Was there a time when Illarion had more than 10 players

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Post by Fooser » Tue Aug 23, 2016 11:41 pm

Re: Was there a time when Illarion had more than 10 players

Tyan Masines wrote: It's underlying story is completely and totally unrelated to all ingame events and there is no conceivable plot at all -- no red line of events. And apart from that, everything that happens ingame is unrelated, there is nothing for characters to figure out, there is only mindless content fed to them and the most exciting event is gathering supplies for buildings. Would you watch a movie containing no plot at all? No.
I think it's now fair to believe a theory that the VBU is a social experiment to test the lack of a plotline for three years on the human brain. The server was originally housed at a university, wasn't it? I imagine there will be a solid influx of new people when the FDA approves the game as a treatment for insomnia.

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Post by Gishmel » Thu Aug 25, 2016 11:33 am

Re: Was there a time when Illarion had more than 10 players

When I implied Illarion needs to be taking in the hack-n-slashers I was half kidding but half not. A low-level warrior or craftsman has no direction. Where do I get materials? and where do I train fighting so I don't die? are serious questions to new players of a game like this. People would likely still play with 1 other person online if there was directions. Who the hell would log back in to a game after they got killed by the first 3 mummies they saw? Or imagine you like the RPing aspect and the fact you didn't have to be a warrior. But, DWAM! your first trip to the mines is ended because some other newbie lead a wolf there. Let's also remember it takes a huge amount of time to recover(to a new player) if they do get killed. Specific training areas are NEEDED for all skills a newb might pursue. They need to be clearly marked and demon skeletons ought not be able to get close to them.

If we state in the rules that this is a true RPG(and describe that) then we will attract more people who are interested in that. Now, if we want those players to play the game when no one is online, we have to increase skilling. The current system seems to imply there are other people to RP with, but that isn't the current case. The player then feels like they are therefore punished for skilling by diminishing returns. I'd love to do something else that's more exciting in Illarion besides skilling, if that existed as an option 90% of the time.

People care less and less about graphics these days. Just ask any angry birds fanatic. Making the game more inviting to people who play Diablo for skill gain isn't necessarily a bad thing here. If we had 20 players online at any given time or even once through-out the day, I'd agree... we could do without them. As things stand, we need more to convert these people into true RPers rather than discourage them. The second life intrigue Illarion has will be brought into the limelight after a while to most of these players. If not we can explain what Illarion is about many, many times to them before ye ole BANZOR stick comes back out. I don't know about anyone else but I'd rather teach 5 people a day what Illarion RPing is about than skill alone.

Let's say half of the new players didn't give a damn about RPing, at least we'd have a few people to RP with. If a realistic player base was again established we maybe could more back towards a purely RPing concept but that doesn't seem to be possible at the moment. Would your RP really be ruined if there were a few bumbling newbs around talking in 1337? If they wouldn't listen to players or GMs after a couple days we could still ban them. The idea that we shouldn't try to reach out to the average gamer seems absurd to me. The current system of maintaining a status quo of 3 good RPers at a time is abysmal compared to 10 good RPers and even 100 shit skillers.

Here are a few of my suggestions... They aren't all thought through 100%
-Provide instructions as to where to level up skills depending on level.
-Keep all but weak monsters from roaming or being lead away from spawn points.
-Skill gain is increased significantly at low levels and noticeably increased at higher levels if none or less than X number of players are online.
-Most crafting materials should be easily found in areas monsters cannot access and are clearly marked.
-Players with less than a(n) X cumulative skill level should not be penalized for dying or suffer a decreased rate of learning if their skill level is below this.
-Players should be assured that there will be no immediate punishment if they can't quickly assimilate to the RPing world of Illarion.
-After the theoretical skill level is achieved and the player still doesn't grasp the RPing aspect of Illarion, the player should be approached often by a, or multiple GMs, to rectify their behavior before any ban is considered. The current system that doesn't reward or punish a certain style of play could then come into play here so that serious players can then achieve a competitive edge. Sure, the hack-n-slashers would have an advantage over new pure RPing characters at first but I'd assume the purely RPing ones would also be the the ones willing to put more IG hours in the long run.

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Post by Kamilar » Fri Aug 26, 2016 3:52 pm

Re: Was there a time when Illarion had more than 10 players

Fooser wrote:
Tyan Masines wrote: It's underlying story is completely and totally unrelated to all ingame events and there is no conceivable plot at all -- no red line of events. And apart from that, everything that happens ingame is unrelated, there is nothing for characters to figure out, there is only mindless content fed to them and the most exciting event is gathering supplies for buildings. Would you watch a movie containing no plot at all? No.
I think it's now fair to believe a theory that the VBU is a social experiment to test the lack of a plotline for three years on the human brain. The server was originally housed at a university, wasn't it? I imagine there will be a solid influx of new people when the FDA approves the game as a treatment for insomnia.
Fooser, don't be a troll. :evil:

