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 Post subject: Re: Concerns About DL.
PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 3:19 pm 
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I just want to state openly that I agree with almost all of what has been said. A few of my own view points:

1) I'm open to changing any/all of this, it more or less just needs to make sense (and not be a mountain of work for *me* personally -- I simply do not have the time to devote right now).

2) We currently have 15 Staff members with the ability to roleplay with mortals. About 8 of which are almost never on and about another 5 of which don't have time to do things regularly. Clearly we need more Staff members who will interact with players appropriately. However, they simply don't exist. Traditionally we make people Staff members and then they quickly follow that up by doing absolutely nothing. The few who do anything are typically just abusing their powers (one of the major reasons we no longer have "Staff Deities") OR they find some niche (building, administering, coding, etc.) where they feel comfortable contributing and stick with that for the most part, often this is behind the scenes. A lot of times it is much easier to work behind the scenes because you do things in your own time. There aren't players actively waiting on you (from literally moment to moment) for something.

3) We actually *have* been growing significantly in the last few months (I believe this is largely due to the bonus system and player restoration policy recently implemented):

It appears as though this data has been corrupted so I've removed it to reduce confusion.

4) I wholeheartedly believe that we are positioned for even more significant growth but we must have a final push to do a few more things:
    a) We need to (re-)attract staff members like Grel/Malifaxis who can RP, keep it interesting, not take things too far, and really add flavor to DL.
    b) We (really I) need to streamline some of our systems to make adding content easier (for me), so that when content is ready to be put it in, it actually gets put in.
    c) We need to add some of this new content.
    d) We need to work on making the new content more interactive than the old content. (something Protius and Sol have really been doing an excellent job on, for what I've seen)
    e) We need to get people excited about regular DL events.

5) I personally don't see the current Deity system as holding us back. I know it isn't perfect and I really do wish someone would re-write the entire pantheon. Changing back to a Staff based Deity system is possible but it would be extremely painful on a number of levels and I really don't see the benefit. That is what would get people excited about DL? I don't buy it. Again, I'm open to other view points, feel free to try to convince me. I've certainly been wrong before. I could see a benefit to assigning each NPC to a specific Staff member to run and we could do that. However, I guess that would mean there would be about 4 Deities for each active Staff member to run or we'd need to cut the pantheon down to about 3 (for now at least).

6) One of the main things we need is for people to simply see Staff members (and players!) in the game so they know we are active. More than anything, I believe players don't want a stagnant game.

7) I believe, to a large degree, the current stagnation is my fault. I've recently (last 2 years) added so much code that it is nearly overwhelming to understand the new direction the game will be taking. Further, because of its complexity, it is difficult for me to add content which uses the new code. Because of this, almost none of the new code is used and the game appears stagnant (even if it isn't). This is really something *I* need to fix, I just wanted to point it out so that people realize I'm aware of it.

We WILL get through this and we WILL prosper again, I won't accept any other way.

Anything I've overlooked?

Thank you all for caring.

Warmest regards,

--Nezmar


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 Post subject: Re: Concerns About DL.
PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 3:59 pm 
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Going to take a minute to let the nostalgia sink in a little... and moving on.

Staff-Gods during their time ever so many years back did add a lot of flavor to the DL gaming experience because of the sheer fact that there was that much more interaction between a mortal and a god. Yes there were the plus sides and the negatives, but with every equation there are those. With how the current deity system is set up now, they've fallen to a more tithing and resurrection standing. So that would leave two options:

a) Re-institute a new deity system in the vein of the old and progress that way, or
b) Assign staff to set number of deities so they can have a better direction with what they're controlling.. or manipulating.

Now as Nezmar has stated, with the reintroduction of a new pantheon, it would need to be reworked. The reworking would need to go beyond just a simple reworking of the code, but the entire back story and RP history of the game itself. Yet somehow, I feel that it may just be worth doing. All it would really need is to have the staff members who would attain godhood sit down and relate a tale of how they came into being and quite possibly an outline of their motives. One of the reasons why I take this stance is that it may be too taxing on the average staffer to maintain several deities to control and flesh out. The sheer amounts of notes on each and every deity "job" would soon become immense (that is taking in account that the staff member would actually try hard enough for it work well). Staff-God would be much more personal as they used to be, and much more attuned to how a staff member would want their god(dess) character to interact and sway the minds of the masses.

Then it comes to the points and checks that would be need to be set in stone. As mentioned previously in the posts preceding this one, some abuse took place which ruined the Staff-God credibility. If all of the Staff-Gods had roughly the same area from which to work from, the same command base, the same points and checks, then it could and possibly would run smoother and without fault.

