Okay folks, there's been some dickishness involving alts lately. Time to discuss what we can do about it.
Right now I'm leaning towards something like this in a player's Bio:
>This character probably has 2 alts.
>This character probably has 2 alts, of which 1 is in a clan.
Obviously saying outright who's an alt of who isn't gonna go down well, so that's my proposal. Any other ideas?
Is there a way to see which is the main account, and which isn't?
>This character is most likely an alt.
Or perhaps mute players that are alts, for their first week or DK? I think most alts are made willy-nilly, for the lulz. Some cool down period might help. Some ideas just aren't fun after a nights sleep.
Not sure about that Maniak, a lot of alts are created for (perfectly legitimate) role playing, and barely ever get played up at all. Making people spend ages playing them up a level might not go down to well in some places.
As for 'main account', well I'd have a hard time saying which is my main account. The character who I game play most, and who generally channels my SP, and is signed up for the world community grid thing isn't the same as the character that I first made.
I'm afraid that I don't have anything constructive to offer as an alternative though.
Require a valid email address, and a response from that address, before character is allowed in?
Or maybe a new level of account - the "RP Special" account, requires XX supporter points for each extra alt?
I dunno. All in all, I'm in favor of alt-visibilty, like HM.
In my opinion, the no alts in clans rules can bend... I am both in GERM with my main, and have an alt that is in a (much) smaller, lesser-known Clan. Marly, Piper, and maybe Teh Dave know about it from GERM, as well as all of the officers and the founder of the other clan. I don't pass along any specific information on the inner workings of the clan, and as long as the leaders on both side are fine with it, I don't think there;s a problem.
However, I'd be more than willing to add a line "This character is an alt."
If you do implement the line, perhaps there could be a choice on how it's worded...
"This Character probably has x alts." for default, or...
"This character is one alt out of x linked to a character."
"This is the main character, with x alts."
for some reason, I'm somewhat insulted by anything that could make dizzy seem like an alt. He's my main.
Before this goes further I should point out that we're not differentiating mains from alts, because programs can't do that.
(STUFF THAT DOESN'T MATTER, DERP)
Back to the topic: the original suggestion ("This character probably has 2 alts."), well... I don't see what that would solve, exactly. I guess it would help to know (in vague terms) what said dickishness involved. What are we trying to prevent?
I'll happily admit to having two alts on here. The first, Kagero, is used first and foremost for roleplay, and second for wandering about outposts and dwellings and the island in general. Since his creation, I've sent him over a title-change document, levelled him up to a point where he's comfortable travelling - gotten a tad carried away with that - and avoided building materials and similar like the plague.
The second alt's no more a blank face, used only for reading roleplay and the occasional dwelling-peeking if Kestrel and Kagero are both knackered and/or failboated.
I am... quite fine with alts in clans when those involved (leaders and such) know about it, but a little less fine and rather warier of this new system Dan's suggested. I can think of a few alts who stand alone perfectly as genuine characters, never interact with the main account in any way - but for perhaps main-to-alt gifting of Hunters' Lodge items - and even give the players a certain amount of writing-confidence from the anonymity. For them to be at risk of losing that (thinking along the lines of ooh, look, both of these people have the same number of alts. How did I never see it before?) due to other people being dickish would be an awful shame.
But maybe necessary?
I was gonna post some long thing about non-dickery alts, but HM beat me to it. Yeah, what he said. Whenever you see one of the Ashtu twins, the other one is somewhere nearby.
And as far as what kind of dickery is going on - I neither need or want to know. That's what the Mods are for. If they say it's dickery, then it is.
Remember that the Island is NOT a democracy - it is a benevolent dictatorship, by necessity. CMJ runs this server and the Island because he can. The rules he enforces are to keep himself legally clear, and to keep a few individuals from messing up a good thing for everybody else. The happier he keeps us, the more we hit that PayPal button.
TLDR; Alts for RP, even in clans, perfectly fine by me. Alts are personal responsibility, should stay personal. Moderators already know who is who, can deal with situation according to how they see fit.
My concern about having a line in people's bios is that someone trying to RP a rookie alt will never get treated like a rookie again.
Double posting because the edit time limit ran out while I was writing this. Massive wall of opinion text, sorry no TLDR this time.
Also, imposing restrictions on alts or possible alts like having them reach a DK before being able to write... One of the most attractive things to me about any sort of alt writing right now is that there is no title for 0DKs. I could make an alt called 'The weather' and have it post such shenanigans as;
Tricky isn't it? If only there were no dickjerks it wouldn't be an issue.
Making a players alt(s) visible to everyone doesn't help anything. From another thread I've realised that this would actually be a bad thing.
In general I agree with hajen which reflects this
elsewhere in the Enquirer.
I think alts used for RP are fine, no problem there. As disposable characters used for the lulz or perma ones like the Skronkys and Ashtus - fine. I mention these last two because they are voluntarily visible.
So enforced alt visibility I say no. However, having players belonging to more than one clan via alts is another matter. I had always thought that clans were kind of a privileged 'secure' haven for players. Having a 'lurker' in the clan undermines that. Clans can, of course have 'no alts' policies. May I suggest this? Alt visibility is only enforced if the player is in more than one clan? After all, why wouldn't the player want this knowledge to be public - I can't think of a good reason. Having a main and an alt in different clans so your alt can interact in different social circles doesn't stand up. Your alt doesn't need to be in a clan for this to happen.
Sorry for long post and hope it's more or less coherent.
Caffeine still trying to kick in. Mornings
Snipped from Newhome banter:
I would say, if alts are being used for dickish purposes, couldn't the mods take it up with that alt's main character?