I think what he meant was more along these lines ...
Estralis Seborian wrote:So, had Illarion more than 10 players once? Yes, at a time when we had a much, much more strict skilling system. In that system, you could train around ten minutes before the game told you to stop powergaming. You then had to do nothing skill related for around an hour. If you did not follow this strict pattern, you could work all day long without learning anything at all! So if some players bring up the skill system as something that diminishes player numbers, I have to wonder a bit.
Here's the thing you’re missing about the old skill system. You could log in, train 10 or 20 minutes until the system gave you a warning message, cap whatever skill you were focusing on and then be at your leisure for the next two hours to RP. If there was no RP around in that time frame, you could log out and try again the next day. Or, in the absence of RP, you could organize your depots and gather resources for 2 hours and do another round of skill grinding. When you logged out, there would be a slow rewinding of the skill cap so that when you logged in again, you could start fresh. Every day was a new day. The system was flexible, the boringness was minimal and you could feel the reward for your efforts.

Compare that to the current skill system. You log in, get no warning that your learning speed is slowing down based on your behavior and earn yourself an MC value of 12 trillion. You then spend the next 4 weeks opening and closing your bag to a 4-minute timer while watching TV and doing chores because your equipment, resources and – let’s face it – sense of fun can’t withstand a learning rate that slow. Yes, it’s theoretically possible to spend those 4 weeks RPing but that is dependent on factors outside a player’s control and for the most part doesn’t actually happen. The amount of downtime required in the current skill system is much greater compared to the old system. That’s a commitment most players are just not going to make.

I think Salathe described the problem rather clearly and eloquently.
Salathe wrote: I'm never gonna spend my video game time on a game that progresses so slowly for me, it's just never gonna happen.
I have to wonder a bit myself…

And then you have this...
Tyan Masines wrote:Does anyone ever wonder why ppl in the forum still 'fondly remember' things like The Temple (which lies waaaay back), but not one quest since the VBU? The game does not have a problem with its technical aspects or development, it has a problem with its story. It's underlying story is completely and totally unrelated to all ingame events and there is no conceivable plot at all -- no red line of events. And apart from that, everything that happens ingame is unrelated, there is nothing for characters to figure out, there is only mindless content fed to them and the most exciting event is gathering supplies for buildings. Would you watch a movie containing no plot at all? No.

I'm not sure if people here actually read the feedback new players post, but the one player who actually took the time ti write some feedback was entirely misundertood. (for reference: http://illarion.org/community/forums/vi ... 94&t=40581). Don't get me wrong, but that person literally writes 'There's just so little I want to do in Illa... The majority of RP was just stuff I do IRL but in a different voice.'
This is the other side of the coin. There isn’t anything interesting to do. The faction system is artificial and undeveloped. There are no in game events to tighten that tension. Players are actively discouraged from introducing tension of their own and severely limited in ways they can offer alternatives. I know I’ve said it before but it bears repeating, attending bureaucratic meetings isn’t fun leisure activity for most people. Players need more autonomy across the board – not just the few that are faction leaders.
Tyan Masines wrote: Don't get me wrong, but that person literally writes 'There's just so little I want to do in Illa... The majority of RP was just stuff I do IRL but in a different voice.' [...] and what happens is that the discussion was dragged to a technical level by the staff... But yeah let's spend our time rebutting people's numbers with silly season arguments and regard every proposal caring about non-technical aspects of the game as spam or ranting.
And this is a major problem here, too. I stopped playing Illarion because abusive behavior from staff and players is considered acceptable here, even desirable. I moved my character quite seamlessly to another game where the culture is kind and welcoming. The chat is used effectively as a meet up, players and staff will jump in with advice or meet each other in game to offer assistance and players reach out to one another. Politeness is enforced. Poor social behavior is swiftly addressed. RP is rewarded, skilling is treated as a necessary but uninteresting part of the game and the staff act right. When I have a problem that requires staff intervention there, I brace myself for the treatment I’ve come to expect from staff interaction based on my years here at Illarion. I’m amazed every time when the staff is friendly and accommodating. Gone are the sarcastic responses, the controlling behaviors, the obliviousness, the blame and the "suck it up" style of management. And isn't that a shame? I have Illarion PTSD. That, more than any unpleasant technical aspect or lack in RP, is what keeps me playing elsewhere. And that, above all else, would be the simplest thing to fix.

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Post by SilverMoon » Sat Aug 27, 2016 1:45 am

Re: Was there a time when Illarion had more than 10 players

Kamilar, what is the game you are currently playing called?

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Post by Tyan Masines » Sat Aug 27, 2016 2:16 am

Re: Was there a time when Illarion had more than 10 players

Estralis Seborian wrote:Tyan Masines, could you please send your proposals concerning storytelling/lore to the Group "Gamemasters"? Thanks a lot!

http://illarion.org/community/forums/uc ... de=compose

Estralis, this was an attempt, and all that came from it despite the cheeky response from a GM was for me to correct spelling mistakes within the currently used story. It is no wonder I'd lose interest.

