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 Character Chat Requires Level 5?
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CloudySky
 Sunday, July 03 2016 @ 11:18 AM UTC  
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I don't know, Newbie_teal has always seemed the correct default colour for me.

Everyone has had some good arguments, and I'm not sure on which side to weigh in. Mostly, because for me personally, I only noticed there was a Character chat long after I passed level 5.

(That's why, as RP Whistle noted, I've sometimes pointed newbies to character chat when I noticed a question in Player chat had gone quite a while before being answered. I try not to do it consistently though, because I like the thought that Character chat is used by those who care about roleplay and Story (and chatting), and that you can pose questions about gameplay in Player chat and the answer will stay on the page long enough to get a chance to read it. except during Eurosong)

So the only effect of the change I have noticed, is an agreement on the part of those of us who make sure to check in on questions in Player chat (or just lurk there) to be a little more vocal, so it doesn't seem dead.
We can continue doing that, regardless of whether the restriction is kept or not. And Lyssa has a point that for the people in the Australian time-zones, restricting visibility might be counter-productive.


 
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Garkle
 Saturday, July 09 2016 @ 01:32 PM UTC  
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Well, after Vahelle send me here (thanks for that) I want to add my own five cents...


I like player chat over character chat and would not simply switch over if player chat should get closed.


Here is why:

English is a second language to me. I can read pretty fast, but to write a long sentence takes me way longer than a native speaker. That said, the pace in banter is to fast for me. Staying on top of things there requires all of my concentration. Which means I can't do any other islanding stuff while writing there :-(

I like to separate in-character and out-of-character stuff. That is why I have no problem to jovially chat in player chat with another PLAYER whose CHARACTER had a fight with my CHARACTER in story. Chatting in character chat would result in my character still being pissed of, therefore possibly affecting player relations. Which I think is a bad thing to happen.

Player chat isn't as dead as it often seems. A lot of people seem to have an eye on it while jungling. When I started to play a few month ago, my questions where mostly OOC stuff. Even when the last post was a few hours old, my questions often got answered within less then ten minutes. And as the questions were OOC, I wouldn't have asked them in character chat. So basically player chat helped me get all the information I needed.

Now that I know how stuff on the island works, I try to help out other new players. And the questions they have are exactly the same: OOC. So discussing game mechanics and strategies in player chat seems natural to me, because that is nothing the characters would know about.

And the low pace of the player chat has another advantage. At least to me and other people jungling. Every time I bank my req, a quick look at player chat is enough to be up to date. Try to stay on top of character chat while jungling. No way. Well, at least not for me. So when a newbie posts in player chat, I usually can respond within 5 to 10 minutes. Not great, but not too bad either.


So I think it is a good idea to get the new players accustomed to the island in player chat. Although I'd like to be able to emote there. Helps the new players to try out emoting (which is quite often a source of confusion - not being able to do so in player chat), and gives the veterans some more possibilities. I'd like to now and than be able to use "Garkles player nods in agreement" or stuff like that...

What I noted is that since the level 5 rule is in effect, there are more new players in player chat and that the player chat is in fact more active. Being a mostly-player-chat player, I sure welcome this development.

Kind regards, Garkle


 
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Zoinks
 Saturday, July 09 2016 @ 03:26 PM UTC  
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Quote by: Garkle

I like to separate in-character and out-of-character stuff. That is why I have no problem to jovially chat in player chat with another PLAYER whose CHARACTER had a fight with my CHARACTER in story. Chatting in character chat would result in my character still being pissed of, therefore possibly affecting player relations. Which I think is a bad thing to happen.

Player chat isn't as dead as it often seems. A lot of people seem to have an eye on it while jungling. When I started to play a few month ago, my questions where mostly OOC stuff. Even when the last post was a few hours old, my questions often got answered within less then ten minutes. And as the questions were OOC, I wouldn't have asked them in character chat. So basically player chat helped me get all the information I needed.

Now that I know how stuff on the island works, I try to help out other new players. And the questions they have are exactly the same: OOC. So discussing game mechanics and strategies in player chat seems natural to me, because that is nothing the characters would know about



You said some other important stuff, but I'd just like to focus on this bit right now.

You're saying, basically, that Character Chat IS In Character.

That's an understandable thing to believe.

But I don't think it's true. And this is possibly another topic worthy of another forum post for discussion. And since this isn't on topic, I won't continue my thoughts. Just wanted to point this out.


 
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Count Sessine
 Saturday, July 09 2016 @ 05:45 PM UTC  
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Quote by: Zoinks

Quote by: Garkle
I like to separate in-character and out-of-character stuff. That is why I have no problem to jovially chat in player chat with another PLAYER whose CHARACTER had a fight with my CHARACTER in story. Chatting in character chat would result in my character still being pissed of, therefore possibly affecting player relations. Which I think is a bad thing to happen.
You said some other important stuff, but I'd just like to focus on this bit right now.

