How to keep the plot wheel of awesome spinning
O-louth last edited by
Now, before I start, ill have to make a slight disclaimer. This is not to nag or to point fingers, nor is it to whine. Yet, I feel a responsibility as an old goat on CoA to keep things being fun.
I have been back for a few weeks now, and I must say that the server for the most part is more awesome than ever. Alot of dms are working very very hard to keep the server going, constantly making new areas (Gmork and Tinker, nicely done, they look hawt!)
However, there is one point that is bugging me. Plot hording. I am not going to say the server seems elitist, because that is not necessarily the case. Yet, it doesnt seem that the plot wheels are reaching the "big" base of the server.
I have played here for soon to be seven years, and I know how to "push" myself into things, and generally have a good idea of which players I need to "locate" in order to get a few plot hooks to get started.
Yet, alot of people do not have the same knowledge. We have quite a few faction players, who are supreme roleplayer. Yet, personally, id love to see a bit more focus, not just from them, but from the established pcs to reach the low and mid level characters and throw them some bones in terms of plot hooks which they in turn can then choose to run with if they so desire.
There are alot of easy ways to do this. If you are uncertain of how to do this, or are involved in plots in general, then you shouldnt play your cards too close to the body, as it hinders alot of progress.
Remember, the dms are clever people. They dont always only throw loot at you for participating on dm quests. They also reward those who get OTHERS involved. You dont have to be the protagonist of every dm quest.
Take a good look at your character inventory and character sheet next time you log in. If you find that just about every item you carry is costum made, if you have more than 4000 gold pieces in your inventory and no real need to purchase supplies for them, and if your level is well above lvl 7. Then you likely have more than 85% of the server.
Basic socioligy and political science states that in order for a society to flurish, it needs a strong middle class. This is also the case of CoA. The bigger the gap between the rich (read high lvls) and the poor (read again, low lvls) becomes, the more unstable the server becomes.
Dont be affraid to plot in other places than behind locked doors at your DM faction HQ, with only your most trusted friends around you. Dont be affraid to lose a little by being overheard talking of your big thing, be it the orc army, elemental temples, how you wish to reclaim Immersea or WHO KNOWS WHAT?!
Lower your need for winning, and instead see it as your job to keep the server moving, with adventure, intrigue and CONFLICT!
Talk plots while you walk through the city. Talk in inns. Use scripted quests, especially those you cannot yourself participate, to your advantage.
Gather a group of mid levels to attack a near Orc camp, because you are affraid the orcs of the Hullack are spreading. And when you do, then TELL THE PEOPLE YOU HIRE ABOUT THE PLOT, THROW THEM UNFINISHED PLOT HOOKS!
Hire people to look for your temples. No, not other factions, or dm approved characters, other people. Tell them why they are looking for it.
Hold a "press conference" in the Guild Halls, telling the people and players, one how awesome your faction is, two, what you know about the threat and how they can help.
Tell them about The Rift, the orc threat, or whatever of the twenty or thirty plots going on. Earn those uniforms guys, earn the prestige.
The last time I did stuff like this, I recieved a ship, political support, and plot hook items, and sweet loot. Others recieved awesome subraces like vampires, Gensai, or dragon friends, or whole villages!
Thank you in advance.
I disagree, Olouth. People spill the beans all the time. Yes, some do not while they should but it is not to the extent of a server-wide issue.
It is not sufficient to spread the plots - the challenge is to make it interesting and involving way to get the people actually pursuing them.
Broken Gunblade last edited by
I concur with Eraamion. I, and a few others I know always hand stuff out to people. I guess it's our fault for not being interesting enough, but its the folks who follow up on it that end up being involved in one way or another.
golw last edited by
Problem: No Plots!
I see a majority of all faction members/app characters literally throwing out all their plots, how many really pick it up, Olouth, unless there's a promise of instant reward?
I think the issue is more about the people not actively following up, perhaps because they're unsure how to proceed, or perhaps intimidated to ask for help.
Maybe it's just the fact that they're not given in a way that's interesting to people, as Eraamion says. Perhaps it's the approach taken to involving people, rather than an issue of playing everything close to the chest.
Lamancha last edited by
Much of your ideas are really helpful, Olouth. I like.
O-louth last edited by
I just picked up a good argument on irc, so i figured id continue the debate.
"There is a huge difference between letting people become spectators on your plot, and becoming involved"
I want to make this perfectly clear, there is a vast difference.
When you arrange for an attack upon an orc camp, and make a sending for adventures, saying orcs + fighting = reward, then you are letting them participate. Because 90% of them will have absolutely NO idea of why they are fighting them, except that they are orcs.
When you approach a group of lower levels, hand them your book you stole from an orc chieftan, and ask them to investigate whether the information inside is true or not, you are INVOLVING THEM. Because they get a plot hook, they get a chance to, once you log off, stil do something.
I've been reading this and agreeing with both sides of the conversation to some degree, but I think O'louth hit the nail on the head. Lower level/new players get involved to the point of 'lets go kill x' or 'lets go explore y', but we rarely know why we are doing it other than something new to do.
And thats fine, it's a break from scripted quests, which, while they can be fun if you have someone that will RP with you in them, they get boring after doing the same quest day after day after day.
But it would be really nice to know whats going on, why we're doing something, and how I can help further that plot when the plot holder logs out (if it's something that my character would want to further).
And maybe this is happening for others and I'm just not there at the right time, lets face it, plot keepers can only be logged on for so long, and if I'm not hitting you at that time then thats my problem and I should be getting a plot going on my own….but how? Just start doing 'something' and hope people take notice? and if they don't or no one is interested, just keep doing it on my own and hope someone, anyone, will join in so I'm not just (forgive me for this) playing with myself?