The crucial point is, if you're not ready to say goodbye to some of your game's story concepts (that my also include map), there is nothing to be done here. I could propose away and would indeed, as Teflon so aptly reminded me back then, waste my time.

I do not wish to appear presumptuous here, but some of the Staff's responses have been counterproductive to progress. If you wish to change the current (certainly declining!) state of the game, you'll have to be ready to consider plans throwing over personal plans and attempt new approaches. We can juggle numbers all we want, but a game down to 40-60 people (I'd rather consider it 10-20 people actually taking part here), harbors more of a nucleus, not a playerbase.

You might want to shape your game according to your playerbase, and not shape your playerbase according to your game.

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Post by Kamilar » Sat Aug 27, 2016 5:57 am

Re: Was there a time when Illarion had more than 10 players

SilverMoon wrote:Kamilar, what is the game you are currently playing called?
Please don't misunderstand me. I'm not posting here to advertise another game or to draw players away from Illarion. I only mention the other game to illustrate my point. I want to contrast my very positive experience there with my time here to show one of the things that can be improved if the staff chooses to do so.
Tyan Masines wrote:I could propose away and would indeed, as Teflon so aptly reminded me back then, waste my time.
I have found staff to be generally closed off to new ideas here. I had the experience here of a staff member asking me to share my thoughts but at the same time instructing me what to say. That's not an environment that fosters fresh ideas or progress.

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Post by Estralis Seborian » Sat Aug 27, 2016 7:24 am

Re: Was there a time when Illarion had more than 10 players

Well, if you decide otherwise and, despite your grudge against the staff, have concrete proposals, feel free to contact me by PM.

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Post by SilverMoon » Sat Aug 27, 2016 9:45 am

Re: Was there a time when Illarion had more than 10 players

Please don't misunderstand me. I'm not posting here to advertise another game or to draw players away from Illarion. I only mention the other game to illustrate my point. I want to contrast my very positive experience there with my time here to show one of the things that can be improved if the staff chooses to do so.
That's not what I necessary thought your intentions were....I was only asking so I can have another new game to play in my spear time.

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Post by Snazug » Sun Aug 28, 2016 2:13 pm

Re: Was there a time when Illarion had more than 10 players

Kamilar wrote:Instead of spawning them in Noobia, maybe skip that part and have them spawn in whichever area is busiest at the time of log in if that possibility exists. The details of faction placement could be taken care of with a pop-up dialogue box like the one that offers players to portal to the new players or a pedestal or something.
I agree with this. Even around 2002, I'd see at least almost forty to fifty players online at a time in part because the second you log in, you had a chance to interact with other players, which could teach you things as well as roleplay. I saw a dwarf farming and people scattering around town using simple magic, which made me stick around more. I do think Noobia is a great idea. I feel some players get impatient, bored or confused with Noobia and simply *POOF* - dissapear.

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Post by Estralis Seborian » Sun Aug 28, 2016 7:02 pm

Re: Was there a time when Illarion had more than 10 players

As I am also one of those veterans who remember those times of 20 players (fifty was a very rare exception as the server used to crash at such a player number...) generally gathering on a very small area, just down the road from the noob spawn, I must add that back then, starting out was horrible without help of a senior player. The noob spawn was amidst book shelves and you could not even see your avatar. Later, players like me and other senior players "camped" the noob spawn, waiting for new players to arrive and helping them out. I guess much of that spirit is lost also due to the layout of the new noob spawns and the high number of activities you can do at various places. But the fondly remembered days ended long before we changed the map from five to three major cities as we had various groups separating themselves from the rest in remote areas. What we'd need is some sort of centralisation of players at the place newbies enter the game after a very short tutorial without sacrifising the vast options you have in the later game. In 2002, you could become a smith, a smith or a smith. Farming was done by some hippies, too.

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Post by Mephistopheles » Sun Aug 28, 2016 9:55 pm

Re: Was there a time when Illarion had more than 10 players

Fooser wrote:
Tyan Masines wrote: It's underlying story is completely and totally unrelated to all ingame events and there is no conceivable plot at all -- no red line of events. And apart from that, everything that happens ingame is unrelated, there is nothing for characters to figure out, there is only mindless content fed to them and the most exciting event is gathering supplies for buildings. Would you watch a movie containing no plot at all? No.
I think it's now fair to believe a theory that the VBU is a social experiment to test the lack of a plotline for three years on the human brain. The server was originally housed at a university, wasn't it? I imagine there will be a solid influx of new people when the FDA approves the game as a treatment for insomnia.
You know, maybe if illarion listened to it's players years ago, this sort of attitude from a 10 year illarion vet wouldn't be showing itself now would it.

Fooser isnt the only one, I still don't understand how stubborn the staff are about seeing the state of the game for what it is. Instead there's pure denial.

