Author Topic: Suggestion: Application For Closured Character "Perks"  (Read 1115 times)

Iridni Ren

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Re: Suggestion: Application For Closured Character "Perks"
« Reply #25 on: February 12, 2018, 05:28:47 PM »
Furthermore, I think it is unfair to say that starting a new character is easy. I do not consider myself a bad RPer, and I do not consider myself bad at this game, but I do consider it hard to start a new character, especially after closuring an old one. There are definitely those who do not - those that create and closure characters on a regular basis, and do a darn good job of it, too. I applaud them (and I think that they should be rewarded for doing so), but saying that is is "easy" is underestimating the difficulty that some have, myself included, in letting go of long-standing characters.

I was responding to Dread's points about the mechanical difficulty of getting a PC up to snuff, not any emotional attachment you may have to any of your PCs. Nothing mechanically in the game is going to address that for you, IMO--although the suggestions of some sort of remembrance would be more likely to (I would think) than saying your next PC gets to start at level 4.

I'm very much attached to Iridni. I may quit playing when she goes and may not have it in me to pour that much into another PC. But being given a headstart on leveling won't change that. It just makes the game easier (which I already think is easier for veterans than new players).

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Next, neither I nor anyone else seems to be suggesting that the perk for this system should be starting levels. I used it as an example in my original post, because it was the most concrete and readily at hand - but I clearly left it open for other suggestions.

I likewise am using it as an easy example (although to be frank I see a disconnect between saying no one is suggesting something...and then immediately say "I used it as an example").

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And finally, I am thoroughly against gating returning characters behind an application. My current character was shelved for quite a long time before I closured my previous main, at which point I drew her out of retirement, and I am glad that I did, and I don't think that I should be required to leave that decision up to the staff. I don't see how it is any of their business whether or not I want to play a character that I haven't played in a long time. That some people abuse this is another issue entirely, and not one that I or anyone else who has done nothing wrong should be punished for.

Ok. Again, I was addressing a perceived problem that Dread brought up.

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aprogressivist

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Re: Suggestion: Application For Closured Character "Perks"
« Reply #26 on: February 12, 2018, 07:11:54 PM »
This is one of those things that should be incentivised by culture, not system.
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Re: Suggestion: Application For Closured Character "Perks"
« Reply #27 on: February 12, 2018, 07:17:17 PM »
This is one of those things that should be incentivised by culture, not system.
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Iridni Ren

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Re: Suggestion: Application For Closured Character "Perks"
« Reply #28 on: February 13, 2018, 12:19:27 AM »
This is one of those things that should be incentivised by culture, not system.

+2

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Ehver

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Re: Suggestion: Application For Closured Character "Perks"
« Reply #29 on: February 13, 2018, 01:39:44 AM »
This is one of those things that should be incentivised by culture, not system.

+2

I don't understand this argument in the slightest, as this (perceived) problem has existed ever since I started on this server, and that was years ago. It isn't incentivized by culture. Period.

Furthermore, I don't understand why the word "incentivize" appears to be so demonizing. Incentives exist in every walk of society, whether it be a parent telling their child that they can pick up a toy at the store if they behave well, or a government subsidizing work and products that they find valuable.

There is nothing wrong with the promise of reward for good behavior. Closuring a character is hard. Starting over is hard, both mechanically and emotionally. What is so wrong with giving someone a reward for doing something extremely difficult but, ultimately, beneficial to the entire server?

I am not saying that this should be implemented, as I do not know what kind of perk would be fitting and fair, or if the devotion of resources to such a system would be worthwhile in the end. But (most) of the arguments I've heard against it are simply this nebulous idea of "but people should be good on their own, why should they need a reward" which I find to be a highly idealistic and unrealistic response, and I wonder if these people are turning down pay raises when they do a good job at their work because they "just should be".
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Re: Suggestion: Application For Closured Character "Perks"
« Reply #30 on: February 13, 2018, 02:23:42 AM »
This is one of those things that should be incentivised by culture, not system.

+2

With existing systems (difficulty leveling, difficult loot gathers, enchanting, etc.) that have defined a culture for the opposite of what the server hopes to achieve (great stories with great closures), it seems only natural to look to incentivize players for upholding the values the server is based on. While that motivation/reward doesn't need to be massive, dismissing this type of suggestion entirely is harmful to the server's stability.