You're saying, basically, that Character Chat IS In Character.

That's an understandable thing to believe.

But I don't think it's true. And this is possibly another topic worthy of another forum post for discussion. And since this isn't on topic, I won't continue my thoughts. Just wanted to point this out.

Admittedly... a bit off topic. There's a simple answer, though. Since you brought the subject up, I think it's worth saying.

The intended use of Character Chat is to be a costume party.

Really, imagine it that way. It fits perfectly! Like Player Chat, it is populated by players, except the players are wearing their characters as costumes. Players do sometimes playfully drop into character for a moment, but they're only socializing, never seriously roleplaying. They can say things their characters would never actually say, because it's a party and this is only a costume. They frequently talk about their characters in third person ("He would so hate that!"), arrange place and time for writing in-character stories, and also engage in a lot of other silliness that has nothing to do with their costume, just for fun.

Character Chat as a costume party -- is actually relevant to the topic of this thread. It's simple once you get the notion; until then it's going to take a bit of mental juggling. CMJ is experimenting to find out if he retains more new players when they have to be exposed to at least a little bit of the Island -- you know, the stuff he's created -- first. I guess we'll see how it turns out.


 
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Vahelle
 Saturday, July 09 2016 @ 06:22 PM UTC  
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Quote by: Zoinks

Quote by: Garkle

I like to separate in-character and out-of-character stuff. That is why I have no problem to jovially chat in player chat with another PLAYER whose CHARACTER had a fight with my CHARACTER in story. Chatting in character chat would result in my character still being pissed of, therefore possibly affecting player relations. Which I think is a bad thing to happen.

Player chat isn't as dead as it often seems. A lot of people seem to have an eye on it while jungling. When I started to play a few month ago, my questions where mostly OOC stuff. Even when the last post was a few hours old, my questions often got answered within less then ten minutes. And as the questions were OOC, I wouldn't have asked them in character chat. So basically player chat helped me get all the information I needed.

Now that I know how stuff on the island works, I try to help out other new players. And the questions they have are exactly the same: OOC. So discussing game mechanics and strategies in player chat seems natural to me, because that is nothing the characters would know about



You said some other important stuff, but I'd just like to focus on this bit right now.

You're saying, basically, that Character Chat IS In Character.

That's an understandable thing to believe.

But I don't think it's true. And this is possibly another topic worthy of another forum post for discussion. And since this isn't on topic, I won't continue my thoughts. Just wanted to point this out.



I also think that Character Chat is also out of character, and in the discussion we had in Banter this week, I think it was Shi that brought up the concept of the "modified persona" where you do act slightly differently in chat because you can emote and you're aware that others can see your rollover or know your character - or it's just fun to mess around with that pseudo-roleplay of "doing" things your character can do but you can't do. I know this is something some players are uncomfortable about in the form of touching or glomping or sexual roleplay and some players are very comfortable with it, to the point where being unable to emote in player chat is strange. Although I have seen people mistake character chat for being in-character, I think that's the unusual case and, when I brought it up, others agreed that they feel the same.

The problem that I can see that is "easily" fixed, is that many rookies simply don't understand this point. And, now that Character Chat requires level 5 (or 6 in effect), they aren't aware that it even exists, never mind the differences between the PC and CC. I see that you can read a brief line about it if you click the "?" help text thing next to the title of "Chat Channel" but I haven't seen this explained anywhere in the game, and I think that it should be. Zoinks, I had read someone say that they feel the number of rookies who treat CC as in-character has increased since the split of Banter and I can see why when the line in the help text says you can use CC for "light roleplay", so it seems to me this point might be relevant anyway. I'm aware that some people just don't read, but it should be available for those who do. (And anyway, this is a text-based game, no? Razz)

The other thing is that, I agree with Lyssa in saying that PC is not "quiet" but rather "completely dead" during the time that I, in South Africa, are awake and active. I believe that sometimes what Garkle says about people lurking to answer questions is true, but I have seen that sometimes it still happens that a rookie will ask a question and log off before receiving an answer. Even though PC has certainly been more active recently. I'm one of the people who started posting there more often because of the debates and I've become somewhat attached to PC because of the slower pace and I just like the people who post there a lot. I'd like to see whether PC stays this "active" once the attention dies down, or hopefully more active so that there aren't hours of silence.

All of that said, I do agree that we should take into account how this actually affects player retention and not just how us existing players feel about the changes. That we should be patient (for lack of a better word) although I appreciate that there's little apathy about this and everyone seems to be trying to contribute and try to find a solution that works for as many people as possible. I would like to ask: will CMJ be sharing the results with the community when there's time? I can't be the only one who is very curious.


EDIT: Apologies to Sessine, I had this topic open for a long time and didn't see that you'd already replied before I posted. Ninja'd!