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Post by nathi » Sun Aug 28, 2016 10:11 pm

Re: Was there a time when Illarion had more than 10 players

Mephistopheles wrote:….. I still don't understand how stubborn the staff are about seeing the state of the game for what it is. Instead there's pure denial.
hej, not all of the staff are stubborn, only a small number of them. Be fair and help the others and support the game with rp. Staff should clarify the stubborn issue internal.

just my 2 coppers

nathi

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Post by Estralis Seborian » Tue Aug 30, 2016 6:18 pm

Re: Was there a time when Illarion had more than 10 players

Again, if any of you has concrete proposals related to the lore or ingame events, please send them to the gamemaster usergroup by PM. I'll also receive these PMs. In case you sent your proposals before or wrote them in a forum post / Mantis ticket, you can also send a copy or link.

Furthermore, if you have technical proposals that are not already listed on Mantis, send them to me. Let's end the guesswork about rejected/unheard proposals and put them on the agenda (again). Keep in mind that the best proposal still needs someone to implement it and the best thing you can do is to clearly voice what you want to see changed (e.g. "Should/Is/Action" or "From/To/How/Who").

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Post by Damien » Sat Sep 10, 2016 9:14 am

Re: Was there a time when Illarion had more than 10 players

Well, one or two people can be stubborn. It's in the state of the human, know what i mean. We all like to stick to the plans we made, even if they don't work out that well.

However, i do think you have the right to appear a bit "stubborn" when you've put a few thousand hours of your spare time into working on a project, and some others who have not even tried supporting that project for a meager week or two three, provokingly declare your work as crap. And it's also very human to talk more with those who also join and invest some hundred hours of their private time to contribute (that's how people actually get things done in the settlements: Learn to map, learn to code some NPCs and quests, coordinate your work and opinion with the rest of the staff and form a consent - that's the only way how people can influence how stuff looks and works. So if you don't contribute you won't influence much, and if you shout at the guys actually helping out you'll hit a deaf ear 'cause every dev somewhen learns that listening to trolls just costs a lot of time that is better spent developing.)

Effect of the whole: Both sides use a less respectful tone on each another, which then, drives away people from the community who usually prefer a more mature attitude. Like myself, i only read through the forums once every 1-2 weeks these days 'cause i dislike the generally respectless tone some people bring in.
And driving away people means less people playing, and this is the CONTRARY of what both included sides want !
--> in my opinion, a more respectful tone on all the forums, less ranting and less whining and more friendly cooperation - since ALL have the goal to have more players play the game ! Would help a LOT.
But that would need all to participate actively. Since there's always a new kid coming in and ranting against something.

My personal opinion for this topic:
I might play again when they re-introduce some sort of magic system. And if that has ways to do something and specialize in stuff besides hour-long powergaming, i might play for a longer while. I still won't visit the forums often.

However, the skill / attribute system used in illarion is, as a system, a little too fixed for my own personal taste: It defines a character's fixed "class" either by its attribute numbers or by one single-choiced magic class. But it has always been like that in illarion and i can live with that. I won't ever go into a rant because of it. ;)

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Post by Kugar » Tue Sep 20, 2016 8:46 pm

Re: Was there a time when Illarion had more than 10 players

Damien wrote:However, i do think you have the right to appear a bit "stubborn" when you've put a few thousand hours of your spare time into working on a project, and some others who have not even tried supporting that project for a meager week or two three, provokingly declare your work as crap. And it's also very human to talk more with those who also join and invest some hundred hours of their private time to contribute (that's how people actually get things done in the settlements: Learn to map, learn to code some NPCs and quests, coordinate your work and opinion with the rest of the staff and form a consent - that's the only way how people can influence how stuff looks and works. So if you don't contribute you won't influence much, and if you shout at the guys actually helping out you'll hit a deaf ear 'cause every dev somewhen learns that listening to trolls just costs a lot of time that is better spent developing.)
I agree with your general statement that when the scripters receive abuse from the players and potential players its disgraceful and there sure are better ways of dealing with instances of dispute. But let's look at things a different way aswell for a second:

I do think you have the right to appear a bit "stubborn" when you've put a few thousand hours of your spare time into playing this game, and some others who have not even tried supporting your ideas for roleplay and making the game more fun for a meager week or two three, casually and passive aggressively shoot down your ideas and ignore them. And it's also very human to talk more with those who also join and invest some hundred hours of their private time to play this game (that's how people actually get things done in the settlements: create a community, help players develop their characters and storyline and attempt to create quests because the gms are busy with other stuff- that's the only way how people can influence how many players will log in. So if you don't play or create roleplay you won't influence much, and if you ignore or don't support the guys actually helping out you''ll lose those players and they will eventually feel like their time is better spent elsewhere).

This game not only needs more coders. This game needs to employ more game master/ quester volunteers because the current rate of activity (mostly submitted by players (usually just uneventful meetings)) is not going to sustain what one can consider a decent sized player base/ interest of old and new players.

