the game more fun and enjoyable, Vestyn with the Mercenaries, myself with the Harbingers and Noctere with tweeks and twists to balance. Not to mention Jirato busting himself with back room coding so we can get new mentors in place to help new players and other fun things.

So thank you to all the players and to the GM team for today. It's been great.

Re: One of the hardest things as a developer...

Posted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:51 am
by ironcross32
I think in this issue I would be the under dog, but I like having chat because I don't know, its sort of a background muttering as I do the day to day grindy type stuff, but I can see how it can be distracting both as someone trying to become more involved in RP, and someone in RP, when his mates are not paying attention because something is going over chat.

OK, so yesterday I worded that initial post a bit harshly, and for that I apologize, chock it up to two parts frustration, and one part nervousness. The nervousness comes in because when you start to take away the OOC options in a game, it becomes RPI, now, I know a lot of people enjoy RPI games, but I don't, for several reasons. First, most of the time, the staff I've found on those games to be anything from brusk to downright rude. The second is the general snobbish attitude of the players toward anyone new to RP, or well, anything in general that isn't done their way. I'm certainly not new, and have seen several styles of RP. So, how are you meant to know which to fall into, but, if you do things out of line with how they think it should be done, you're being yelled at by the other players. A lot of the time, even if they try to help you, they come off as condescending, and or rude or snobbish. So I don't want to see CLOK become RPI for those reasons. RPI works for you if you fit into their little clique, if you're out outsider, you're just not gonna have fun. Now I'm sure a lot of people will disagree with that, but that's my view, backed up by my own personal experiences trying to get into RPI.

I think if we all try to moderate ourselves, and stop debates, or take it private, it would go far to alleviate this problem. I do like a good debate, but I can see how it wouldn't be great to have to watch that all the time as a GM. I think 90% of the players can do this, the other 10% probably will need intervention by the GM's.

Re: One of the hardest things as a developer...

Posted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 9:39 pm
by jilliana
I'm in favor of chat free periods, but I completely dislike them being punishments for when the playerbase is being particularly vocal or negative. We all go through our periods and punishing the whole playerbase for the issue of a few is too much.