eluviomods: (Default)
ELUVIO MODS ([personal profile] eluviomods) wrote in [community profile] spaceports2017-02-01 05:42 pm
Entry tags:



With our first event concluded, we'd like to hear from you about what you thought! There are two components to this feedback post.

➣ Mod Feedback

First, we would like you to tell us, the mods, what you thought of the way the event was run. What worked? What didn't? What did you like? What didn't you like?

Through watching the game communities and some player feedback, we've identified three areas that seemed to cause some issues and would like to hear any thoughts you might have on both of them.
PACING: Because this was the game's first plot event and we acknowledge the slower pace of DWRP these days, we thought allowing the playerbase a month to work through the mission would allow plenty of time to thread, explore the setting, and complete logs without a significant amount of backtagging that might slow things down. However, we noticed that approach didn't seem to turn out to be as helpful as we thought it would. So we would like to hear your thoughts on how to achieve a good balance of time to thread versus not slowing the game down to a crawl.

Currently, we're considering providing less OOC time to complete events and missions in the hope of encouraging things to move along more quickly.

PARTICIPATION: When slots are limited, it's important that the players who sign up to take part in missions or events participate. This means actively playing with the group you sign up for and participating in logs, posts, or OOC communication. To encourage players not to squat on slots, we have a penalty system in place. Currently, if a player signs up for something that's plot important or has limited slots and then doesn't participate, that player will be ineligible to sign up their character(s) for the next two missions.

If there are other ways you believe might encourage participation or discourage signing up for a spot and then not participating, please let us know.

MOD GUIDANCE: We've been made aware that some players are struggling with the level of freedom provided to build the game environment along with us. Player contribution to the setting and the environment as a whole is a vital part of the collaborative game experience we want Eluvio to be. We want you to feel comfortable creating the details inside the framework we provide.

How can we help you achieve that level of comfort? We can't restrict player freedom too drastically or we run the risk of micromanaging everything you do and that's something we expressly want to avoid. We do intend to provide a little more structure to the next plot than what was provided for the Oros Mission and we're always available to answer questions about what characters can do in a particular setting or during a plot. But if there are other things you think would help, we want to know.
Aside from those three points, please let us know if there are any other areas that we need to take into consideration. In order to avoid repeating the same responses, we may not be responding to every comment, however we will be reading them.

➣ Player Feedback

The second component of this post is to give you, players, the opportunity to discuss your experience with the event. Our hope is that having a venue for open, honest communication with one another will help alleviate frustrations and enable things run more smoothly going forward.

We ask that you please keep things civil and respectful. Discussing frustrations is welcome and encouraged. Insulting one another is not.

redsnow: (heard enough)

[personal profile] redsnow 2017-02-01 11:18 pm (UTC)(link)
I think there was definitely too much time given to things oocly and it put a stop on things in character. I think the way you pace something depends largely on the type of plot it is. This one was a timed one with open actions from the players directly influencing the outcome, so I don't think it would be unfair to ask players that sign up to be sure they can finish threads in a timely fashion, or at least be able to work out results amongst themselves in time. I think turning in reports by a certain ooc date is a good idea, but allowing the option for players to turn in a summary of what happened (worked out amongst themselves) before the thread itself is actually done is important, as well.

Generally, I feel like announcing events in advance and allowing forward dating is the best, but it should still only be maybe a week in advance or things around it are left hanging and unimportant, if that makes sense.

Basically, I think it would have gone great to give us two weeks ICly where the gamma events were scattered into and the alpha/beta teams were at the end of, and maybe announced it one week in advance, giving it three whole weeks for such a big event.

I think the punishment you guys have in place is fair! But as a side note to this section, there were a few things I noticed about this event.

1. There were limited slots.
Some of the gamma groups didn't mention a limit, but from my experience, threading in a group of any more than 3 characters can get messy real fast. 5 is usually pushing it, but can be done. I understand your issue with the alpha/beta balance, and there was no problem with cutting people out, but I think that trying to squeeze whoever was kicked out into the already nearly-full gamma teams left a lot of people without anything to do. A solution to this would have been to have a couple of "gamma" type missions that were able to be repeated, such as ones involving collecting information. Rewards could be reasonably less for these repeatable missions, but give people more to do!