Of course, this puts more on the mods, which might not be entirely fair. But I don't think putting a thing in a character's account, telling the world they have alts, is a good fix either.
As a RP player with an alt, I quite like the fact that there is no severe ban on alts now. I feel it's more a wink and a nod to RP alts, and the fact that I can't send a crate from Micha to Joanna Toothacher the Alt is fine with me (this may have changed since I last tried).
I don't like the idea of a long waiting period between creating alts and being able to play them, though. I DO like the idea of being able to log in in the same browser with different characters. Currently I use Safari for my main and Firefox for my alt, when we're on at the same time (which is admittedly rare) but I will admit that having a way to RP both characters in the same browser would be wicked cool.
I am also totally cool with not being able to gift stuff from the main to the alt or vice versa (because I know there are some people who are just dicks saaaad ) but if you were a proven account that is free of dickishness that would be nice if we could occasionally move crates or req? But I suppose, thinking about it, the idea to use DP's to enable that is basically the same as the Hunter's Lodge. Herp derp.
In summation, I like alts! I like them for roleplaying! Having a line in the bio is okay with me.
[Edit] I forgot to mention, in full disclosure, that my alt is in a clan. It is also for RP purposes. I also think that is okay, although perhaps the argument about alts booting out legit players is void now because of the buy-in for higher clan member numbers - but the clan that I had Joanna join doesn't seem to be having a recruiting overload. Regardless, I still think that in general, the Island is pretty good about self-policing for jackassery and having RP clan members isn't a big problem. Hope I'm not overly optimistic and wrong on this one! (don't think I am.)
I'd like to put in some of my own input, since I have more than one story-specific alts.
But I haven't quite figured out yet.
Is this an issue between alts being used for bad-communication or tomfoolery? (Community and not gameplay abuse)
Or it this an issue about alts being used for bad gameplay? (Not community abuse)
Because I'm starting to lean towards it being about a community problem, since a gameplay mechanic wouldn't be solved much from adding a line on a bio.
I'd just like to know, perhaps. So that I can figure out which I'd really need to sit and think about. The thread is bouncing between both so far. Sorry if THIS is useless input.
I don't wish to know all the details of the dickery that's prompted CMJ to open this thread--that's a mod/admin thing, and I'm happy to stay out of it. But I do think it's important for us to know the general nature of it. Is it item transferring? Is it ganging up on a character? Is it sneaking behind clan lines that shouldn't be snuck behind? Knowing what the problem is will probably point us towards better suggestions as to how to make it better.
Anyways, I also don't think that showing how many alts a person has will help. It may not hurt, in particular, but... due to some recent conversations I've had about alts, I'm thinking that that may just make people suspicious--especially since the names won't be revealed. I know some clans don't really like their members to have characters in other clans, so this may complicate things.
So far, I know that gifting doesn't work with alts anyways. So unless someone's being very sneaky about this somehow, I don't know how item-transferring would work. (On a semi-related note, I agree with being able to transfer Lodge items; you paid or did something for the SP, when it comes down to it.) As far as clan-sneaking, perhaps there could be a way for clan leaders to see how many alts their members have? I still think that that would just contribute to paranoia and suspicion. Not good!
Yeah, so basically I haven't said anything constructive. I'm still trying to think of a good mechanism to allow alts that are good and fun, and discourage ones that are cheaty or dickish... easier said than done.
Hrm. I nearly jumped in to the last topic that talked about alts, but then I had no time! Still, clearly I gotta make time now.
I have about 20 alts, which I have created over many months - mostly for specific scenes or stories, sometimes for shits'n'giggles, sometimes for other reasons. I have RPd them individually, I have done scenes with several of them at a time (the maximum was 5 at once, and required application of strong drink afterwards, to facilitate recovery). I consider one of them as much my main as Callia is, and keep these two characters very separate in RP. I use another (like Kestrel does) as an anonymous "reader" - who never RPs and never hunts the drive, but allows me to be quietly online.
I do not tell everyone who they all are, but I imagine it is unusual to have so many. If the number of alts is revealed in my characters' biographies, it will probably amount to unmasking them all in my case. I would be sad about this. Callia is a very demanding figure to RP, and there have been times where I've desperately needed to get away from the little horror. If I hadn't had other characters, and been able to keep them anonymous, I'd have quit the island a long time back - simply from burnout, and the sheer relentlessness of always being identified as Callia. I have continued to have fun on-island, by giving myself alternatives in this way. I try not to spoil anyone else's fun, as a rule.
Thinking about the issue more generally, it strikes me that, if there is dickishness happening with any character (alt or not), then it is the dickishness that needs dealing with, and not the alts. After all, we've had anonymous alts for a long time - yet only now (perhaps since the community has grown a lot?) has this issue been raised as problem by admin.
I don't know what sort of behaviour we're talking about on this occasion, but ... we've discussed plenty times on this forum the question of "how should players deal with dicks?" And the generally-accepted line seems to be that real problems are best handled by mods. The mods themselves say this. We all know when someone's doing something we don't like - we don't need to know they're an alt to know we're not enjoying it, or to politely ask them to stop, or to speak to moderator (if they won't stop). As for moderators - they already know which characters are connected, and can intervene as appropriate.
Unmasking alts, unmasking the number of alts, muting alts for their first day/week/DK/allowing one char-per-game-day/saying alts can't be in clans or can't build or can't use stamina ... even ruling out transfer of SP/lodge-items between alts (as is currently in place) - these fixes all potentially impact on people who are not intending any mischief or malice, as well as those who are. I'd not like to see these kind of coded-rules proliferate. It seems a case of spoiling everyone's potential for fun in the vain hope that it'll prevent some people from being dicks. Fact is, dicks who can't express it one way will probably just look for another way.
