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 Unwelcoming New Home.
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Johnson
 Friday, October 29 2010 @ 03:49 AM UTC (Read 13238 times)  
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Right, so I thought this needed a thread of its own. There are a few of us who do actively visit NH for the purpose of encouraging good roleplay and deterring Teh Angst, Teh Sexin' and Teh Mindless Stupidity, and I'm starting to think a lot of us feel really alone, and as such get drained really fast trying to cope with and make judgement calls on everything that goes on under our noses. So I propose some kind of... working committee. Organisation. Thing. Here's some points for thought, for starters:

Quote by: Ebenezer



On the topic of NewHome:
I'll be blunt. It's been HORRIBLE there for a long time. I am not talking only about sex/PDA/fighting. It's just not at all a welcoming environment any more.

I have spent a lot of time in NewHome, welcoming Rookies. I have not written in NewHome for over a month now. Not for lack of time or interest... but because every time I go there, it's PACKED with people. Many times, these people aren't doing anything particularly wrong . . . but they aren't doing anything particularly RIGHT either. Hanging out. Playing with each other. Telling stories. Developing characters.

That stuff is all well and good, but I really, really wish that non-newbs would go to other outposts when they want to play with each-other or tell stories. There are better places for it! The NewHome text vanishes so fast... you'd think that people would want to put their writing somewhere else, where it might last long enough for someone to see it.
The bottom line is: NewHome has been FAR TOO CROWDED. When I visit NewHome, I do so with the particular goal of seeking out Rookies and teaching them a bit about the game. (I have been side-tracked from time to time, I will admit, but I TRY to stay on task when I play there).

I know that people mean well, but keep in mind: too many non-newbs in NewHome (even ones with good intentions) will scare away the Rookies.

I am sorry to go on a bit of a rant. This is something I've got strong opinions about. NewHome has been so unwelcoming lately that I cannot STAND to be there. If I can't stand it there, then how do the brand new players feel?



and Budd, on the same topic:

Quote by: Buddleia


On a related note, a lot of the roleplay I see, especially in Newhome, seems to be nothing more than soap opera style Relationship Troubles, Macho Posturing, Tragic Misunderstandings, Twue Wuv Between Soulmates, and sex gods as written by horny teenagers of whatever age. It gets so tiresome. It's not interesting to read (especially the umpteenth time essentially the same scene gets played out), it's not amusing, most of it is well removed from the Island canon story/world, and it doesn't encourage or welcome anyone outside of the clique to write themselves into the scene. I fear that new players especially will be put off from roleplaying, and maybe from the whole game. (I've been trying to be a one-person welcoming committee lately, ambushing rookies with newbwiki fliers and cookies and advice and so on, in Banter and Story, but it's starting to feel like a duty rather than something I do for fun - which is not what I want when I log in to a website to play a game.) It really would be much better if there was more good roleplay in Newhome, to show the new people the full potential of the Island.



Most people who do do the Awful in NH aren't on the forum, and the rules in general are kind of... vague. How much do you step in? When is it good and when is it not good? Macho Posturing and Tragic Misunderstandings, while stupid, aren't exactly harming anyone, so should it be left alone? What is allowed in NH and what is not? For those of us who try to keep the peace there, and keep it fun, having some specifications would be nice. And- I guess, having that known in NH, widely, would also be nice. A special note or something because seriously, it gets really disheartening every time a new wave of rookies appear and you have to face all that crap again and send those distractions and say those things in banter. It is not fun. But it has to be done, which is why we do it. It would be nice to have some kind of organisation, though, that'd make it... slightly less One Alone Facing The Mass of Stupidity, is all I'm saying.


 
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KimmyMonstah
 Friday, October 29 2010 @ 04:08 AM UTC  
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I wouldn't mind signing up, if there is a way or whatever. Or even an actual group to sign up to join.

I'll frequently send Bob out into NewHome [usually when he's sane or not something too odd], and in-character, he likes meeting the new people, now.
OOC, I like Bantering with them. Especially the ones who don't feel too comfortable jumping out into Story yet. Those are my favorites.

I won't be sending Bob out all the time [because some of the things he gets turned into aren't nice, but they're fun for me to play as for a BREAK FROM THE NORM], so there's plenty of room for other people to jump in and help out.


If you'll have me, I guess I'm saying.
If not, then I'll just keep at it on my own. Razz


 
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Anonymous: Welcome Mat
 Friday, October 29 2010 @ 04:51 AM UTC  


One of the problems that has been seen and repeated is "There is no rule against what I am doing."

