eluviomods: (Default)
ELUVIO MODS ([personal profile] eluviomods) wrote in [community profile] spaceports2017-03-19 03:57 pm
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In reviewing the current complement of characters in preparation for our first capped application round, we noticed that we have a significant number of characters present under the age of 18. To be precise, 38% of the game's current cast is in the 14-17 year old age bracket.

While we are not going to be barring teenagers from the game completely, we do want to make sure that we maintain an atmosphere-appropriate balance of significantly more adults to children, as this is a game that has and will be featuring a great deal of mature content. This is especially important with respect to missions and the metaplot, because there are large portions of both that are age restricted to adults only.

Because of the high number of children present, we are implementing a cap on the number of characters under the age of 18 we are accepting to the game. As the game cap is 100 characters, we decided that a cap of 20 characters aged 13-17 is a fair and appropriate ratio. With a full complement, that will mean that 20% of the game is under the age of 18. This will allow us to maintain the mature atmosphere of the game while still allowing players the opportunity to app teenage characters.

Currently, there are 18 characters in this category. This means that we will only be accepting 2 more characters from this age bracket. If only 2 such characters are applied for and accepted, the cap will be reached and applications for characters in this age bracket will not be open again until spaces open up or the game cap is lifted, whichever comes first. If more than 2 characters are applied for and are acceptable, we will choose the 2 we believe are most suitable for the game. (EDITED at 8:33PM EST) If more than 2 characters are applied for, we will process the applications in the order in which we receive them. Once the cap is filled, we will be declining additional applications due to the filled cap.

As of this announcement, the FAQ, Reserves, and Application pages have been updated to reflect this information.
shenunigans: (pic#5731594)

[personal profile] shenunigans 2017-03-19 11:34 pm (UTC)(link)
Hi mods, I want to start by saying that this is of course 100% your game and your direction and I absolutely respect that. However, I have two things I would like to address upon reading this post.

Firstly, I feel like a cap of 2 this late into the month comes very suddenly and very harshly. I'm sure I'm not the only one who has been trying to enable people into the game because I love it and I'm enjoying it. So far I know of a few people who have started apps by now because of their interest in the game, only to find that they will be competing for a very small chance to get into the game. I certainly understand that you might be concerned about the amount of underage characters in the game and I will go into that a little more later, I just feel that the expectations here are very vague. I don't think it's very fair to just choose who out of however many apps fits the nature of the game without allowing at least a suitability section to explain themselves whether their character is a good fit, rather than being picked almost at random based on the mod's preference. I just don't find that fair or welcoming at all.

On that note, a big concern of mine has become the notion that my character isn't wanted in the game at large. When I read through the information, I didn't really gather any information that warned me of exclusionary events or age limits. I understand that the game is organic and that you have said rules change on a whim to suit an IC direction, but I'm sure you understand that the sudden implementation of rules that impact a certain character bracket can feel very unwelcoming. Had I known I would be asked to sit on the sidelines or compete for castmates to fill limited spots, I probably would have found a more age appropriate game rather than becoming settled into this one.

It also isn't very clear what a mature event means in the long run. Obviously I will not involve my 16 year old character into sexual events, but I didn't join a sex game for that reason. I would willingly sign up for violent, dark themed events because when I joined the game I naturally assumed I would be welcome to participate in these things. Given that all of our characters are from a wide range of canons with different expectations and lore, it really isn't fair to assume 18 is the marker for experience in these subjects. Again, if younger characters being involved in dark subjects had been a problem from the start that I knew about, I absolutely would have gone elsewhere.

So, overall I am a little uncomfortable with the parameters of the app round given that they come very suddenly, are very harsh and don't offer applicants much of a fair chance to join the game and I worry that 20% of your playerbase now feels somewhat alienated and unsure as to whether they have picked a suitable game.

I really enjoy Eluvio and I think that the mods here have done a great job, that's why I hope we can communicate about these issues.
shenunigans: (Default)

[personal profile] shenunigans 2017-03-20 12:03 am (UTC)(link)
Additionally, I want to ask how long the mods as a whole were planning on waiting before telling 20% of the game that there would be multiple events that they would be banned from participating in? As I consider it, I become more frustrated with the fact that I settled into this game thinking I would be able to play as normal without facing exclusion from the fun or exciting aspects of the game.
shenunigans: (Default)

[personal profile] shenunigans 2017-03-20 12:35 am (UTC)(link)
To be honest, neither of those options really sounds fair. As you said, it is very close to the application round and two slots is very minimal. I felt like a suitability section would be helpful but really, it just sucks for people to know their applications are going to be held to much higher standards than the majority of the game.