I don't say any of that maliciously. I'm just providing you with a different perspective. Your point is entirely valid as well.

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Post by Morbius » Tue Sep 20, 2016 11:39 pm

Re: Was there a time when Illarion had more than 10 players

Kugar wrote:So if you don't play or create roleplay you won't influence much, and if you ignore or don't support the guys actually helping out you''ll lose those players and they will eventually feel like their time is better spent elsewhere).

This game not only needs more coders. This game needs to employ more game master/ quester volunteers because the current rate of activity (mostly submitted by players (usually just uneventful meetings)) is not going to sustain what one can consider a decent sized player base/ interest of old and new players.
What you have said here touches on something I have been mulling over for a while. I think it may have been an actual proposal at some point, but it may have not been elaborated on enough for actual consideration - or perhaps it was just forgotten about.

The general idea of what I am talking about is the concept of putting some actual "power" in the hands of the players to enable them to act in a way that offers more technical and role player support for the players, by the players. I enjoy entertaining the idea of a sort of "Lesser Game Master", or "Quester". A trusted and more seasoned player who may be granted a limited amount of game master commands/access to offer quest support either just during the period of planned player quest, or permanently to offer role play enrichment to the in game world. The game master are limited and can obviously only be so many places at once, or have only so many ideas for quests (presumably). We need more engaging story, plot, and conflict happening in game to attract older and newer players back to the game. This should be obvious, and I think this could be a great way to do just that.

There are certainly more than a few dedicated players who I can think of who would be excellent candidates for this position, if it were very fully realized of considered by the staff.

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Post by Jupiter » Wed Sep 21, 2016 12:43 pm

Re: Was there a time when Illarion had more than 10 players

Just a short answer: I don't think more gamemasters (or questers) are the solution. Two reasons: 1. They became inactive and we loose them as staff members AND as players (sorry, that is Illarion's history with most GMs.) 2. I would prefer proactive roleplay from players instead of gm driven quests. Gms should then support that - but important: Not every big thing needs the help of a GM.

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Post by Slightly » Wed Sep 21, 2016 2:17 pm

Re: Was there a time when Illarion had more than 10 players

Have to agree with Jupiter (although I have asked Morbius to PM me his suggestions and will follow that up).

We have tried recruiting more GMs in the past and sadly lost decent players in trying to maximise GM cover. Personally I am reluctant to risk that cycle again when what I feel we need most are active and involved players. I have seen some players bring far more to the game in character through proactive roleplay than will ever be achieved by a GM. Very simply - a GM achieves nothing without players.

From my perspective (and this is just my personal opinion - not an official stance) what we need most are role players who will respond to what happens around them... be that official quests or random occurrences. By respond I don't just mean an initial reaction when something happens in their path but to sustain storylines and carry them forward by talking about things, involving other characters, planning reactions, spinning off their own ideas... all the things that adds meat to the game. It was this player driven stuff not anything a GM did that first got me hooked... it gave me the immersion that made me feel like my character could make a difference and change things.

For my part... as a GM I apologise for being useless of late (RL batters us all at times). I will endeavour to get my long running quests active again and pop up a bit more for random encounters. Any specific requests just get in touch.

I am also guilty of getting lazy with my characters and find I don't get involved in role play as much as I used to. Chances are I'm not the only one. Old timers... ask yourself honestly whether your characters respond the same way they used to. Maybe we could all use a kick up the backside to get in game and make a difference.

As for any newbies out there... just get in and keep the old coots going :wink:

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Post by Obsydien » Wed Sep 21, 2016 2:56 pm

Re: Was there a time when Illarion had more than 10 players

As a former GM, I've got to agree as well. While I feel we do need someone "in charge" of each town that players can reach out to when things are going south, or ruling characters are unavailable/inactive/whatever reason, more and more it is often best when players create the quests, create the in game content. Sure, there will still be the Games, Galmair's election, etc, planned and initiated by a GM, but most of those even are still led by you guys. You all are the ones playing, you know what's happening.

When I was a GM a little while ago, I ran my fair share of quests, got moderate attendance. But it was events led by players that really got more people excited to log in and play. I'd rather go try and convince Mephy's character to not go to war than build another building.

So even if that "quester" title isn't there, create your quests, play. There are lurkers, trust me (I'm just one of many). If I see something in the forums, I see a quest on the homepage, you can bet that I'll be interested. Create some drama! Go on adventures! Have gatherings!

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Post by Estralis Seborian » Wed Sep 21, 2016 6:38 pm

Re: Was there a time when Illarion had more than 10 players

Dear all,

before I became a GM in the distant past, I was involved in a group of players that ran quests and events, completely independently from the GMs and with no additional tools or rights. We just used the characters we had, created new ones if needed (no, we did no required additional character slots) and just had fun. We were players, entertaining players (Spieler bespaßen Spieler). And it was a great time for all!

