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BZPRPG: Feedback


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151 replies to this topic

#1 Offline Nuju Metru

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Posted May 23 2014 - 02:11 AM

Hello, all.

 

The purpose of this new (and hopefully temporary) topic is pretty simple: I want to hear what you, my lovely BZPRPG players, think about the state of the game at this point in time. Despite my recent distance from the BZPRPG (alas, life!), I've heard and felt the rumblings of discontent lately, and feel that a space for an open conversation (rather than a behind-closed-doors one, as often happens to our detriment in our Skype community) is very valuable, both as a platform upon which you guys can order your thoughts, and a way for me to best receive them.

 

Just a few guidelines:

  • BE POLITE. You are allowed - encouraged - to debate, but I the debate must be civil. Any rudeness will result in a deleted post; excess rudeness from the crowd at large will result in a deleted topic, and some pretty savage executive decisions. I'm not in a lenient mood about this.
  • BE HONEST. This isn't helpful to anyone if you're sugarcoating things so far as to make them tasteless. That isn't to say you should be mean; don't be mean. Just call things like you see them.
  • DO NOT TARGET INDIVIDUALS. Unless the individual happens to me, I'd really like for people not to state issues that they have with specific players or staff members, here. It's incredibly difficult for anyone not to take such directed criticism personally, after all, and this topic is for me to get a feeling of the reception of the game as a whole, not the performances of its component people. But please, feel free to critique the performance of the staff team in general - we can always use your constructive feedback.
  • DEFINE PROBLEMS. The more simply and eloquently you can do this, the better.
  • PROPOSE SOLUTIONS. It's easy to point out flaws; it's harder to design patches. Though I won't - and, most likely, can't - implement every change that everyone proposes here, all ideas are welcomed and in some way inspiring on the path towards a better game.

Thank you guys for taking the time I hope you'll take to be thoughtful and truthful. I appreciate your help.

Nuju


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#2 Offline EmperorWhenua

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Posted May 23 2014 - 02:14 AM

On a personal note, if anyone takes issue with something I have done or am doing or thinks they can help me become better, PM me or, if you can, contact me on Skype. I will gladly converse with any of you over anything and see if we can come to an understanding.

 

My doors are always open.


Edited by Crown Princess Yumiwa, May 23 2014 - 02:17 AM.

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#3 Offline 25K When?

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Posted May 23 2014 - 02:37 AM

Y'all be trying to write long posts instead of interacting regularly.

 

Hurts my attempts at hitting 20,000/


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#4 Offline NorikSigma

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Posted May 23 2014 - 03:42 AM

The story needs to move forward just a titchy bit faster. It's not any one person's fault, nor anyone's fault, really, because everyone has commitments irl, but it would be nice to get things going at a quicker pace.

Sadly, I have no solution I can think of. Maybe if there are people holding the story up, a quick PM to remind 'em? A filler post in several important sub-plots to keep player commitment up?

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#5 Offline Vezok's Friend

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Posted May 23 2014 - 06:30 AM

One of the feedback points that me and others agreed on is:

 

Too much jamming, not enough slamming: Jams are all fun and cool and everything, but recently it feels a lot like that's our main MO. The problem arising from that is that people bounce short posts back and forth between each other - away from the forums. Either via PM or shared docs, but the thing is this slows activity in the topics down a bit. So instead of a few posts being added within a day or two, it's no activity at all for days and then a mammoth wall of text being dropped in. 

 

That's not to say that jams are bad, far from it and they work wonderfully when written between two or three players within a day or two. But often I don't see a reason to jam when we could just as well take turns posting regularly in the game topics themselves. Especially when there is no big dun-dun-dun reveals being done. If it's just jamming normal interaction, it also limits the possibility of having other players join in on the fun. 
 

Again, this does not mean jams are bad, but there can be too much of a good thing. 


Edited by Smaug the Terrible, May 23 2014 - 06:31 AM.

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#6 Offline Pohatu: Uniter of Stone

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Posted May 23 2014 - 06:32 AM

We need people to be on more often, in my opinion. It is moving along somewhat well in Po-Wahi, not sure about the Darkwalk quest at this time, but it is moving along at a good pace.


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#7 Offline Ghosthands

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Posted May 23 2014 - 08:45 AM

I agree with Hub and Veef. Long, super-introspective/descriptive posts have become more of a standard than they need to be, as have jams, and both of these things slow up interaction - and thus slow up the game. Fixing this is really up to the players - let's just write as much as we need to, guys, and save the detail for those really important moments.

 

Another problem I see is that things have become very 'social' this arc. Lots of talk, little action. It's another case of 'too much of a good thing', I think. We need a bit more conflict, a bit more tangible tension. The lack of a Big Bad and constant threat is a major factor in this. Steps are already being taken to remedy this - Tyler and Eli's respective quests, and the evil-doer group currently assembling in Mangaia, for example.

 

There's also been a broadening gap between the 'old guard' of experienced players and the 'new blood' of more recent arrivals. I think the aforementioned over-use of jamming has contributed to this; it shuts newer players out from interacting with older ones.

 

 

We need people to be on more often, in my opinion. It is moving along somewhat well in Po-Wahi, not sure about the Darkwalk quest at this time, but it is moving along at a good pace.

 

 

I get where you're coming from, but this is a somewhat unreasonable demand to make of people. Many of us have a LOT going on in Real Life, and just don't have any more time they can spare for the RPG. That said, I know that my posting rate would be a lot higher if the game were exciting and motivating me more, which seems to be a problem for a lot of us.


Edited by Ghosthands, May 23 2014 - 08:47 AM.

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#8 Offline 25K When?

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Posted May 23 2014 - 08:52 AM

My activity now is pretty much fueled by a desire to obtain more posts. There's not really much to do anymore. Nothing to motivate ze great man that is moi.


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#9 Offline AuRon the champion

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Posted May 23 2014 - 10:43 AM

Last arc we had the Makuta. Villages were always under threat, travelers could be attacked at any time, villains and brigands roamed the countryside, looting and pillaging as they pleased. This eventually came to a head, with the Mark Bearers, Pala-Koro, The Daedra, Kumu Islets, and the final battles...

