How the ”Plot wheel” broke, and the “Winner mentality” took over


  • Admin [DM]

    • Yes, I agree that the Thayan Arena needs to be readjusted. Lets make a new thread on that with suggestions on how. A lot of people have good ideas, but it is hard to know them without a focused thread on it. It would be a nightmare to try to find the suggestions from this thread alone and then try to make it happen.

    • Yes, I agree with Moloch that even if it isn't meant to the thread does feel like it doesn't think the DM team effort so far is of any value. It's great to know players want to bring up their concerns, but helpful suggestions, way to make things better or even make examples of where things does work goes a long way! There are many good points of bad things, things gone wrong or what didn't work. But I don't see a lot on HOW we can make this matter together, it takes the DMs and the players to make a change.

    • I don't agree that CoA is mechanically oriented, but I do agree there has been over the years a bigger focus on it. HOWEVER, rather than focusing on "They are powerbuilds" or "my crap RP build just dies". We should really be saying "That character did real swell in that conflict, the RP was amazing!", "We went on a ROLEPLAYING TRAIN all day, anyone wants another today?!" "That PC is dying a lot, lets help them out with some fun IG experience to soften the blow." "Could we take this quest today, but slow so we can hang out during it?" "Hey, how're you? Are you new?" "Spiremancers are a important part of allowing new concepts/PCs to see a face they can try to approach, usually they are lingering around waiting for RP to happen. RP sharks, sort of"

    This goes for DMs and players

    • If you feel like you are a lone champion for a cause, approach someone you think agrees with you and ask them to help you make that change
    • If you see someone making an attempt, but not getting there, help them out and praise their attempt
    • When you push, consider how you can inspire those standing on the other side to pull!
    • Bring equal examples of good, and bad experiences



  • Admin [DM]

    Awesome, brought up a few suggestions there myself!



  • Puffy, you stated it yourself:
    We should really be saying "That character did real swell in that conflict, the RP was amazing!", "We went on a ROLEPLAYING TRAIN all day, anyone wants another today?!" "That PC is dying a lot, lets help them out with some fun IG experience to soften the blow."
    I admittedly do not see everything, but I rarely see this from a DM perspective. Most often, I see the opposite. "Toughten up", "Get better", "losing sucks, move on". I wont go around grabbing quotes, but that is what I have usually seen when I have tried to raise concerns.

    However, what you wrote there is ESPECIALLY what we should do more of. But while players can do some, we cannot give loot or exp to those who struggle.

    Moloch, in your specific example, you did not give me the most powerful position, because I got the distinct feeling from speaking to dms, that they were not going to step in to support the authority of said perk.

    However, I did not make this post because of the election, but because we have a large group of players who feel the focus on winning, of surviving increasingly difficult DM quests at all costs, is now the focus of the server. You DMs ARE doing things like rewarding the Kingsmen and Twisted Winds of this server, but since the feeling is still there in the community, I feel it is important to raise it, rather than dismiss it as "angst".

    @Puffy it is hard to bring bad examples without singling out players or DMs. But if you feel it necessary, I will.



  • There are some interesting things in here, some of which was pointed out that we are working on already. It's sometimes difficult to take feedback like this when you know its also a veiled cry of disapproval from a player that is looking to lay blame in every direction but the right one for recent happenings involving them, but at the end of the day we try our best to cut through the proverbial weeds to get to what's important.

    We're all a bunch of imperfect people with our individual opinions on what makes the perfect server to ever actually have the perfect server for anyone, but as long as we keep communication open we might find we all have more in common then we don't.



  • @khamal said in How the ”Plot wheel” broke, and the “Winner mentality” took over:

    Olouth, the server has changed. People are better at mechanics and thus are able to make the most of pvp and getting attention.

    RP is nice but nowadays, its secondary, and I'm ok with that. I'd rather adventure than sit around telling my life story in the spire.

    I'm not, we're not an action server. That said, I'm not sure why people think we are. The most heavily rewarded player on the server is a solid roleplayer who I've never seen do a quest! (I'm sure he has, I just never see it.)



  • I'm gonna say that comment seems like a really thinly veiled attack @CaptainFantastic, I don't know if it contributes to the discussion above just saying that you're looking at what's important >.>

    And @Mr-Moloch I'd say that most of the people think its an Action server because 90% of the time spent right now is done so questing, getting exp, gear and consumables.



  • @captainfantastic said in How the ”Plot wheel” broke, and the “Winner mentality” took over:

    insert slightly veiled attack here.

    I know it is much easier to focus on the individual, rather than what is actually being written CF. I raised this topic because good players feel less inclined to log in because of it. If you would rather make it about me and dismiss it for me pointing, that is your business.



  • Olouth, for the record, I didn't think you were upset about the election at all. I'm just, honestly, confused. The whole election rewarded people NOT for mechanical advantage and then granted them incredible roleplay based awards. So why does anyone think mechanical advantage 'wins'--where has this happened recently because I just honestly do not see it.