2. There was nothing to do on the ship.
For characters that were unable to participate or didn't want to, the only thing they were told was that they could communicate with people on the planet through their communicators. That's important to note, but I feel like pointing out some things for them to do on the ship would have been especially helpful in giving characters something to do. I'm of the mind that plots should always have an "opt-out" that also gives characters something to do. So even throw-away silly things like, one restaurant in the mall has things go horribly wrong with the menu, and characters can help defeat the mass of space meatloaf that's attacking customers! Or something ridiculous or more aptly themed, you know. Something with a determined end (the space meatloaf will be eliminated one way or another) that people can still play with in open logs. Or really, anything similar as long as people have something a bit more to do while not participating, or in the in-between of events.

I think that's about all I can think of to mention there!

Mod guidance
I absolutely love the freedom to be creative with the setting and world build, but the one thing I've noticed is in how you guys answer questions. I've seen some players come forward with questions that try to lead them to a bit more world building, but they get shut down with answers of how "as you stated" earlier in the post, this or that. In other words, I think you should try to be a little more open in offering a tiny bit of information when it's asked for. That's not limiting, it's just to help spring new things! We as players love the freedom, but we don't want to overstep and do anything that would end up as something we have to retcon, or that would be "wrong," if that makes sense.

I know in one game I was in previously, questions that were asked where the answer was "do whatever you want" was answered in a way that was really helpful! They would say something like "You can do whatever you'd like! Maybe example a, or example b, or make up your own as long as it fits in the setting. If you have a specific idea in mind you can run it by us, but there shouldn't be a problem as long as it fits within the setting we've already established." Or something like that. Basically, example ideas in response to questions would be one way I can see that would make it easier, but even if you cut that part out and just say people can run ideas by you, that would be just fine.

This comment got huge, but overall I think you guys are doing great! I love that you're open to feedback, and I did very much enjoy this event. I also really loved that the outcome could have changed depending on what characters did, as that is very difficult to pull off plot-wise. I just found myself without activity outside of the event since nothing else was going on, but I'm confident that things will be adjusted based on how everyone feels. If anyone else in the game has anything to bounce off of me or disagree/agree with, I'd love to hear that as well! These are just my two cents.

I hope this all makes sense, but let me know if any part is confusing!
redsnow: (we're gonna die young)

[personal profile] redsnow 2017-02-04 09:14 pm (UTC)(link)
The pacing stuff sounds great! I just wanted to add a tiny bit to the participation thing.

I love the idea of more freedom, and in theory it is great, but from my experience both as a player and a mod in various games, I've found that giving people too much freedom can actually be more limiting than it is freeing. If there's any way, or you would consider it, it would even help to have some background information about what's going on during the main event. For example, in this event, if we could have had more information on how the NPCs were acting on board, or what the general "feel" was on the ship, maybe that would have helped, if you're not willing to have separate little events!

I find that when you just say nothing, then it leaves a lot of confusion and most players don't know where to start as far as being creative goes.

But if there are going to be more spaces in future plots/events where everyone has the chance to play in it, then this won't be as much of an issue (even if it would still help)! I hope that makes sense.

Basically, I am all for being creative and coming up with things and I love that it's allowed, but since I am unfamiliar with the setting, more information is probably the key! Which you guys have already addressed that you'll be adjusting, so hopefully the next event will go a lot smoother!

Thanks for listening!
redsnow: (if you keep talking that blah blah)

[personal profile] redsnow 2017-02-04 10:45 pm (UTC)(link)
And thank you guys for taking feedback! ♥ I'm super excited for what's to come.
tenkofan: (cg 🐦 masked 🐦 glance)

[personal profile] tenkofan 2017-02-02 12:00 am (UTC)(link)
I wonder if it would help to have reserve selections so that if someone's circumstances change after being picked they have the option of dropping out without leaving the rest of those selected a teammate down? When I signed up for the mission I was certain that I'd be available, but afterwards I ended getting surprise extra hours at work and an illness that lasted weeks at the same time, and while I participated, I ended up hampering the team's pace.