Assuming, however, we dismiss the problem as something meant to be addressed by culture, how exactly can culture be shaped to make it feel worthwhile to close your character?

aprogressivist

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Re: Suggestion: Application For Closured Character "Perks"
« Reply #31 on: February 13, 2018, 04:20:47 AM »
I agree that closuring a character is hard, but I think when you create a system to reward people to do something they ought to be doing, it sometimes becomes about gaming that system rather than pursuing the thing in itself, for itself.

What do I mean? Concretely: sometimes when a character is cornered and about to be closured, the player will be trying to find outs. If you offer them an out in the sense that they can port some of their character's advantage to the next, you run the risk that this becomes the focus of their closure ark. That's how the perk can eclipse the purpose. (If you want real life examples of how this sort of thing can backfire on a grander scale, think tax avoidance through charity.)

TL;DR: character closure is good but it should be embraced for the right reasons, not turned into a system that might be gamed for the wrong reasons.

It's not that I don't appreciate your point. It's a lot of work to get that XP, get those items, get the enchanted gear and grind the XP again... but all that stuff is tangential to the focus of the game. If you don't want to grind dungeons, nobody's forcing you. You can still be involved in profound PvP as a low level; 99% of PvP is probably social/talking/spying. Sure, it's risky, but if you make the right allies then it doesn't matter how weak your character is. And I suspect (although of course I don't speak for anyone) that you may get more recognition from the DM team by trying to be a low level alliance maker/breaker than waiting until you're level 20 before making any power moves, like most people do.

My point is, being high level is not the main thrust of the game; if the reward materially aids you getting more XP, then it's missing the point. If you want a reward that's cosmetic instead, well, you don't need a closure perk for that, some DMs will be happy to give you cosmetic flourishes for fun that enhances the server. But even then, a cosmetic reward should be done for the right reasons, not as an entitlement.

I will give ground on Crafts, though. I'll agree that grinding for Crafts is an utter chore that doesn't add much to the game and makes me more reluctant to closure characters.
(Having teeth pulled sounds more fun than learning gilding twice.) Allowing some portion of a closured character's Craft skills to be transfered to new characters might have a positive effect overall.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2018, 04:27:22 AM by aprogressivist »
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Re: Suggestion: Application For Closured Character "Perks"
« Reply #32 on: February 13, 2018, 04:32:21 AM »
Concretely: sometimes when a character is cornered and about to be closured, the player will be trying to find outs. If you offer them an out in the sense that they can port some of their character's advantage to the next, you run the risk that this becomes the focus of their closure ark.

TL;DR: character closure is good but it should be embraced for the right reasons, not turned into a system that might be gamed for the wrong reasons.

I disagree. Why should the reason for doing something matter? If I donate to charity because doing so impresses my friends and not because I actually care about the charity, I still donated to charity. I still did something good, even if I didn't do it for the "right" reasons.

This would be gated behind an application - therefore, you would have to make a case to get the perk in the first place. That means that, by definition, you would have to have improved the atmosphere of the server and generated quality RP. I don't see why it would matter in the slightest why you did this, if everyone benefits from it. Saying that someone should do something for the right reason is such an abstractly ethical argument that totally ignores the reality of how people actually work in favor of how we ideally feel they "should" work.

I don't care if someone just created an awesome RP situation for me because they had some ulterior motive in mind. It improved my experience. It improved theirs. Win-win.

...As for passing on crafting, that's an interesting idea for a possible perk. ;)
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Re: Suggestion: Application For Closured Character "Perks"
« Reply #33 on: February 13, 2018, 04:54:24 AM »
You don't accept the premise that poor motives can corrupt the meaning and outcome of actions? I find that very ironic on a Ravenloft server. :P But yes, then we fundamentally disagree. I think I have a different perspective rather than being guilty of "totally ignoring reality" (kinda rude BTW), but I'm not interested in debating ethics.

Also: gating things through an application has an inherent bureaucracy that you don't seem to be really considering. If even a simple application requires six DMs 5 minutes to consider, that's 30 minutes of DM time that could have been spent on something else. Bureaucratic opportunity cost of DM time is very important for communities like this, with a volunteer admin staff. Fundamentally it's up to the admin team to decide how best to invest their volunteered time resources.

