More feedbacks



  • Ok following this I'm here to ask more feedbacks in order to understand what the playerbase likes or does not like.

    In the past weeks I have run three mini-encounters, all very similar. They all started with magical occurrances, sounds, and the feeling something was approaching, until eventually a "thought", made of three words (so three thoughts for nine words total) was implanted in the targets' minds. The pieces of thought actually belonged to an adventurer, Phil (here and here) who had found a magic lamp. The nine words, spoken in the right order, were the passphrase to summon the genie, and ask the proverbial wish. His evil brother though, jealous of his success, tampered with his mind, stealing the knowledge of the sentence and sending it ahead in time, shattered in three pieces. A few people came pretty close, but at best knew only two pieces out of three. Moreover I was quite surprised by the general attitude. In my mind those who had received the "thought" were supposed to safekeep it jealously, employing any kind of possible trick to extort the missing parts from others who would have themselves refused to spill a single word. Well, that's not what happened. Informations circulated freely. Until interest diminished and eventually vanished.

    This plot were supposed to happen without combat involved (unless someone wanted to try to steal the magic lamp for himself) and revolve mainly on information gathering, that is a great (read fundamental) component of "intrigue". So the questions to the playerbase are:

    • If you were aware of this plot, what caused the interest to fade? Was it too complicated? The goals were not clear? Were you too busy pursuing other things?

    • Is this kind of plot too boring if compared to the usual "go out and explore that area/gather that reagent"?

    • Would you like to see more of these plots where combat is secondary?

    I feel I should better explain this last question. You hear DMs speak frequently of Adventure&Intrigue (TM). While the first half is very obvious, I feel the second one is more blurred, and thus comes across as indigestible. Many players seem to struggle trying to understand how to pull this ever so famous "intrigue". Well, adventure is pretty easy. Grab a group and lead it somewhere where hordes of monsters will assault you (or is it the other way?). Intrigue requires a gameplay that is far less paced. It requires (DISCLAIMER: THIS IS JUST MY PERSONAL OPINION) a player to forfeit his time for quests and adventures, to employ it to get to know other characters. Understand their goals, their motives, their fears and dreams. Unless you know a character quite intimately, it is fairly difficult you will be able to pull something remotely close to intrigue. Of course you can get to know another character while adventuring with him, but you would have to be a fast typer. Information gathering is another key of intrigue. But once again, to do it, you need to stop and talk with as many people as you can. In the last days I have seen, expecially during the slow hours of the server, several people sitting in the Guildhall and not talking with each other. Informations are power. And to gain them, and thus power, you have to approach other characters, get deep into their concept, understand as much as you can, even if you are a foe (expecially if you are a foe. The degree of knowledge and of intimacy you have with a character will decide how epic of a foe he will be for you). This though means less time for quests and adventures in general.

    But let me give an example. I'm sure almost everyone knows who Takata is. Now imagine you are one of her servants. You can use your time in game to grind quests and lvl up so you have the upper hand in pvp. Or you can "adventure", gather groups and lead them somewhere until you find the epic staff of anti-banishment, and gift it to Takata. Or you can talk with a lot of characters. You talk about her with those that serve her, to coordinate their efforts. Then you talk with those who oppose her, spy their moves, understand their motives. And you notice that some of them call her Tataka. So you contact her, and find out the unbelievable and unforeseable truth. It's Tataka, not Takata! But jokes aside, you are a trusted member of the society, so you gather around yourself the efforts to banish her. You coordinate the various factions, send them out to gather reagents, and eventually devise a ritual to banish a demon called Takata from this plane. After a lot of efforts, you perform this ritual, and it miserably fails. Several foes of Tataka has wasted their time and resources for weeks, and she is pretty grateful to you. You have pulled quite a interesting "intrigue".

    Now, I was quite drastic in my example. There is not just "Adventure", nor just "intrigue", and definitely not "let's grind qweststrains to pwn pvp", but I hope you understand what I mean.

    Your thoughts.



  • I would always prefer to see a plot that combat is secondary or doesnt occur at all.
    Something that is thrilling and challanging the mind at the same time.

    I often believe that combat doesnt help us the players hone and improve our skills at roleplay or help us evolve our characters by certain decisions made. Such plots however allow that to happen.

    Moar please!



  • I play very intermittently and I know nothing of this plot, but here's just a thought on intrigue and secrets.

    Do you have enough constant players to run something like this effectively? This event actually sounds pretty simple, but the more complex and shady the intrigue, the more people you need to get in the know. If one person doesn't log in for a week is everything ruined? If 5 people don't? I've found that I don't have the time to do much intrigue- plot hooks I get, or secret information I come across is irrelevant 5 days later in a lot of cases. The only thing I can do to make sure it wasn't in vain is to pass it off as quickly as is reasonable IC so hopefully someone will make use of it.