So I end up wondering ... if we're having problems with some people behaving badly, is this a case of needing more moderation, rather than a mechanical fix or more rules. Perhaps our hard-working moderators are simply stretched too thinly for the size of the community and the number of chatspaces. Perhaps some people simply feel they can get away with anything, and are unlikely to get "caught".
I have two.
I love having alts, and the fact that they exist.
Having them has allowed me a freedom to speak to people that playing as Harris does not grant me. Not in the sense of "saying what I REALLY want to say" or any other rubbish, but that people hardly talk to Harris at all no matter where I take him.
I pull out my alts, and one or both of them is greeted EVERY time, and engaged in SOME manner.
Sometimes too, I just feel like playing a different character without having to scrap the last one.
Frankly, I love this game's solo portion for the story and story gameplay challenges (JILL ROCKS!), but I love the Island's multiplayer dynamic for the roleplay. Hell, the Island's multiplayer dynamic IS roleplay.
Roleplaying by yourself is just talking to yourself, which you don't really need a computer for, or a game.
As for the fact that they exist, well,.my love is very easily explained: Hairy Mary and Calliaphone. Need I say more?
I think the best equalizer for dickheads abusing the privilege that wouldn't ruin the fun for the rest of us would be a required two name slot in which we type up to two of our other characters (if we have any), and have that be listed on each account Bio.
Sadly, it does seem like some sacrifices will have to made to stop the dickish, but I think this one would be very useful in doing so, as well as do the least damage to the innocent.
Momentary derail, 'cause I couldn't resist:I don't talk to myself, do you, Sis?
I shouldn't even be commenting, but. I'll weigh in a bit. I've got a brain and fingers, even if they never work properly.
EDIT: Also? WARNING TANGENT AHEAD. And lots of Sarcasm. [Seriously, take all of this as sarcasm. Unless it makes a point. Which it probably won't.]
EDITEDIT: Before I even post this mofo. Shrinking down some text. It's uhh...It's a pagestretcher. This is what happens when I show up on topics.
EDITEDITEDIT: I haven't even posted this yet. But. No. Okay so. Seriously, nobody get offended by my sarcasm.
I'm not asking. I'm telling. But that's sarcasm too, so my telling doesn't count. But I bolded some of it because I'm sort of serious. Seriously? Sarcasm. Lots of it. AND PAGESTRETCHING. I'm gonna stop now. Because the more I write here, the more there's gonna be. Down there.
EDITEDITEDITEDIT: Actually I did this EDIT and the one above it at the same time. But here we go! This one issss. My Apologies in advance, Dan. Please don't get too pissed off at me when ya read this. If you do. All in good fun of opinions!
OKAY NOW GO, MY SUPER LONG COMMENT!
"DAWW, OKAY BOSS."
Here's the thing.
You're going to have Dicks all over the place, here. This?
This is the internet.
There are lots of Dicks on teh internetz, literally and metaphorically.
Hell, I think we've established that you find me to be one, even if I happen to lack the necessary genitalia.
I've got...oh, five, six, or seven alts. I can't quite remember.
[Also Calli, goddamn, woman. You. Beat. Me. Out. I hate'choo and love you at the same time. ] -I'm kidding around. Congrats to you and all your brain's SPAWN.
However, unlike my NEW ADVERSARY/NEW ADMIRE-EE, I frequently hint at my alts with my main.
Hell, I like playing them in the same place, together, even, if it's funny.
That's...all I've got mine for. For some humor, because the island is so lacking of it. Especially lately.
You can ban alts if you like, but it's going to make an awful lot of people sad or pissed off. And then that Kitty is going to go Empty, and we do not want dis.
You can, also, have the mods do their jobs. They're mods. You've given them jobs. If it's too much for just them alone, [and I'm sure it is, on occasion], why don't you try...expanding your searchparty?
Find people who are reasonable and can peek around. You've got your other cops, why not get some watchdogs to help them out?
Limit their abilities of mod-ness, obviously. If things get hairy, those mini-mods could poke a big-mod, and we can limit our amount of metaphorical genitalia.
Just a wee thought on that.
Anyway. Before my ideas keep popping up that nobody'll care to read [honestly, I just sort of skimmed the middle pages of this topic. Sorry guys! No offense! But I'm sure some other people do the same thing ], I'll get back on taw-peek.
Either you have alts, or you don't, from what I see. You dunno wut-tew-do, because, oh hey, people are assholes.
Well...yeah. That's gonna happen. You've dealt with it before, I'm...pretty sure you can again, you are the Almighty Caveman, after all.
~Limiting the number of alts [if you can even do that? I, LOL, have no idea.], won't help, as people in Calli's case are proving.
~Having a wee bit in somebody's bio saying "OH HAHA GUESS WHAT, THIS? THIS IS AN ALT. LOL SCREWED YOU OVER, YOU THOUGHT I WAS A NOOB" [I'm joking about that], also won't help. That is going to ruin the effect some alts have on people.
-I remember first bringing Norris out and people thinking he was a rookie. It was...kind of a fun feeling, I'll be honest. You get to sit back and have a right chuckle at the people who didn't know who the hell you were.
~Banning them entirely will make people mad. You can do that, of course, but. JOONO, they'll stop feeding kitties.
~wuhhhh. Not doing anything at all will be, OH HEY IT'S THE PRESENT. [Doc, get in the DeLorean!]