Having people there who are explicitly willing to step in short notice might make things run smoother, especially if players can quietly swap out without being penalised before the mission is underway. Usually people sign up in good faith, but shit happens sometimes.
herbalsupplements: (just between you and me)

[personal profile] herbalsupplements 2017-02-02 03:41 am (UTC)(link)
Pacing: I agree with the mod assessment, basically. While I'm certainly in the ranks of those supporting a relaxed pace, the initial window we had to complete missions kind of killed any sense of urgency. Something like two weeks might be closer to ideal, I think? Maybe adjusted a bit as individual events dictate, but definitely less time than we initially had for Oros.

Mod Guidance: Major sticking points for me are that I haven't yet seen any record of player impact on the environment, there's no link to [community profile] eluviopedia in the navigation page, and the only comprehensive list of named businesses I can find is in the acceptance comments on the application page, which is unwieldy to navigate for that purpose. If you really want us contributing to the world-building of the game, we need a solid framework that reflects both your modifications and ours, and some way to streamline that process on both ends so it doesn't suck the fun out of the game.

The easiest way I can think of would be a quick form on the player locations page for non-ship additions and something in the mission completion form prompting people for any changes that don't involve accidentally blowing up something important, but others might have better ideas depending on how time-sensitive such an undertaking might get.
nodyinteam: (casual)

[personal profile] nodyinteam 2017-02-02 05:48 am (UTC)(link)
I agree largely with the Zelos mun's points. Of course, I wound up not participating in the missions, so I have no experience there to speak about, although I definitely know that it felt like there wasn't much to do while the characters were off on the mission. I feel that there should be at least a little something to work with for those who aren't taking part in missions, especially considering the length of time that this mission was scheduled for.

In terms of mod guidance... well, I'm personally not good at being creative when having too much freedom to work with. I certainly appreciate you mods being open about giving us this freedom, but I and possibly other players would probably benefit from having more of a framework and guidelines to work with when we're asked to be creative for things. Hopefully an ideal middle ground could be figured out between mod guidance and player freedom?

I think that's about all I have to comment on specifically. But thank you mods for being open to feedback and for running this game! And I wish you guys all the luck in figuring things out!
sixth: (Default)

[personal profile] sixth 2017-02-02 03:02 pm (UTC)(link)
Event Pacing I agree with what everyone's saying about making it a shorter time period. It would have been neat to take time and really explore the setting, but it took so long to set up the OOC details for what Alpha and Beta teams were going to do that extraneous stuff just wasn't feasible. I would also suggest keeping teams small. On their own, I think Alpha and Beta were small enough, but put together there were too many people involved to make OOC decisions quickly and effectively.

Participation I don't really have any ideas on what else you could do. I just like that there are penalties in place for people who don't participate.

Mod Guidance I'm thrilled with the freedom you give us. Coming from games where you have to ask mod permission for every nitpicky detail and then wait days for a yes or no, it's refreshing to be able to make up a location on the ship if I want it for a plot point or decide to have my character fight a dragon and then do it. I also really like that our characters' actions matter. Too often events in games have foregone conclusions and it feels like characters have no impact on anything so why bother. Alpha and Beta team destroying a planet by accident was pretty damn cool and I'm glad some of my characters got a chance to be a part of that.
Edited (html snafu) 2017-02-02 15:03 (UTC)
rumbling: (Default)

[personal profile] rumbling 2017-02-02 04:24 pm (UTC)(link)
PACING I'm just going to echo that it was too much time. I get where you guys were coming from, but with the... I guess, urgency, of the missions and nothing to really explore, there was just too much.

PARTICIPATION I'm going to be frank. My biggest complaint is here. Definitely appreciate there being punishments in place for afterward, but during it's kind of difficult to work with since no one can force anyone to do things. This is excluding, of course, people who were ill or had genuine issues irl. Shit happens, I know that! Some people disappeared without any input at all and that wasn't fair to the remaining members of the teams. For the majority of the A/B plot, it felt like only a few of us were pushing toward something. There wasn't as much input as I would have liked and often felt like I was directing things too much. It was frustrating and wound up burning me out quicker than I would have liked for this mission. Which was kind of a bummer because I do like what was given and had high expectations. But it didn't quite work as I imagined. My suggestion would be smaller teams and leave it up to the players in each team if they want to do a big mash-up. You'd still have the teamwork sort of environment, but with the bonus of it actually likely working much better.