 

But then what? Mata Nui is now the one thing that drives writers nuts. It's a civilized land. Sure the Koro's have their little gripes here and there, but a lot of characters are War Heroes.

 

The thing is, Mata Nui hasn't really seems like it needs War Heroes. Or any heroes really. Since the beginning of this arc, we've been wrapping up loose ends we didn't get to strike off our list last arc. We've been rebuilding the Koros, and keeping the troublemakers off the streets. It's peacetime. What's the point of telling a story in a world-rich game such as this, when they world is alright? Sure there's been some neat stuff going on Mata Nui, but it's like watching... I don't even know what to call it. Our characters are really just lounging, catching up to life and all that.

 

That's not what keeps people interested.

 

Now, there's been some really awesome stuff to get the players back in action. This "Darkwalk" quest sounds pretty awesome, and something that sounds like it'll have good results. The "RRA Koro" is cool, but I can only see it falling into disuse after awhile from the older player's whims. Echelon's gathering is sure to have a big payoff in the long-term (I hope), but jumping to where his forces are preparing to strike back would've been a better starting point than "six months later".

 

And the Piraka? They've been beautifully played... But it's been sluggish. Sure it's cause life and all that, but we got the first few posts describing the guard's reaction to the Piraka showing up almost out of nowhere and "destroying at least half the village", but besides that, what do we get? A bunch of guards talking to each other about how bad it is, and a few attacks on the Piraka... And then a good amount of Angelus and Kino posts mixed in with the guards talking. And now the Maru have (sortof) shown up... But that was several days ago OOC, and nothing really seems to have followed up since then.

 

In short? Mata Nui's problem is (as stated above) that there's too much talking, too little action.

 

As for the Dasaka...

 

Their Major events have also been kinda low-key too. We get a bunch of characters that have a lot of cool features and motivations, but nothing's really happened. There was the big debate that was actually interesting, and it drew a lot of players to do stuff... But after that? There hasn't been much. The truly notable events is the stuff happening with Vilda Kulrik's visit to the Ageru, and the Herupa power struggle... But aside from the upcoming party and trip to Mata Nui, there's not a whole lot of reason for them to do stuff either.

 

All in all, some action would be nice. Some sort of game-changer to break the characters out of their now-idyllic lives.

 

Just my two worthless cents.


Edited by First Son Jiyu, May 23 2014 - 11:37 AM.

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#10 Offline D.Va

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Posted May 23 2014 - 12:17 PM

Y'all be trying to write long posts instead of interacting regularly.

 

Hurts my attempts at hitting 20,000/

 

This is something I agree with, far too many jams and really long posts. To be honest I skip posts that look like long walls of text because it's hard to sit through and read them. Of course this is a problem only the players can fix really. 

 

 

(Awesome things were written here)

 

There's also this, which I agree with wholeheartedly. The players simply don't have anything to do, a lot of the staff quests feel quite out of reach by the average player and so no one really cares about them. I think it would be helpful if we could start Dasaka/Mata Nui interaction ASAP, i think that's what we all want, something that will increase player interest and activity. We just need something to actually do that will get people interested in playing again. We need some kind of conflict to start soon. 

 

 

I think another problem for me and quite a few other people is the lack of player involvement in all these staff run quests. Either it's rather limited involvement or none at all. I know it's the staffs job to run these things but I feel like if we gave more regular players more involvement and responsibility in these quests (maybe let players run some more quests of their own like we used to) we might start to see the activity and enthusiasm we were having a year or so back. 


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#11 Offline Juice

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Posted May 23 2014 - 12:49 PM

As I've said to a few people:

 

It's not as open any more. You used to be able to get interaction just by walking in the streets, having your character bump into another, and roll from there.

Nowadays I count myself lucky that our favorite band of thugs blew up the Lavapool in, because you have to seek out interaction now. It's always gotta be at some event or something.

It used to be that interaction was more spontaneous, and in a way, organic. Granted, the dropoff of the playerbase during the downtimes and reboots also had a significant part in that, but the atmosphere is noticeably different.

That's honestly one of the biggest things I've noticed in my short spurts of actually being here.


Edited by The Doc, May 23 2014 - 12:53 PM.

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#12 Offline Silvan Haven

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Posted May 23 2014 - 01:59 PM

The lack of a big conflict is definitely hurting. Every time something big starts up the people running it end up getting pulled away by something else before coming back to post about it once a month. The entire process takes so long that everybody loses interest.


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#13 Offline Kughii

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Posted May 23 2014 - 02:40 PM

Okay, this went WAY longer than I thought it would so I just decided to make a quick TL;DR right up front for those who hate reading walls of text.

  • Kughii thanks staff for actively asking for feedback. 
  • He explains what a sandbox RPG is, calling on some examples from computer gaming.  Kughii points to how the style offers two major opportunities: ever expanding horizons and staff plot to alter the horizon's direction of growth.
  • Offers a fix to the lack of motivation: attitude adjustment.
  • Speaks about staff plots: offers the idea of more staff members or more staff interaction.
  • Talks about personal pet peeves: elitism in the player community.
  • Ends with a quick closing comment.  If you want to pretty much get the concise explanation read that.

 

Seeing this topic in the RPG forum really makes me happy.  It shows just how dedicated the staff are to making sure this game is fun for all players.  Up front I just want to say thank you for opening the door to positive feedback.  I've seen a lot of great points already I might have made myself, but also a lot of points on which I'm guilty as charged and will work hard to change in my gaming contributions.  As an aside, if anyone has a comment or feel they have something to voice toward me please do: my PM box is almost never full.