~Okay, monitoring them like somebody who's got nothing else to do with their time....well that won't let you get much progress, will it? :\ This is why I suggested mini-mods earlier. Not just for alt-tracking. I mean for like. Commentary-tracking altogether. I know you ABSOLUTELY HATE IT when I reference other websites I'm on, HOWEVER, hear me out, for once: There is a hierarchy of mod-types on Deviantart. You've got your BIG SCARY admins, your BIG SCARY mods, who rule on high over any and everything. And then? then you've got separate mods with smaller parts. They only check a few things. As in: Gallery Moderators, ChatRoom Moderators, ...Puppy Moderators. You see where I'm going with this.
Ebenezer might be a perfect example. But just relying on him isn't enough. He has a life, too. This is why I'm saying...maaaayybe get some more people to help him out, yeah?
Oh look, there was some white text around here, somewhere... HUH.
...What else, hmm? Well. That's more for you to decide, yeah? Do you want less Dicks, or do you want people to stay happy? Sure it's a hard choice, and I'm sure it is for everyone who must make a decision like this. However...I think keeping the people happy is more of a...wise choice? Seems to work out for any other site who lets people have second accounts.
Besides, you're always gonna have Dicks of one form or another. If you didn't, this would probably be some type of a prison. [Seriously, think about this. "No, you can't do this." "No, you have to do THIS." "We can't let you do THIS because it'll MESS THINGS UP."] Nobody'd be able to have fun, because they'd always be up on their toes.
I'm kind of seeing this sort of pattern already, and it's almost completely killed not only my Island-addiction, but an awful lot of the people who are around me.
And those ones? They haven't been established, by you, that they're Dicks, yet. [I say yet. I shouldn't say yet. SORRY GUYS.]
Soooo. Yeah. I hate to say it, but like a famous shoe company says "Just Do It", I'm gonna REALLY GO OUT ON A LIMB HERE, and say "Just Deal With It."
Sorry if that's offensive, or any of this comment is, because it's mostly sarcasm mixed with thoughts.
Sarcasm is so hard to portray in all text. Le Baww, my Frenchies.
And I don't mean this in a bad way. Or a nasty way. I really. Seriously. Do not. It isn't meant to be negative, so don't blow your lid once ya read this'un.
Just...deal with it! Yanno! Like ya used to? Seemed to really help out b'fore. There's like an influx of Dicks lately, and I'm seeing the reasons why, honestly.
But instead of getting all SRS like everybody has been lately, try spicing things up with more of that silliness IIslanders have come to love. That's why we're HERE. We wanna be silly idiots.
If we were gonna be all SRSBZNS, we'd be on another roleplay site.
I've been to LoTGD's site. I got bored of it too. No alts, was one of the reasons. And all the SRSNZ was the other half.
Alts, the good ones, are, from what I'm seeing, trying to keep the silliness alive. And they're having a damned hard time of it, too.
Get rid of the Dicks, yes. Nobody wants Dicks here, sure. But...seriously? We're getting all pissy over alts?
We've taken the fun out of just about everything else, and now we're going after people's raw creativity.
TLDR, and I'm sure most of you didn't read, lol:
Keep the damn alts.
And stop making silly topics and freaking people out about alts. I don't even check here often, and it's like HOLY CRAP ALTS U GUYZ, every time.
No seriously. Not even kidding on the every time thing.
This should probably be the last one, tbh. Let's bury this sucker.
I will get the shovels.
And some tacos. We can make a party of it!
As I see it, the possible areas that alt dickery can fall into are
1) Gameplay, in particular farming. I think that Hajen's defined this as well as it's going to be defined, although if you look hard enough you can always find exceptions to any rule set. In this case, being able to see that someone has alts wouldn't do anything at all, just because Callia has twenty alts says nothing.
2) Using alts to gang up on someone, or be dickish in some similar way. Being able to see that someone has alts again won't do too much, we'll just be able to guess (not know) that it's the same person rather than several people. But it's still dickish behaviour whichever way it's happening.
3) Clan espionage. In this case, being able to see alts may help, the clan leaders, but not on general display to everyone. Even then, it won't give much concrete information, only plant suspicions, which may well end up being worse than not knowing at all if the suspicions turn out to be wrong.
But still, giving clan leaders access to knowing how many alts their clan members have might be useful in this case, although it would probably be better if they had to actively seek it out rather than just being somewhere on the bio which could be seen accidentally when the clan leader happened to be visiting to say something in their natter space for example. It might also help if the clan leaders (and only the clan leaders) knew who the alts were. I'm not 100% convinced by this, but I can see a case.
Harris. Cheers for the mention, although I haven't actually done any real writing since Christmas now, and when I did, it was 90% just me talking to myself. What can I say? I'm an asocial sod. I don't have to do it on the Island, but it feels better to me if I do. The whole backgrounds there. Plus I occasionally get people kind enough to stroke my ego by saying that they enjoy it. So, thank you for the shout out.
The ONLY thing we are talking about is adding the line I talked about above. We're not talking about preventing logins, revealing names, blocking or enabling transfers of resources, or restricting commentary. Please stop splintering to discuss these things, because they're not happening.
KimmyMonstah, quit with the text-shrinking stuff, nobody's printing the forum.
One possible other way we could do this is... I dunno, some sort of a trust button? If both players hit the trust button, then all of their alts are revealed to each other?
What I'm trying to instigate here is basically a warning before people get themselves hurt.
WARNING: You are about to have sex with someone you hate.
WARNING: Your clan and several others are run by the same man.
WARNING: You are standing up for the feminist principles of a misogynist troll pretending to be a female Rookie.
WARNING: You are being lied to.