Sorry for chiming in, I'll go back to work now...
If I am given some task or something to do, I can always ask why should I do this and what is behind it. It never happened to me that I would be denied an answer.
The fundamental problem, I reiterate, is to make the players -interested- to the point that they answer your sending and, if given a task, they ask why, and actually pursue it when you log out. If you force the answers upon them without them being interested in the first place, you only make them more bored.
While personally, I have only seen plots being shared around like crazy, I am always in support of MORE of such spreading.
Since I begun playing Darvish, I have seen, been involved in, and spread out a lot of plots, more so than ever before on the server. It is brilliant. From what I can see, all players need to do right now is reach out and grab plots to join if they want to. So long as they then continue the plot, throw out hooks to draw others in, its going to continue.
All in all, from where I sit, I think things are great right now. Everyone just has to work at keeping at this level, or get it even better if possible.
Must be my limited playtime then as i don't think ive gotten a plot hook with my main in ages oh i answer sending for we are going to do x y and z but mostly it's group X is needed for blah blah,you go and try and find out whats going on you just get shunned least thats my experience of late.
Whats more annoying that im not picky either ive tried with both good and evil characters/groups it's the same story keep things close to the chest unless your in the in crowd.
So yes keep the awesome at this level it sure shines through what is needed to do anything.
Darlene Te'len last edited by
If your characters learn plots and share them too freely eventually most character/players feel your character is not to be trusted and you will no longer get tidbits of plot information from the other characters/players/NPCs.
I have strong views on plots and factions, and it might be best I not share some of these in the open scrutiny of the forum, they might be misinterpreted, and could come across as even subversive, the bottom line however is to have fun, if everyone has fun the server, players and plots will prosper. Remember this is a very old game, the fact Arabel is still prospering should speak volumes to the ones who created the server and the ones who run it as well as the ones who play on it.
My ideas are not really that important, as I have noticed my playing style is quite different that the majority of the players on the server, and in spite of that I have been able to have fun on the server, even though I am basically out of my element in this style of game, and the server can easily get along fine without a person of my play style (no I am not quitting I am merely stating fact).
I have seen alot of plots that sort of seem more like "we need meatshields, come with us" rather than "we want you to join in on this plot" to be honest. Maybe thats just my sad cynical opinion
golw last edited by
I don't like this concept of plot-hoarding. It sounds like an overly aggressive way of bashing people who happen to be involved, while taking little or no steps to change that situation for yourself.
Sometimes you get lucky, and a plot drops right in your lap, but that doesn't mean a damn thing if you don't follow it up, or take the initiative with it. The only alternatives are stay out of the plot all together, or latch on to a player who can take you along for the ride. And honestly, all of those are okay, I just don't see a reason to complain.
I'll acknowledge that there's some difficulty for either new or unsure players trying to get in on plots, but you can pretty easily get involved. Especially if you play certain archetypes, such as an adventurer or mercenary. Just pay attention to the Public Bulletins and get in touch with the PCs posting them. The Bulletin forum is more or less plot recruitment.
Make your own plots?
Make your own plots?
This answers the thread question. There is a natural evolution of a CoA player, and it basically can be broken down into 5 phases.
The first phase is the shortest, but also the toughest, the noob phase. Basically you have to survive your own ego and snarky comments from other players long enough to get the hang of this whole RP thing.
The second phase is the "new player" phase. You still make comments that make no sense to the setting, you find yourself humping a wall looking for a secret door on a scripted quest, and you actually believe you are going to hit level 20 with your monk by next friday. Still, you were recruited to some players concept, people no longer shy away from you in the guildhall when you are trying to find someone to do nada with, and from time to time you start feeling good about your roleplay at the end of the night.
The third phase is the CoA superstar phase. Not that you really are a superstar, you just begin to feel like one. You now are one of the "leads" in two or three server plots, people you know from irc now make their characters go out of their way to meet yours instead of cice versa, and you just got your first Good RP Token. This phase has caused many characters to outlive their story, and is the phase that a lot of players stop at.
The fourth phase is what I like to call (ok, I am making these names up as I go) the enlightened player phase. Server plots are now a means to an end, which is your story. You don't mind giving others all the plot hooks, in fact you benefit from it, because now you can manipulate things to suit your goals. People rarely know who you are because you smurf religiously, and you don't talk about your character on irc because you don't want to give away one inch of what you consider your genious concept. This is the phase that ties back to what I quoted at the top. Having your own goals tied into server plots pushes them forward naturally. It allows you to involve others without being a plot hoarder, or a glory stealer, or anything else people call the plot stars. I've been around this server a long time, and while theres more to becoming a dm then what I've said here, generally players who reach this phase soon after find themselves in phase five.
The fifth, and final phase, being a DM. You now have more paper work then even your sheriff character did which you didnt think was possible, you have to dodge players from each of the previous phases egos and complaining just to keep your sanity, and a group of players in the fugue are campaigning for a free raise because…well, dying sucks. Congradulations!
--lizard-man-- last edited by
Having your own goals tied into server plots pushes them forward naturally. It allows you to involve others without being a plot hoarder, or a glory stealer, or anything else people call the plot stars.
Thinking of goals is not hard, but thinking of non-boring ways to reach them can be. Reversed cause and effect on the last sentence.
I am going to be completely honest. I as a player of Arabel for some time now have NEVER figured out how to get involved in, stay involved in and finish a plot to the end. I guess I really just dont grasp the concept so I just wait around to fall into a plot thread but as soon as I know it, a week later I've fallen out of it…
The success of ''creating your own plot'' is also down to everyone else. If you see someone trying to push something help them get it done!