 

As a (board) game designer I have to point out this is a sandbox RPG.  In the computer game world, which sort of blossomed out of board games one could reason, MMOs have started to adopt the style of sandbox gameplay, especially some S. Korean games liked Black Desert and ArchAge, and the most recent release I know of like this on a gaming console for English speaking audiences is Elder Scrolls Online, and possibly WildStar coming out in a couple of months.  By now we've all become accustomed to a Fallout or Elder Scrolls game, even to some extent a BioWare game, offering us that seemingly limitless horizon of possibility, but despite the amount of effort game designers put into showing how unending their game is I believe the true medium for a limitless horizon is actually right here on a little backwater fan site with the written word instead of high powered AAA graphics engines.  However, in the world of text-based RPGs, the sandbox is a bit of a black sheep.  On one hand the staff keep the players moving forward through a MUD-like area (not quite a MUD, obviously), filled with the occasional quest or larger objective of an arc, while at the same time players are branching out and testing just how limitless the horizon of the game really is.  You're going to have the players who want to run off into the hinterlands and do their own thing there, and then you'll have the players who want a dedicated plot that moves the entire game forward to manipulate and interact with, and even more complex are the players who have a burning desire to do both.  In a perfect world the balance would average out and we'd have the glorious result of an ever expanding horizon constantly changing its direction by a dynamic staff plot.

 

We're not there yet, but I have no doubt with a little persistence we could be.  

 

I think the biggest fix might be player attitude.  Yes, I'm in wholehearted agreement there should be more action (I'm guilty), less jams (I'm guilty), less introspective posts that do nothing to advance some greater plot but instead contemplate a character's feelings for some various thing (I'm guilty by several pages), and more player opportunities to influence the game.  I feel the best way to change things in the right direction doesn't actually require staff intervention; it requires player motivation.  As I said earlier this is a sandbox RPG.  This is not a Dungeons & Dragons delve where the DM (Dungeon Master for those who might not know), is controlling a Tarasque while you and your friends work desperately to defeat the beast, save the maiden in the tower, gain XP and gold (and Renown if you're playing Encounters), and move on to the next challenge.  The essential game mechanics, although both based on fantasy and imagination, are remarkably different.  This is where that great balance between plot and an expansive horizon comes in.  If you want interaction that morphs how others see the game then create it.  That's the biggest part of the sandox open world format.  There are plenty of locations and denizens between the two island nations of this game to keep anyone content for months of intense RPing, if not years.  If you need a quest for your character to find a magic sword do what Toa Fanixe did and make it.  If you want to be a world-builder and showcase a temple or other landmark go visit one like Joske and Co. did at the Temple of Creativity early in this arc.  Your writing leaves a lasting impact on the expansive horizon, gives detail to what is already known, and makes the wiki peoples' head spin (trust the guy who updates location pages), when someone says Ta-Koro is at Mangai and someone else says it's closer to the coast, but that's all part of the fun.  Once this mentality of go-and-get-it is established as the norm instead of lounging about waiting for someone to hand us a plot-hook like it's DND and say, "oh look at this map and go find this stuff and kill this evil wizard in the tower and then pursue further roots into the Underdark," I feel we'll be on our way toward having that upbeat feel the game used to produce in its players.  (Y'know, back when Tuck was dropping meteors left and right?)

 

What about the staff plot portion, that thread which constantly manipulates the expanding horizon?  Here is where I would suggest adding a little more staff push.  Let the sandbox work its magic and create the landscape, use the staff plots to create the overall feel of the composition.  Indeed, the staff plot seems to have entirely disappeared as players go about sandboxing with their characters and the staff themselves fall into a stint of inactivity as life becomes full of absolutely awesome (but time consuming and far more important to be honest), things.  We've got staff who are exiting high school and looking toward college or jobs, we've got college students coming out with a degree, and we've got players going through the same life checkpoints as the staff themselves.  These are trying times in our lives and each player/staff member only has so much time in a day to give to a game like the BZPRPG.  When something like the staff plot is lulling and the expanding horizon is continuing to branch out without direction naturally there will be a feeling of chaos and lack of purpose, especially when players are not actively pushing their own agendas and instead waiting for something good to happen so they can jump on the bandwagon (I'm guilty).  As for how to fix this situation, I'd suggest maybe looking into the possibility of getting another staff member to help run things and keep the plots moving forward.  Vezok's Friend and Ghosthands are both capable players with important characters in the game who seem to be around quite often.* If bringing on more staff isn't the answer you seek I'd suggest looking into creating more ways for players to get out of the rut of continuous sandboxing and begin molding the raw landscape they've generated over the past few months.  More staff plots aren't the answer in my opinion, more staff interaction is.  That may sound oddly hypocritical at first, but I assure you it's not.  The staff have some great key plots running at the moment, the plots themselves just need some spark plugs and a quick shock back into action.

 

Finally, my personal pet peeves is the integral ranking system of the game.  There is a player group at the top and a player group at the bottom and the two rarely interact.  There are middlemen players who seem to be the go-betweens.  The rank of a player also seems to be based around their quality of writing and how long they've been playing the game, which in some ways is wonderful since players with a better grasp of syntax and grammar can interact at the same level and with peers they've grown fond of, and in other ways not so fantastic because those in the lower groups don't get much by way of learning through interaction and newbs** aren't actively encouraged to play with veterans.  Actually, from the way things are talked about on off-site networks veterans seem to be a reserved class with perks and newbs are made to look foolish for their actions.  (It's kind of like being a senior and talking about the freshman class, omitting the fact we were once freshman too and got tossed in garbage bins just as often.) Instead, those players on the bottom seem to think such writing, or the staff plot, is out of their reach, or at least act as such.  Maybe they're content being considered a lower group, but as a fellow player I'd only want to see my friends improve their writing while having fun, not wallow at some level below or above my own.  This was one of the reasons I gave up trying to be a "veteran" or a "top-tier" player once 2013 arc hit and I'd stopped writing 15 page posts.  I realized it just didn't make sense and created far more animosity than awe.  It also kept expanding the horizon, great sandboxing, without actual plot progression, which meant I'd end up out in the middle of nowhere with no one to interact with except myself until I got back from the boondocks and into the company of civilized society where other players were waiting for interaction. 

 

By breaking up the concept of one player being greater than another, irrespective of writing prowess, and by actively encouraging each other to participate in plots and push things forward I feel we can begin to achieve more of the fun interaction and adrenaline pumping adventures we remember and crave.  Finding that beautiful balance between sandbox interaction and manipulation of the world through staff plot will naturally take time, but as interaction between players/staff increases so will the pace of change in the game itself.

 

Thanks for reading!

~Kughii

 

–––––––––––

* Veef and Ghosty did not ask me to just up and say they should be staff.  That's entirely a matter of my personal opinion as a possible solution.

