The Elephant in the Room

We will file suggestions here that did not make the cut. Don't expect detailed responses, but the most common reasons are:
- implementing the suggestion is impractical, or too much work for the gain
- the suggestion is thematically against our design philosophy
- the suggestion is too detailed/low-level
Keep your suggestions broad and focused on RP benefits, please, not detailed suggestions of how to tweak X class.

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Babylon System is the Vampire
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Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2019 10:14 am

The Elephant in the Room

Post by Babylon System is the Vampire » Fri Sep 20, 2019 8:40 pm

While this post was inspired by the conversation in the -loosexp thread, its a completely different topic so I thought it deserved its own space. Here's hoping that this conversation can be a bit more civil.

I want to start by saying every time I read an Irongron post I think "this dude gets what an rp server is." It's not that I agree with every change he's ever made or every opinion he has, its just obvious that he has a vision that is more in line with what a traditional RP server is as compared to what Arelith is in reality. Whenever I get bummed out about Arelith, its always a post by him that inspires me to play again. That said, however, I am unfortunately beginning to think that no matter what he wants its never even going to come close to fruition. While there are a couple of things that got me there, some fixable some likely not, the elephant in the room is the Arelith Discord.

Now, I'm not a discord hater, and actually think a bit of ooc contact is a good thing for the overall health of the game. I also believe that 95% of the people in the arelith discord are good and decent people that do right by the server no matter what their personal play style is. Lastly I know that the discord server has always been and continues to be player run, even though dms have become more and more present there over the three years that I have been playing Arelith. But to a new player, especially because of the growing DM presence, seeing that distinction is not as easy. And that's where the problems start to Fester. Announcements by the Dev team are often linked with snarky comments by the people who run the discord before things even have a day to play out. Power building with a heavy focus on being a pvp wrecking ball is not only promoted but anyone who tries to say anything different then this line of thought is often shunned and called an idiot by the moderators (more on this later). Flagrant disrespect for the people who put work into this server runs so rampant that I am surprised that Atropos called this a new thing in a thread over in the Q&A.

Just to give some examples based on my own experience, because while I do know a fair bit of other peoples stories that relate to this they are theirs to tell, I'm going to start with my evolution as a player on Arelith. My first characters build would have been laughed at if I mentioned it in the Builds and Mechanics section of the discord because none of my stats were below ten. Its not that I don't know how to number crunch, when I first got the game way back in 2004 I quickly became one of the most feared players across multiple adventure servers with a pvp tilt. Its just that by 2005 I was bored with that being the focus of the game, and only still play NwN at all because I found out I loved RP servers and the server I played the most kept me coming back for nearly 12 years. I didn't see my character as having a low charisma, so despite it not being mechanically beneficial I made sure I had 12. Fast forward to my last character, and I have 8 wisdom and 8 charisma on a min maxed weapons master. I didn't get there on my own, it was because discord told me that's what I needed to have on arelith. If they can influence that efficiently a player with now 15 years of rp experience, in particular an admittedly stubborn and strong willed one like me, think of how a new player who comes in with this dream of playing a build that while not mechanically optimal would have been fun for them feels when they get told "that build is awful, you need to play one of these 8-10 power builds". I wish I were exaggerating with hyperbole here, but I have seen it time and time again.

Another example, I was in a spirited debate with one of the moderators about whether or not a wizard spell attacking will as a save that wasn't blocked by clarity was a good thing. I think we both had good points, and the conversation was winding down despite us both being stuck on our side of the points going forward. Out of nowhere another moderator comes in, essentially labels me an idiot that is giving bad numbers to new players (what?), and treats me like I don't even have the right to an opinion. My response was, unsurprisingly, something along the lines of someone acting like that being the moderator of anything was a joke. A statement I still fully stand by two days later. I would give exact quotes but unfortunately I was given the boot shortly after and can't access the conversation. I don't care about the boot, I talk on discord when I am procrastinating on getting work done exclusively and now I have one less chat room to get distracted by. The reason this is relevant however is because the common perception is that this discord room is the official arelith discord, and these lovely folks that are constantly berating the people who put work into Arelith and promoting min maxed pvp builds look like they are an authority on Arelith. Is it any wonder that people focus on power first rp second?

Now for the "suggestion portion" so I can wrap up this super long post. You can't do anything about -that- discord. its a player thing. I get that. You can however as a development team/dm team distance yourself from it. You can create an official discord and pick moderators that fit your vision of the server if the dms don't want to bother policing it. I suspect the change over would be rather swift for the majority of your players, and you would leave this discord server where it belongs, in the category of jaded and entitled players who think their opinions are more important then the people who actually put work into the server to make it fun.

Thanks for reading.

Scabbard Full of Beans
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Sep 20, 2019 9:18 pm

Re: The Elephant in the Room

Post by Scabbard Full of Beans » Fri Sep 20, 2019 9:19 pm

epic

Irongron
Server Owner/Creative Lead
Server Owner/Creative Lead
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Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2014 7:13 pm

Re: The Elephant in the Room

Post by Irongron » Fri Sep 20, 2019 9:52 pm

Its a brave post to make, but its a little too specific to lead to a healthy discussion. I'm sure there will be people who want to present another perspective to the incidents you have detailed.

Am I concerned about some player discords? Sure, I sometimes get forwarded some truly disturbing things from these. But, for the most part I simply stay away, and nor do I like seeing it promoted too heavily on our forums.

Nevertheless it is how games are played nowadays. Discord is a major feature in gaming now, and has been written about for its tendency for toxicity and cyberbullying at length across many publications, and in communities far larger than our own, but, well, nothing is ALL bad, and I'm not going to deny anyone their social space, and nor do I wish to control it.

There are many players who come to get immersed in their characters, and for whom such chat platforms are the anathema to playing a RPG.

The core part of your post is a suggestion of an 'Official Discord', and if it this was in the suggestion topic I would reject it. Not only because I wouldn't wish moderation on any of our team, but also because of what I said above; players need to know they can stay away from these places without missing anything - slap the title 'Official' on it, and it becomes part of what we do here.

I don't want that.

Going to lock this now, and move it to rejected suggestions.

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