Kimmy: Not offended, more surprised, really. You sounded very angry, and hardly playfully sarcastic. However, I don't think you need to be. Unless there is something that you know about that hasn't been said here, no-one in charge has said we need to get rid of Alts.
CMJ even started this thread with "let's discuss". Thats sounds like a quite reasonable, non-kill-em-all-let-God-sort-'em-out approach.
You are very welcome, and I look forward to you prattling on to yourself more in the future.
I like everyone I've run into in this odd, odd little game over the past two years. For various reasons, yeah, but I do.
We have a sticky problem here, and one that is actually dear to lots of folk (me being one of them).
I see no reason to lose faith at all, though. Look at what happened when our Mods and our Admin had it pointed out to them, and agreed that NewHome had gotten unwelcoming.
They brought it to us, the players, for a discussion. Together, we changed the damn problem for the better. Are there still troubles? Well yeah, but...they are SO much smaller now. So much more easily removed by Dan and the Moderators entirely, because we banded together, and still are.
We'll be fine, and so will Dan's game.
We just need to keep looking for how.
Hey, I'm an opionated bastard who has no problem running to the mods anytime I see something that I think is dickery. Or immoral. or just bad roleplay. (Sorry, Sessine and Eben!) But by what Kimmy was saying, that makes me kinda-a-little-like a mini-mod. Woohoo!
On a more serious note.
I think there is something to be said for having a mod (or mini-mod) camped in Kitt and NewHome, 24/7. Kitt because it NEVER FUCKING SLEEPS, and Newhome for a few reasons: It, as we have covered, has to be much more dick-free than the rest of the island. Also, the island, sadly, can have its downtimes, and I'm not just talking about those godawful periods where I'm cut off from
my one true love this silly internet game. Sometimes, there's just not many people around, and a welcoming voice is really needed in Newhome. If there are enough trustworthy people, I think that would be a good course of action.
Whoa. Just saw CMJ's clarification in that handy little "last few posts" box at the bottom. On to that!
I don't think the trust button is 100% necessary... if I trust someone with the information, I let them know over distracts/gchat/msn, and that wouldn't solve the issues at the bottom if someone doesn't trust.
It only shows up when someone has alts? Then you could be like "Hit that trust botton, or no naughty time for you!"
With the original line idea: maybe it could just be something like "This narrator has alts." No specific number, so people can't be like "OMG X Has 26 alts, and Y does too! X is Y OMG."
back to mini-mods... I think there's something to be said for adding a little more responsibility to Clan Leader's plates? I dunno what exactly, but if you really wanna be a leader, you should be responsible for those you're leading, seeing as how you've got total control over it.
Regarding "mini-mods": They already exist. The Island has four mods and each of us has a bloody contingent of folks who have our Distracts and Gtalk handles. They are not shy about waving flags when they see something's gone wrong. For me, at least, Distracts go to my e-mail, which means they go to my phone, which means if (heaven forbid) I am not near my laptop, I can intervene in the wilderness. Folks flag us if we don't see a problem first, and we are able to intervene swiftly and appropriately. I don't reckon it necessary to increase our bureaucratic structure when the system is already in place.
I'm touched y'all are concerned about us being spread thin. I think we're fine right now, given the amount of time we spend (or me and Epaphus spend, anyway, can't say anything about S and Eben) seatdancing to shitty rap, writing, going about real life, and killing many pigs with many small birds. We'll let CMJ know when we're spread too thin, but the alt issues raised here aren't a matter of being spread thin, as CMJ clarified above. And, for me, at least, the job is a lot less stressful and or time consuming than you might imagine. Yes, we do a lot, but it is a pretty straightforward 'lot' which requires regular, short-burst check-ins rather than CONTINUOUS SURVEILLANCE AAHHH.
Two cents THUSLY THROWN, if you think it might be useful to have me on speed-dial and you don't already, then feel free to add me. In pictorial format because I don't want spam :
I am a player with 0 alts. I don't even have the time to spend my 12 chronospheres every two days.
Having a line in the bio saying that the player has alts, that the account is an alt, or that there is a trust button that people might tell alts to one another about, are all useless or ineffective methods of dealing with players who use alt accounts to be dicks.
The methods that would be effective are all restrictive, and it's clear that CMJ doesn't intend on infringing on the availability of alts, just about the visibility.
But I repeat, increasing visibility of alts will give you a very small amount of fixing for a much larger amount of drama. Calliaphone mentions having things like an invisible alt to get away from everything and just let her read solo. If you have a "trust button", and now someone asks calliaphone, "Hey, trust me to know my alts so I can know yours," she might feel that while she does 'trust' the person, she doesn't want anybody to know who she is when she's in Island-Reading-Mode. Yet if she refuses to hit the trust button, now that person is all like, "Hey, how come you don't trust me?" And so now there's either someone's emotions that you have to gently assuage over a long period of time to convince them you like playing with them but you want your independence, or you give in, let them know, and get bothered every time you want to play, ever.
If a person is using alts to be dickish, reprimand the person, ban if needed. If they use alts after that, IP-ban them. If they use proxies, they have WAY too much dedication to trolling, but the mods have to then just play whack-a-mole.
Hmm. Perhaps we just need an ignore function.
I don't like lists of trusted people. That sounds awful, and like it will make the island even cliqueisher.
Everything I can think of would penalise the innocent far more than it would prevent dickishness. Automated systems, rules, etc. There are certain alts that I would like to see who they belong to, but, mostly, it's none of my business.
My best idea is for there to be an assumption that it is ok to ask, and ok to say, and equally ok to say "I don't want to say" - with no hurt feelings. If things come to dickishness, surely that's for the moderators to check up on the narrator, rather than the players to be suspicious about.