 
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Garkle
 Saturday, July 09 2016 @ 10:35 PM UTC  
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Well, it's me again, your not so newbish newb!

Reading through your answers I can't help but write some kind of rebuttal. Sure, a lot of what you said is plain matter of fact and you indeed know better than me. So let me be explicit about what this post is or is not:

It is a try to share some of my experience. I come to think this might be somewhat insightful because I am most likely the closest thing to a newb that will participate in this discussion and I therefore might have a better understanding of what the current situation feels like for a newb. I might.

It is not a simple "I know better" post or an attempt to outsmart anyone. It isn't an effort to try to tell you how to play your game either. And it is most definitely not meant to judge anybody. I may discuss certain behaviour and what I feel its consequences are. But even if my evaluation is not favourable that doesn't mean I judge players who exhibit this behaviour. I may not like it, but that doesn't mean it is bad or that I know better.


Those who have seen me in story might already suspect something like that, but to give some perspective to my post I would like to give you some quick personal details. I'm playing role-playing games for over a decade, although most of the time the pen&paper variety. Therefore I'm used to rather strict separation of IC/OOC and can spot quite fast whether a post is OOC or not. I'm comfortable with role-playing so a lot of the typical obstacles for newbs don't apply to me. You already know about the language barrier, although I assume it is of minor importance here.



The first topic I'd like discuss is the question whether character chat is in character or not. To seasoned players it is well known that character chat is not supposed to be in character. Or at least that seems to be the common understanding of what it is supposed to be. Looking at this from a somewhat more detached point of view things start to look a little different:

Coming onto the island, I found two different chats because I joined before the level requirement was effective. Well, coming from my background it was clear to me what these chats were supposed to be (or so I thought). Player chat aka OOC-Channel and character chat aka ingame-channel. What adds to this understanding is the games description Vahelle wrote about in her post. It reads:

The channels are separate so that role-playing doesn't get in the way of friendly natter and vice-versa!

Coming from a P&P background this seems painfully obvious. You always have the OOC stuff interfering with your role-play, so let's banish that stuff to a channel of its own and it is out of the way...

So looking at character chat, I saw what I kind of expected from the internet. Some players role-playing well withing the expected, and others just happily ignoring the social contract and mixing OOC stuff in the ingame channel. The only thing missing was the hostility and bitterness almost every big internet community aggregates. Given the matter of fact stated before, I was dead wrong about who where the culprits and who was behaving within the expected.

Being a somewhat experienced role-player I quickly understood that the social contract in fact covered using the character chat for OOC stuff, but this brings me to raise two questions:

First, could I have avoided to mistake character chat for an ingame-channel? Hardly, I think. With my background I was pretty much set on rails and those rails got supported by what the game wrote about the channels.

The second question, could a less experienced player have told the difference in advance? And if not, how long would he have needed to spot his error? I can not really answer these questions, but I assume the less experienced players would have to some extend suffered the same misconception. Of course they would have been thoroughly confused about a lot of other things and at the time they got them sorted out they might as well have gotten their heads around what character chat really is, but who knows?



The second topic I would like to pick up is the question whether it is indeed obvious, that the content of character chat is not supposed to be role-playing, or not. Other that Zoinks I indeed think this is somewhat important, because this is what gives the things happening there context. I will pick something that Sessine wrote, because I think it can help me to make my point:

They can say things their characters would never actually say, because it's a party and this is only a costume. They frequently talk about their characters in third person ("He would so hate that!"),

arrange place and time for writing in-character stories, and also engage in a lot of other silliness that has nothing to do with their costume, just for fun.

The second part is pretty obvious, no room for misunderstanding there. The first part on the other hand, that is where I have doubts.

The first thing I have to observe is that quite a lot of players share information about their characters quite freely in story using the third person. In fact, at first I was quite appalled that a lot of people wrote stuff that contradicted their characters behaviour in third person, narrator style. This sure avoids bad blood and misconceptions, but it is very unusual at first. And exactly this behaviour can be observed in the character chat too. So what I am about to say is, the third person is as far as I have observed not an indication that character chat is OOC.

Regarding that they say stuff their characters would never say: to recognize something like that, you have to know the character. And that is what newbs most definitely do not. I very much remember my first Jezz-scenes in NewHome. Hell, the character was frightening exotic and incredibly hard to grasp. So I decided to not interact at all. Now that I've read a lot of her story I like her play, but right then I had no idea and seriously misjudged the character. Just one example for why new players will have trouble recognizing the character-would-never-do-that stuff.



The third topic is somewhat related to what Vahelle wrote and directly related to the context of character chat:

I know this is something some players are uncomfortable about in the form of touching or glomping or sexual roleplay and some players are very comfortable with it, to the point where being unable to emote in player chat is strange.

