simpathis: (Default)
Empatheias Mods ([personal profile] simpathis) wrote in [community profile] empatheias_ooc2017-01-01 05:28 pm
Entry tags:

Mod Announcement: January

— MONTHLY MOD ANNOUNCEMENT: JANUARY —



Greetings, all! Laena here, mostly back from hiatus. I would be completely off it, but as some people have heard, the night I got back from Christmas holidays, my desk kind of shattered and it was not delivered on time 8Da; So I'm a bit handicapped despite my impromptu set-up and that also means things are going to be a bit delayed. However, despite the rocky end and beginning, WE'RE INTO THE NEW YEAR WHOOOOOO! Gamewise, we're not starting with a huge bang, but things are getting locked and loaded.


» CALENDAR


The main calendar spreadsheet needs to be updated, but for general reference it is here. It should be updated by the end of the week.

Here are the basic dates to keep up with:

  • 1/01: Canon and Original Character Applications open.
  • 1/04: Applications close; Reservations close; Intro log posted.
  • 1/05-06: All applications should be processed by the end of this period.
  • 1/18: Test Drive.
  • 1/18-1/21: Excursion
  • 1/25: Activity Check starts; Reservations open.
  • 1/27~1/31: Selenium
  • 1/31: Activity Check ends.
  • 2/01: Applications open.

The weather is staying unusually warm, and it's actually becoming more humid out there. While most will enjoy the weather, those who had been looking forward to winter activities will be gloomier, causing a muddled affect of weather in certain areas. Some may even try to change the weather on their own, so an odd battle of warm, cold, and rainy may occur at various times and places around the city.

But for the most part, it's pleasantly warm, feeling more like spring than winter.


» ACTIVITY CHECK RESULTS


Below are the following who were either removed from the Activity Check or dropped out of the game. The list includes all characters who left the game throughout the month. The following names will also be posted in a visible place within the residential area where most of the characters are residing. This list reflects the names that are also on the wall.

Canach | [personal profile] canach
Jae-Ha | [personal profile] razzledazzles
Hazel Grouse | [personal profile] churchbelle
Klavier Gavin | [personal profile] guitarosecutor
Maridian | [personal profile] seesbosscrotch
King Bradley (Wrath) | [personal profile] kingandeye
Fractured Milla | [personal profile] descendend
Ludger Kresnik | [personal profile] mahouchrono
Hiryuu | [personal profile] akashingo
Makoto Kino | [personal profile] courageousthunder
Athena Cykes | [personal profile] cykedfists
Madoka Kaname | [personal profile] healing_wish
Hiro Hamada | [personal profile] hirobotics
Chibiusa Tsukino | [personal profile] lunaball
Elize Lutus | [personal profile] pinkidealist

The following received strikes and must pass this month's Activity Check to remain in the game.

[personal profile] digiorno
[personal profile] sinsrequiem

If there are any mistakes, please let us know ASAP!


» ACTIVITY CHECK CHANGE REMINDER


As a reminder, we announced a slight change to our AC in the Mid-Month Announcement last month. Starting with this month's AC:

  • All entries and threads that START during the last three days of the month will not count for that month's AC. Exception: Any events that are held during this timeframe are excluded and threads started during these events can be counted.

Extreme emphasis on "START." Threads that begin anytime before that and continue on to the end are still valid. We are only disallowing threads and entries that are considered extremely last minute and clearly made just to pass AC. The reason is fairly self-evident: we want players to be active in the game, but we do not want them active only when AC rolls around. It's also rude to other players as there is a trend for such threads to be instantly dropped once AC is over.

That all said, we will still allow these threads to be used for the following AC, so long as comments continue well into the month. We already allow this and see no reason to discount these threads.

So in case you're confused, here are examples:

  • Thread starts 1/15, continues on through 1/31: acceptable
  • Thread starts 1/25, continues on through 1/31: acceptable
  • Thread starts 1/29, continues on through 1/31: not acceptable for January AC
  • Thread starts 1/29, continues on through 1/31, part of an EVENT: acceptable
  • Thread starts 1/29, continues on through 2/08: acceptable for February AC

Hopefully that helps, but if you need further clarification or have questions, feel free to ask.