** I think I made the joke that newbs are, "newts who happened upon a keyboard and wifi connection," once.  Again, I'm guilty of this mentality but working hard to change.

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#14 Offline Ghosthands

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Posted May 23 2014 - 03:14 PM

On the subject of overly long posts and too many jams:
 
VF: but no more big waiting for jams for them unless absolutely necessary for that
GH: Definitely.
GH: And to be honest
GH: I might even extend that to long posts in general
GH: Because I feel as though the standard for post length and detail has been raised so high
GH: That you feel inadequate - like your posts and characters are boring - if you don't make your posts lengthy enough
GH: And that alone is a big demotivator.
VF: I mean I love to write my big world-building posts, because that's like painting with words
GH: Oh, definitely
VF: but when it comes to introspective thoughts, I am a bit more linear and not as elaborate
GH: It's like...lemme think of an analogy.
GH: Let's say it's like a cake
GH: And as the metaphor goes, the long posts or jams are the icing on that cake
GH: But can you imagine trying to eat a big block of icing?
GH: It'd make you sick
GH: I feel like we need more actual -cake- in this game
GH: You know what I'm saying? XD
GH: Like, the spongy part of the cake
GH: Sure, it's simple and there's a lot of air in it
GH: But it's what makes it a cake
 
(edited to remove those ugly timestamps nobody wants to see)

Edited by Ghosthands, May 23 2014 - 03:41 PM.

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#15 Offline grav

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Posted May 23 2014 - 03:31 PM

To put it simply, I want more cake in this RPG.

 

Long posts are fun.

 

They are great.

 

But they should not be a standard to be held to.

 

Long posts may move an RPG along, but they do not make up an RPG.


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#16 Offline Juice

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Posted May 23 2014 - 03:34 PM

Short and sweet and getting inside the head of the character.

Kind of like strawberries, or something.


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#17 Offline Tabby: Toa of Cats

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Posted May 23 2014 - 04:41 PM

Just noticed this topic, but a few small comments:

-There are a lot of people in the profile topic who have profiles and aren't posting. I understand that some of them have their reasons-they've got real life, found a better fit for them on BZP or whatever. But a lot of these players are potential talent and activity gone to waste. An effort to draw them in would seriously be something that could boost our community. Some of the other fixes could be needed first, but on the other hand, this might be a fix to bringing back an organic sandbox, like Kughii mentioned. I recall that before our most recent downtime, when we lost almost a month's worth of posts, I had the Akiru interacting with some newer players, and it was really becoming sort of an organic sandbox style of interaction for me. The posts came pretty fast, too, and I had some trouble keeping up (real life stuff). Thanks to that downtime, some of those players left and have not returned-perhaps they were confused on what happened. That was one of the best experiences I've had with BZPRPG in quite a while, and I think a recruiting drive to bring in some new blood and awaken some of the old would be worth the effort. It might wake things up around here. 

 

-I concur that we do also need to break the barriers to interaction with new and old players.  That's something that's not helping. Well known, and staff characters should both be making an effort to interact in everyday situations, and battles, even between powerhouses, should be inclusive. Long posts also aren't helping-perhaps we could try a limited time rewards system, for keeping most of your posts under 500 words and not jamming up the activity. 

 

-Staff also need to stop stagnating in their activity. The Dark Walk quest has been stagnating for weeks now, and the Akiru are caught in it, which basically saps my motivation to do anything. I've already kind of lost interest in it, and would like to take the them back to Onu-Wahi, where they get the most interaction and can do things freely. It's one of the few times I haven't had to seek out interaction-it comes to me. Plus, then I can start throwing out some interesting pieces of tech and vehicles to shake things up a little.  The only plus is that I can use the downtime to get my Dasaka rolling. 

 

-In the interest of maintaining active IC flow between Kentoku and Mata Nui, I would be interested in seeing a land bridge built between the two sometime this summer. Perhaps a crystal version of Le-Koro's chute system would run across it to speed travel time, with stations along the way to re-pressurize the chutes. Sales of metal in Kentoku might need to be temporarily under tariff to prevent an economic collapse, considering what this could do for trade.


Edited by Tabby: Toa of Cats, May 23 2014 - 04:46 PM.

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#18 Offline Demitsorou

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Posted May 23 2014 - 04:52 PM

Hey guys, as a new player on this RPG and as an veteran roleplayer, I have a lot of problems with BZPRPG, and I want to share some with you. Mind you, half of what i'm gonna say is purely subjective, and other part is gonna pretend it's objective, so bear with me. Let's ride!

 

  • Roleplay is systemless and is based purely on trust and staff's whim.

As a lover of Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, Apocalypse World, Dungeon World and other roleplaying systems, I find that roleplay based purely on trust is highly exploitable. Not all players gonna react to you saying that your character is terrifying, and not all players can react to injuries mainly because there's no fear of punishment. In most systems good roleplaying is rewarding, and bad roleplaying is punishing. But it would be nigh impossible to adapt existing complex roleplaying system to BZPRPG, so how can we improve something? And I'm sorry, I have no answer here.

 

Second glaring issue that I encountered is no day/night/weather posts. Everyone roleplays in whatever time of day it is, whatever weather it is, and while two people can play in same day, for one it will be cloudy evening, and for another it can be sunny morning. As a game master and staff member of my own RPG, here's how we do it:

We put time of day and weather in a header of forum. But there's no header for this small subforum, so sticky topic can suffice. It will be updated as time goes on, and staff will decide what weather is now around different regions of the game. It will make players react to something global instead of everyone making up weather on the go. Yeah, no moody rains that start right when there's touching moments.

 

Staff of this game is amazing, don't get me wrong, but they mostly roll with what they came up with and force other players to either follow or stay out of reach, essentially putting story on a rail. I would advise looking at what other players doing more than trying to build up some epic narration for other staff members (and players that have high ranking characters) to enjoy. Act on players answers. It's not always appropriate, but careful balance between staff's epic stories and players' interacting with world is a must.