We as a collective may then, disagree with what they are doing, but they are their own collective, and would think us wrong in what we are doing. One could throw in the term, "Don't be a Dick," as the rule for this dilemma.... but each side would just be calling the other "dicks", and the last thing the Island needs is a heated sausage party. Even if the mods are on one side of the issue, being able to mute people one disagrees with doesn't solve a problem, just makes it quiet, and it will come back sooner or later.


What needs to be done is a list! A mega, ultra, super, awesome list... and it will have the do's and don't's of NewHome. If there was an actual list of admin approved rules for the outpost that goes into more detail than the ones that are presented to new players now it might help solve the issue.


 
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dizzyizzy
 Friday, October 29 2010 @ 04:54 AM UTC  
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another thing that would help a lot is if some of the people who have been here for a little bit refreshed their memories on Buddleia's fliers. I do every once in a while, and I think it makes me less of a dick.


 
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Anonymous: Welcome Jim
 Friday, October 29 2010 @ 06:33 AM UTC  


I'm much on the same line as Mat. The island rules are Analog players in our Digital world. It's not enough to say "Don't be a Dick" because people might think, "Oh, calling that guy a pompous ass is justified, thus making me Not a Dick."

And That's fine I suppose, just not in the Home of New. They also should be something you have to read. If you are a dick, I'm willing to bet you didn't take the time to read the starting stuff, which is woefully lacking in the rules.

That's my two cents.


 
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Anonymous: dex
 Friday, October 29 2010 @ 07:29 AM UTC  


woahhhhh who is this 'they'? Who is the 'mindless stupid'? Is it me?

It's me, isn't it. 'cuz of the angsty Awful I write, right?

Encouragement, getting shy people to play, being non-judging ..having fun yourself ..maybe those are possible solutions?


 
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CavemanJoe
 Friday, October 29 2010 @ 07:30 AM UTC  
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Sorry guys, but there's a reason why we've only got two rules, and will only ever have two rules. I'll dig up a link to the old discussion thread when I get half a chance.


 
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Johnson
 Friday, October 29 2010 @ 07:46 AM UTC  
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Alas. But rules aside, then, some kind of- actual organised group would be nice, is all I'm saying. Preferably with the backing of the mods- and some kind of, I don't know, training manual? How To Welcome Rookies To NewHome? I took a lot of tips from Ebenezer and Calliaphone when I first started, and watched them do it, and Calli says she watched Daedalus do it, and Ebenezer says Marly does it well too, and there are all these stories going round of How To Welcome Rookies and Dissuade Junkies and, and now there are quite a few people who I or other people have roped into trying to keep NH rookie-friendly (due to, quite possibly, our passionate gchat rants on How Terrible NewHome Is Now), and not all of them know what they're doing, or what their limits are, or what to say or how to deal with it. But yes. Is all.

And- Dex, as for 'encouragement, getting shy people to play, being non-judging ..having fun yourself,' a lot of us try to do all these things already. It's just... incredibly draining, to do it again and again and again, mostly alone, for each new wave that acts up. It's like a game of tower defense that never ends. If there was a way to lessen the impact of the wave, or boost the strength of the defenders, I think a lot of us would be very happy.

Also, you don't do anything stupid in NH, and your angst is not composed of a combination of lack of knowledge of what's appropriate and an inability to read or follow any and all roleplay guides. Alsoalso, you're hilarious. Plus!


... and now I think 'heated sausage party' is my new favourite phrase. Way to name a barbecue.


 
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CavemanJoe
 Friday, October 29 2010 @ 07:52 AM UTC  
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Meanwhile, to chime in on this:

Yeah, NewHome can be kind of daunting sometimes because honestly there are an awful lot of people in there most of the time. I can see how, to a Rookie player, a room full of experienced players chatting away can be kind of intimidating. But on the other hand, an empty room isn't much better at all.

I can't very well say to you lot "Right, piss off out of NewHome and let the Rookies chat," because then there'd be nobody there to set the tone - we'd be gambling that the first two rookies who talked to each other weren't dicks. Nor can I say something like "No more than x experienced players talking at a time," because honestly, that'd make me kind of a dick.

The way I see it, the only thing I as the designer can do here is to give people more reasons to fan out over the Island and visit different outposts more often. I'll expand on this when it's not four in the bloody morning, but in the meantime, if you guys have ideas, I'd love to hear 'em.

(as long as they're not about making more rules, that is Wink )


 
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Matthew
 Friday, October 29 2010 @ 08:23 AM UTC  
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Quote by: CavemanJoe

I'll expand on this when it's not four in the bloody morning, but in the meantime, if you guys have ideas, I'd love to hear 'em.