I can imagine this still being possible and nothing speaks against doing quests/events, it is a matter of initiative. Of course, we need GMs to throw in a keyword once in a while and provide the necessary support for the factions; but this game is run by players. It is all about the interaction between characters. It is about your stories, your adventures and you shaping the world.

Not that as a GM, you become an omnipotent being in the world Illarion. You can get all items with a snap of your finger. Unlimited money, skills and attributes. But you can't use any of this for your characters. Instead, you are required to use all your powers and a share of your time for the entertainment of others. Not everyone can stand this and we had many long term players who became GMs and went completely inactive within a couple of weeks.

This does not mean no one should become GM. If we need additional ones, we'll recruit. But from the posts above, I conclude we need events and quests, not GMs. I think especially our faction trinity offers a lot of potential for interesting plots. Spy on the queen's servants, steal one of the archmage's books, negotiate about good deliveries to Galmair (and ambush the caravan then)... Or think small, have very simple events about a beggar and a noble clashing, a lizardwoman searching for her eggs or help a dwarf find a magical gem of each kind. Endless possibilities.

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Post by Mephistopheles » Thu Sep 22, 2016 12:15 am

Re: Was there a time when Illarion had more than 10 players

I'd love to attempt some quests.

However currently much of my friends no longer play (or play non-outlaw chars that have no connection) and at this current state I don't think my char can really attempt anything significant. Galmair won't even accept a ridiculous sum of gold just to let my char in, and my char has no access to alchemy teachers nor a magical gemsmith (and really try trusting another player with hundreds of gold worth of stuff to do with in town, or gems...). On top of all that the powers that be have gotten much stronger than my char with their gems and their allies.

Sorry but I don't play or try to do quests like I used to. Not much motivation.

I'd like to stress that it's important to realize that these good and neutral guys have nothing to do accept gm quests or stuff for their gods or whatever. If there's no one like my chars ingame, what do those knights in shining armor have to do? Answer:gm quests.

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Post by Kamilar » Fri Sep 23, 2016 1:05 pm

Re: Was there a time when Illarion had more than 10 players

Blame Fooser for making me look at the forums again ...
Slightly wrote:From my perspective (and this is just my personal opinion - not an official stance) what we need most are role players who will respond to what happens around them... be that official quests or random occurrences. By respond I don't just mean an initial reaction when something happens in their path but to sustain storylines and carry them forward by talking about things, involving other characters, planning reactions, spinning off their own ideas... all the things that adds meat to the game. It was this player driven stuff not anything a GM did that first got me hooked... it gave me the immersion that made me feel like my character could make a difference and change things.
So the question becomes, why does Illarion no longer have this? Where's the meat?

Estralis Seborian wrote:I think especially our faction trinity offers a lot of potential for interesting plots. Spy on the queen's servants, steal one of the archmage's books, negotiate about good deliveries to Galmair (and ambush the caravan then)... Or think small, have very simple events about a beggar and a noble clashing, a lizardwoman searching for her eggs or help a dwarf find a magical gem of each kind. Endless possibilities.
Here's the piece you're missing. Players have to be extremely cautious with the character choices they make. There is a HUGE investment in each and every character because of the time demands of the MC system. Throw away characters disappeared with the VBU. Forgiveness died around then too. If a character does something naughty, they face severe, interminable punishments which becomes devastating to a player. Illarion is no longer an environment that supports experimentation and diversity in the RP. There is only one path.

Is it possible that players are crying out to be questers so they can have some flexibility in their RP?

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Post by Jupiter » Fri Sep 23, 2016 1:46 pm

Re: Was there a time when Illarion had more than 10 players

We are currently working on the issues you mentioned, Kamilar. The learning system is currently under review. There will be changes to do. To what degree and what kind of changes is too early to say. We are currently exploring options.
I also believe that once we have monster guards who try to beat the bad guys up (and who can be beaten up as well!) instead of just magically warping them away, bad guys will have some more fun again. I have good reason to believe that monster guards (the first version of them) is just a matter of a few weeks.

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Post by Kamilar » Fri Sep 23, 2016 8:47 pm

Re: Was there a time when Illarion had more than 10 players

Jupiter wrote:We are currently working on the issues you mentioned, Kamilar. The learning system is currently under review. There will be changes to do. To what degree and what kind of changes is too early to say. We are currently exploring options.
I also believe that once we have monster guards who try to beat the bad guys up (and who can be beaten up as well!) instead of just magically warping them away, bad guys will have some more fun again. I have good reason to believe that monster guards (the first version of them) is just a matter of a few weeks.
I will wait with cautious optimism but that all sounds promising. Thank you for the update.

I hope that the guards will not have 100% accuracy in identifying bad guys. I hope also that there will be a small risk of the guards mistaking the person who ordered the punishment for the bad guy. We need some checks and balances.

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Post by Jupiter » Fri Sep 23, 2016 11:07 pm

Re: Was there a time when Illarion had more than 10 players

I don't want to go off-topic, but since the issues of guards was mentioned a couple of times, I guess I can say a few words.