    Vagabond, I know people think 90% of the time is spent questing, but is that a problem? Its D&D! I like to spend a bigger percentage of my time roleplaying, but I tend to use quests and exploration to roleplay with people. So that-I don't think-is the issue.

    What I'm hearing from Olouth is:

    1). We're ignoring the player base. Which I don't see, since plots and stories are always aimed widely. I log into the server even when there are just two people on, and toss story and plot ideas at them to pursue if they want.
    2). We're not rewarding those who set a good example. When in fact, the three most powerful players in game all got their power due to the way they roleplay, not the their mechanical ability.
    3). We're suppose to reward those who "lose" however, I don't get that at all. Though typically if a player "loses" and doesn't quit, they get NPC support, particularly if they are doing cool things to involve other players. So AGAIN, I don't see it.
    4). We don't idolize those who beat mechanics, over and over again, the server policy states we DON'T do this. The entire team agrees, though some people try to take things one or two DMs say out of context during discussions of mechanics or as personal opinions and mistake that for the whole team.

    So I just don't get it and don't even know what "POSITIVE" things people want. Saying this shit stinks doesn't help get it OUT of the system if its there.

    If there's specific stuff, bring it out openly or bring it to the DMs. Only we can't help with vague issues. I'm happy to explain the entire issue honestly in public or in private, if we don't want to single people out, I'd ask them for permission myself and do it publicly if it will help. I mean, many of the people players complain to me about as having "mechanical win" mentality are often the people MOST willing to openly discuss this stuff because they're not at all bad guys or toxic. They just play the game a different way than what we actually want to cater to primarily, they love storytelling and roleplay. If its this far out of whack, they'd usually bend over backwards to help. So let's just be honest!



  • Olouth, you made it about you >_>. That was kind of my point. And it wasn't a veiled anything, just me saying that your good ideas were going to be listened to despite you making it about you.



  • He's not making it about him, that's sort of the point. That insult came completely out of left-field. It's not the point being made, the point is multiple players feel this way and its not a minority view.

    @Mr-Moloch It is a problem when it's not traditional questing. It's not throwing dice with friends, sharing a joke and having fun. It's wordlessly grinding out a scripted quest because it drops Shadow Shield potions, or Ethereal Essence, or +1 Boots, etc. If there is RP, it's lite as a feather.



  • @vagabond3103 said in How the ”Plot wheel” broke, and the “Winner mentality” took over:

    He's not making it about him, that's sort of the point. That insult came completely out of left-field. It's not the point being made, the point is multiple players feel this way and its not a minority view.

    @Mr-Moloch It is a problem when it's not traditional questing. It's not throwing dice with friends, sharing a joke and having fun. It's wordlessly grinding out a scripted quest because it drops Shadow Shield potions, or Ethereal Essence, or +1 Boots, etc. If there is RP, it's lite as a feather.

    Well Vagabond, that's always happened. DMs have always left players like this out of plots and stories and didn't give them rewards. Is the perception that now we are rewarding them?

    Are players questing with these people and silently frustrated? Why aren't they pointing it out to the players involved, or carrying roleplay more? Do you want us to punish people for doing a quest without talking (because I don't want to punish people)--but I already reward people who I see roleplaying on quest with more XP or rewards.

    Should we publicize who is getting the RP rewards? Should DMs point out our "roleplayer of the month"--I mean, we've done stuff like that, but people didn't like that either--so what's the solution to this perception?

    Again--just trying to understand. Because I don't know how this happened or what people perceive, or how to fix it if there is a problem if I can't understand!



  • All I want to say about this thread is, that I am personally 100% confident the current active team will listen and try to do whatever they can to make it -seem- more like CoA is what it is supposed to be.

    (I highlight seem, because I also think it's more a perception thing, than an actual thing, as in, I think it is what it is meant to be, but some players aren't seeing it that way, which is still a huge issue to resolve)



  • Well, yes, you are. You are rewarding them because that mentality is currently everyone on the server, and that's exactly the problem at hand. The players questing with these people aren't silently frustrated, they're questing with them because they need the gear, exp and supplies to continue playing the game, whether its a DM event that's coming up in a few hours or the metaplot they're working towards, they need to grind out these consumables just to be able to be a useful part of it.

    My point is that this server has shifted so far to the mechanics side that more or less, people latch onto the mechanically strong to powerlevel and quest them/gear them up because @CitizenBane, @sharkinajar, @Mortui and other top players are nice people who do that shit. It's making deaths much more worse in terms of what you've lost, and how much time it'll take to get the supplies back. Questing is a chore, why bother RP'ing and making it longer?



  • Ill take it point by point Moloch, and Ill be as specific as possible, without calling names. And I think the election went horribly, but I DO see it as a step in the right direction. Just needs some fine tuning.

    1. There is a large minority that feel ignored. I see it on discord, I see it on the forums and see it IG. These players are MOSTLY playing outside the heavily DM covered ones. They are players who say they update their player plot tickets with stuff they do, but still feel they arent making progress. I will push them to talk to dms directly when I see or hear it next, so they can speak for themselves on their specific issues. I am not a dm, so I cannot judge the truth of what they are saying, I can only give them a voice, as one of the "Vet players".