The important thing is context here. If things in character chat are supposed to be in character then my reaction is determined by my character and the action is aimed towards my character and not my person. This is in so far important, that a roleplayed action is never meant to affect me. So if my characters borders are crossed by a surprising and unwelcome kiss, it is my character who is getting violated, not me.

If on the other hand it is not supposed to be in character and my character is supposed to be "me in disguise", than you would end up in trouble for pouncing on me. Because that is something that I, the player, would in real live not allow to happen. If now some player in disguise crosses a border, it is no longer my characters border, it is now my border. The player gets into a situation he or she does not like. And that is something nobody wants to happen.

I think what Vahelle describes, some player being uncomfortable with this kind of play, can often be traced back to being a tiny little bit unclear about if this is to be taken personally or not.



Given this analysis, I kind of see why character chat can be quite frightening for new players. Whether it is good to shield them from this for a few levels or not will have to be seen. On the other hand maybe other actions can be taken to avoid these problems. I think it might help, if character chat would be named differently or the character chats description would be updated. To get the context of player/character behaviour straight.



I hope this post is to some extend helpful and grants a little insight on the newbs point of view. Please keep in mind that most likely I will no be able to respond until tomorrow or maybe even Monday. Nevertheless feel free to answer right away, I will sure read up later.


Kind regards,

Garkle


 
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Count Sessine
 Sunday, July 10 2016 @ 12:59 AM UTC  
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Thank you, Garkle. It is always good to hear from a thoughtful player.

If my costume party analogy seemed to suggest that people who are engaging in something that looks like real roleplaying in Character Chat are somehow doing it wrong, that was bad communication on my part. In fact, the convention we seem to have settled on is that people are allowed to slip in and out of character as the mood takes them. It is very much like a costume party where people may or may not act out the costume they're wearing. One minute they might be all "Oooh, beware! Tremble before the Mighty Cart of Singing Cabbages!" Next they may flumph down on the Bantercouch, exhausted, and join in critiquing the latest video game or grumbling about their day job. It's all good.

One thing everyone does seem to agree on is that nothing said in Character Chat "counts" as having actually happened in the life of the character.

You're absolutely right that this is far from self-evident to a newcomer. The nuances really should be explained a lot better!

Here's why we don't have much of the usual internet hostility and bitterness: we expect players to respect each other. That way, everyone gets to have fun. So, good manners are important. Our approach is... if, in any chat space (but especially in Character Chat), you feel another character is crossing a boundary or writing something that is making you uncomfortable, you don't need to get mad. They can't read your mind! If it's Character Chat, speak up OOC immediately and ask them to stop. Or, well, if it's a minor thing, it's perfectly fine not to react to it at all. Just continue as if it didn't happen, and talk about whatever you want to talk about. If you're in a Story channel and prefer not to step out of character, send a Distraction.

The only right answer to "Please stop, it's bothering me," is "Oh, sorry! One change of subject, coming up!"


Edit: Oh, and... about how writers here sometimes undercut what their character is saying aloud with a contradicting third-person narrative? It's a bit startling to encounter for the first time, I suppose, but as a writing technique it adds wonderful flexibility. I've seen it used to great comedic effect, and yes, when a character is being unpleasant for story reasons, it's a fine way to make sure people understand it's not just because the player is nasty. (The risk of such a misperception is much greater in an online game than it is around the gaming table in the basement.)


 
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Lyssa
 Sunday, July 10 2016 @ 08:41 AM UTC  
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Hi, me again.

Firstly:
Seeing a lot of stuff like this.

Quote by: Garkle

I like player chat over character chat and would not simply switch over if player chat should get closed.


Just reminding everyone, this topic is not about closing Player Chat. Nobody in the thread has proposed we nix Player Chat. We are suggesting the level requirement be removed. There are tons of people bursting in here and singing the praises of Player Chat, how amazing and useful it is and how it should definitely not be taken out, but barely anything about why someone should not be allowed to chose which one they hang out in, which is the actual issue at hand.
The only argument I have seen for this measure (outside of my chat is better) is that rookies are more likely to be seen posting in Player Chat than in Character Chat, but even that is pretty damn flimsy; a rookie with access to both Player and Character Chat is inevitably more likely to be answered than a player who just has access to Player Chat unless the probability of being answered in Character Chat is zero, which any reasonable person would agree is not the case. That's just maths.
Are there any other arguments for only being allowed in Player Chat that I can read?


Regarding other things said:

Quote by: Genevieve

Improbable Island is a rich and hilarious RPG and not a single one of these arguments seems to point out the fact that the game itself is the most important element of player retention, because anyone can find a chatroom with fun people anywhere on the internet. What makes us unique is the context of the game.

If we actually care about fostering new player retention then banter shouldn't be half as relevant as these arguments are making it out to be. If you want people to enjoy II, you have to make an actual concentrated effort to do so. If that effort means using Player Chat, then use player chat. If that effort means actually RPing with new people, or people you've never met before, then write with new people! If you need to start writing things that allow anyone to join, then do so. I'm not saying anyone has to do these things, by the way, I am saying that these are the things that need to change if you actually want to actively help retain new players.