GUIDANCE Steady on, guys. I like the freedom we have to be as ridiculous or as serious as we want. I mean at this juncture there's not much that can be said imo? The game is still pretty fresh and we're all still trying to find our place here so.
juniberries: (memories are like spores)

[personal profile] juniberries 2017-02-02 07:48 pm (UTC)(link)
As someone participating in a Gamma mission, I think the pacing for those missions were decent, since those were primarily planet-based reconnaissance/research/etc. missions which allow for meandering and deliberation so in nature they would inherently be less pressing, but I also think for missions like that, anything longer than two weeks would be a bit much. However, from what I've been reading and seeing from those participating in Alpha and Beta missions, since the nature of those missions were intended to be urgent, I think a shorter timeframe would be better!

I personally think a month-long event/mission is too long unless the entire game is able to participate in it without having to formerly sign up for designated missions, if that makes any sense. Or, alternatively, there could be more missions with a similar agenda available (like collecting flora/soil samples could have definitely gone to a few more potential teams). For me, two weeks seems best as a maximum amount of time for time sensitive, team-based missions like Alpha and Beta, whereas exploration-based events can last for a bit longer assuming more characters are able to freely explore the setting. I think that would also solve the issue of activity on board the ship grinding to a standstill as well, if freedom to explore was open to more players than just those who have signed up for the limited amount of missions instead of only being stuck aboard the ship. THAT BEING SAID I think once this game's meta plot regarding the Eluvio gets rolling, there will be more incentive to stay aboard the ship, perhaps with the intent of unlocking other mysteries of the ship and its crew.

Also, with mission sign ups, I think there should be measures to enforce players to state their preferred method of plotting, by either linking to their plurk so team members can add/ping them, or by stating that they don't have a plurk and would prefer plotting with teammates via the plotting post itself/a private journal entry/etc. This is admittedly more relevant to the players than to the mods, but perhaps it is something the mods should highlight in plotting posts? This is really only a thought, since I had no issue adding and communicating with teammates via private plurk, but know there are likely some people in this game who don't use plurk.

That being said, the modteam is very good at receiving and answering questions, and questions are answered in a rather quick manner, which I think works perfectly with the freedom afforded to players with these plots. In the case of guidance, I think it is up to the players to decide whether they should ask the mods if they're uncertain of a particular idea. For example, the mods were very helpful when I had a question about whether it was okay to find a baby Trilk, and what to expect of the creature.
Edited 2017-02-02 19:54 (UTC)
juniberries: (AM I SITTING ON A TIN CAN)

[personal profile] juniberries 2017-02-02 09:11 pm (UTC)(link)
ALSO I FEEL BAD FOR EDITING so I'll just respond to my post, BUT! One other thing! I think for outcomes of events that have consequences and are essentially another event, such as what is currently happening now with Oros, a few days heads before the event start up would be appreciated. That way people can both organize and respond to the sign-ups in a more timely manner, especially considering the outcome was posted on a Wednesday which is typically the middle of a workweek.
juniberries: (just like one of my japanese animes!!)

[personal profile] juniberries 2017-02-05 05:29 am (UTC)(link)
I am glad my suggestions were of help! I know there is only so much mods can do to encourage communication among players for plot.

& I'm super excited to see the further consequences of what happened during this event, as well as all the future events that will happen down the line. Again, thank you guys so much for ensuring this game runs smoothly!
leaderboards: ([a] oh look snow)

[personal profile] leaderboards 2017-02-02 10:40 pm (UTC)(link)
Pacing: This was way too long. The idea of one planet's worth of adventure taking place over 4-5 weeks would have been more than fine by me so long as there was more of something for everyone over that time period and from what I've seen from other players, that wasn't the case here. Maybe smaller missions for everyone, or some way of feeling like everyone was involved in the larger Oros event without them having to leave the ship.

As far as pacing for the Alpha/Beta mission goes, I understand what you were trying to do with giving us lots of time to plan/thread at a pace you thought would be easy for us to manage. However, I think it encouraged more feet-dragging than anything. As someone who was trying to help OOCly spearhead the plotting among participating players, we had a really hard time doing anything that even vaguely resembled planning the whole thing out in advance, because it was just too long a time to deal with. We wound up having to keep striking up conversation every few days to discuss our next steps, when it honestly could have been easier to have a shorter time frame where no one had to worry about wanting to change their minds in a week, or whatever the exact holdups of various conversations were. What could have been entirely plotted out and finalized for smooth OOC sailing weeks ago wound up getting held up until some time last week, just because there was no sense of urgency for players to weigh in on plotting or end decision making in a timely matter and I think we were all guilty of just letting it fall to the side.