    Can you support all those who are involved? The problem with all DM plots of scope is- how long do I have to go back and give some love to those who got the initial plot hook so they know they're on the right track or that this is worth exploring more? If you hand something off to someone who plays 12 hours a day, they may try to explore their options a couple times a play session. If you have someone who plays 4 hours 3 times a week, they may look around a bit, but if something positive doesn't crop up then they'll move on to other things that produce an outcome in the short-term. This is a game- we often look for the instant gratification over long-term happiness.

    90% of the server will try and work with others on DM stuff rather than use it to create conflict. Aside from a few epic PvP trolls on this server, the rest of us are sort of pushovers when it comes to this stuff. If we don't have a pre-existing IC reason to be at odds with someone, you're going to have a hard time pushing a PC to do it from a DM standpoint.

    Is the current player attitude and climate right for this right now? We've moved pretty far away from the CoA Sims era, but if you want to do something that involved people sharing their secrets and playing deep characters whose hidden motives, character flaws and vices played into them keeping this huge prize for themselves, the sims era was better for that sort of thing. I'm not saying that 100% of the characters now are 2-dimensional, but when you're dealing with a thin playerbase of around 100 characters who may be on anywhere from 4 to 45 hours a week, it's not the same as when there were 65 people on at all times of day and night. You simply have some players who care about something of this depth and some who would rather just explore and hack some stuff up.

    To answer your third question, no- not really. I want to do all this really cool intrigue stuff and then kick someone's ass in the end. I don't mind if combat is secondary, but I don't want to just embarrass someone or ruin their birthday party, I want to do that and also cut off their foot and kill 4 of their guards and maybe their housekeeper. Maybe a bard or an elf would be happy with leaving a snotty Yelp review of the Zhentarim, but I need heads to roll.



  • In regards to the plot you descirbed in the first post, you mentioned that you thought people would safeguard the plot information you gave them. I think that the mindset that has been developed over the years is that you should share plot hooks with as many people as possible (for whatever reason), which is probably why you saw people giving away information so freely. I think people are just used to sharing plot hooks these days.



  • Well as to the first plot perhaps it's my play times (not alot) but ive not heard a peep about it but i do like the kind of plots where there is alot more sneaking about spying and the like finding stuff out and less slaughtering the local monster population.
    So yes more of these plots there should always be alittle adventure say at the end of it.
    I also love it when different groups end up on the same adventure but not together say entering the place that the clues led to but by a different route so it becomes a race to solve the puzzles and find the prize but you not only have to fight the monsters maybe the other groups or make deals to get the prize.

    Intrigue is fun the above example has some in it thats why it's better than just a straight hack an slash.

    Is the current player attitude and climate right for this right now? We've moved pretty far away from the CoA Sims era, but if you want to do something that involved people sharing their secrets and playing deep characters whose hidden motives, character flaws and vices played into them keeping this huge prize for themselves, the sims era was better for that sort of thing. I'm not saying that 100% of the characters now are 2-dimensional, but when you're dealing with a thin playerbase of around 100 characters who may be on anywhere from 4 to 45 hours a week, it's not the same as when there were 65 people on at all times of day and night. You simply have some players who care about something of this depth and some who would rather just explore and hack some stuff up.

    Nikko said it better than i ever could of and i spent 20 mins tring.



  • I was on the initial quest that started the plot with Tataka, I led the group that met her, and she actually made a doppelganger of my character. It was a lot of fun, and I enjoyed the intrigue.

    I did my best to spread the word and let other players know what was happening.

    That said, the quest was anomaly, the rest of the plot took place out of my Time Zone. It was frustrating to log on I would hear a re-cap of another major plot event that had taken place when the staring European players were online outside of my available playing times. I tried to peruse the quest through forums, and by going on along on screen-quest plots, but in the end it just passed me by.

    When I log on, I'm lucky if there are more than 10 people on. I find the only way to interact with people is to do a sending, usually for a quest.
    I rp my way through the plot, mention my characters agendas and try to get other players hooked into my current plot. But when there are only 6 people who are all lvl 4-5 on, it's not very realistic to have us all head out to the Hullack or Haunted Halls where we could not survive. Sometimes a quest is the only way to create a common interest and have people meet up. I've met a lot of players this way that I ended up plotting and rping with later. I don't think that players should be looked down upon for using the quests as a vehicle to meet people. Grinding is one thing, but having a fun quest is another. I had a blast doing Nada with 'little green monster' the other day, just because we rping the whole time.

    And I agree with Nikko. Some of us have limited play time, or play in the hours where the DMs are not active. We often have no way of knowing what is going on in most plots, unless someone generously decides to share their plot knowledge, which is not often the case.