Chatting with friends is a great luxury but there are so many ways to chat with friends on the Island, and so few ways to introduce new players to the game.


I dislike this because of how it makes out people who only chat as somehow less important or less real as players. The only conceivable way a player could be more or less "valuable" to the Island is based on how much cash they throw in the kitty; anything else is a value judgement on how people play the game. Hell, Omega is a mod, and she RPs so rarely it's practically a meme.
I don't want us to be one of those places, where unless you play the game the right and proper way you're No True Islander and should be ashamed of yourself. Arguing that the chat shouldn't be important ignores the reality of the matter: that to a lot of people it is, and that they're not somehow less relevant for feeling that way.
In short, "only people who like RP should be considered/catered to" is pretty elitist and all-around unfun.

Quote by: Garkle

Well, it's me again, your not so newbish newb!
Reading through your answers I can't help but write some kind of rebuttal. Sure, a lot of what you said is plain matter of fact and you indeed know better than me. So let me be explicit about what this post is or is not:
It is a try to share some of my experience. I come to think this might be somewhat insightful because I am most likely the closest thing to a newb that will participate in this discussion and I therefore might have a better understanding of what the current situation feels like for a newb. I might.
It is not a simple "I know better" post or an attempt to outsmart anyone. It isn't an effort to try to tell you how to play your game either. And it is most definitely not meant to judge anybody. I may discuss certain behaviour and what I feel its consequences are. But even if my evaluation is not favourable that doesn't mean I judge players who exhibit this behaviour. I may not like it, but that doesn't mean it is bad or that I know better.

Those who have seen me in story might already suspect something like that, but to give some perspective to my post I would like to give you some quick personal details. I'm playing role-playing games for over a decade, although most of the time the pen&paper variety. Therefore I'm used to rather strict separation of IC/OOC and can spot quite fast whether a post is OOC or not. I'm comfortable with role-playing so a lot of the typical obstacles for newbs don't apply to me. You already know about the language barrier, although I assume it is of minor importance here.


Thanks for the insight, Garkle, good to hear from a relatively new player. I'll address your points individually.
  • Quote by: Garkle

    The first topic I'd like discuss is the question whether character chat is in character or not. To seasoned players it is well known that character chat is not supposed to be in character. Or at least that seems to be the common understanding of what it is supposed to be. Looking at this from a somewhat more detached point of view things start to look a little different:

    Coming onto the island, I found two different chats because I joined before the level requirement was effective. Well, coming from my background it was clear to me what these chats were supposed to be (or so I thought). Player chat aka OOC-Channel and character chat aka ingame-channel. What adds to this understanding is the games description Vahelle wrote about in her post. It reads:

    The channels are separate so that role-playing doesn't get in the way of friendly natter and vice-versa!

    Coming from a P&P background this seems painfully obvious. You always have the OOC stuff interfering with your role-play, so let's banish that stuff to a channel of its own and it is out of the way...

    So looking at character chat, I saw what I kind of expected from the internet. Some players role-playing well withing the expected, and others just happily ignoring the social contract and mixing OOC stuff in the ingame channel. The only thing missing was the hostility and bitterness almost every big internet community aggregates. Given the matter of fact stated before, I was dead wrong about who where the culprits and who was behaving within the expected.

    Being a somewhat experienced role-player I quickly understood that the social contract in fact covered using the character chat for OOC stuff, but this brings me to raise two questions:

    First, could I have avoided to mistake character chat for an ingame-channel? Hardly, I think. With my background I was pretty much set on rails and those rails got supported by what the game wrote about the channels.

    The second question, could a less experienced player have told the difference in advance? And if not, how long would he have needed to spot his error? I can not really answer these questions, but I assume the less experienced players would have to some extend suffered the same misconception. Of course they would have been thoroughly confused about a lot of other things and at the time they got them sorted out they might as well have gotten their heads around what character chat really is, but who knows?


    Maybe I can clear a few things up for you via a bit of a history lesson.
    The two banters we have now used to just be one big chat, called "Global Banter". It was pretty much what Character Chat is now - a site-wide OOC channel with emoting and rollovers. Thing was, some people had a problem with how Global Banter was being used, specifically with regard to emoting. There was a lot of complaining about physical stuff like cuddling, glomping (seriously though do people still say that), grabbing, etc.
    (This is probably partially why I snapped at Iriana before - there were pages and pages of discussion of this stuff and I was (am) sick to death of it. I thought we were done with this now, jeez.)
    Because of this, we split banter into two parts: Character Chat, where you were allowed to do all those actiony things, which had rollovers and emoting; and Player Chat, which did not. Both chats are intended to be OOC. All of banter is. The "RP" in Character Chat is not IC - it is, essentially, people roleplaying as themselves. The OOC state is not just a social contract, but is its actual purpose.
    This is why we have that weird distinction.
    I can see where you're coming from with the "could I have avoided this mistake?" thing, though. The chat is kind of poorly named and poorly described.