» JOBS & TASK BOARD


The Task Board has been updated so characters can start taking on odd jobs if they are so inclined. Details as to how the Task Board works and sign-up can be found here. In addition, there is a Job List sheet that list out more permanent jobs available for characters. These are different from the Task Board jobs as they can be used as part-time or full-time jobs and do not have any specific time period. If you want your character to have a job, that's it. This is also where we will list character run businesses. So if you have one or are thinking about one, there will be a place where it can be referenced and looked at. You can even make tasks relating to your business.

The location of each task is determined by the colors they're labeled with. So, Blue = Verens; Yellow = Shaarnath; Pink = Theastai; Purple = Excursions; Red = Plot.

As always, we highly encourage anyone to fill out task ideas. (Or if someone is actually crazy and willing to help be our task board generator, we will gladly hire you.)


» EMOTION TRACKER UPDATE


The Emotion Tracker has been updated with new sheets. Anyone who posts after this announcement will be added to the current sheets (so any late tallies from the previous month can still be counted).

We're coasting along in the green still.



Anyone who is interested in the fancy-schmancy breakdown of points can find it here—but don't worry too much about it if numbers aren't your thing.

That said, here's some fun data points for the year:

  • Aiada has the most positive numbers with a score of 2078. Seriously, there was only one month she wasn't the most positive. In total she had a positive score of 2765. She also had the least negative at 577 and least apathy at 110.
  • Daimonia had only 4 months where it was totaled as negative. Rest were positive. Interestingly, she had the most apathy points, totaling in at 265.
  • Elios follows close behind Aiada and had no negative months, just like Aiada. However, he did not top any month because baby sister had it all.
  • Peromei had the most number of negative months, with 9 months negative, 3 positive. However, she is not the one with the highest negative score.
  • Piphron only had one negative month, and it was -1. He actually had the most positive in August, but that was also the time of his event.
  • Sosyne had a rough year with 8 negative months. But she also had the most number of negative points at 2083. Throughout both years, she's accumulated the most number of points total: 3960.
  • Thras had the lowest score of -367. He also had the lowest positive score of 1271. There were 8 overall negative months, with the highest overall happening in may for -132. This was during Aiada's event.

So yeah, there's a lot of number data and crunching, but it's actually rather fascinating to see where the trend really is with each individual Arehtei. Aiada is the most positive, but it's a toss up between Peromei, Sosyne, and Thras as to who is the most negative. It depends on how you want to view the data. Peromei wins if you look at the number of months. Thras wins if you look at the total calculation. Sosyne wins if you look at the number of negative points.

What does it all mean in the future?

Good times. Good times.


» NEW EMOTION TRACKER BETA TEST


For those who followed the State of the Game posted last month, you may have read about a suggestion for a new way of doing the Emotion Tracker. Essentially changing into a survey like form, this will hopefully help players submit to the tracker.

Rather than try and figure out emotion weights for threads, the new idea is to focus on the character's general state at the time the survey goes up. It still uses the rating system, but you can think of the rating for your character generally instead of a specific thread each time. Like an emotional report card! You can use threads as the focus instead, and there is a text box to include that. You could also submit multiple times if you choose to continue using the original scheme. But for those who get confused about that method, this should be a little easier to grasp.

Slip has graciously volunteered and has already designed a prototype. We'd like for everyone to just randomly input data here. The results are spit out here, although you guys won't have to worry about the responses. The structure of the ET will remain the same as the original. (It will also be restructured for better reading but haven't had time for that quite yet.)

You can make up data, it's cool, this is mostly to try out. With any needed tweaks, we'll use this for the upcoming excursions and Selenium event for a small scale run. If the majority approve of it, then we'll make it official starting February.

Our thinking is if we switch over to this survey type form, we would ask players to fill it out at minimum three times a month: beginning, mid, and during AC. Any other times would be during events. We'll also be able to modify the survey as needed to fit the needs, but the current setup would be the baseline default.

Feel free to give any and all feedback here.


» ADMINISTRATION CHANGES


As we mentioned in an earlier announcement, Dragon is no longer part of the mod team and Kat has taken his place as Thras. Ryoko and Bella are now considered as assistant mods with me, Laena, remaining as the head mod. We are currently not looking for any new mods.