The first version of guards will be just a overpowered force, both, in number and strength. That is intended. In this stage, the whole purpose of the monster guards is to replace the static town guards. Since that is the only target, it does not matter if they are overpowered. It will still be an improvement. However, the first version is not the last version. With each version they will be improved and new features will be added. I try to ROUGHLY sketch how I(!) imagine their final form: Every town will just have one weak guard by default. However, the towns can upgrade their guards. They can rent more guards (requires money), stronger and better trained guards (requires food),better equipped guards (requires all kinds of weapons and armors), an even potions can be used by them (requires potions, obviously). They can also be pimped with magical gems. This way, crafters of all professions get something to do. Guards will have chances to detect if someone is banned. This will depend on the attributes and of both, guards and banned ones, and the behaviour of the banned one (e.g. attacking is a good sign for something being wrong). Guards should also react on tips from citizens (technically, that is not so easy, so I am not sure about that one). Transformation potions will also help. Many guards will probably have fixed routes they check; so bad guys can play a small stealth game.
That is the road I would like to go. Of course, all that will be subject of analyzing if it really helps the game, and maybe others have other ideas. But all that will take a long time to do. That's why it is useful to do it step by step, and the first step is to simply have monster guards.

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Post by Dantagon Marescot » Sat Sep 24, 2016 8:23 pm

Re: Was there a time when Illarion had more than 10 players

Oldish timer here. I had stopped playing before the VBU due to real life, but had popped in sometime after to check it out. More recently a friend mentioned that he had started playing again, so I decided to create a new character and check things out. I've been playing in off hours so far so I can't really say too much about the role play since only a handful of people are online. So I can't really judge too much based on my time playing recently. I've barely touched the skill system, haven't played with combat yet, at that I've barely event gotten to rp. So I am not gonna say if I like or dislike the current skilling system.

I will say I like the paper dolling. I like that you can see your skill easier and there isn't this convoluted take a screen shot and check the green value where the pointer is. You can see that your skill is progressing, even if it is moving 75% to 80%. Graphics seem fine enough, Illarion will never be Skyrim graphic wise. That is what added to it's charm then and even now. There is just enough visual cues to help facilitate your imagination without controlling it.

What I can and will speak on goes back to the original poster of this thread. Was there a time when Illarion had more than 10 players [online]?
Yes! OMG yes! I am currently sitting on lunch break and looking at the online list. At 2:30 in the afternoon, Eastern standard time, meaning it is evening in Europe and on a Saturday. There are 7 characters online, one is a GM. As of 3ish pm, with an official quest going on, it has hit 16. Years and years ago, at this time, I have seen upwards of 25-30 people. Why as it dropped now, I dunno, and I can't currently give you anything but a subjective uneducated answer.

What can be done to bring the numbers back, I may have a few thoughts from reading through this thread.
It sounds like roleplay in general is dwindling. Sure the skill/combat/magic system is a plus to the game, but is that really the fun in why people stay? Except for those rare oddities, not really. It isn't a necessary evil, per say, but it is necessary. But roleplay is why people stay and roleplay is why people want to come back.

Want to know one glaringly obvious thing from just the listed quests? The descriptions! All of the official quests have three of four lines. Almost all the player led quests have paragraphs of text. You don't need paragraphs for combat training, but for significant events or major quests with the intent to facilitate roleplay, you do. I do like that there is a time and date listed. I can plan my schedule accordingly and be back in time for a quest. Go ahead, look at the quests. What peaks your interest. The brief summary or the story like description?

Another thing to think about from the players prospective is why do you role play and the creation of conflict within the game. When I played at my peak time wise, the roleplay was fun for me, but it was also there to create fun for others. It was used to bring people together and to participate together. If a player reacts to their environment it will cause other players to react to the environment and that persons actions. Hence why emoting what you are smithing or leaning against a wall creates roleplay. It seemed inactive, but humans are curious by nature and players will wonder what you are doing and what is going on. It may not be super fun at first, but it will attract other players and create fun for them, which will in turn create fun for you.

Conflict is found in every fictional book, movie, television show, or video game you play. Conflict is a literary device that is used to create a story. Conflict is not always one group against another group. There are 6 different major kinds of conflict. Man vs Man, Man vs Nature, Man vs Self, Man vs Society, Man vs Supernatural, and Man vs Technology. Here in Illarion, you can probably throw out Man vs Technology since this is fantasy and not scifi. Man vs Self may not be a player driven quest, but even as an internal role play within the confines of the character, may still create roleplay externally in how it effects other characters. Man vs Man does not have to be Army vs Army. It can be two dwarven craftmen in a life long competition for who is the best. You can take almost any of these conflicts and incorporate them into your character and not only create a story for your character, but roleplay with others. A GM could snow us all into the cities for the winter. I person may challenge the authority of the town council by being in disagreement. Or hell-spawn may rise from the earth to terrorize at night and force people indoors.