  • Quote by: Garkle

    The second topic I would like to pick up is the question whether it is indeed obvious, that the content of character chat is not supposed to be role-playing, or not. Other that Zoinks I indeed think this is somewhat important, because this is what gives the things happening there context. I will pick something that Sessine wrote, because I think it can help me to make my point:

    They can say things their characters would never actually say, because it's a party and this is only a costume. They frequently talk about their characters in third person ("He would so hate that!"),

    arrange place and time for writing in-character stories, and also engage in a lot of other silliness that has nothing to do with their costume, just for fun.

    The second part is pretty obvious, no room for misunderstanding there. The first part on the other hand, that is where I have doubts.

    The first thing I have to observe is that quite a lot of players share information about their characters quite freely in story using the third person. In fact, at first I was quite appalled that a lot of people wrote stuff that contradicted their characters behaviour in third person, narrator style. This sure avoids bad blood and misconceptions, but it is very unusual at first. And exactly this behaviour can be observed in the character chat too. So what I am about to say is, the third person is as far as I have observed not an indication that character chat is OOC.

    Regarding that they say stuff their characters would never say: to recognize something like that, you have to know the character. And that is what newbs most definitely do not. I very much remember my first Jezz-scenes in NewHome. Hell, the character was frightening exotic and incredibly hard to grasp. So I decided to not interact at all. Now that I've read a lot of her story I like her play, but right then I had no idea and seriously misjudged the character. Just one example for why new players will have trouble recognizing the character-would-never-do-that stuff.


    There's a difference between the way people talk about their character in the third person in Character Chat and the way they do it in story. In Character Chat it's usually in quotes or in emotes that are intended as quotes. It's people talking about their character, tossing around hypotheticals, discussing things that have happened, etc. In story, it's usually greytext third person limited stuff relating directly to the situation at hand - clarifying commentary on what's happening right now.
    This is admittedly not the most obvious of distinctions, particularly to people for whom English is a second language.
    I acknowledge the point about knowing what is OOC, but I'm struggling with the relevance of the Jez anecdote - are you saying that because you misjudged her character at first it would be hard to tell if Character Chat was OOC?

  • Quote by: Garkle

    The third topic is somewhat related to what Vahelle wrote and directly related to the context of character chat:

    I know this is something some players are uncomfortable about in the form of touching or glomping or sexual roleplay and some players are very comfortable with it, to the point where being unable to emote in player chat is strange.

    The important thing is context here. If things in character chat are supposed to be in character then my reaction is determined by my character and the action is aimed towards my character and not my person. This is in so far important, that a roleplayed action is never meant to affect me. So if my characters borders are crossed by a surprising and unwelcome kiss, it is my character who is getting violated, not me.

    If on the other hand it is not supposed to be in character and my character is supposed to be "me in disguise", than you would end up in trouble for pouncing on me. Because that is something that I, the player, would in real live not allow to happen. If now some player in disguise crosses a border, it is no longer my characters border, it is now my border. The player gets into a situation he or she does not like. And that is something nobody wants to happen.

    I think what Vahelle describes, some player being uncomfortable with this kind of play, can often be traced back to being a tiny little bit unclear about if this is to be taken personally or not.


    This is pretty straightforward, hopefully more so with the clarification about Character Chat above. It's your boundaries in Character Chat. Go ahead and tell people off for interactions that you find unwelcome. I do it! I've only once had someone not immediately back off, and he was straight away called out for being a jerk about it by the other players present.

  • Quote by: Garkle

    Given this analysis, I kind of see why character chat can be quite frightening for new players. Whether it is good to shield them from this for a few levels or not will have to be seen. On the other hand maybe other actions can be taken to avoid these problems. I think it might help, if character chat would be named differently or the character chats description would be updated. To get the context of player/character behaviour straight.


    I completely agree with you about the description and the name. Having been here since before the split, it hadn't occurred to me that it could be a source of confusion. Good idea.


Quote by: Garkle


I hope this post is to some extend helpful and grants a little insight on the newbs point of view. Please keep in mind that most likely I will no be able to respond until tomorrow or maybe even Monday. Nevertheless feel free to answer right away, I will sure read up later.

Kind regards,
Garkle


I found this post very insightful, and look forward to hearing back from you should you decide to write a reply. Thanks!



Alright, that's all from me for now. Apologies for the slightly exhausting length of the post.


 
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Count Sessine
 Sunday, July 10 2016 @ 02:29 PM UTC  
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...and, Lyssa explains better than I did!