Thank you for the clarification. The wording made it sound as if events would be totally closed off to those under 18, especially when you say "large portions". It will really suck for players if their age is a huge deciding factor every single time they sign up for a mission. Especially if there's no way for them to prove themselves beyond that.

There's nothing in the rules or FAQ that reflects that sentiment, so this update really feels as if it has come out of left field for me. It seems like an 18 only game is what was intended but is only just being implemented.
shenunigans: (14)

[personal profile] shenunigans 2017-03-20 01:52 am (UTC)(link)
I am still of the opinion that a suitability section would be very helpful in vetting for appropriate minor characters, but I understand using the method that works for you. As someone who has modded I definitely understand that it's a tough call to make and there's no easy way to go about it.

I'm glad that it was poor wording and a misinterpretation as it definitely came off as if minors would have few opportunities to influence the plot. I am certainly not against having Dave here face some realistic adversity based on his age, I would really like it to be something we can flesh out ICly in the future too.

I personally didn't see a noticeable mention of sex as an element in the game, but admittedly gore, violence and horror are relatively large parts of Dave's canon life as with many minors from different canons. The elememts alone definitely don't give me an "adults only" vibe so much as they were what drew me to app. I was very concerned when I felt that I wouldn't have an opportunity to play with those themes so I definitely hope it isn't the case going forward.
Edited 2017-03-20 01:53 (UTC)
juniberries: (he went thataway.)

[personal profile] juniberries 2017-03-20 04:29 pm (UTC)(link)
I am going to chime and and support this suggestion, because it is basically what I was going to say in regards to this announcement. A stress of a 'game suitability' section in the app for underaged characters is a good compromise.
anthropophagite: (Default)

[personal profile] anthropophagite 2017-03-19 11:43 pm (UTC)(link)
Hello Mods! I hope you won't mind a player's opinion regarding this cap; I don't play a character who is a minor and I just joined the game, but I think communication is important. I'm certain you have thought about this a lot, but honestly I feel like this cap was not only abrupt but also quite disheartening.

First, I'd like to address the decision to pick the last two teenager characters based on what you think it's the best - it has a very "Hunger Games" feel to it. I understand you wish to pick the more suitable and you'll take in account what the players present, but it makes it feels like people who do wish to app a teenager will have to work much harder and give a higher level on the application that you aren't requiring from the other players (who play adult-characters). For me, this is a slightly minor issue since I don't play on apping anyone else, but it still doesn't feel very welcoming.

In fact, this cap and the reasons you have given us that justify it, really make this game feel like it's simply not welcoming to underage characters. To suddenly being told that some missions and even the metaplot are restricted to adults will immediately exclude the involvement of these characters and they are not welcome to participate (plus this cap is specifically targeting them, so- yes, it does not feel welcoming).

Another issue are the players that currently have underage characters in game and right now have a whole new issue on their hands which they weren't told about before. A lot of players don't app just for slice of life and are interested in the missions and the metaplot - and yet they have just been told they can't be involved in all of it, just some parts. And they were only told this after their characters were accepted in game.

And it's important to realize that age in canons does not work the same way it works in real life. You can have a character who is 30 and still acts like a 15 year old and is not capable of making decisions on their own, and you can have a 15 year old that has "seen some shit" and became the savior of the world at that age. So restricting characters from apping based on their physical age and not suitability doesn't seem like the best way to go.

I know it sounds like I'm complaining a lot, but in truth, with this you have barred very interesting characters from joining the game based on a very fickle thing (age) which really depends on the canon the character is from; some underage characters would be a great addition, suitable for the setting, and very fun to play with, and their age wouldn't mean much. If it's really that important for characters to be adults (for example, if these missions and metaplot involve things such as sex), perhaps not accepting any underage characters at all would be the best.
Edited 2017-03-19 23:47 (UTC)
anthropophagite: (Default)

[personal profile] anthropophagite 2017-03-20 08:56 am (UTC)(link)
I do not think age should be the only factor when NPCs pick up a team, specially since they know they have super-powered people on their hands. Between Attack on Titan and an Osomatsu, I think the choice for who can do a highly sensitive mission is obvious. In real life that cap might be true (might not, as well. You can join the army at 15 in some countries) and I understand wishing some realism, but in all honesty this is a game and not realistic.