In addition, volunteers from the NPC group are now part of the game's plot development team. Basically, all plot and story development is now being discussed with the NPC group because their characters are heavily involved in it and it just makes sense to include them. This "think tank" is not a mod team. It's a giant idea fountain and they will make no other game decisions asides from plot direction.

So that's just a little heads up about organization changes.


» STATE OF THE GAME PRE FOLLOW-UP


I had initially planned on posting a follow-up earlier this week, but Sosyne decided to crash my desk. But for those who responded to the previous State of the Game post, I am very happy and grateful to have received all of your feedback! As you can see, we're already working on implementing a suggested change there. You are more than welcome to continue commenting on there, but I have some additional questions I'd like to ask everyone. Answers given will be added to the follow-up post later this week.

  • Completed Crystals. This is actually a 3-part question, so here we go:

    1. Part 1: Perceived use. We all know that completed crystals are useful in the game, but we haven't really done that much with them. They originally had a much more significance use, but that has fallen to wayside and just fundamentally changed as the game developed. Therefore, I'd like to ask you guys what you would like to see out of these things—if anything at all. We have ideas but I'd like to hear from you guys first.

    2. Part 2: The whole going home thing. As a lot are probably aware, completed crystals were the original goals and tickets home. This was created at the game's conception to help give something for characters to work for in case the game wound up being too jam jar slice-of-life. It was also designed in a way that even if they have the option, characters could still choose to remain in the game or even return back after a short period of time with timey wimey shenanigans. Turns out, that actually hasn't been much of a goal, or at least not actively sought. There are a plethora of reasons for this, with us being at fault for not helping spur that along. But as it is currently, when a character delivers or gives up their crystal to an Arehtei, they will receive a vision of home with it becoming progressively realistic. The initial goal was for characters and players to realize that a connection was being made there. However, due to the low frequency and us being too vague, that didn't really surface until much, much later in the game's lifespan, making it kind of awkward. We do wish for there to be a concrete means for characters to return home and for a way for them to devise one. We've also come up with far more interesting alternatives for this to happen. But I am very open to everyone's thoughts about the 1) prospect of their character's being able to voluntarily leave without it being endgame; 2) suggestions on how to do so or promote it if that is desired.

    3. Part 3: Tracking crystals. This all leads into the whole tracking when a crystal is completed. While initially it was to help with the whole "going home" thing, it was also to be useful for players to know whether their character had one for other uses. Again, there are other uses for completed crystals, of which will be explored in the very near future. But even so, we're at a point where it's probably become unnecessary to try to keep track and keep restrictions on it. All restrictions were to prevent a character from suddenly having 10 crystals in a month (exaggeration of course), but I'm starting to think a simple check-in rather than trying to fill in proof requirements would be much easier. If we keep track at all. In a way it would be handy to have for organizational purposes, but it's hard to really gauge if it's necessary at this moment. So I would like to hear thoughts on this, especially from the veterans.

I swear I had another question, but I can't remember what it was. If I do, I'll throw it on the follow-up. But the crystals are definitely another element of the game that I'd like to iron out.

Throw your answers here!


» UPCOMING EXCURSION


As mentioned in the last mod post, there will be at least one excursion. Fuller details will be disclosed closer to date, but here are a few things we can say:

  • Classification: Closed Mini Event. This is actually a tough call as we do not want to throw two events at the game in one month, but the things to be found and done will have more plot relevancy than previous excursions. In addition, once in you can leave but not come back. So to be safe, we're calling it an opt-in mini event.

  • Time: 1/18-1/22. A long trip, and again characters can leave but cannot join again. Characters can only arrive with the original group, so they will need to be there ICly on the 18th. Of course, OOCly you can tag in whenever and can continue threading even past the end date. For IC purposes, everyone will return around the 22nd.

  • Location: somewhere in Simpathis's domain. Although not the exact same connection, it is one that was found thanks to a group of adventurers who went down and found some mines in that domain. More specifics and clues about the actual area will be given later.

  • About: the past. This is actually going to be related to Selenium, so this will tie into revelations about the past and the place itself. While there will be a couple of "fetch" quests, a lot of the tasks that will be assigned will actually be designed to help discover things and be more interactive with the environment. It'll be a lot less "observational" and more exploratory and needing to get a goal accomplished. Finally, what happens here will affect future outcomes—maybe even Verens itself.