Perhaps, if a player has good reason to suspect dickishness but the probable-alt will not say, it would be allowed to ask the moderators to check? Even if they only say "Yes, they are an alt" rather than "They are XXX's third alt and the others are Y and Z" (not that Z, obviously).
Being responsible for raising this topic in another thread and no, I won't be drawn into discussing specifics but will add this from Maniak in the other thread:
I spend lots of time seatdancing to shitty rap, for your information, Zeeeee!
My vote is that I do not want this proposed "how many alts" feature.
And I'm not liking the sound of the "trust" button either.
I do think that anonymity is an important feature to alts. (Not a necessary feature, but makes them a lot more versatile and a lot more fun, for sure.) A few dickish people shouldn't get to ruin it for everyone else.
I think dizzyizzy's "this person has alts" (with no specific number) idea is a bit closer, but I'm not sure I can hop on-board with this one either. It seems like it's just opening the door for needless suspicion and merciless pokings, "I see you have an alt! Who is your alt? You can tell me! Don't you trust me? Can you give me a hint? Have I met your alt?" (and so forth.) Seems like it'd be less heart-ache for everyone if it's just left the way it is.
Note: I have magical powers and I can see everyone's alts. And I also have no alts of my own.
My opinion's based on my RP experience prior to my magical powers: my experience playing with my friends' RP alts.
There is one time where I could see having an alt list be beneficial. For when we have rookies claiming to be dragons/demons/kittymorphs/jokers/whatever. Since these sorts of things seem to generally be more acceptable if you're a vet and the character is made for a specific purpose (A troll in the dungeon?), knowing that this person isn't a rookie would be nice. Yes, I'm aware that it's hypocritical of me to harp on rookies who aren't playing humans.
Sorry, I didn't realize you redefined what other players will want to interact with since I joined. :V The DK requirement for races should be removed, then.
The Enquirer is a space where you're expected to follow all of the site's usual rules, Beeps. You've got the same responsibility for your actions and behavior here as you do in the actual game. Snide kneejerk comments, eyeah. Nothx.
But back to the discussion at hand.
Noooooo! The Dk requirement gives a sense of accomplishment to me. I worked to be a Joker the way the way it is. Also, having to work up to Joker helps new RPers get a handle on how to RP here, before they have sudden super-magical powers. That's what it's for (I think?). The part about Rookies being whatever they want to be is absolutely true, but it is generally easy to tell that if they can provide good, backstory reasons (And good backstories) for their characters, then they are a bit more ready to be whatever super-monster-gundam-wolf-mabob they want to be. But I know when I showed up, if I had been able to be a Joker right away, it would have been full of awful. Because I wasn't very good, in the beginning. (This is the closest to an O face I could find).
I don't know if I expressed that very well.
Also, things like the trust button, as it has been said, are potential quagmires of hurt feelings and unhappiness.
I guess I'm trying to say, the working up thing is like training wheels for those of us who aren't the best RPers, and shouldn't have powers right off the bat. Like me. I dunno. I've managed to confuse myself.
Having a list of alts in the player's profile would be rather privacy-breeching, and anything less is essentially useless and would likely cause more witch hunts than help. Alts will (generally, from my experience) alert players to the fact that it's not their first character in Banter in some way, whether intentional or not. People claiming to be other people for the sake of deception falls under rule 1.
Temper: My point was that given that the updated RP guidelines state "You can be anything you want and that's your right, no one can say otherwise," then there's no reason to restrict race choices. With possibly the exception of Jokers, the actual game-side abilities are pretty balancing anyway.
To throw my two cents in, I think the best option is the simplest and most well-endorsed in this thread, so it seems: do nothing. Like Buddleia said, any restrictions or rules seems more intent on punishing the innocent more than anything else, and it's just unnecessary when mods can already see alts and can deal with them on a case-by-case basis, as needed.
I've always like that the No Alts rule is a bit of a 'soft' rule, in the sense that it's totally okay to break, but only if you don't break the other two rules in the doing so. I don't think this should go away, because I think alts are a very good thing. I've had a couple RP alts in my time, and I'd know I'd go a bit crazy if I had to play the same damn character all the time.
Again, like Algus and others have said, because we don't even know what our suggestions are meant to even prevent, it's very hard to make any reasonable ones.
So, yeah. Keep things as they are, and let mods deal with the occasional spout of dickery. Isn't that what they, well, do?
Kimmy: your small text makes me want to stab my eyes out. IRONY, AWAY!
I'm kind of thinking it's all or nothing, here. Either reveal the names of everyone's alts (reduces possibility for dickery, but also reduces possibility for fun; may make people unhappy and break up friendships; drops probability of alts being created) or let alt issues be dealt with the way they've always been dealt with: through our mods. The indicator line brings up suspicions that it then doesn't help deal with, so it's not a happy medium between those extremes.
Unless there's a reason why problems with alts can't be handled by mods, I personally think that that's the best way to go. I feel that it keeps things quiet, and minimizes drama--just a swift bolt of lightning from the heavens, and all the problems are gone. (Or at least swept safely under the rug.)
I think a more solid alt policy, written clearly and appended to Material You Should Read Before Playing, would certainly help. What are things that absolutely shouldn't be done? What is a hypothetical example of things that can and should be done?
One thing, though.
I'm going to disagree, once again. I don't know how close what CMJ outlined is to what actually happened, and of course I shouldn't know, but I'll take it as a real situation.