I suppose this will be where I'll wrap it up. In short, I for one would like to see more staff specialization on the god(dess) aspect of the game, more so with the older style reimplemented. I can see it bringing about much deeper, richer role playing that people might actually be thrilled about to log on and do at the end of the day.

The Guildinator

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The minute you're in your character's skin.
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 Post subject: Re: Concerns About DL.
PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 4:22 pm 
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We're not saying to replace the current deity system - yes, it does need rewritten and I think was on my list of things to do but has gotten so buried in all the other things that I've become overwhelmed at doing ANY of the things on the list any more. With the lack of active staff you mentioned, burn out and discouragement happens way too fast. And I dare to stand up and say being staff has not been fun for a very long time. And that's one of the first things I would tell any new GM in the past... It should be fun. If it's not, tell us and we'll work with you till it is fun. But this particular subject that needs to go staff only. ;)

We leave the current canned deity system in place for now. It's needed and necessary for the tithe/resurrection to work.

What we need to do is add another 'level' if you will, of staff-gods. This is needed to be done over 'assigning' us a group of NPC to breath life into. With the NPCs we have limits of what can happen - If we create and mold our own personality, our own whims, our own leanings... let our creative juices flow towards one way, instead of having to worry how it flows and works with the others we're responsible for, it injects the fun for the staff back into it. If staff has fun, it's catchy, players are going to have fun... It lets us pit our wits against the other staff-god. Lets us see how to mold and manipulate our followers to do our bidding against the other staff-gods.

Staff-gods should be separate from our 'admin' names - We could try to keep them 'secret' but we know personalities and mannerisms shine through so that really wouldn't work. But we should do it as an even playing field ... no restrings done from the staff-god, no non RP things... The staff-god should be set perm RP only. Period. Yes, we need tools, we'd have to hammer out which ones in particular, to be effective, but make sure those are evenly given all around.

Staff also would need to be very open in communication with each other in if we see signs of burn out and/or starts of a power trip to be able to tell each other about it without fear of backlash. Also, players must feel the same safety in communication in this sort of situation. Players would have to be RP approved and RP on to interact with the staff-god. Players would have to be savvy enough to understand that staff-gods are real people and won't stick to anything particular at times... Sometimes the best evil thing to do is a good deed, and vice versa. I think it's very workable. I think it sounds exciting and most of all I think it sounds FUN.

I have often found myself wishing I could go back to being a simple level 1 GM. I have so many fond memories of laughing till I had tears down my face... The most fun I ever had in RP was as a GM1 using simple room echos - A Roleplayer like Nas, a few room echos of a spider with a crush on him... and viola! what a great time it was! I, as a staffer, want that joy and fun back! I think the players do too. But I want the ability to grow that and build it and not have it just drop. Building a history and memories will help grow the RP to new levels and make new legends rise to the top. Give the bards something to tell of again.

But then again, just color me the crazy one. - ;)

------
So go vote!
Myrrima -

"Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of
battle."


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 Post subject: Re: Concerns About DL.
PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 8:19 pm 
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I apologize if I'm not following what is being said here but it still doesn't make sense to me. The thing I don't get is why it matters if it is an NPC-based deity or a PC/Staff-based deity (or to be more accurate, I don't understand why a PC/Staff-based system would be better). Essentially, I guess I don't see why it matters (to Staff or players) if players are following a deity MOB/NPC named Mezmar vs. a Staff/PC named Sezmar if either one would be controlled (only) by me. Isn't this essentially what is being asked for? I mean, I realize there are some (relatively minor) differences such as being able to mail your deity (though I don't know how THAT could be roleplayed) or being able to login directly as that character (not RP) or show up in who (again not RP).

To me what is much more important is having a deity system that makes sense and that the Staff and players are comfortable using. This could be based upon either type of system, really. From a code and administration perspective, a NPC-based system is much easier to maintain.

Please help me understand. What am I missing?

Thanks & best regards,

--Nezmar


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 Post subject: Re: Concerns About DL.
PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2009 12:34 am 
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Oh... My... I LOVE YOU!

This is EXACTLY the thing we have been needing. I miss very much being able to interact in this sort of fashion.

One of the GREAT things about PC Deities is the ability to adapt. It's not linear. Sure, if you want to be a peace loving hippie, I'm sure there's a place for that. But I miss the days of yore when Deities and their followers would actually go to war with each other - over trivial things, sometimes, in the eye of the followers. :)

I'll never forget the day Malifaxis tore off Elsjero's face, and, in spite of getting my butt handed to me twice, retrieved it. Naked, even. :naughty:

But, this makes so many things more open. It adds a personality to the deity. No longer are you following a deity that might pop up and say hi, but have a deity that can not only interact, but do so as its own persona, for its own agenda, and to hell with the RP background for that deity. You're a deity. You can bend your own rules.