Hopefully that's enough of a teaser to garner some player interest. That said, as always we're always open for feedback, so if there's an idea or something you think this would be a good opportunity to tackle, let us know! Who knows, maybe you're already on the right track...


» SELENIUM


We are still in the works, but Selenium will hopefully be a bit different this year. There will be death and memories, but it won't be executed the same way. Especially now that we have Shaarnath and Theasthai.

Until then, however, the local Verenthian residents are and will carry on their usual traditions, so expect those still happening. Candles, memory petals, memoirs, and families beginning to do their own traditional grieving and remembrance. There will also be more gatherings around the Tree of Memories as individuals take advantage of the memories the petals have to offer.

The date for the event is currently set to January 27 and to run all the way through January 31. We may shorten this as we get closer to date, but this is what it looks like for now.


------------------------

That's it for now! If you have any questions, concerns, or want things clarified, please comment to this entry.
malignans: oh sorry, giogio. you fell out of frame. OH WELL... (GIORNO ☥ into this selfie shit)

[personal profile] malignans 2017-01-03 12:06 am (UTC)(link)
hello! before i ask my question, i wanted to let you know that i didn't participate in the feedback thingy last month because i felt like i have not been in the game really long enough to provide meaningful feedback. i did try digging to find all the potentially relevant threads to avoid asking a question that might already have an explanation, but i may have missed it. so i apologize if this has already been explained once elsewhere!

that being said, i was wondering if you could explain a little more about the 3x per month minimum piece of the modifications in terms of reasoning behind the frequency, what minimum really means (read: making this a mandatory player responsibility or does that just mean mods will nudge players about it 3x per month at a minimum?), and what it would look like in terms of its delivery/reminders of it for players.

thanks!
malignans: it's sookie stackhouse #84329874 (SMILE ☥ hell yeah my new book came)

[personal profile] malignans 2017-01-04 12:43 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you for the response! Unfortunately, I am not really certain this is answering my question. I apologize for being unclear and would like to clarify.

I am referring specifically to this portion:
Our thinking is if we switch over to this survey type form, we would ask players to fill it out at minimum three times a month: beginning, mid, and during AC. Any other times would be during events.

If that is connected to crystal completion, I apologize. It was not clear to me from the context of that section of this post, and I hope you do not mind providing me with a little more clarification about how those two things connect. How I interpreted that piece was a statement that filling out the survey might be a responsibility akin to filling out AC each month, only there was a minimum of 3x a month. In that case, my questions about frequency were more from a pragmatic standpoint about players being required (on a mandatory basis?) to fill out a survey 3x a month at a minimum as part of regular player responsibilities.

Thank you!
justpastdawn: (It goes straight to my brain)

[personal profile] justpastdawn 2017-01-02 12:20 am (UTC)(link)
My first thought is that you'd mentioned that as plot gets more serious, we may occasionally skip a month now and again as far as open apps go, and we'd talked about characters noticing the change ICly and not knowing what to make of it. Maybe, if you do go ahead with that, it could be linked to this idea of characters going home on purpose somehow. As in -- the world itself is what draws people in. It's comfortable enough that it doesn't feel a need to pull in fresh Otherworlders every month anymore. So, maybe it's also willing to start giving the option of going home, provided that it's pleased with your emotional contribution. But, maybe it only works if you're between crystals and don't have a new one yet, something like that.

As to whether it should be permitted in the first place, I honestly have no horse in this race. In my case it would actually be reassuring ICly, because Kevin would start thinking that maybe it meant Empatheias won't send him home on purpose at all, and it really is his choice to stay. On the other hand, there are plenty of characters here who ICly just want to get home, and having that as an actual goal would change the narrative for them -- in order to keep them in game they'd have to find ways to keep breaking the crystal and dealing with the frustration or somehow find other reasons for them to stay, etc. I can see some players not wanting to give their characters the choice.