I'll just underline that yes, both sides of the global chat spaces were intentionally created to be OOC. As CMJ has discovered over the years, intending isn't always enough! so I am very glad that this time we also have a working social contract to treat them that way.

Oh, and guys? Please don't anybody start arguing over which way to play is most valuable. There's gameplay, there's roleplaying, there's building, there's socializing... The Island has many modes, many paths and sub-paths to success. The variety is a big part of what keeps people coming back here for years.

Don't worry. CMJ will run the numbers. If retention goes up he'll keep the change; if it goes down, he'll remove it. Anyone can speculate about potential effects; what counts is what actually happens.


 
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Garkle
 Sunday, July 10 2016 @ 10:47 PM UTC  
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Hello everybody!

Quote by: Count Sessine

If my costume party analogy seemed to suggest that people who are engaging in something that looks like real roleplaying in Character Chat are somehow doing it wrong, that was bad communication on my part.


As far as I am concerned it did not. My usage of culprits was not meant to imply the role-players did something bad. I merely wanted to point out that the role-players in character chat are kind of the opposite of what I expected. Not the "should be" but the "can be". Therefore the usage of culprits was intended to be kind of tongue-in-cheek. Probably I should avoid these more delicate aspects of language until I am way better in English.

Quote by: Count Sessine

Here's why we don't have much of the usual internet hostility and bitterness: we expect players to respect each other. That way, everyone gets to have fun. So, good manners are important. Our approach is... if, in any chat space (but especially in Character Chat), you feel another character is crossing a boundary or writing something that is making you uncomfortable, you don't need to get mad. They can't read your mind! If it's Character Chat, speak up OOC immediately and ask them to stop.


Which is wonderful. Honestly, the help and support I received as a new player was amazing. And it is one of the main reasons why I am still on the island and didn't move on. So a lot of people are doing a good job already to keep new players. I do hope it was clear to see that the lack of internet bitterness was indeed a difference to what I expected, but it was a very welcome one...


Dear Lyssa!

You seem to have a very strong opinion regarding the question whether the level requirement is a good thing or not. I can not help but notice that, in my opinion, you are using a kind of aggressive rhetoric. Therefore I beg your pardon for trying to keep this discussion open as this may be disruptive to your passionate attempt to convince others. Please know that I am in no way saying you are wrong or trying to oppose you.

Quote by: Lyssa

Just reminding everyone, this topic is not about closing Player Chat. Nobody in the thread has proposed we nix Player Chat. We are suggesting the level requirement be removed. There are tons of people bursting in here and singing the praises of Player Chat, how amazing and useful it is and how it should definitely not be taken out, but barely anything about why someone should not be allowed to chose which one they hang out in, which is the actual issue at hand.



Although I already was aware that this discussion is not about closing anything, I think you have a point. This discussion seems to drift away from the original question. I feel inclined to object although, that I do think the benefits of player chat in fact are related to the question regarding the level requirement. To make a good decision (which is not ours to make), it is indeed helpful to see the whole picture. And I think knowing what player chat can and can not offer is kind of relevant here.

Further I am inclined to believe that, for the sake of discussion, the question should be phrased a little more open, because your version seems to me to already imply an answer.

A more neutral question would be, what the benefits and disadvantages of the level requirement are.

So returning the discussion to this question sure seems to be a good idea.


Quote by: Lyssa

a rookie with access to both Player and Character Chat is inevitably more likely to be answered than a player who just has access to Player Chat unless the probability of being answered in Character Chat is zero, which any reasonable person would agree is not the case. That's just maths.


And a person given more options to choose from is more likely to not choose at all. That's just psychology.

Well, that wasn't a very nice thing of me to say so please accept my apology for using aggressive rhetoric myself here. I think we both are oversimplifying here just to make a point. The point I was trying to make is, that the probability that a player is not asking the question in the first place is not taken into account in your equation.

At first I was inclined to elaborate why I think there might be an issue with your math. But then I realized this would steer the discussion once more away from the question we want to discuss: benefits and disadvantages of the level limit. So let us agree to disagree on the math involved here and try to avoid this kind of misleading rhetoric.


Before I go on to another quote allow me to say thank you for your explanation about how the two banter channels developed. I had picked up fragments of that, but you are painting a pretty instructive and whole picture here.

And although you are sick of the topic, I think it is important to point out that some people are uncomfortable with the way things go in character chat. And I kind of believe this can negatively influence the overall experience for new players. Knowing that there is a character chat where you feel you do not belong kind of invites second thoughts about the community in general. So this might be a point in favour of the level restriction: Giving new players time to get a better understanding of the community before dropping them in the character chat.


Quote by: Lyssa

I acknowledge the point about knowing what is OOC, but I'm struggling with the relevance of the Jez anecdote - are you saying that because you misjudged her character at first it would be hard to tell if Character Chat was OOC?