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...As for passing on crafting, that's an interesting idea for a possible perk. ;)

So far the only iteration of this idea that I could support.
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Ehver

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Re: Suggestion: Application For Closured Character "Perks"
« Reply #34 on: February 13, 2018, 05:01:44 AM »
You don't accept the premise that poor motives can corrupt the meaning and outcome of actions? I find that very ironic on a Ravenloft server. :P But yes, then we fundamentally disagree. I think I have a different perspective rather than being guilty of "totally ignoring reality" (kinda rude BTW), but I'm not interested in debating ethics.

Also: gating things through an application has an inherent bureaucracy that you don't seem to be really considering. If even a simple application requires six DMs 5 minutes to consider, that's 30 minutes of DM time that could have been spent on something else. Bureaucratic opportunity cost of DM time is very important for communities like this, with a volunteer admin staff. Fundamentally it's up to the admin team to decide how best to invest their volunteered time resources.

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...As for passing on crafting, that's an interesting idea for a possible perk. ;)

So far the only iteration of this idea that I could support.

I feel like the argument is ignoring the reality of how the server actually works, not that you are ignoring reality in general. ;) But I apologize, and I hope you understand that it wasn't meant as a personal attack. Indeed, it looks like we disagree on a fundamental level, and there isn't much that can be done about that!

As for ignoring the amount of effort that this would cost to implement, that I most certainly am not. I do believe that I have mentioned in multiple of my posts that I did not know if this would be worth the effort, considering the time and effort the staff would have to place into it.

The only argument that I'm making is, indeed, that I don't accept the premise that poor motives must corrupt the meaning and outcome of actions, and that I don't feel like it should be used as a blanket statement to dismiss anyone else's opinion on the matter on the basis of taking a "moral highground".
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Iridni Ren

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Re: Suggestion: Application For Closured Character "Perks"
« Reply #35 on: February 13, 2018, 07:39:19 AM »
The current crafting system is grindy, but it's another facet of the game that is so much easier for a veteran than a new player. If it were not for OOC info like the video tutorials, it would be an almost impossible hill for a first-time PC. If you've done it once, you really have very little desire to do it again, but that doesn't change the reality that doing it the second time for an experienced player is so much easier.

So once more it's an example of something very, very hard and with unenjoyable aspects that, rather than make easier and more enjoyable for new players (improve), the perk approach is to make it easier on experienced players, who it already is less of a challenge for.

Second, doing so devalues the achievement of the new PC because the more PCs selling crafted gear, the less it's worth. Merchants have to compete with one another. A new player, therefore, who goes through all the trouble of learning her trade for the first-time in ignorance and trial and error, will see her wares in competition with the veteran  PC who got perked to the same place.

If crafting is an "utter chore," let's fix that for everyone--not just the veterans :)

Also, regarding the process of the application, it's worth remembering that we all play on different time zones, and PC arcs in the cases we're talking about can take years to resolve. Players come and go over the course of a PC's life--even DMs.

This is going to make evaluating an application very subjective and problematic. At least in asking for an ECL or PrC, the player's application is about something in the future and much of the approval or denial can therefore be about the quality of the application itself. I don't necessarily agree with the premise that being able to write a good app is an indication that the resultant PC will be well played, but what else can one go on? In the case of closure, however, what we would like to reward is actual past IC accomplishment, regardless of the player's ability to write a good application.

There is the reality of what the PC did or didn't do and an application need not reflect that at all. Yes, we can console ourselves with the thought that the DMs will have omniscience and perfect memories, but we have had decent turnover in DMs in the last year, for example. Worse, most players watching and seeing who gets approved and denied will have only the slimmest idea of whether the decision is fair.

Creating a system in which distinctions are made between players so that the playing field is objectively less level and basing it on very subjective measures is not going to "improve the overall atmosphere and attitude  of the server."

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Ehver

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Re: Suggestion: Application For Closured Character "Perks"
« Reply #36 on: February 13, 2018, 08:00:29 AM »
Creating a system in which distinctions are made between players so that the playing field is objectively less level and basing it on very subjective measures is not going to "improve the overall atmosphere and attitude  of the server."

This is exactly what an (A)MPC (and, in part, PrC) application is based on.