But! This is your game and if you believe it weights that much, I am of the opinion that you shouldn't accept applications for characters under 18 (of course, keeping the current underage cast and accommodate them; no one should be banned). That should have been something set from the start.
bigman: (Umm...)

[personal profile] bigman 2017-03-19 11:48 pm (UTC)(link)
I hope questions here is all right!


One: I apped Hunk at 17-18, but have been playing it that he thinks he's 17 but he's missed a birthday (which was January). After all, they've been in space a while. So is he being counted in this "18" children count?

Two: Kay-tu is '12' in the fact that he was reprogrammed 12 years ago. I assume you wouldn't count a droid in all this, but it's hard to tell at the moment. I'd hate to be taking up a spot let alone two with my characters.

Three: What are the guidelines you're using for age restrictions? Does it have to be a standard organic character? Kay is a good example of 'he's 12 but isn't standard and has adult programming'. If a character is of a young race that grows fast and they are physically 10 years old but considered and adult, is that adult in this game or a child? Or are you going with the generic American Age Restrictions, that anything under 18 years of age is underage? I'm just curious on what types of 'child/adult' restrictions there are with different characters.

Will story influence anything? The teenagers of Naruto, Gundam, and Voltron for example. Naruto has teenage ninja doing war things from the smallest age. Gundam more so. Voltron has a few teens thrown into a weird battle. Each have a different feel to them. Are those kids all going to be barred from missions and such because they're 17ish or will talent and experience at least factor in when volunteering for missions?

I know a few of us were talking and are unsure about some of the information here and we were hoping that perhaps we could have a bit more details? Thank you!
bigman: (WHimper)

[personal profile] bigman 2017-03-20 01:08 am (UTC)(link)
Okay, thank you! So that leads me to "Characters age as time goes on" So will there be a chance to say or update a characters age from say, 17 to 18? Like I said, I put Hunk down as 17 to 18ish because canon doesn't really state their ages other than late teens. They've been in space a while too. Would it be acceptable later to place an age update with the mods somewhere for when they come of age? That way it opens the age limits for others and isn't Age Squatting? I don't mind too much the age restrictions myself, I just hate to take up a spot that someone else could use if I don't have to.

Also, thank you! I think if/when you update the Age Restrictions in the FAQs it could be nice to have something to make note that some characters are exempt from it. Case by case basis does make it feel a bit more fair.

And I am glad to hear that not all missions would be restricted by age. I 100% get and agree that things like a red light district should/could be restricted. That makes sense. I think some of the panic of others came because it was unclear weather or not we'd all get to play still in missions or not is all.

Thank you for trying to clear things up.
bigman: (General)

[personal profile] bigman 2017-03-20 06:56 pm (UTC)(link)
So I would have been fine if I had just said he was 18 in my app, but because I went vague with the canon 'late teens" and said '17 to 18ish', I have to make him 17 for an entire year before he's allowed to age?

Before all this came out I was already playing him as having a red token and was surprised by that (it's not like he's going to be played in that district, but I did use it as a sign to him that he missed his birthday). Should I retcon that and saying he doesn't have one?

I'm sorry, I just feel guilty for having a character that could possibly be 18 and taking up a spot someone else might need. It's not going to change the way I play him, it just feels terrible to be on that ends of age squatting. His canon says "Late Teens" and I doubt we're going to get more information on that.
stop_apologizing: (✶ wings)

[personal profile] stop_apologizing 2017-03-20 12:32 am (UTC)(link)
Rofl whoops jumped the gun there. Sorry for the deleted comment.

But back on track. The other replies have covered most of my concerns, but I still wanted to chime in and express my concern/disappointment that - based on what this update is saying - my character was going to be excluded from future plots based on her age, and this is not something I was ever informed of. Naturally, if the plots were sexual in nature, I would have opted out myself, but I chose to join this game specifically because (like many other players!) I love this premise, and we have characters that come from canons where the themes are adult-heavy, or the characters themselves have dealt with experiences that most adults have not encountered.

This is your game so I respect whatever decision you come to, but this is information I would have appreciated being told before I joined. As of now, I'm concerned about how this will effect the 14-17 crowd going forward, as the implication seems to be that unless a character is over 18, they're not considered mature enough to handle the themes of the game.
unluckynumberseven: (hmm)

[personal profile] unluckynumberseven 2017-03-20 02:06 am (UTC)(link)
Will we be able to make a case for our characters getting involved in plots if we feel they're suited? I probably play the game's youngest character, mentally speaking, but I took genre into account when I apped him. NieR has heavy themes of violence, death, gore, body horror, cruelty, unreality, etc, and Emil's survived it. I even have plans for him and another character to recognize each other's ineffective coping mechanisms and hopefully help each other down the line.