Again, I absolutely LOVE this idea, and I will do everything in my power to be a part of this wonderful project, should it be accepted by the powers that be.

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 Post subject: Re: Concerns About DL.
PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2009 9:41 am 
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I definitely definitely miss PC deities!!

Haha, all these Malifaxis stories, I'll admit, I had a badass cavalier that a murderer for Malifaxis too, but I loved having Goldberry as my good diety!! Its definitely one of the things that has made DL seem lifeless for me since i've been back. PC gods added SO much personality and infused themselves into their character, roleplaying was a pleasure. even OOC talking to my gods was a ball, and it was so nice being able to have that relationship with a staff member, these days staff-player relations seem so stiff, and anti social, and that's what this game is all about being social and having fun with one another. So many good times roleplaying with Goldberry, she'd send me on random tasks to go bring her a flower or something, and obviously in the name of my goddess i'd go out my way to do whatever and she'd end up dropping some big bad monster that i'd need to kill along the way. I'm sorry to hear about the power abuse that happened when it did, but honestly i would love to see RP gods that are more personal. I think its way funner for the staff too.


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 Post subject: Re: Concerns About DL.
PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2009 11:34 am 
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I hear what you are saying, I just don't understand WHY it makes a difference -- from my vantage point we can do all the same things with NPC deities, we simply DON'T (I don't understand WHY this is the case either). Is it "ownership" that is the issue? Again, we could implement an ownership system with NPCs... we could even go so far as to create a 1-to-1 relationship between the NPC/Staff controller (though currently this presents the same problem I brought up before... not enough Staff to run enough deities) with each Staff member creating their own NPC deity. We can nuke every deity and start from scratch as far as I'm concerned, I'd just prefer that it be with NPCs as this is a LOT less work for me. From my perspective the problem isn't that we have NPC deities, it is that we DON'T have Goldberry or Malifaxis. I hear that a PC-based system would be better and it is what everyone wants, I just don't hear why it makes a difference. What (RP) interaction can you have with a PC that you can't have with a Staff controlled NPC? Again, please help me understand, I'm sorry I don't seem to be following the logic. I really am trying and if there is a real reason to change things, I'll make every effort.

Best regards,

--Nezmar


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 Post subject: Re: Concerns About DL.
PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 12:32 am 
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The plain truth about why we don't want to do it with the present NPCs is simple: They suck. Their history is lame, what they stand for is weak and it will take so much work to redo them it's incredibly discouraging. It should be fun for staff to do this too, and that's something that has seriously lacked - it's not fun for staff, therefore not fun for players.

I think what we, as staff are (and anyone please feel free to correct me) wanting to put out own quirky personalities into our gods. Write our own history, which is not known yet because it needs to be built with the players themselves. We want to trigger some fun fast... for ourselves AND the players, which ultimately is good for the game.

I don't know how else to put it. I need some fun. I want it to help the game and players as well or it's not doing any good.

*shrug*

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Myrrima

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 Post subject: Re: Concerns About DL.
PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 1:51 am 
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How about some god babies? Amateur gods, with lots of power, controlled by staff, that don't really know what they're doing, how powerful they are, and they develop their own personalities based on the staff controlling them and in retrospect infused by that staff member's personality and only possessable by that specific staff member.


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 Post subject: Re: Concerns About DL.
PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 4:02 am 
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I agree 100% with the staff/gods.

Now im just trying to figure some of this out so please correct me of i am wrong.

Nezmar is saying the staff being gods would be fine if they were mob gods to make it less work?
which is totally fair enough, just one question

If it was to go the way that staff created a mob/npc god that we rp with and act as a god, would they be able to be seen on the who command? as i think that is one of the most important things, i know when i was a player back in the days i would type who see goldberry on and go rp straight away, also

Would these staff mobs be able to be made by us in game so it did not take to long and would we be able to edit them in game when needed so it was kind of instant as i think one of the biggest down falls we have is waiting time. If all this would happen i think npc or a char we would log onto would be the same and i think it would rock.

But anyways i 100% agree with Myrrima and would love to have the staff gods again, and i personally would love to help with this project.

Thanks

Qutin

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 Post subject: Re: Concerns About DL.
PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 12:20 pm 
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Perhaps this would work best if I rephrase my position on this:

Deities will be NPCs for the foreseeable future. I do not have the time or energy to delete all the code I wrote for it and write it a 3rd time -- this would be a MASSIVE undertaking. There simply isn't enough time for me to go back and make the system work with PCs, forget about it. Banish the thought from your head, it isn't going to happen, at least not for about the next 2 years minimum. (Even if I did have the time to do it, I currently view it as a bad idea and nobody has given me a single valid reason as to why it would be a good idea).