 

Which leads to another point. Staff must engage with other players more as an environment, aka Staff Member is a Game Master. Group of players going through forest? Make a Rahi attack, make them react, if they don't, you must firstly warn them that it's gonna end bad, and if they proceed to either ignore or god-mode, punish them. It can make a lot of players butthurt, but it will eliminate problem of no punishment.

 

Back to systemless vastness of this RPG. Recently, I encountered a great, easy to learn, roleplaying system that me and my boyfriend try to adapt to our RPG. It's Apocalypse World, and Dungeon World. I suggest for those who are interested to go look it up, it's really amazing and easy, while having a lot of depth to it. As of now, we are still working on it, and while we do, we still have players that need mastering, so we use simple "roll 2d6" system from Dungeon World. On 6- result, you get nothing, a fail. On 7-9, you succeed, but there's a catch, an ugly choice. On 10+ you succeed with no strings attached. Such system requires a GM to look out for people playing and interacting, as well as players requesting GMs to roll a dice. GM can modify results based on character that requested a roll. Is this character trying to shoot something from a bow, yet he never used a bow before? -3 to result. Is this character tries to charm a person and he's good at it (as in, either roleplays good or character is charismatic/attractive)? +2 to end result. It's merely a suggestion, and because BZPRPG is a big forum RPG and there's not many staff members, this system might not work, unless we have more staff members or just "rollers" that will act as third party in conflicts or interactions between players or environment and just roll a dice with showing results on which players must act.

 

  • Profile template doesn't allow newer players to create good characters.

It's a problem I see almost in every RPG out there. Templates just don't provide enough questions to unexperienced players, and some of experienced players have hard times defining new characters. Most glaring issue is "Weaknesses" that is highly overlooked by most players. I've seen too many profiles here that just state battle weakness, like this game is very battle oriented, and it's not. Reorganizing profile template will improve new player experience, and provide help to even veteran players like me. Duh, I do mistakes too.

 

  • Not enough descriptions, especially updated ones. Not enough topics.

There's a few reference posts, but nothing much. Vast region of Mata Nui is divided in 7 regions, and Kentoku Archipelago has only one. It creates a lot of confusion. But because BZPower is unspecialized forum, I don't think staff can create more topics, especially because BZPRPG is not only RPG running, so it comes down to better descriptions and reference posts. Update as frequent as possible so players can't wander to a location which is off limits or destroyed (bye bye Kumu Islest).

 

  • New player experience in general.

That's my biggest problem. There's so much going on, people have dozens of characters everywhere, and these characters are already caught up in some sort of quests or storyline. I have a hard time deciding where to go and find someone to interact with, and because there's not enough reference posts and descriptions in OP, I get lost, and new players will. This RPG is intimidating, really, and I have no idea how to fix it.

 

  • Canon issues.

It's a purely subjective rant, that will consist of me saying "This game killed so much canon character and has so much canon issues I have hard time believing it can be engaging for a canon lover like me!" Oh well.


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#19 Offline GSR

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Posted May 23 2014 - 06:23 PM

Okay.  So, a bunch of discussion happened in chat on this (which is kind of not what we want) so I'll see if I can summarize up a few points.  These were largely kicked off by Demi's above post.
 
The BZRPG, as it stands today, is based very strongly on player trust and interaction.  We've made it this far without laying down strong restrictions on how players interact or by introducing numbered systems, etc.  When two characters meet, the outcome of their interaction - be that talking, fighting, whatever - is based off of how they write with each other, and if whatever happens makes sense given their characters.
 
This can start to lead to a few tensions with things like staff plot.  The example that was discussed (at length) was Heuani.  That was a character who, because he was integral to the staff plot, was very, very difficult to take down.  The concern was raised that he essentially thus had 'plot armor' - since he was important to that arc, he couldn't be killed.  At this point, of course, he's long since gone, but the point is Okay. So, a bunch of discussion happened in chat on this (which is kind of not what we want) so I'll see if I can summarize up a few points. These were largely kicked off by Demi's above post.

The BZPRPG, as it stands today, is based very strongly on player trust and interaction. We've made it this far without laying down strong restrictions on how players interact or by introducing numbered systems, etc. When two characters meet, the outcome of their interaction - be that talking, fighting, whatever - is based off of how they write with each other, and if whatever happens makes sense given their characters.

This can start to lead to a few tensions with things like staff plot. The example that was discussed (at length) was Heuani. That was a character who, because he was integral to the staff plot, was very, very difficult to take down. The concern was raised that he essentially thus had 'plot armor' - since he was important to that arc, he couldn't be killed. At this point, of course, he's long since gone, but the point is that it can become blurry whether a character survives because s/he's a character good at surviving, or if s/he survives because of plot armor.

And that raises the question of if staff plot is too elevated/exclusive and thus making the game inaccessible to other players. I think it's clear from what we've heard both in this thread and for a while that the staff plots could afford to be more open and freeform. Characters like Heuani might lead to fantastic arcs, but it's key the staff don't make them seem like a brick wall to other players.

--------------------

Now, if I may add my own response to Demi's post that wasn't covered in the above - the BZPRPG's style of "trust the player interaction" rather than applying regulations or numbers is, I think, an important part of it. It's definitely true it could (and on occasion, has) lead to issues with godmodding/etc, which requires both self-regulation and staff regulation. But I don't think I'd be ready to give up on it quite yet. BZPRPG is in part attractive to me because it lets me be much more freeform with my posts, and lets me know I can rely on other players to do the same.

That said, with regards to other issues brought up, like balancing staff/player plot (as discussed above), and making sure new players feel welcome and that they can find things to do, I agree completely; there's work to be done in those areas, and I'm glad to see folks offering up ideas to help that. Part of those issues is of course related to general game slowness, so fixing that may help fix the others - but that's easier said than done.

--------------------

One final note - if, for whatever reason, you'd like to give public feedback but don't want to do so with your own name, feel free to PM me and I'll be happy to post the feedback anonymously. (I'm sure Nuju would do the same, honestly. He doesn't bite!)that it can become blurry whether a character survives because s/he's a character good at surviving, or if s/he survives because of plot armor.
 