Some of your disagreement seems to be based on the fact that it would be creating an unfair advantage for "veteran" players. Can you clarify this, perhaps? I don't think that this system has anything at all to do with veteran players, considering anyone, veteran or otherwise, can successfully generate RP and closure a character - and they certainly don't need to be high level to do it. Furthermore, I don't think that veteran players would be getting any more of an advantage out of this than they already had simply by being veterans in the first place - as the perks themselves are unlikely to be anything more than small rewards that, at best, cut back on the tedium of investing in a new character.

The application process is, indeed, something that would need to be handled carefully if it were ever implemented, and would undoubtedly cause a fair amount of overhead - the question then being whether or not the positives of such a change could balance this out, making the effort worthwhile. No one is suggesting that DMs never make mistakes, but I also don't agree that such a task as reviewing this kind of application would be impossible or even that difficult, as these types of judgments are already made by the staff on a regular basis.
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Iridni Ren

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Re: Suggestion: Application For Closured Character "Perks"
« Reply #37 on: February 13, 2018, 09:01:51 AM »
Creating a system in which distinctions are made between players so that the playing field is objectively less level and basing it on very subjective measures is not going to "improve the overall atmosphere and attitude  of the server."

This is exactly what an (A)MPC (and, in part, PrC) application is based on.

No, other apps are centered on an expectation of future RP performance; this app would be based on past results. (I made that distinction already.)

Some of your disagreement seems to be based on the fact that it would be creating an unfair advantage for "veteran" players. Can you clarify this, perhaps? I don't think that this system has anything at all to do with veteran players, considering anyone, veteran or otherwise, can successfully generate RP and closure a character - and they certainly don't need to be high level to do it.

From your initial post: "they could apply to have the next character they make start at a higher level based on the level of the closured character." You have now disavowed both, saying no one is suggesting that the PC be rewarded by a higher level and that the previous level isn't important in evaluating who gets the perk.

Furthermore, I don't think that veteran players would be getting any more of an advantage out of this than they already had simply by being veterans in the first place - as the perks themselves are unlikely to be anything more than small rewards that, at best, cut back on the tedium of investing in a new character.

These are, objectively, advantages, regardless of how you choose to view them.


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Iridni Ren

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Re: Suggestion: Application For Closured Character "Perks"
« Reply #38 on: February 13, 2018, 09:11:23 AM »
The server prohibits muling. The server prohibits using one of your PCs to rescue another.

The idea of closure is an ending. One PC has ended; time to start another, fresh and new.

To me wanting a past PC to carry over to my next violates the ethos underpinning all of this. In terms of IC and RP, it is metagaming as there is no IC justification. In terms of looking at POTM as a game, it seems to me something like this: "Well, I won our previous game of Monopoly, and that was a long and tedious affair, which I really didn't enjoy until I had Boardwalk and Park Place with hotels. How about I get to start the next with 2,000 dollars instead of 1,500?"
« Last Edit: February 13, 2018, 09:13:58 AM by Iridni Ren »

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Ehver

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Re: Suggestion: Application For Closured Character "Perks"
« Reply #39 on: February 13, 2018, 09:56:21 AM »
The server prohibits muling. The server prohibits using one of your PCs to rescue another.

The idea of closure is an ending. One PC has ended; time to start another, fresh and new.

To me wanting a past PC to carry over to my next violates the ethos underpinning all of this. In terms of IC and RP, it is metagaming as there is no IC justification. In terms of looking at POTM as a game, it seems to me something like this: "Well, I won our previous game of Monopoly, and that was a long and tedious affair, which I really didn't enjoy until I had Boardwalk and Park Place with hotels. How about I get to start the next with 2,000 dollars instead of 1,500?"

Ouch. Sorry that you see it that way.
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Re: Suggestion: Application For Closured Character "Perks"
« Reply #40 on: February 13, 2018, 10:25:35 AM »
Perhaps it is not my place to interject in this conversation. But the idea of rewarding people for character closure might sound good on paper, seems more like it would end up a double-edged sword.

On one hand rewarding people of well played and finished characters could lead to interesting little trinkets and the like entering play.

 On the other, it has the potential to generate animosity between people who have been able to successfully close their character (what happens if it is cut short before their story makes meaningful progress?) and people just starting out. As Iridni Ren points out, it seems a tad against the spirit of the thing.