Because deities are NPCs they will not show up on who. This could be changed, I suppose, if we wanted to do something like make it so any possessed NPC would show up on who (though again, I view this as a decidedly bad idea).

Beyond that, I'm open to making significant changes to the existing system. The main key here is that they need to be building changes. We could change existing deities to reshape them into what we want or we could add new ones and have the old ones slowly go away. I understand people aren't happy with the existing system and I'm fine with massive changes to it, provided the changes don't require massive amounts of work for *ME* (which is what seems to be proposed by most people).

I totally want people to be motivated and have fun. What I'd like to avoid is me spending 100 hours on something (yet again) for almost no real (positive) change. What is the benefit of having it be PCs instead of NPCs? ANYONE?? I see almost no benefit at all (but I do see a number of drawbacks -- How do you assign a tenet to a PC so that players have an idea what the deity stands for when they've never played the game and need to choose a god? How do you flag a PC as a god so that someone can choose them as their deity during character creation? What about their high priest? Will they need to be a PC also? Can players be resurrected by their deity even if the deity isn't in the game? How do you flag a PC so they can't be killed? etc...).

What is the problem with getting rid of the entire pantheon and starting fresh wish a new NPC pantheon? Or replacing them one by one? (Besides the building work that would need to be done.)

Best regards,

--Nezmar


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 Post subject: Re: Concerns About DL.
PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 4:45 pm 
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I think overall the big picture is being missed by most people based on this topic. The whole point behind this is to find out what will help get DL back to the way it used to be as far as player base. If someone had a valid point that did require 100 hours of recoding and it would get the player base back to 200 players im sure he would be all over it.

I look back over what has happened over the years and there has only been a few changes to the game (some miner, some major).
RP - A long time ago, RP was only required to make it through avatar levels. Which it basically is the same way, just in a more broad way.
Con Loss - Basically doesnt matter anymore because its gone.
Level/EXP loss after death - It was previously abused by people fleeing or dying to loose a bad level gain.

I dont think any of these things affected the player base that we have too much. We lost quite a few staff members over the past few years and its possible that the staff/player interaction is a part of it (not sure). I remember when we had enough players that we could actually all go vote and we were ALWAYS in the top 3. There is no way with what we have we can compete any more.

My point is lets try to give constructice things for Nezmar to be able to work with to be able to possitivly impact the game and player base. Right now I dont have any ideas for this but Nezmar doesnt need to be bothered by stuff that right now isnt going to make a huge difference.

Protius


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 Post subject: Re: Concerns About DL.
PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 8:08 pm 
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Part of why this stuff is so important (at least to me) is because (I believe) it is what motivates people. A motivated Staff and player base will make a big difference and I'm willing to try to do what I can to work towards that. I guess I just think there is lower hanging fruit, so to speak. That is to say, I believe we can accomplish most (if not all) of what is desired within the confines of minor changes to the existing system(s). The hardest part is figuring out what changes should actually be made. I guess more than anything I want to know what changes people think will make a difference and why. I've shown my flexibility and understanding with the constitution loss issue, this is really no different. I mainly want to understand what and why before I put significant effort into trying to make it happen. Currently the "why" being put forth makes very little (if any) sense to me.

Best regards to all,

--Nezmar


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 Post subject: Re: Concerns About DL.
PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 4:53 am 
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Ok im going to try and explain the why, and please correct me if im wrong.

Now when there were staff as dietys players knew that god was around and were inspired to rp because that god may just rp with them and it would be fun, now with npc gods people never know when they will pop up and do something so they dont really try to rp with them, thats my from a player why.

Now for the staff having your own so to speak god would motivate you to do more as it is yours it would be like levels trying to see how many followers you could get and how succesful they were trying to make your prescence known, it would cause fun competiton between the gods much like between Grel and Alendamar and Goldberry in old DL, The staff really seemed to enjoy it and they had purpose plans and they could really be involved in the game, Possesing a mob that any other staff can posess and rp with just does not give as much fun or a long term goal to aim towards.

I hope i have helped with the why.

Qutin

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 Post subject: Re: Concerns About DL.
PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 10:48 am 
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First and foremost, thank you, Qutin.

Now, that said, I don't see these as valid reasons to change from NPC to PC based gods.

As far as people knowing that a 'god is on' we could modify who so that it shows NPC gods when they are flagged to be shown. That is to say, when you possess a deity it shows up on who.

As far as Staff members having their own deity, I've already said we could do this -- we'd simply reserve the NPC for only that Staff member.

Any other reasons? Do you view these as valid solutions? This way we are talking about maybe 4-8 hours of work vs. ~100 for me.

Best regards,

--Nezmar


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