Well, I think the reason places like New Pittsburgh and Ace High are empty (and thus keep falling under Onslaught) are because there's nothing to do in those places. And perhaps introducing more minigames isn't the answer; I mean, Cyber City has the same problem, despite the Factory being there.

People keep going to Central because it's easy to get to and it has pretty much everything you need, except for food. There's the Gauntlet, the Prancing Spiderkitty (Gargle Blasters and the Dan quests), the tattoo parlor, the jewelry store... maybe these things need to be spread out over the outposts instead of plopping them all in the middle.

Speaking of food, that's another thing: there's a reason that I've never seen Kitt or PV fall (maybe they have and I just haven't been online for it; even so, it's pretty damn rare): all of the best food is there, so of course people are going to be doing their jungle fighting there when they're not specifically after their quest monsters. I know I hardly ever leave Pleasantville. Maybe a rebalancing of the food system is in order? I don't think every outpost should get the equivalent of a Mutant Steak - that'd be boring, wouldn't it? - but maybe other foods can give different buffs that last for either a certain number of rounds or just the rest of the game day. For example, Squat Hole pizzas are so foul that the sticky grease clings to you for the rest of the day, and what self-respecting jungle monster wants to get close to that? So it can act as a weak version of a repellent spray buff, similar to the zombie donkey.

Or maybe salads from Kittania are so damn healthy that you get an attack bonus.

Or maybe the Spam and Brains from NP make you smarter so you know how to better defend yourself.

It's very possible these are all awful ideas and I admit I didn't think through them all that much. I'm just throwing ideas out.


 
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Daedalus
 Friday, October 29 2010 @ 09:52 AM UTC  
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Quote by: Matthew


It's very possible these are all awful ideas and I admit I didn't think through them all that much. I'm just throwing ideas out.



Well ... it's only my opinion ... but I think they're good ideas. Certainly in principle. I'll leave the feasibility issue to some of resident propellor hea ... I mean 'technical adepts'. And I'd agree that tempting people out of NH is the way to go rather than trying to force or persuade them out. Selecting the bait is of course a game design issue, and I believe that is in very good hands. It is not a quick or easy thing to do, so let's be patient.

I was going to post earlier on the ideas of rules for New Home, but I figured CMJ would have something to say about it so I should wait, and I was right!

The problem as I see it with rules, as has been touched on earlier, is that they need to cover every situation. And there are two ways of doing this; either a set of extended, detailed, complex and inter-related rules that cover every possible contingency; or, really brief, generalised guidance. CMJ has opted for the latter, and I think he's right. The first way is a complete pain where the sun don't shine. You need to write them, get everybody to agree to them, enforce them, interpret and explain them, it just goes on and on. At least with "Don't be a dick" we have a sense of what is expected, and the details can be worked out on a case by case basis when or if issues arise.

In relation to setting up a formal welcoming committee or roster, hmmm ... I think it's great that there are people willing to do it, and put in the work, but (you knew there was one, didn't you?) I'd caution against setting up a sense of obligation to do this or that, specifying where, when and how. Ebenezer's recent post on this is instructive. If it becomes a task, you'll do it for a while, then chuck it in because it isn't fun anymore. Perfectly understandable.

So, while it may be counter-intuitive, it may be that the best way to get it done is to not organise it. It's a role that most of us know is good to have filled, and we'll drift in and out of it as we are so inclined. There will be gaps in the timing, when people aren't 'on duty', but there are going to be those anyway, and leaving it ... how should I say ... organic (?) as against structured means that you wont get people being burnt out as quickly, and will be doing it better because they want to do it. Burnt out people sometimes don't just stop doing the task, sometimes we lose them altogether. This is to be avoided. Think of all the effort that CMJ and the Mods have put in to get us us house-trained! Retention is important.

To those who have been doing it recently (I wont name names 'cause I'll miss somebody and that wouldn't be nice), good on you, it is appreciated. But please don't do-it-till-you-hate-it. Give yourself breaks. Go and have fun. (I'm talking 'in-Island' here.) Believe it or not, some of the Rookies have survived in the past without a welcoming party, and will continue to do so.

(Must ... resist ... urge to ... sidetrack into discussion on the Island as an on-line example of Social Darwinism.)

So, in short, don't feel obligated, and don't take it too seriously. It's a fun place, not a psuedo work place.


D.

(One day I'm going to write a really short post. Just to see what it feels like!)




The lunatics are taking over the asylum! Come with?
 