In addition, granting a player an item (regardless of how minor) or renaming something for a new character would take time on the part of the DM team. Time they may have preferred to spend building an event for a group rather then granting a bonus that only affects one person off the merits of an older character. That could lead to having to justify your character's story and setting up some sort of record to keep things fair and ensuring people are not closuring willy nilly or trying to get multiple boons from the same story line. Can you imagine the influx of requests coming in every new character week?

Iridni Ren

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Re: Suggestion: Application For Closured Character "Perks"
« Reply #41 on: February 13, 2018, 10:42:17 AM »
I agree that any reward system for a character well played would have an impact on the Team's time. So it should and will be their decision whether it is worth doing and would have an overall positive impact on the community versus how they might otherwise focus their efforts.

The reasons I kind of like the "memorial" system as opposed to kind of loathing the perk system are it is more appropriately aligned with the past and keeping that good story remembered, rather than some future advantage. Secondly, when Ehver talks about emotional attachment to a PC, it seems more likely to satisfy that. For me, when Iridni is closured, that kind of reward would be more fulfilling and comforting than a perk on my hypothetical next PC.

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Silas Rotleaf

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Re: Suggestion: Application For Closured Character "Perks"
« Reply #42 on: February 13, 2018, 07:16:21 PM »
While I believe it often takes a certain amount of storytelling maturity to decide when to permanently closure a character... I'm not sure what sort of incentives to closure a character would be well appropriate I guess? It's an interesting idea though, for sure!
« Last Edit: February 13, 2018, 07:19:27 PM by Silas Rotleaf »
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Re: Suggestion: Application For Closured Character "Perks"
« Reply #43 on: February 13, 2018, 08:08:38 PM »
I got to thinking, with all this talk, how many of us posting in this thread have actually closed a character? I'm curious. AMPCs don't count, you make an AMPC knowing they'll be closed. Obviously MPCs count, since that was your main that you decided to close through monster.

I'll start-- None of my chars actively closed. I had one commit suicide and shelved infinite others, but none of them were really deep story characters that I completed. My opinion in this thread is meaningless.

I want to hear other thoughts from other people who have had characters die, tell us how many chars of yours have died and build on your argument from that.

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Re: Suggestion: Application For Closured Character "Perks"
« Reply #44 on: February 13, 2018, 08:46:50 PM »
I used to DM/GM a game where people got extra powers and better stats on newer chars for closuring their old ones... But what happened was you had this weird cycle where there were all these rapid throw away deaths and it started to get stupidly obvious people were just using it for cheesing reasons because well... We realized a bit late that if chars have the lifespan of moths and mayflies you as the reader, the fellow role player and even the DMs themselves aren't going to find the stories woven all that engaging so I suppose... Yes I know this is subjective as hell, it may come down to a question of balance.

In hindsight: It was pretty much free form and home brew. Also, the core group wasn't terribly mature. Rather chaotic.
That's part of why I stopped DMing. It got to where I felt like if I kept doing it I might end up unable to enjoy role play anymore.
It wasn't a terrible group and we worked to update our systems you know, test things for balance and have good communication in general between the players and the moderators but... It just things would tend to go badly. For a number of reasons. I remember the showering inundation like a freaking tidal wave of everybody and their char's cousin wanting to a. Reincarnate, b. Get the new higher tier of abilities and c. Closure their chars. It was not subtle. It was not fun.
Lol. It got to be a big stupid headache and exercise in disappointment when you realized a lot of the players cared more about becoming the most powerful whatever than developing an interesting arc, character progression and so on. They were good kids though but switching to playing POTM was a breath of fresh air.

No more line counts, no more having to have a moderator step in to intervene in every single PvP conflict interaction... You get given a lot longer leash in some ways here than in the hodgepodge of online text based role play.

Lastly Norture, I've officially closured two chars: Kaine and Gias.
Playing Kaine often felt like it was an exercise  in masochism and Gias I just didn't like how he was turning out plus lower level barb leveling down on dying too much and losing his equipment all the time just got to be a pain in the butt.

Closuring my barb felt like a no brainer and was totally on my own choice. Closuring my fighter yes, I was bitter about it but then I got to considering what other classes I could try playing and you know, I'm honestly having a lot of fun on my rogue!