On this note, I think a mission that long could have been fine with either fewer people or more mod input re: what dates things should happen on, or even specific setbacks to encounter on specific dates, but as it was, it was long and kinda unruly.

Participation: The penalty system still seems like a great idea to me, honestly, so long as you have a fair method of keeping track of what qualifies as actually participating and what doesn't. If it's just "did they tag at all," that's nice and clear, but anything muddier than that will leave room for argument with both the people who didn't do much participating, whether because of RL issues or any other reason that would have stopped them. And honestly, that muddy area is somewhere that other players can get frustrated with, too, because there's a big difference between a fellow player who has input into planning conversations and tries to tag where they can and just can't because of whatever reason and one who don't make that OOC effort. (A disclaimer that this isn't about anyone on the Alpha/Beta mission in particular, just that this is a feeling I've gotten in other games before and with an event like this, there was definitely a risk of it coming up and both hindering plotting and creating negative feelings.)

On top of the penalty system you already have in place, I admittedly really like IC rewards for participation, especially ones that come with an invitation for future plotting, like Sombra's puzzle box and the other ones from your aftermath post. This is a nice bonus incentive and also really helps to make someone feel like their results weren't predetermined and something unique could come of them, something that's hard to find in most games.

Mod Guidance: Thank you for giving us so much freedom! That's a rare thing in rp and we had fun knowing that we could throw ideas around without worrying about having to hold things up to come to you. I think it really encouraged creativity and I know I'm thrilled to know that Beta team's actions wrecked a planet. That's freaking awesome.

However, like I said above, it was hard to coordinate this much freedom with this many people, which definitely had me wishing at a few points that you'd given us a little less. I know it's a new game and you're still sorting out balances, but having a few more limits with anything involving this many people in the future might be beneficial just for ease of plotting. This much freedom with a smaller group would have been fun, but I think there were just too many of us and because all decisions were in our hands, it unfortunately turned into a few players making most of the choices for the mission, because otherwise we'd have never gotten anywhere.

And oh my gosh, I'm sorry that this got really long but I'm loving this game so much so far and that fact that you're open to feedback about all this just makes me love it more. I look forward to seeing what you guys come up with next. ♥
genice: (Default)

[personal profile] genice 2017-02-05 02:07 am (UTC)(link)
I won't reiterate things, since I see the responses up above, so just glad you guys are looking into this! Every kind of plot deals with a different pace that works best. In this case, it's a smash and grab — in past experience, I've seen those kinds of missions work best on a tight time frame, to keep people motivated and completing things on time. So I'm glad you're looking into this!

a. If plots are going to run once every two months, I suggest actually shortening the penalty time down to "sit out the next plot." Asking someone to sit out as a punishment for two months makes sense and should be motivation enough to participate when you sign up! Having them be unable to participate for four months is more liable to drive them to drop instead of try to improve activity, participation, or engagement.

b. My biggest concern here is now on an IC front. Do you guys have a plan of action in mind to make it viable on the IC front that anyone who has been so badly burned this first time around will have any reason to go along with future missions requested by the captain and/or the ship?

Right now that occurs to me to be the biggest problem going forward, since to stay In Character there are many who cannot have a repeat of this "go in blind, be told nothing, be told even more nothing when they get back, and by the way, you helped enable the genocide of two species and the nuclear winter of their planet."

It doesn't matter what's being offered on the OOC side of things if the IC side makes it improbable to remain IC and still participate in this game's mission actions. Out the gate, the PCs have been set against the entire NPC crew by merit of being kept in the dark and used to these means with no explanation or apology. Which is good, as far as encouraging players to investigate the Eluvio, but it's where I wanted to ask what the mod team had in mind for how and why characters will participate in future missions. Because it is extremely bad as far as building any trust or reason to follow the orders of the captain, and if mission plots hinge on PCs voluntarily signing up, we've been partially hamstrung.

c. I'm also going to agree that having multiple slots for things that are resource missions would make sense, since both small groups threading things out tends to go faster, and resource missions are a good opportunity for people to get down and strike up or build on new CR without feeling the need to be competitive to get a resource mission slot, or have a really big team heading down to pick up the same resources.