Maybe it works for some characters and not for others? It wouldn't decrease character frustration even the slightest little bit, but it'd keep them in game. Eh.
justpastdawn: (Sigh)

[personal profile] justpastdawn 2017-01-02 01:52 am (UTC)(link)
Yeah, that was always the impression I had. What I mean is -- say you have a character who really, really wants to go home. There are several of those in game, from what I understand. As soon as their amulet is full, they take that option. ...okay, great, so now if you want to play in the game you basically need to start over again with a different character, or to have made up some valid IC reason why they either wouldn't choose to go, or would choose to come back.

While I'd be the first to say that it's not like it's impossible to come up with ways to prevent a character from going "I'm outtie" and that's that once they're given the opportunity, it will make things a little more difficult for those who are relying on the whole "oops you're trapped here and you have no choice in the matter, sorry" thing to keep their characters in game. Again, it wouldn't affect me, so maybe I'm overestimating how much trouble it'd cause for people. But it's the major problem I can think of with giving us that option.
gottacatch: (ocean man)

[personal profile] gottacatch 2017-01-02 02:18 am (UTC)(link)
Hope you don't mind me coming in here, but could it be that the crystal that would be their ticket home actually has some noticeable difference to it, that can show up at any point on the crystal, which would allow a player to let their character to own such a crystal, but also choose whether or not they get it either?

Ultimately it will still need to be filled for it to work, and maybe it only shows once it's filled (or sometimes it's faulty and sends people back when it shows up randomly and there's the reason people go home who wouldn't want to go home), but allows people to play with this part of the game if it works for them than to have to say that their crystals are taking five hundred years to complete.
gottacatch: (pokket mons)

[personal profile] gottacatch 2017-01-04 02:24 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh yes, I understand! That remark was more on how characters have returned home (as in, been dropped) who might've expressed a wish to stay. Just that, their crystals, despite the usual requirements, bugged out anyway and sent them home.

You may already have an explanation for that! But that was just my thought at the time.
barredheart: (35 but you can change the atmosphere)

[personal profile] barredheart 2017-01-03 09:05 am (UTC)(link)
re: perceived use! i think it'd be interesting to be able to use them to locate different arehtei-based lands, since that's the kind of direction the game is going at the moment -- they can have different uses as time goes on, keep a flexibility in with it, but i think it'd be interesting for the time right now! even the natives can join in with their simpathis-aligned crystals if it gets to that point

(and to open things like they did in that cavern that one of the groups went to with the mechanical creature and the broken statue that had a claw left over. that one. white was part of it that's how i remember this)
feistytrader: (listening in)

[personal profile] feistytrader 2017-01-03 09:12 am (UTC)(link)
I'm not sure that being able to voluntarily leave in of itself is a very good idea, because there are just too many character types that would take that opportunity immediately. I definitely like the idea of the crystals being able to temporarily take us home, however- and having it be a more temporary thing could possibly be a more gradual build up to go with what we've gotten so far regarding the crystals.

Some things that would be interesting if this take for the crystals was taken would be using it as a regain mechanic (if you turn in a crystal you can go home and bring back certain things with you or the crystal can summon items from home if you focus on them or something, with mod approval of course,) or a hiatus mechanic (hey I need to take a hiatus for a week, my character's going home in the meantime.) It would also be interesting if people could bring other characters to their respective worlds (possibly with multiple crystals?) because then it's still encouraging IC interaction despite your character being elsewhere.

Ultimately I don't really have strong feelings about how it's set up and how it works, as long as the crystals don't make people jump through hoops to keep their characters in the setting. I just had a few ideas and figured I'd throw them out there.
gottacatch: (emotions don't move)

[personal profile] gottacatch 2017-01-05 06:45 pm (UTC)(link)
I don't have too much to add, but I did want to say that I do like the idea of keeping track of the crystals, whether you make the form simpler or keep it as it is. If a person cares about the crystal and/or having their character fill it, you can either submit with your ET or go for the auto route, and it gives you a good timeframe to have it happen.

Though, I'm also interested to see what can be done with them in the future, or what you're willing to elaborate for on their use (I did see the note about this above). I know that crystals can be used as a power source in technology, but I've also personally been interested to see if they can be used on the environment on a grander scale, or with an Arehtei (of that alignment) to influence a change. Or if they're kept in mind alongside with the ET at all, or if that has no bearing on how an Arehtei "is", and is nothing more than a power dump.