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Ashtu
 Friday, October 29 2010 @ 11:16 AM UTC  
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Quote by: Daedalus

One day I'm going to write a really short post. Just to see what it feels like!

I feels like this, Deadlouse - uh, Daedalus. *grin*


Thank you.
 
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Anonymous: Marc
 Friday, October 29 2010 @ 04:26 PM UTC  


I believe that a possible solution would be to move a number of the comments that currently occur in the banter section of NewHome to the roleplaying side, and then change the initial default setting of dual display of the chats to only displaying the banter side for new players, and let them make the decision to show both.


 
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KimmyMonstah
 Friday, October 29 2010 @ 04:37 PM UTC  
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Quote by: Marc

change the initial default setting of dual display of the chats to only displaying the banter side for new players, and let them make the decision to show both.



I think it's better with two of them. If it was just Banter, it would get more confusing. some people might even try to rp in banter, and not know to switch the channels.

Instead, perhaps, there could be a change to the `J/royal blue text above both of them.
It would state something about "on the left side is story, which is for roleplaying, on the right, is banter. Banter is an out of character section for casual chatting, and the like, and is a good place to introduce yourself, if you're unsure of roleplaying just yet"

I think it also might help to have that `J stuff in bold, so that it really catches the eyes.


EDIT: Yes, I am fully aware that you can click the question marks under each channel. And yes, I know there already is blue text suggesting the Banter. But sometimes you've got to make things really nice and really clear for people who aren't sure of what to click, just yet.

As well, you could always put the blue text above the newhome stuff for the first time players actually see newhome.
Seeing as most of them already know to go to Banter and say a shy hello, I really don't quite think this is any issue.


 
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Count Sessine
 Friday, October 29 2010 @ 04:47 PM UTC  
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Quote by: Marc

I believe that a possible solution would be to move a number of the comments that currently occur in the banter section of NewHome to the roleplaying side, and then change the initial default setting of dual display of the chats to only displaying the banter side for new players, and let them make the decision to show both.

Ummm... no?

From what I've seen, it's not the brand new players who are the problem -- they're only trying to make sense of what they're seeing. It's slightly-more experienced players who have picked up bad habits and are setting a poor example for new arrivals. Plus a handful of much more experienced players who really ought to know better by now.

The last thing we want is for new players to get the idea that the Island is just another oddly-flavored chat room.


 
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KimmyMonstah
 Friday, October 29 2010 @ 04:55 PM UTC  
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Quote by: Count+Sessine


The last thing we want is for new players to get the idea that the Island is just another oddly-flavored chat room.



*pales at the thought*
As much as I like chats, that thought hurts muh brain.

And I've seen a few of those experienced-players-that-should-know-better turn younger players into those players-that-should-know-better.
They kind of become jerks, afterward.


....
No, Sloth, not JERKS. Sorry.
If I could turn contestants into JERKS for you, I would!


 
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Awesome Fred
 Friday, October 29 2010 @ 05:40 PM UTC  
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Quote by: Matthew

Quote by: CavemanJoe

I'll expand on this when it's not four in the bloody morning, but in the meantime, if you guys have ideas, I'd love to hear 'em.



Well, I think the reason places like New Pittsburgh and Ace High are empty (and thus keep falling under Onslaught) are because there's nothing to do in those places. And perhaps introducing more minigames isn't the answer; I mean, Cyber City has the same problem, despite the Factory being there.

People keep going to Central because it's easy to get to and it has pretty much everything you need, except for food. There's the Gauntlet, the Prancing Spiderkitty (Gargle Blasters and the Dan quests), the tattoo parlor, the jewelry store... maybe these things need to be spread out over the outposts instead of plopping them all in the middle.

Speaking of food, that's another thing: there's a reason that I've never seen Kitt or PV fall (maybe they have and I just haven't been online for it; even so, it's pretty damn rare): all of the best food is there, so of course people are going to be doing their jungle fighting there when they're not specifically after their quest monsters.



Bingo in bold. I've said it since Onslaught first happened: this is a classic scenario where one town develops much faster than another nearby town for a simple, seemingly disconnected reason. Back when we didn't have loads of people with 100 reinforcement skill, it was amazing that PV had 50 million HP, Kittania had 20 million, and everywhere else was hanging around 1-5 million. The reason was because of population. And the population was because of steaks.

Improbable Central has so much going for it, it doesn't need steaks. Neither does NewHome, simply because there are so many new players fighting there every day. This is why New Pitts and Squat Hole are constantly under siege, and Cyber City falls often as well. Cyber City for a time was like one of the populated cities simply because of how many people went there for stone. Teleporting or taking the train to CC404 was the easiest way to get to a spot to mine stone. But for some reason, I don't see the population there anymore. Has the pace of building projects slowed down?