That's nasty, really nasty. There's a big difference between that and the more normal forms of dickery. With those, they're plain to see, and yes they can be annoying, or even hurtful, but at least we all know where we stand with it. Playing head games like the above is a lot worse, and can really screw peoples head, especially if they start wondering who they can trust, if anyone at all.
Superficially it might seem similar to starting an alt so that people interact with you with the misconception that you're a rookie. After all, they're both at the very least misleading other people, but there's a fundamental difference, and that's the attitude behind it.
Playing a rookie is like pulling a joke on a friend. If and when you let them know (or they cotton on) then they should be able to laugh at it, and you're still friends. At worst, if they take themselves a bit seriously, or are a bit overly sensitive, then you can apologise and sort it out.
With the above, that's not the point of it. It's a form of exercising power over someone else, and the more upset the person gets, then the more the perpetrator enjoys it.
I'll say it again. This sort of behaviour is really nasty, and I don't like it. If someone's a bit innocent and naive*, then it can be quite damaging. It's also hard for anyone else to spot happening. A lot of this doesn't happen in public places, and mods won't see it unless someone points it out. So I would regretfully say that IF (and it's a big if) showing that someone had alts helped to stop this, then it should be done.
The question is, will that help? And I'm not at all sure that it will. Not without giving full details of all alts, otherwise it doesn't really say much at all. One tends to trust people unless you've got good reason not to. I do at least, and going round being suspicious of everybody isn't a path I want to go down.
Again, I don't really have anything constructive to add, I just want to reiterate one last time, that playing power games with someone's head is bad, and in a different league to normal dickery.
*And quite a few of us are at 18, hell, some people are at 50 (and on the other hand, some people are really sussed at 13. So it goes.)
Oh. I certainly didn't mean to imply that. No dark suspicious glances from this quarter--I'm not pointing fingers at anyone at all.
Okay, as with all things, I believe there can be exceptions--there are people who could run two or more clans, simultaneously, with no unhappiness of any sort. So perhaps /disallowing/ this would be... hasty. But my point still stands that a leader makes a commitment to a clan, and it's difficult by anyone's standards to maintain more than one of those commitments.
(I forget that I'm not a leader anymore--it changes the way I look at the alt issue quite a bit, I'm finding.)
How about a friendly message right after sign-up saying "Hi, I'm glad you enjoy the game enough to make a second character, but please don't use it for being a dick. Doing so will reflect poorly on all your accounts." Link them to the alt character clarification for more info if needed.
It is just a reminder that The Powers That Be are watching. It won't stop anyone determined from acting like a dick. No code can. But hey, it's something. Then, if people act dickish, add the "The person has alts" line to any and all of their accounts, present and future.
Good alts deserve their own discretion, dicks risk losing (some of) their anonymity privileges.
That might do something. How about adding a list of their alts to this message, just to rub in, "Yes, we do know who your alts are."
I've very little to add except to agree with the general feeling, as I understand it, that No on this feature.
Personally, I don't WANT to know whose alts are whose. Even given a number, "Calliaphone has 37.5 alts" I wouldn't want to know, nor would I ask. The same goes with a trust button. I like the idea, but I would hope that, if you trusted someone enough to share that info, you would already have done so.
These types of features are discouraging to legitimate users, but the dicks who abuse the alts in the first place would be put out not at all, as is usually the case with dicks.
My feeling is that I'd like my blissful ignorance, and if the mods know about this sort of dickness, then isn't it the sort of thing that needs to be blown up just with the individuals?
[Warning: Well then maybe I should have found out more before I hooped in the sack, eh?
Warning: If it's my clan leader, he likely misplaced the first one, forgot about it, and accidentally created the new one while trying to get his motorized scooter parking validated
Warning: Maybe the misogynist troll needs to have their alt deleted
Warning: Wouldn't be the first time, won't be the last]
Basically, you mods all have my sympathies, the burden of knowledge and all that. Having to watch this kinda stuff and not really being sure whether to intervene without being asked.
I do like the idea of the list upon registration. Even if it wasn't "HEY WE KNOW YOU'RE MAKING A NEW CHARACTER" and just "If you've forgotten your old character's name, here are characters we found listed for you," it provides a reality check that it -is- information that can be fetched, and that if the player thinks they're being clever by registering an alt, they need to re-evaluate just how clever they are.
Can this be with the list? Please?
I think this is more the Island's speed, though.
looks like we've exhausted this thread...
*pulls out a timetable and studies it*
*pulls out and glances at pocket watch*
*nods head and points at the timetable*
just as I thought, the Ashtu special should be pulling into the station on track three, platform B of this thread in 15 minutes...
NOW BOARDING THE BEEPS EXPRESS, DERAILING EARLY
I'm saying No for the idea of listing alts in a bio or calling characters an alt. Darcy here is my second character-who-is-now-my-main and I've got a little rookie alt that I run around on when I can't Comms Tent RP in other Outposts and I want to see what's going on (I also had a rather awkwardly named alt for when I decided to peer around the Bordello for the first time but I don't use that one anymore since I decided the name might be offensive).
I think people should be able to 'start over' if they want to or have their little 'just for fun' alts they use for wandering the Island or posting amusing things in Banter/Story. Plenty of people know I was Waif once, but I didn't tell them until I had been around for a good bit since I was trying to establish myself as Darcy, not the first character (some people call me Waif still and it makes me weep).
If people are being dicks, then the moderators should be able to handle the situation since they can check who plays what. Unless this becomes a really severe problem, then let's not have any in-game things that other players can see. Of course, I might be giving people too much credit.