Mod Guidance:
Personally, once I know what the limitations and boundaries are, I'm happy to run with whatever and figure things out or make them up as I go. I feel you guys have done a good job with this when it comes up, such as letting us know what kinds of plots do or don't need to be signed off by you! I appreciate those clarifications, and I know I'm still adjusting to properly keep them in mind and run with things as feels fun.

Two points I did want to bring up!

One, when world building, questions like "what is the general tech level" helps me as a player know the framework of what I can then BS into the sunset about existing on world. I know that I personally don't need more than, say, "Industrial Revolution." Or, "Futuristic Sci-Fi." Or, "Stone Age, for the most part, but randomly they have advanced weaponry."

Having questions meant to inform me of basics that I can then build off go ignored was incredibly discouraging. I don't want the mods to feel they need to do the world building. I'm happy to do that with fellow players. But if I ask a question, I'm asking for a reason, because it helps allow me to build things in a framework that works for whatever was generally in the mind of the mod team when designing the plot. I don't feel comfortable ad-libbing an answer when there's a stark contrast between "they live in mud huts" and "by the way there are multiple systems we need high level hackers to get past in this temple" without a word from the mod team saying if that should be normal or not when looking elsewhere on the world.

Two, communication! For these gamma missions with the native species, it felt like to me that the mod team wanted to avoid "direct communication through a shared language or interpreter." However, what I was told was no communication at all would be possible. Saying all communication is impossible, full stop, reads like there's no way to communicate concepts at all, not through body language, not through art, not through interpretive dance, not through song, not through participating in shared activities, not through touch, not through liberally dragging someone through a house, etc.

There are definitely species where that'd make sense, based on other limitations (maybe communicating just through lights and colour, imagine a species of jellyfish-natives, etc, and even then you'd potentially be able to realise they do communicate in colours and light without knowing what the blazes you're saying), but the insistence here that no communication could happen at all was difficult to understand.

If I wave and you wave back even just to mimic the motion, we've just communicated! Maybe not much, but we've acknowledged each other. I can then call out hello and not be understood, but that's a language barrier, not a complete inability to communicate. I know I'd personally appreciate a delineation between "no shared language" and "complete and total inability to communicate at all, because the species differences are just too great" in the future. Though going on a mission to observe a species that's completely beyond a character's understanding or ability to form any level of connection with (antagonistic or otherwise) feels equivalent to watching paint dry, or threading out watching paint dry. Tongue in cheek example:

"The mysterious species of tater tots rolled. They rolled all day, in odd patterns. Then they stood up, stared at each other, sang a single note, before returning to rolling. Day four of observation continues to prove this is completely and totally beyond our understanding. Even playing Taylor Swift provoked no response other than a shift in rolling that appeared to mimic what might have been rain, a tsunami, or even the way beads roll off a line. Maybe it was related. Maybe it wasn't. We just don't know.

Beyond that, I want to thank you for the time and energy you are all putting into Eluvio! The fact you're willing to open up these discussions to hear back and decide on what adjustments the mod team as a whole does or doesn't want to make is encouraging.
genice: (Default)

[personal profile] genice 2017-02-05 03:01 am (UTC)(link)
Yeah, I do love that it's good that PCs can question what's going on, and once the next CR meme rolls around I'm hoping to see players giving some good thoughts on pursuing those angles so we can bring those plots to you, tbh! I know I have a few ideas I'm waiting to toss out to people, since there's only so much to do on my own, and my character deeeefinitely doesn't have the skillsets for some of these things. Networking! Becomes so important. But yes, thank you! I'm glad you guys already have a gameplan here for handling signups on the IC side as they come up.

(And yeah, OOCly one expects no one much knows what's going on; the way it's been framed for PCs simply makes it seem more like the crewmembers, not so much the civilians, have at least better info access since they weren't sent down planetside.)

Yeah, for me at least as a rule, all I ever want is generic answers to know what I have to work within. If there's something that I really need a specific answer on, it's much more likely to relate to something on ship (since that's permanent! in theory). By and large with missions I won't need detailed answers from the mod team, just the generals.

Thank you so much!