I'm totally fine with excluding him from sexual content, like that was never on my mind to begin with. I'm more than happy to avoid giving him a red chip or put him into adult situations. But I'm a little concerned that I'll be excluded from "large portions" of the metaplot with Emil when his age seemed fine when I apped.
Edited (sorry for the edits) 2017-03-20 20:48 (UTC)
doxing: milli point two just to hurt you ah, all red lamb' just to tease you ah (pic#10813080)

[personal profile] doxing 2017-03-20 10:59 am (UTC)(link)
maybe, as a team, we can discuss having a few poll options or something to that effect — kind of like the way there were a couple of options for ac that we got to choose from that we all took votes in and agreed on unanimously.

with the amount of flak this cap is getting, i'm worried for the game as a whole and i'd hate to see your guys' hard work to go to waste. the game is extremely fun and you guys are super amenable to player plots (as i've witnessed first-hand with sombra and the data chip/puzzle box plot), so when you focus on the other aspects of the game it's really solid and engaging. the community's rife with side-eyeing right now, but if we work together i'm sure it'll all pan out in a way everyone enjoys.

right now everyone's wary because the change was dropped without warning, which gave it a kind of "this is what's happening, whether you like it or not" feel, as well as the feeling that the <18 year old character players are unwelcome in the game. i just wanted to suggest something that might make all of this less of a sudden and drastic change.

i'm really loving the premise and the plot so far and this isn't going to deter me, as i obviously have two characters who fit into the "adult" age bracket, but i can understand how it'd deter old and new players who are thinking of apping in the future. i'd jump right on a poll or a few ultimatum options that touch on each issue people are bringing up, if you guys choose to do something like it!!
sweatysometimes: (uhhh)

[personal profile] sweatysometimes 2017-03-20 04:03 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm at work so I don't really have time to write up an in-depth post.

The short version of it though, is that this is a bit disappointing/disheartening. Also it DOES make me feel kinda itchy in that I'm now part of a cast that takes up a significant chunk of that cap and has me wondering how that's going to effect the way others interact with me and how welcoming this game is to me as a player based on the character I play. It definitely makes me feel unwelcome to some degree.
Edited 2017-03-20 16:05 (UTC)

[personal profile] juniberries 2017-03-20 06:46 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm unfortunately not as coherent as I want to be right now, but while a lot of what people have said above rings true to how I feel about this announcement, I do want to offer my own (brief) thoughts and suggestions based around this. Mainly to echo what has been said above.

I really love this game and enjoy playing in it; both because of the responsive and active mods and monthly plots which make this setting engaging and developing, but also because of the current cast of characters we have, which I do hope to see expand and grow in the future. The fun of games is having many different types of characters from different sorts of canons, and seeing how they develop in the game's setting and how they help influence and move the plot forward. So far, even with certain 'restrictions' having already occurred in past plots, like with Oros and now with our current Bajikan event, I personally thought things had been rather smooth sailing in regards to the sorts of characters we have in game and what they can and cannot do.

I personally thought the age cap at 13+ had been fine. I also like the suggestions of a 'game suitability' section in the application (which I believe has already been established since the 13+ cap). I also know some games of this nature include sections where hopefuls write what they intend to do with their character in the game/setting which goes in hand with game suitability. I also really like what was said above by Sombra's player in suggesting a poll and being open to more discussion in regards to this, mainly because of how suddenly this announcement was dropped without much warning and how many players in-game this effects.

I do hope a compromise regarding this can be reached. I understand for IC reasons why Eluvio NPCs would not want to encourage child/teen 'soldiers' (so to speak) to participate in certain missions, but OOCly there could be plotting compromises made where teenage characters can participate, for example through other IC channels or coordinated plotting. I just think a age cap such as this should have been made explicit at the start of the game's opening, or even a month following. But since it has not and the game has been around for around four months now, I personally feel that instead a compromise should (ideally) be reached, even if it means tweaking some things.