My turn. I do have a single alt, who I prefer to keep anonymous. Its a rather different character and if people knew it was mine, they'd treat it quite differently. I don't want that. They do not intereact, they do not gift anything, they do not help each other in any way. They've only been in RP together a very few times and they've not interacted much as there were others around as well. Heck, they don't even go to each others dwellings (which they did not help each other with). I do tell others that I have an alt, but not who it is, for the mentioned reasons. Anyway, my 2 cents...
NO line in bio, or trust button. A few people may be being dickish with alts, but (hopefully) its not the majority, and should be dealt with privately, not by punishing everyone that decides they want to play a different character.
WARNING: You are about to have sex with someone you hate.
Obviously if their about to have sex, the characters don't hate each other... seriously, a bit of narrator/character separation here. I may dislike certain narrators, but that doesn't mean my characters have to hate their characters. I've even been in the situation that one of my characters (not here) fell in love with another character, who's narrator I disliked. Its STORY, deal with it as such, not by bringing in your petty RL grievances.
WARNING: Your clan and several others are run by the same man.
See, this shouldn't be happening in my opinion. Clans should not be able to be created by the same narrator. Admittedly, both my characters are officers in their clans, because they were asked and I did let the clan leaders know the character is an alt (or that I play multiple characters) Both characters do recruiting for their clans periodically as well.
WARNING: You are standing up for the feminist principles of a misogynist troll pretending to be a female Rookie.
Umm, yeah? Its the internet, we're playing CHARACTERS, who may have completely different ideas from each other. My alts would probably hate each other if they had an extended conversation. So what?
WARNING: You are being lied to.
Again, its the internet, and by definition, roleplaying is lying, as it's a fabrication of fantasy and hence, NOT REAL.
Anyway, theres my opinion, if I'm in the minority, feel free to ignore me, otherwise, perhaps I've added something worthwhile to the process.
Chucking in my 0.002 cents in a definite, if polite, no on this idea.
Making the majority pay for the minority's crimes is distressing. And as part of the giddy majority with alts or friends-with-alts for roleplay reasons, I don't want to know that someone else has this number of alts, or that they have 'em at all. That takes away half the fun of reading someone and going, "Is that an alt? THEY WRITE SO WELL. THEY MUST BE AN ALT. WHO CAN IT BE. They sound like Callia! KES, IS IT CALLIA? Tell me already! LET US ANALYSE THEIR CONVERSATIONAL STYLE. Oh. No, Callia just said it's not her. Hmn. Maybe they are just an exceptional rookie. Ebennnnnnnnnnn... Can I squeeze it out of you? Please? Please?"
Guessing is half the fun. Making people guess is the other half. The relief of being someone entirely different from a character you've previously set up is the third half. Yes. Three halves. I'm repeating what other, more lucid people have said- Calli being an example, Escemfer and G_rock being others- but it takes away one whole half of the fun if a rookie comes along and a little note informs you in their bio that they are actually an alt. No, two halves.
There was one thing I was confused about in this discussion - There were some mentions of playing alts, either in the same clan, or different clans, as a way to farm resources - While I realize that with a second character you get twice as many game days, The actual amount of work a character does isn't decreased if the character is played by one player or another (Unless one player's a psychotic minmaxer and the other's a casual player, but DETAILS). I know there are a FEW events that you can use to get items per day, but really, are two or three cigs a day going to tip the scales? Is there something here I'm missing that makes having alts in a clan ridiculously unbalanced?
On the topic of alts, but veering slightly to the side to visit a tourist trap along the line of thought here...
Improbable Island seems like it's very much not about the game. Yes, there are people for which it is, but a lot of people are here for the community, to talk, to roleplay, and generally share their creations. To this end, I can't even see a problem with the issue of resource funneling via alts - If a player can figure out a way to use a second character that keeps them in enough money that their main is never short on One-Shots (At the cost of a penny per trade, no less), speeding along dwelling building, does that really give them an "unfair advantage?" So they have a few extra rooms built before another person.
The concept of an unfair advantage is based on the idea that there is a level of competition in the player base where spending time doing one thing and not another would put the player at a detriment, either gameplay-wise or when compared to other players. This really doesn't seem like the case. Yes, there are ways that a player could cheat and do things to get themselves extra cigs, or have 50k req on the beginning of a Rank 7 DK, but there are always ways to do that, both 'legal' and 'illegal.' I know that there are some players who have friendly rivalries going on with things (Getting to Level 100 logging first, race to complete a DK, whatever), but policing how the players in these rivalries get their materials/funding seems like it should be more up to the players in the competitions. If player A uses an alt to start their DK off with 10k more than Player B in the competition, how is that any more or less fair than player C donating a fiver and getting a bag of req? Or if player D asked player E to hold onto some crates for them at the end of their DK so they could pick them up at the beginning of the next?
I realize the topic here is (I believe) more about people just being dicks and not playing like dicks, but this has been running in the back of my head a while.
Beeps, as someone who plays the game primarily for the game, I can vouch that the idea of fair competition still exists in Improbable Island. As for bags of req, I completely ignore their existence, along with cartons of cigs. Paying for cosmetic features is a fine way to fund the developer, paying for an in-game advantage breaks the spirit of fair play. When I get to 100 Stonecutting, I'm going to say, "Heck yeah, I'm one of the top stonecutters and I'm probably the only one who didn't use a Builder's Brew to get here." On the flip side of the token, it's quite likely that the top stonecutters who did use Builder's Brews did so because they weren't trying to engage in some character-skill-developing-competition, they just wanted their awesome buildings constructed quickly.
With such dual aspect in the game, I can entertain the idea of having the Builder's Brews--you use them "knowing" that you're disqualified from that particular leaderboard, because you're trying to facilitate your RP experience instead.
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