And that raises the question of if staff plot is too elevated/exclusive and thus making the game inaccessible to other players.  I think it's clear from what we've heard both in this thread and for a while that the staff plots could afford to be more open and freeform.  Characters like Heuani might lead to fantastic arcs, but it's key the staff don't make them seem like a brick wall to other players.
 
--------------------
 
Now, if I may add my own response to Demi's post that wasn't covered in the above - the BZRPG's style of "trust the player interaction" rather than applying regulations or numbers is, I think, an important part of it.  It's definitely true it could (and on occasion, has) lead to issues with godmodding/etc, which requires both self-regulation and staff regulation.  But I don't think I'd be ready to give up on it quite yet.  BZRPG is in part attractive to me because it lets me be much more freeform with my posts, and lets me know I can rely on other players to do the same.
 
That said, with regards to other issues brought up, like balancing staff/player plot (as discussed above), and making sure new players feel welcome and that they can find things to do, I agree completely; there's work to be done in those areas, and I'm glad to see folks offering up ideas to help that.  Part of those issues is of course related to general game slowness, so fixing that may help fix the others - but that's easier said than done. 
 
--------------------
 
One final note - if, for whatever reason, you'd like to give public feedback but don't want to do so with your own name, feel free to PM me and I'll be happy to post the feedback anonymously.  (I'm sure Nuju would do the same, honestly.  He doesn't bite!)

Edited by GSR, May 24 2014 - 01:22 PM.

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#20 Offline Constructman

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Posted May 23 2014 - 06:35 PM

The thing that currently irks me the most is Kentoku's non-standardized timeline. With Mata Nui, you have a general idea of what happened when (thanks to canon and BS01's magnificent job of recording it). With Kentoku however, I sort of have to guess when stuff occurred based on the (implied) ages of characters as well as pick out useful tidbits from player interaction. Definitely not the biggest problem, but I naturally don't react well to continuity snarls (an example of this is when I tried to make Seiryu and Minami teenagers by Bionicle standards, but then I realized that they would have to have been alive during the last uprising from their backstories, and Kuno's backstory implies that he was born after the uprising, which would make him even younger than Seiryu and Minami, which I do not believe he is due to his behavior and personality). I know BZPTime is sort of necessary for the present, but can we please not apply it to the (not so) distant past?

Other than that, I think Hub, Veef, Auron, and Ghosthands covered everything that I wanted to touch upon, so I won't repeat it and let you read it in their words.

Edited by Last Son Amakusa, May 23 2014 - 06:38 PM.

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#21 Offline Let's Henshin!

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Posted May 23 2014 - 08:27 PM

The cake is a lie...

 

Uh hi guys. 

 

Does this mean I'm coming back, um.... oh look it's a bunny!

 

Anyhow, as towards the discussion at hand. I feel that the points stated about too many long introspective posts are very good ones. I mean I love writing them myself as well, but well interacting doesn't really occur when one just goes on a long monologue about their thoughts. The biggest enjoyment of role-playing is to interact with others, if you're not going to do that then you're better off just writing an epic. The most effective way to get a game moving is really to interact, the rest will come on its own. In my experience if you spend too long just planning what you want to happen, then the opportunity may very well pass you by. Just go for it, y'know, have some fun, have some shenanigans. Just have a party and see what unexpected issues may come your way. 

 

In other words: Let your characters drive the action via interaction. 

 

Like the oft-stated rule of acting: "Acting is reacting." So give your characters a chance to react. 

 

That's my two cents on the matter at least. Anyhow, I'm disappearing again. See Yah. 


Edited by Commander Viral, May 23 2014 - 08:45 PM.

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#22 Offline grav

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Posted May 23 2014 - 08:48 PM

The cake is a lie...

 

Uh hi guys. 

 

Does this mean I'm coming back, um.... oh look it's a bunny!

 

Anyhow, as towards the discussion at hand. I feel that the points stated about too many long introspective posts are very good ones. I mean I love writing them myself as well, but well interacting doesn't really occur when one just goes on a long monologue about their thoughts. The biggest enjoyment of role-playing is to interact with others, if you're not going to do that then you're better off just writing an epic. The most effective way to get a game moving is really to interact, the rest will come on its own. In my experience if you spend too long just planning what you want to happen, then the opportunity may very well pass you by. Just go for it, y'know, have some fun, have some shenanigans. Just have a party and see what unexpected issues may come your way. 

 

In other words: Let your characters drive the action via interaction. 

 

Like the oft-stated rule of acting: "Acting is reacting." So give your characters a chance to react. 

 

That's my two cents on the matter at least. Anyhow, I'm disappearing again. See Yah. 

 

I could have sworn I'd seen an Omarax somewhere.

 

Naaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.

 

On a more serious note, you're pretty much summed up my sentiments on that matter.  I have nothing against long, deep, posts, and I enjoy writing them myself.  However, in an RPG where every post is like that, well, as stated above, that would fit better in an epic.


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#23 Offline 25K When?

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Posted May 23 2014 - 09:14 PM

It seems like we're all pretty much in agreement about how we're focusing a lot on introspection over magic boats.


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#24 Offline Let's Henshin!

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Posted May 23 2014 - 09:37 PM

It seems like we're all pretty much in agreement about how we're focusing a lot on introspection over magic boats.

 

Magic Boat is glorious. 

 

Easy way to flood several topics with posts.

 

Yes that's it. Way to fix activity, every player gets on the Magic Boat!


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#25 Offline 25K When?

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Posted May 23 2014 - 09:48 PM

You monster.


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#26 Offline NorikSigma

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Posted May 23 2014 - 10:05 PM

Wait what magic boat?
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#27 Offline Kughii

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Posted May 23 2014 - 10:19 PM

Okay let's stay on topic and reserve our fun shenanigans and player-bonding to where it belongs: terrorizing the News and Discussion topic. :P

 

Demitsorou you have some interesting ideas! I'm not sure how a dice implementation would carry over into a game of this scale already so heavily influence by the concept of being able to write instead of rely on probability, but it's definitely worth looking into the other points.  I hear you about the bloated feel, but that's what calling out to other players for a place to enter is about.  If you want to jump in somewhere just ask for interaction in the N&D.  You'll get it, I promise, especially if players start pushing to create their own plots in that expansive horizon I was talking about.  As for the canon characters being dead: well, that's what the GMs and the staff plot did and we're all just rolling with the punches.  Personally I've loved the pain and angst I've experienced each time a beloved character from my childhood is brutally murdered by murderous staffies. :P  It creates room for new characters, like the Maru and the Akiri, and offers more player interaction with the staff plot.  More interaction is always better in a sandbox RPG I find. 