I hope I am making sense.
thisisourfuture: (pic#10472130)

[personal profile] thisisourfuture 2017-03-20 07:14 pm (UTC)(link)
I have a question about a tricky case. As you know from my application I stated Hinata's true age is not what he appears to be. But he has memories up to his 17th year. Are he and his castmates that have this issue going to be treated as teenagers or their true age? If this cap is really going to exist. We don't want to be holding slots just because of what memories they have.

But I also don't want to feel like I have to canon update to step up out of the cap of you rule based on what age they think they are. As it comes with a number of complications that I didn't want to start right off with. It would feel like punishment for choosing that age and I feel that was not your intention, but clarification would be ideal.
Edited 2017-03-20 19:21 (UTC)
shenunigans: (pic#7987397)

[personal profile] shenunigans 2017-03-22 11:48 am (UTC)(link)
It seems like you are no longer addressing concerns posted here, so I'm not even entirely sure this comment will be acknowledged. However, a PM or a screened comment is not my preferred method as it concerns myself, the mods and the game at large and I want people to be able to chime in as they please.

As you can tell, this announcement coupled with the most recent reaction inspired a large reaction in the playerbase. People have lost a lot of faith, they feel unwelcome, jilted and frustrated with what's gone down over the past few days. That said, a lot of people are opting to stay with the game, and I think that's something you shouldn't take for granted. I won't for a second say that you owe anyone some sort of prize for wanting to continue playing in your game, but I feel like you absolutely need to work on communication and understanding if things don't fall apart.

Mods. You just apologised for posting an "alarming" statement that concerned the whole playerbase and threw us for a loop. I cannot understand the logic in making closing the game an option when you have just admitted that you need to work on addressing issues with the game carefully and not sounding the alarms at us every time you need to tell us something.

Based on the reactions across the playerbase after the first announcement went up, I think it's safe to say that most people have no issues with younger characters. It didn't seem like anyone really had a problem with the character cap itself and to assume so would be a huge misinterpretation. Many people have pointed out that characters should be accepted by suitability. Choosing to opt for an age bias when it comes to selecting characters for missions does nothing to address what this means for less experienced adults or adults from comedic canons. There's nothing to suggest that younger characters will have a chance to prove themselves against adversity, despite interest in playing out that sort of scenario. If age is going to be a reoccurring barrier, there should be hope for a chance to overcome it. I want to stress again, I am fine with a cap. I understand wanting to keep the game more mature. I understand wanting to keep character levels even and fair, even if it skews more toward a side mods prefer. A cap is fine, it just doesn't seem like it's a quick fix solution to whatever the issue is. The cap should go hand in hand with suitability, understanding what missions are acceptable for particular characters and reasonable IC reactions toward different characters. I hate that I have to emphasise this so much, I just feel like all of this will be interpreted as an issue against the cap once again.

Additionally, I still question the choice to suggest that a large portion of events would be inaccessible to minors and I almost don't believe that it could have been poor wording. As I've said, there needs to be some consideration put into using alarmist terms and I cannot possibly understand how a post suggesting that characters would be uninvolved for the majority of the game slipped by without anyone stopping and wondering if this would be an issue. My confidence is not inspired, here. To the point where I considered aging my character up so I wouldn't miss out for arbitrary reasons.

I raised my concern about apps for younger characters being judged based on conditions that the mods had not made clear and in turn, was told that apps would be based on first come, first serve basis. This is not what I suggested, I want to make that very clear. I suggested that it would be better to judge by suitability and give players a chance to explain how their characters would fit the setting, keeping it in line with your vision for the game.

Overall, I am extremely unimpressed with how this has been handled. The initial post cut very close to the new TDM and app round, the rule was placed without discussion, the post was barely worded and laden with sour implications about the interest in minor characters, their place in the game and their ability to join plots and copy-pasted responses that didn't really acknowledge concerns. All of this would be annoying but fixed with communication, but I feel like this development is nearly unforgivable for me and totally unforgivable for the people who have dropped or opted not to consider the game next round. Ultimatums are an unhealthy method of forcing a decision. Closing the game over something so minor should never be an option, it is a huge disrespect and disservice to people who have rooted for you and worked to be a part of your game.

I don't know precisely what can be done to level the game out after jostling it around so much, but open communication and a little more maturity in wording and polling options would go a long way.

Not many people were against a cast cap, many people find threatening to close a game so abruptly a complete deal breaker for understandable reasons. I would really like to understand the logic behind such a bizarre reaction and really hope we can pick ourselves up and continue to improve the game and enjoy RPing with one another.
Edited 2017-03-22 12:05 (UTC)