I personally go to three places mainly: Improbable Central, Pleasantville, and Cyber City. I go everywhere else, but only for the quest mobs (the quests are a step in the right direction of spreading around people). Due to stone and my dwelling next to CC, the above three cities are relevant to me whenever I want to do lots of construction, and if I'm not doing that, it's just Imp Central that I'm going to for The Gauntlet, flirting with Emily, and talking to Dan.

To bring this back to shifting around populaces, moving services I think is exactly what needs to happen. Maybe Cadfael's and Suzie's should both move to Pleasantville (since CMJ is considering giving Mutants a construction stam bonus), the PV steaks get a big nerf (to compensate for the builder population increase in PV), New Pitts' brains meal gets buffed into being the new 62.5% steaks (to move the food service out of PV), The Gauntlet should go to Squat Hole (fits the theme, I think, especially with the Gym there as well). Or perhaps, Suzie's gets split into a Lumberjack Kit shop in Pleasantville and a Masonry Kit shop in Cyber City.

AceHigh needs to get something, but it should be something much more to do with Improbability than building supplies or food.


 
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Darling
 Friday, October 29 2010 @ 07:33 PM UTC  
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These are my two cents. Yes, New Home can get crowded. Yes, people do RP stupid things there! (Glitter thing? My idea. So, so sorry.) I think it is super that people want to keep New Home as a welcoming place for Rookies. The only thing that would be great for people to keep in mind is that this game is supposed to be fun....for everyone. From rookies to those who have been here from the start and to those in between. Improbable Island is such a cool place for people to run around and write crazy and fantastical and stupid and funny and sad and marvelous ideas! So, naturally, not all of these ideas are going to be New! Innovative! or even Perfect! So, what I am trying to say is, is that I love you all, and that I love this game, and that we should keep on keeping on being positive, and making cooler better changes.


Oh dear.
 
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Shi
 Friday, October 29 2010 @ 08:10 PM UTC  
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...I liked the glitter thing. Wink
just to throw in a very small opinion, which pretty much backs up a lot of what's been said:
i like rookies, and it's fun to meet new characters, so i spend quite a bit of time round newhome. (also the current rank 7 kinda prohibits going far, but that's besides the point) that said, i'm aware the rping there can be less than the best the island has to offer. frankly i see that as resolvable in the same way as solving the problem of the grounds often being empty, or any of the other outposts, or whatever. the only way to change the way an rp area is going (aside from sending distractions or whatever, which scares me too much Confused ) is to step in yourself and set an example, without (hopefully) spoiling things for others or being over pushy or whatever. well, that's the theory anyway and i'm very much aware it doesn't always work. if what you're seeing is an overcrowded outpost then i guess stepping in isn't such a good idea. but what about the grounds which is, as i said, often empty? i try and hang around there in the vague beleif that if there is atleast someone around then others will feel less daunted at stepping in. an empty area is more forbidding, i think, than a full one.
that said, i just said "i think", which is odd. and this is pretty much the first post i've made here that isn't a random statement possibly pertaining to unicorns. wait... dammit.


 
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Harris
 Friday, October 29 2010 @ 10:25 PM UTC  
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Quote by: Shi

...I liked the glitter thing. Wink
just to throw in a very small opinion, which pretty much backs up a lot of what's been said:
i like rookies, and it's fun to meet new characters, so i spend quite a bit of time round newhome. (also the current rank 7 kinda prohibits going far, but that's besides the point) that said, i'm aware the rping there can be less than the best the island has to offer. frankly i see that as resolvable in the same way as solving the problem of the grounds often being empty, or any of the other outposts, or whatever. the only way to change the way an rp area is going (aside from sending distractions or whatever, which scares me too much Confused ) is to step in yourself and set an example, without (hopefully) spoiling things for others or being over pushy or whatever. well, that's the theory anyway and i'm very much aware it doesn't always work. if what you're seeing is an overcrowded outpost then i guess stepping in isn't such a good idea. but what about the grounds which is, as i said, often empty? i try and hang around there in the vague beleif that if there is atleast someone around then others will feel less daunted at stepping in. an empty area is more forbidding, i think, than a full one.
that said, i just said "i think", which is odd. and this is pretty much the first post i've made here that isn't a random statement possibly pertaining to unicorns. wait... dammit.



YES.

To the main point,and the glitter too.


"Ain't nothin' left to do but smile, smile, smile." -The Grateful Dead
 
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