And I've got my old NCE paladin as a fallback too if I can ever be arsed to work out some sort of a story or do relationship building on him. He was a dwarf as the unusual hook and a bunch of other newly misted dwarves (our "gang of Seven") formed sort of an improvised clan to try and navigate our way around hostile Barovia. That was really fun.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2018, 10:26:35 PM by Silas Rotleaf »
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Iridni Ren

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Re: Suggestion: Application For Closured Character "Perks"
« Reply #45 on: February 13, 2018, 08:56:57 PM »
Quote
My opinion in this thread is meaningless.

Um...no it's not. This isn't a discussion about what it feels like to close a character.

The discussion is:

Quote
On a server such as this, in which player-vs-player conflicts are many any myriad, would it be a worthwhile idea to implement a system in which those who allow their characters to be permanently closured in the course of a story get some kind of reward for doing so?

Compare:

Quote
Would it be a worthwhile idea to implement a system in which those who play a cleric who worships Pelor and serves as Herald of the Wayfarer Kinship get some kind of reward for doing so?

In both cases the valid opinions are not limited to those who have the personal experience :)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appeal_to_accomplishment

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Re: Suggestion: Application For Closured Character "Perks"
« Reply #46 on: February 13, 2018, 09:08:09 PM »
I got to thinking, with all this talk, how many of us posting in this thread have actually closed a character? I'm curious. AMPCs don't count, you make an AMPC knowing they'll be closed. Obviously MPCs count, since that was your main that you decided to close through monster.

I'll start-- None of my chars actively closed. I had one commit suicide and shelved infinite others, but none of them were really deep story characters that I completed. My opinion in this thread is meaningless.

I want to hear other thoughts from other people who have had characters die, tell us how many chars of yours have died and build on your argument from that.

Lots of people have their characters killed and bodies hidden and eventually stop logging on with the ghost after giving up hope.
Mishandra-Warrior of Vandria-semi active
Shanaz Quoa-Monk of the Lawgiver-semi active
Monique Gallant- RVT-active
Angelique RIP

Silas Rotleaf

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Re: Suggestion: Application For Closured Character "Perks"
« Reply #47 on: February 13, 2018, 09:11:15 PM »
Don't forget faction and Garda assisted suicide!  :lol:
Meatshields have feelings too!
#NotAllRogues.
I think calling it 'evil' is a bit harsh.

Stygian Messiah

  • AKA Kalashnikov33
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Re: Suggestion: Application For Closured Character "Perks"
« Reply #48 on: February 13, 2018, 11:04:38 PM »
I got to thinking, with all this talk, how many of us posting in this thread have actually closed a character? I'm curious. AMPCs don't count, you make an AMPC knowing they'll be closed. Obviously MPCs count, since that was your main that you decided to close through monster.

I'll start-- None of my chars actively closed. I had one commit suicide and shelved infinite others, but none of them were really deep story characters that I completed. My opinion in this thread is meaningless.

I want to hear other thoughts from other people who have had characters die, tell us how many chars of yours have died and build on your argument from that.

Yeah about five minutes ago. The end of a good story was payment enough.
A war refugee sought the Master. He said, "You are wise and serene. Teach me to escape the horrors of this world." And the Master blinded him with fire-irons. - The Book of Cataclysm

Troukk

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Re: Suggestion: Application For Closured Character "Perks"
« Reply #49 on: February 14, 2018, 12:28:47 AM »
I got to thinking, with all this talk, how many of us posting in this thread have actually closed a character? I'm curious. AMPCs don't count, you make an AMPC knowing they'll be closed. Obviously MPCs count, since that was your main that you decided to close through monster.

I'll start-- None of my chars actively closed. I had one commit suicide and shelved infinite others, but none of them were really deep story characters that I completed. My opinion in this thread is meaningless.

I want to hear other thoughts from other people who have had characters die, tell us how many chars of yours have died and build on your argument from that.

Yeah about five minutes ago. The end of a good story was payment enough.

I have to agree with Kalashnikov here.

I've had 4 main characters murdered and closured. Three of them were the leaders of their respective factions when it happened.

It was inmensely satisfying to end a storyline properly. That is the real payment. That said, I've never invested much in items/crafting levels on my characters, so I don't feel a real pain in losing them for such reasons. But other people have invested hundreds of hours training crafts and gathering items and don't want that to go down the drain. I can see where they are coming from.
Currently playing: Mumed Za'am / Odeo Malveaux