    I personally love intrigue, and will take it any day of the week over combat-based plots, but there is not much I can do unless I create the intrigue myself, and just hope I can find players that are willing to try and have fun with me without the promise of DM rewards. This in itself can be a challenge, because while many of us players don't mind plotting for a long time, have no tangible reward, it is discouraging to hear players bragging about ungodly loot that I know I will never have a chance at seeing, that I didn't even know were allowed to exist in the game, that was acquired because they were in the right place at the right time and got to do a plot-run event. This also makes me want to avoid PvP based plots because I am afraid of running into someone with an incredible weapon or item that I can't predict.

    These are my personal feelings, and they are the product of having many discussions with other players who struggle with these same issues.



  • I don't know anything about the plot mentioned, but would add this to what was said above.

    Mini plots are great. I would like to see some more self contained adventures that happen in one sitting. That way no one feels like they missed out if they partake in some big part of a plot but miss out on the fun and pay off at the end. This has happened to me too many times. I'm still wondering what happened to that flaming dwarf in the ruins, Shepasheka or whatever his name is. Did Manfred Kohlberg every get resolved? What ever happened to that mad mage in the mountains with the Ruby golem? Where did all those githyanki go?

    Some of the best dm events I've been on are just random things that never involved a ton of people or took months to resolve. Nothing earth moving, just good solid adventure. I'm not saying do away with the earth moving events that make CoA interesting long term. I like those too when I can keep up with what's going on. I'd just like to see some more random single event adventures.



  • @The:

    The nine words, spoken in the right order, were the passphrase to summon the genie, and ask the proverbial wish.

    I think I've been along on a hunt for thought the third, although I had (as often) no clear idea what we were after, or why. One of the main reasons to go along therefore was to find out more about what this was about, and if I should be helping, and if so which 'side' I should be helping.

    I'd seen the /forum/viewtopic.php?t=136556
    poster, but that actually didn't seem very inviting, looked like an invitation to spy on someone, and not something for my character.

    The /forum/viewtopic.php?t=136855 note was even less inviting, seemed like something meant for a group that was already established, working on something that was about to finish.

    @The:

    In my mind those who had received the "thought" were supposed to safekeep it jealously,

    OOC, where's the fun in keeping something to yourself? Especially if you might not be around for the next phase, I always try to let more people know about things like that.

    IC, it would depend on which 'side' you are on. If you were helping Phil, you'd tell him the thought. iIf you were opposing him, for whatever reason (perhaps his brother is paying you, or maybe you think genies and wishes are bad news, or you want the lamp and the wish for yourself), you'd at least spread false information.

    • If you were aware of this plot, what caused the interest to fade? Was it too complicated? The goals were not clear? Were you too busy pursuing other things?

    Interest in this didn't fade for me, if anything it was the other way around, and I was a bit disappointed to read this post and find out something had petered out without even having scratched much of the surface myself

    • Is this kind of plot too boring if compared to the usual "go out and explore that area/gather that reagent"?

    Exactly the opposite for me. if anything is 'boring' it is those shopping list things where people with more time on their hand have a clear advantage. Exploration can be fun, but I don't really feel like I should be using what little time I have IG to walk around for hours, and then get killed by some random spawn.

    • Would you like to see more of these plots where combat is secondary?

    Yes. Combat is not much fun to me; usually either one side has such high bonusses that the outcome is all but fixed from the start, or it is so close that the dice-rolls are the deciding factor, which is even less interesting.

    In the PnP games I've played, fights are rare, and you try to avoid them, as you can usually only lose from them, just like in real life.

    P.



  • I took part in one part of this (not sure which one, Ruins Quest, Not giving out what I heard… but if you need refreshing Count, I will PM them to you if you let me know) but the plot kind of got lost during the quest as infighting between the group occurred, among other things.. That simple Ruins quest lasted 2 1/2 hours. Truth be told, My character did write down the words and I still have them close by. But she didn't connect them to the notes as the entire quest was exhausting due to the length of time it took.

    I am willing to go further with it if it comes up. It has intrigued her. The only problem I currently have is the many interwoven things she is involved with.

    If anyone is interested (that includes you Count) in furthering this. Just PM me a time and I'll see If I can join in. My times are pretty much open and I'm willing to work with pretty much anyone on this so long as it does not cause IC problems.



  • Intrigue plots bore me. Too much thinking and piecing stuff together also bore me since I am not very good with deduction. Give me clues and I have no idea what to do with them. Send me on a plot involving slaying something and I walk away happy as a clam afterwards.

    The most fun I have are plots involving scores of fighting spawns. The Eveningstar attack, Castle Crag defense and the rot gnoll attack on East Gate are examples where I have a definite blast.