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#28 Offline AlchemistMayCry

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Posted May 24 2014 - 12:50 AM

As a self-professed newbie, there's something that arguably makes the RPG more difficult to get into than it should be. And while elitism, overly-long introspective posts, overly-short posts, etc are issues, there's one thing that can make the RPG hard to get into from the outset, or even after coming back from an extended hiatus. (NO SUBTEXT HERE I ASSURE YOU)

 

Continuity lockout. 

 

I think it's possible to overcome continuity lockout (considering that I'm a comic book fan, overcoming continuity lock-out is practically a requirement!), but at least with a comic book or a film series, you can skip some material and still get what's going on. With the RPG, not so much, on account of there being so many people running with their own plots, not to mention the staff plot that can get caught in the overflow of things going on. Heck, one of my reservations about joining the RPG was that I'd never be able to follow what's going on. And the only reason I could keep up is that I kept my first little "arc" self-contained and with only a couple people. 

 

However, the only solutions to avoiding continuity lock-out seems to be either reading long walls of text posts, the RPG wiki, or, god forbid, all the posts related to what's going on. Suffice it to say, aside from Kughii's blog that has bullet-points of the latest events (which I didn't even KNOW about until a friend showed me), there seems to be few tools to help avert the lockout. And I think that if there were these tools, they should at least have some sort of promotion in some way, or new people to the RPG should be informed of them outright. I do hope there isn't a sense of "oh let the newbies figure it out on their own" here, since that just exacerbates the differences between the new people and the veterans.

 

As for the "Continuity/Story Tools", I do have a few suggestions if these did come into play:

  • Make them accessible and promoted enough so everyone can find it easily (especially for first timers!) .
  • No walls of text (it doesn't need to be just bullet points, short paragraphs for easy reading would be fine). 
  • Maybe include links to relevant posts in-game if the readers are interested in seeing what happened for themselves

In short, for those who just joined/returned from hiatus, they should feel like they can understand the story without having to read several novels' worth of text across various forums. 


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#29 Offline 25K When?

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Posted May 24 2014 - 01:07 AM

The thing is, there isn't really some "main story" of sorts that can be easily summarised, because the entire RPG consists of several people randomly doing their own little thing, and usually the main plot of the arc is simple to understand.


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#30 Offline Juice

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Posted May 24 2014 - 01:20 AM

Your characters can get away with not knowing jack.

Mine does all the time.


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#31 Offline NorikSigma

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Posted May 24 2014 - 01:48 AM

Your characters can get away with not knowing jack.

Mine does all the time.


The important thing is that they do something, and that's the main problem I see.

Not you specifically Doc :P, just everyone as a whole.

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#32 Offline Vox

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Posted May 24 2014 - 01:56 AM

*Reads over topic*

 

Hmm... You know I see some good points and some other points. However one of the most glaring things I see on here is the whole separation between Old and new players and you know I can understand the points brought up but I also have this to say:

 

If a new player wants their character to interact with a somewhat older/well-known character, don't make it the older characters job to interact with you. Thrust yourselves into their rp. Take risks, Heck I had Syvra meet with Echelon with no warning knowing one of two outcomes would occur, Echelon would kill syvra without hesitation, or Echelon would not kill syvra and hear him out. I took a risk and so far it payed off. Sometimes to create rp you have to take risks. Afterall great risks can create great reward.

 

So yeah that is all I really have to say for the moment. 


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#33 Offline Ghosthands

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Posted May 24 2014 - 04:44 AM

You know, I really agree with the points raised by Alchemist about new players. To a certain extent, this ties into the 'elitism' problem.

 

Whenever a new post appears in the profile topic, I make it my business to read it and check out the 'quality' of the new player's profiles. More often than not, these profiles will look as though the writer had not read the rules and/or had no idea of the setting of the BZPRPG. It's very easy to scoff at the 'foolishness' of these new players, and to my shame, I have often done so.

 

But from watching these new players integrate into the community - and from my experiences into trying to introduce other people to the RPG - I've come to the conclusion that they are not to blame.

 

Essentially, I think the BZPRPG is not set up well for new players. It can be opaque, even intimidating, to newcomers. Sure, there's a whole load of great information for newbies - if you know where to look for it. And obviously, newbies don't know where to look.

 

I think we need a better way of introducing people to the game. We need a metaphorical big neon arrow saying 'START HERE!'. So here's my recommendation as to how to do this:

  1. Set up a topic that is clearly visible for new players to start at: 'BZPRPG: New Players Click Here!' or some such thing. Maybe there's a way we could even set up a banner, or something. I know the Rules & Index is theoretically supposed to fulfill this, but frankly, it's not very obvious and doesn't really explain things for new players as well as it could.
  2. Fill this topic with content that is clear, useful and welcoming to new players. It could include short summaries of the gameplay and rules, with links to more in-depth reading (such as the Rules & Index and the first page of News & Discussion) and other such resources. I would strongly recommend that it also include a summary of all important in-game history up to that point, some info on major characters, lore stuff - essentially, a kit of all the basic knowledge that a player should have of the game-world.
  3. The kit outlined in '2.' would need to be maintained, kept up-to-date. I would happily volunteer to write it and be its custodian, if the staff would rather delegate it.
  4. We could also resurrect the 'CRANE' initiative. CRANE (I forget what the acronym stood for) was intended to be a sort of welcoming committee/mentoring scheme for new players, but it fell apart a long time ago.

I did, of course, create the Wiki with the intention of it being a resource for newer players to find more in-depth reading, and Kughii's done a great job of maintaining it in my absence (for which I apologise - Real Life, an' all that), but its content is still patchy and it's not always easy to navigate. Perhaps it needs another overhaul, or even some simplification - I don't know. Maybe I'll have time to look into it at some point over the summer. But to me, getting a proper new player system up-and-running seems to be a more pressing need.