Well, that anecdote was supposed to show how easy it is for new players, even experienced role-players, to misjudge characters. And this observation was intended to explain why the ic/ooc distinction ("They can say things their characters would never actually say") regarding banter might be challenging for new players. Basically it was intended to explain why I have doubts that new players will get this distinction straight. I think the new players are likely to recognize if the player drops OOC in story, but to tell the difference in character chat might sometimes be a bit more difficult.


Quote by: Count Sessine

Oh, and guys? Please don't anybody start arguing over which way to play is most valuable. There's gameplay, there's roleplaying, there's building, there's socializing... The Island has many modes, many paths and sub-paths to success. The variety is a big part of what keeps people coming back here for years.


I may be new, but I totally want to second that!



In the end I'd like to ask you a question because the answer might be insightful too:

Did anyone ever experience a new player express grief about not being able to join character chat? Especially on its own? Of course, being told to come to the character chat first and realizing later that he can not will cause displeasure, so please consider these events as out of scope of this question.

I ask this question, because I have a suspicion I would like to either substantiate or disprove: The suspicion, that the level requirement is mostly affecting the more experienced players who now have to grind to get their new/future alts into character chat.



Well, given that the two hour limit of my enquirer account had run out when I wanted to preview things I guess I've spend way too much time on forging this post. So please be as gentle as you've always been and try to ignore the somewhat f*cked up formating...


All the best,

Garkle


 
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Widdershins
 Wednesday, July 13 2016 @ 01:10 AM UTC  
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Here's a half-baked 2am ideas, don't know if it's feasible, or easy to program:

What about making the lines of Player Chat show up in Character Chat, too?
Say, the latest post of Player Chat is older than 1 hour, then display it in Character Chat, maybe in bold, so people will notice the question of a new player, and help them.
Or maybe make the two channels so that one (player) displays only Talking, and the other (character) Talking and Emoting.

Maybe rename the channels to something that makes the distinction and purpose clearer: Slow/Fast, Good/Goofy, New/Naughty, Post/Party, Curt/Costume ..... (Native speakers, help me!)

I'm glad there's a slow chat I can keep up with, my one peeve is that you can't check anyone's rollover. Maybe add a rollover to the character's name in the bio page? (OT Where can I post suggestions like this one?)
I always felt it was pointless to post when I had no meaningful things to say. But if it's just to make Player Chat look alive I can post about all the times when my granddad did not bring home a baby.


 
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csodalatos
 Sunday, August 07 2016 @ 11:06 AM UTC  
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Incidentally (I am late to this party, and I don't have terribly strong feelings one way or the other about the limit-to-Player-Chat, but wanted to comment on a couple of things that've come up in the discussion)

Quote by: Quinn

I honestly feel like this should make things better instead of worse. Having people around at all hours of the day means it's less likely for a person to be lost.


Quinn, though, I wonder. All other things being equal, having a player base spread across timezones would provide a nice sort of coverage, but are all other things equal? I think that's Lyssa's point here. I don't have figures, so this might be completely whackadoodle with respect to the real numbers, but my anecdata (skewed of course by hanging out primarily in GMT -5, -8 and +1, so I mostly wouldn't see Antipodeans, and partially unskewed by keeping unsociable hours) combined with Lyssa's suggest that there's a noticeable trough during likely hours for most Australian players.

Staying up late and telling stories works for me, I think, precisely because there are generally players to my west who are awake and can see it. So it's a reasonable strategy to throw stuff at the wall and see if it sticks in Playerchat. But I can also definitely understand how this might not be the case for people who live in other zones, with less convenient clustering, and the divergence in experiences may account for a decent bit of the talking past one another.

Another brief point:

Quote by: Lyssa

I once saw a rookie post in Player Chat that they were disappointed that they didn't find II earlier, because they would've liked to be a part the game when it was active! What's more, I couldn't do anything about it, because it was six hours old!


Yes, it stinks to walk back to an eight-hour-old question and get no sense that someone has had their question answered, and even I can't stay awake to Europop forever. But, uh, separately from the issue of its being nice to be in a vibrant community and have your questions answered in real-time, I also find myself using Distracts to approach people: "Hey, sometimes you just hit a slack time in this chat. Here's an answer to your question if you didn't get one. There's a lot of activity on the Island actually and you might find it here, or here, or wherever." Surely the Banterspaces aren't the only way we have to reach out to people? (I will freely admit that this has to do much more with the question of what to do with timed-out Rookie questions about the game, since you can't really create the impression of a vibrant game this way, just point out that current appearances may be misleading.)

(Similarly, Zoinks, something I've taken to doing because I saw Ada doing it back in the day is popping back into Location Four once in a while and making sure people nosing around can get to the guide for rooks on the wiki. If you had a link to those refdocs as a collection or what have you, could you either LF or Distract them as needed? I'm sure it'd come in handy.)


 
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