    Unless I see a reward for my efforts right away, I lose interest.

    Plots where stuff has to be found hold no interest for me since most often other time zones find the stuff first and I always come in after the fact (the orb hunt for example). I will use my time IG to plan and gather people, log for one night, and find someone else found the object during the Aussie time zone 3am when I am sleeping.

    Having to search out other PCs for intrigue almost never happen for me since these plots are stretched over other time zones and I never see these people.



  • @SorchaRed:

    And I agree with Nikko. Some of us have limited play time, or play in the hours where the DMs are not active. We often have no way of knowing what is going on in most plots, unless someone generously decides to share their plot knowledge, which is not often the case.

    That. been a member of too many factions where all I would do is hear about all the stuff that happened when I wasn't on.

    And when I would miracoloulsy get involved for a small part, the ending would always be at another time.



  • As somebody whose gaming life the past 2 years has revolved around DDO with RL buddies, I'm all about the IG "intrigue". It's acually the reason I dug up my old game discs.

    I would have loved to be a part of this plot. Sadly, I'm just hearing about it now. I do enjoy combat, but actually prefer contemplating and scheming. I like mysteries, twists, character development, engaging conversation and good stories. In my mind, these are the things that make the NWN PW experience so fulfilling.

    Two points I'd like to raise…

    That being said, I really hope I can get involved in the next one. 🙂



  • I would also like to say the forums isn't the best place to gather intrest id much rather find somthing out in game where i can react to it if you drop a plot hook on peaple in game you would get a much better response than you will on the forums,could be somthing as little as using an npc to come over sharing a drink at the bar telling the gathered adventurers his sad tale or while a group is out doing somthing else you could use a dying advanturer to pass along the plot or a corpse with note on it with a clue where to go.
    These kind of actions generate intrest for all concerned it may wane for those not into this kind of plot but others there will carry it forward so long as you help them to do so.



  • There was an era where "plot hoarding" was frowned upon, so I personally took this "missing thoughts" plot and did the usual "how many people can I possibly get involved in this" deal.

    I know I didn't hide what was going on from people generally, and accidentally blurted my own words out to another group of people, unaware what they were needed for at the time. That said, I have tried two or three different ways to get the final piece of the puzzle but to no success, mostly because I have no idea who to even look for.

    So in answer to your questions:

    1. It wasn't too complicated, the goals (or rather, the possible outcomes) were not unclear, but I most certainly was busy pursuing other things at the same time.

    2. It's a different style of play. I used to secret away everything I could with my characters and play tit-for-tat intrigue (even if it often failed to be very intriguing) but there was then a period where - through a mixture of rewarding characters who shared around plots and general statements saying plot-hoarding was bad - this kind of attitude was discouraged, and ultimately that's what's needed to participate in this kind of plot where the "winner" is decided by who gets what's needed to complete the plot directly, rather than who tries to make their hunt for required plot-parts as interesting and involving for everyone as possible. It only got boring when we hit a dead end and wondered if we'd just be sitting in the Guildhall every day, making sendings for people to come and possibly actually know what we're looking for.

    3. Combat-secondary plots are always fun, the best example I can think of being the Easthaven temple competition, though that was never true intrigue beyond various clerics trying to sabotage each others' reputations.

    In this case though, I think it boiled down to: (1) No initial understanding of how important the thoughts were, coupled with the fact that people who found the first two being friendly enough to seek to cooperate anyways, and (2) with so much else going on, when the "way forward" being unclear, the ball was dropped pretty fast, in a "Well we can't find them, let's wait and see if they reveal themselves somehow" - and get on with other things - manner.

    Personally, I was just trying to find the locations of the three thoughts in terms of people, and saving the haggling out an agreement part (both with them and with Phil) for then. A really big distraction though, had to be just how much is going on that isn't this plot. It becomes very easy to prioritise something like this to the bottom if you don't know where you're going, or are embroiled in far too many things to fit in your playing-time already.


  • Corvid Consortium

    It becomes very easy to prioritise something like this to the bottom if you don't know where you're going, or are embroiled in far too many things to fit in your playing-time already.

    This.

    There is so much going on generally at the moment that there seems to be little direct focus on any one aspect. Now that is not a problem so long as there is stuff we can actually 'do' to make a difference, that is actually in character for us as well.

    I have personally tried to share any and all information about what quests/missions/plots about as widely as possible as in character Fyananamoac is fairly naive about the workings of the 'city folks'. I ooc know i am giving an edge to those that might want to stop the plot or oppose it, but that is the point isnt it. If you dont know about something then there is no way to react to it and the world is more bland.



  • Thank you all for the feedbacks.


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