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#34 Offline - JL -

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Posted May 24 2014 - 07:21 AM

this is an ossim thread

 

Anyways, one of the biggest problems I've had, quite massively due in part because I haven't been spending quite a bit of time following the story threads in the RP, is that I've never been able to find a plotline I could fully integrate myself in. My characters would either join something that was a bit slow and thus be stuck in a roadblock where if I magically summoned them to do something else it was godmodding, but if not, they were basically inactive. That, or there would be a plotline going that I'd be interested in if not for the fact that 1. The posts were supermassive and 2. Their contents were pretty much locked; that is, to join in would either be god-modding due to the situation or very unlikely.

 

The resulting consequence of this problem arising is that there has been many times where I felt like I simply couldn't make a substantial effect on the game itself. This RPG is a story; if the story you write is of no consequence; if the story you write is something nobody cares about or reads, then there's really no point to writing the story and you may as well just play stuff out in your imagination instead of actual role-playing. 

 

There's a two main, branching reasons why I think this issue exists.

 

1. Player Caste. I've seen in the above text how the player caste is somewhat separated into three - the Elite players, the New players and the Go-betweeners. I don't think I've ever seen a large, sustainable plotline that doens't have a bunch of Elite players, and while that may come as natural I also haven't really seen a bunch of new players participating in these big plots. Most of the time within threads I see posts between these players who I know are really great writers, especially in big fat jams, and then I see, splattered in intersections a new player posting something 'open for interaction' and not getting any interaction. 

 

2. Metagame knowledge. More often than not I've see a bunch of things happening that I really didn't understand, simply because I didn't start reading the interactions from 10 pages ago. It's due to this that I think the Mata Nui Weekly is such a GREAT idea - it helps give us an idea of what exactly is happening. Despite this, though, some of the happenings that we learn of are very basic and whimsical and it still makes it hard for us to join in the interaction [No fault of the news crew here] This is possibly the only thing which I can offer some solutions for: To update the Wiki. If there was a page on the Wiki for every major skirmish, for every overarching story, this would be very easy.

 

______

 

Gameplay is sluggish atm. The staff plot is slow, and I haven't really seen much of it. There hasn't been much conflict lately; meanwhile, the last game was practically based off of conflict. We haven't had ANY clues whatsoever as to Makuta's riddle, which supposedly is at the core of the main staff plot and thus a big influence to the status quo of Mata Nui in general, but honestly doesn't seem like it to me.

 

I wholeheartedly welcome Echelon and his new crew of baddies, because I honestly think that we're in dire need of that. There's been a few moments throughout the new arc where I've been reading what seems to be more like a script for a sitcom with a bionicle twist on it than an actual Bionicle story. Plus, character development is cool and all but when it appears from people without any big issues who are on an Island where they should be happy because the big-bad from last arc was vanquished seems a bit contrived to me at times.

 

______

 

What Voxumo said rang a bell, and I feel is definitely an attitude/mentality that will only make the RP healthier:

Thrust yourselves into their rp.

But despite that, I've attempted to join into an interaction only to be ignored...........and that really doesn't help out at all. >_>

 

***

 

TL;DR - MORE ACTION, MORE FIGHTS, MORE STUFF HAPPENING THAT PEOPLE CAN ACTUALLY JOIN TO MAKE AN IMPACT ON THE GAME, MORE PLOT MOVEMENT THAT CAN STIMULATE CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT.

 

ALL CAPS TO GET POINT ACROSS


Edited by -JL-, May 24 2014 - 07:32 AM.

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#35 Offline NorikSigma

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Posted May 24 2014 - 07:58 AM

Ghosthands you don't know how right you are. It is really important to allow new players to 'ease' themselves into the game.

And disseminating info useful to them through a topic dedicated to helping them will do wonders.

May I also suggest that the topic with the newbie information be extended into a discussion topic specifically for letting new players ask questions which are then answered.

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#36 Offline Vox

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Posted May 24 2014 - 08:21 AM

May I also suggest that the topic with the newbie information be extended into a discussion topic specifically for letting new players ask questions which are then answered.

That is kind of what the bzprpg discussion topic is for... asking questions


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#37 Offline NorikSigma

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Posted May 24 2014 - 08:27 AM


May I also suggest that the topic with the newbie information be extended into a discussion topic specifically for letting new players ask questions which are then answered.

That is kind of what the bzprpg discussion topic is for... asking questions
Speaking as a relative newbie, I remember when I first started. And admittedly, it feels intimidating entering the place for the first time, it feels like you are intruding.

But then again, my idea does sound a bit redundant...

Edited by Just Norik, May 24 2014 - 09:07 AM.

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#38 Offline 25K When?

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Posted May 24 2014 - 08:42 AM

The News and Discussion is actually quite intimidating.

 

That was the reaction I had back in the day.


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#39 Offline Vezok's Friend

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Posted May 24 2014 - 09:10 AM

Gameplay is sluggish atm. The staff plot is slow, and I haven't really seen much of it. There hasn't been much conflict lately; meanwhile, the last game was practically based off of conflict. We haven't had ANY clues whatsoever as to Makuta's riddle, which supposedly is at the core of the main staff plot and thus a big influence to the status quo of Mata Nui in general, but honestly doesn't seem like it to me.

 

I wholeheartedly welcome Echelon and his new crew of baddies, because I honestly think that we're in dire need of that. There's been a few moments throughout the new arc where I've been reading what seems to be more like a script for a sitcom with a bionicle twist on it than an actual Bionicle story. Plus, character development is cool and all but when it appears from people without any big issues who are on an Island where they should be happy because the big-bad from last arc was vanquished seems a bit contrived to me at times.

 

You won't find people disagreeing there, things have slowed down quite a bit but pretty much all the players and staff are set on changing that. Just keep in mind that things did slow down in the first place because of issues mentioned here in the thread, so to get back to a more constant level of activity we'll have to work those out. 

 

Other than that, I can just reiterate the words of the King: A little less conversation; a little more action please.


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#40 Offline NorikSigma

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Posted May 24 2014 - 09:11 AM

And if a newbie comes in today, they'll probably think the same too.
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