Okay, one more thing, and this is directed primarily at the GMs and the Devs of Illarion. First off, thank you for the time and effort you have given us to keep Illarion running and make it better. Now, how can we, the community help? I would love to see Illarion end up on Steam, but I also realize what that means money wise. Illarion has always been free, there has never been any ingame transactions, thank goodness. Do you need beta testers? Can you break off little bits of projects for people who can script to do bit by bit? Could there be a way for people to come up with quest suggestions that can be set aside for later? What job wise or funding wise can we as players take off your hands? We as a player base have invested countless hours into playing this game and want to keep it running and make it better as a community.

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Post by Jupiter » Sun Sep 25, 2016 11:42 pm

Re: Was there a time when Illarion had more than 10 players

Dantagon Marescot wrote:It sounds like roleplay in general is dwindling. Sure the skill/combat/magic system is a plus to the game, but is that really the fun in why people stay? Except for those rare oddities, not really. It isn't a necessary evil, per say, but it is necessary. But roleplay is why people stay and roleplay is why people want to come back.
True.
Want to know one glaringly obvious thing from just the listed quests? The descriptions! All of the official quests have three of four lines. Almost all the player led quests have paragraphs of text. You don't need paragraphs for combat training, but for significant events or major quests with the intent to facilitate roleplay, you do. I do like that there is a time and date listed. I can plan my schedule accordingly and be back in time for a quest. Go ahead, look at the quests. What peaks your interest. The brief summary or the story like description?
Accepted. ;) I thought it is nice to just give a brief hint what is going on during a quest, so it is a bit of surprise. However, you are right. People have real lives, and if we tell more about the quests planned they will know if it is something they want invest time in. A good description can also lure people into participating. I will consider this for the next quests I make.
Another thing to think about from the players prospective is why do you role play and the creation of conflict within the game. When I played at my peak time wise, the roleplay was fun for me, but it was also there to create fun for others. It was used to bring people together and to participate together. If a player reacts to their environment it will cause other players to react to the environment and that persons actions. Hence why emoting what you are smithing or leaning against a wall creates roleplay. It seemed inactive, but humans are curious by nature and players will wonder what you are doing and what is going on. It may not be super fun at first, but it will attract other players and create fun for them, which will in turn create fun for you.
Yes. We lost a lot of that. I am not sure how to get it back. My trying to set an example is the best we all can do (and should!). (And we need a decent wall like the Troll's Bane shop had! :D)
You can take almost any of these conflicts and incorporate them into your character
Right. When doing a quest, you can not force characters to incorporate and add a new facet to your char, but if things are spiced up enough it may encourage players to do so. You are also right that GMs are not necessary for it, but they have good tools to offer players valid reasons to do so.
Now, how can we, the community help?
My opinion: I like good and friendly feedback, and I really like it when a player takes their time to come to the irc and say it directly to me, so that I can ask more question or answers question from the player. (I generally would like to see more people in the irc. I like to be in touch with players :/) Otherwise, just roleplay and enjoy the game.

Good to see you back. I hope you will stay and enjoy it :D

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Post by Morbius » Sun Sep 25, 2016 11:47 pm

Re: Was there a time when Illarion had more than 10 players

I feel like I am able to break down the gist of what people are trying to get at here:

From the players perspective: We need more conflict.

That's basic. I realize I am guilty of doing this myself, but instead of complaining about the lack of conflict IG and the lack of mechanical in game support... just get in there and create it for yourself. I run an orc guild almost entirely form the forums and through PM's as my IG time is severely limited by real life commitments and time zone restrictions. I realize also that playing evil characters is very difficult... but they are also the essential opposite half of in game conflicts. This game. Illarion, is about creative collaboration, so... be creative and collaborate with over evil characters and make an interesting plot.


From the devs perspective: They need more manpower.

Yeah cool. I get that you guys do this for free out of the goodness of your heart, and that constant complaining and general dissatisfaction at the current state of the game is anything but motivating... but, what can we (the players) do to help? Not everyone is willing to learn how to code... Not everyone is fit to be a GM, and my suggestion regarding 'questers'/'lesser Gm's' was met with a degree of apprehension - which I completely understand.

But...

What can we do to help?

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Post by Morbius » Sun Sep 25, 2016 11:49 pm

Re: Was there a time when Illarion had more than 10 players

And Jupiter beat me to it...

Excuse me if any of the above points are irrelevant.

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Post by Japheth » Mon Sep 26, 2016 2:03 am

Re: Was there a time when Illarion had more than 10 players

I play very occasionally, just to get a feel for the level of roleplaying. I find people are generally responsive, but boy, is it hard work compared to five or six years ago. Some of the players I've met just haven't been that into sustaining an interaction (and I know it's nothing to do with my RP because as everyone knows, I'm amaaaaaazzzzzingggg).

Also, the map is just too big these days. For the size of the player base, there just isn't a need for a map this big. Shove people into a smaller space and you'll get more interactions, by sheer necessity.

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