    2. I felt all fuzzy when I see the Twisted Winds and Kingsmen get rewards. Yes, I see a shift, but and see you are trying to change things. I hope you will do even more of it in the future.

    3. Beyond the election, I have not seen this happen much, nor do I hear about it. Nor have the players who feel ignored. Again we do not see everything, we are players. So if you feel it -is- happening, perhaps there is a visibility issue here.

    4. I know YOU state it, Moloch. However, from a player perspective (not JUST mine), there are a group of players who, because they seem to be able to survive hard stuff, are getting alot of attention because of it. If you look at discord, people do not ask for concept help anymore, they ask for build advise. People see this small group getting alot of attention, getting the loot, exp and fun quests, and try to emulate it by optimizing their mechanical side, rather than trusting that the focus of the server is on the story, not the engine itself.
      Just today, someone stated on discord "You cannot be a weaponmaster without knowing your mechanics". If PRCs are earned based on engine knowledge, and not on stories, we have a problem.



  • @Vagabond3103

    I'm playing one of the most politically powerful characters on the server and I rarely quest.

    In fact I'm more often than not roleplaying with people or taking groups out to explore and research things

    Though there is nothing wrong with questing, For example if you are playing someone with an interest in golems it makes perfect sense to take to do Bherksen Factory to study golems .

    I see plenty of people being rewarded for involving others and roleplay rather than just being mechanically powerfu



  • Moloch, there is no problem here, imo.

    Don't stress it.

    Some players won't agree with how others play. Its not the DMs fault!



  • @Mr-Moloch @Puffy
    Yes, these topics suck and from my limited time as a DM these topics were probably the single most stressful thing I came across because they make you feel like your efforts and time have been unappreciated - if not wasted.

    So please, don't take it that way. We love you guys and the time and effort you put into this, and certainly from my perspective it's more concerning what values the community is making grabby hands at rather than what the DMs are doing. They affect each other, it's not a one-way relationship.

    I think we're already on the right track DM-team wise, in that you guys are going out of your way to try and reward odd concepts and roleplayers who maybe can't fight for their goals mechanically. And unfortunately I agree with Moloch on the Warden thing @O-louth, you should've swung some muscle, you de facto owned the city! But that's neither here nor there.

    As I see it, it's the community which has shifted - and it always does, from the rise of celebrating/organising quest trains on IRC (not a bad thing at all) to the lore-craze that was sparked by Puffy's handouts (and lead to a lot of fun in my opinion).

    All I'm concerned about is what feels like a growing apathy, a winner-take-all mentality, that has the hallmarks of the old elitist CoA that has earned us so many loyal detractors on internet message-boards. I'm not saying we're back to that already, and with DMs pushing to reward a broad range of playstyles I'm sure this will "fix" itself in time. I was just flabberghasted that a months old character could rise to become Warden, be intrigue'd out and not earn so much as a Kudos on the forums for a good plot.

    A knee-jerk isn't required and would probably be unhelpful, but sometimes it's enough to know there's a desire for a particular je ne sais quoi in the community (and even there, clearly not uniformly all of it). By and large @Mr-Moloch it sounds like there's been no change in direction from the DM end to warrant this so maybe it is purely a change in the player community's perception of the game.

    TL;DR I know you want something concrete Moloch, but honestly I think while the DM team has embraced rewarding all things, player perception sometimes needs discussion more than anything else to clarify - or to weasel out the minutia of an initiative to help it be more effective.



  • @mr-moloch said in How the ”Plot wheel” broke, and the “Winner mentality” took over:

    @vagabond3103 said in How the ”Plot wheel” broke, and the “Winner mentality” took over:

    He's not making it about him, that's sort of the point. That insult came completely out of left-field. It's not the point being made, the point is multiple players feel this way and its not a minority view.

    @Mr-Moloch It is a problem when it's not traditional questing. It's not throwing dice with friends, sharing a joke and having fun. It's wordlessly grinding out a scripted quest because it drops Shadow Shield potions, or Ethereal Essence, or +1 Boots, etc. If there is RP, it's lite as a feather.

    Well Vagabond, that's always happened. DMs have always left players like this out of plots and stories and didn't give them rewards. Is the perception that now we are rewarding them?

    Are players questing with these people and silently frustrated? Why aren't they pointing it out to the players involved, or carrying roleplay more? Do you want us to punish people for doing a quest without talking (because I don't want to punish people)--but I already reward people who I see roleplaying on quest with more XP or rewards.

    Yes they are Moloch. Very much so. The players who did this back in the day, are the players others now try to copy, because they are the high levels, who can survive the risky quests (Spiffys famous Myron quests are a brilliant example), and are perceived as being the ones getting the dms attention.



  • @verk
    Re-read my posts. I'm not saying being mechanically powerful is the ONLY thing that matters, neither am I condemning questing that involves roleplay. I'm saying it happens a LOT, LOT less and I'm saying that being geared/supplied is a chore and a grind that bloats the time inbetween having fun.


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