1. The timeline Fires of Rebellion is ending December 14, 2019, followed by three weeks of an epilogue period for stories to conclude. The new timeline will launch on January 4, 2020.

 Other Public Rules Proposals

Discussion in 'General OOC Chat' started by Yuan, Aug 28, 2019.

  1. Sandshark

    Sandshark New Member

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    My general suggestion would be to say that mandatory character death should be abolished, and players have to mutually agree that death is an option before the RP starts.
    Official faction events should also not be mandatory death PvP, so more people will join in war events. There will still be salt if someone goes in and gambles their character on a duel with someone, thinking they'll win, and loses, but at the very least people can then participate in official PvP and fight rival factions without having someone come in and merc them because they like player-killing.

    Without there being a reward for PK seeking (that is, you eliminate people who could potentially become the same strength or rank as you, making your RPs "easier"), you wouldn't really need a hard OOC measure of character strength, you could just go by their rank or training because going into an unwinnable fight and losing to a high-level sith doesn't necessarily mean death.

    I used to be in a fantasy RP community that had a similar problem, and removing the idea of a "character death warning" and letting people choose if they wanted to escape, get captured, or get killed in fights for plot content made everything better, even though (or partially because) a handful of serial PKers left as a result.
     
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  2. Wit

    Wit Beyond Measure

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    No thread requires mandatory death, and we already have Death Disabled threads and events. All open threads are death disabled by default, and on top of that pvp threads can have a death disabled tag added to them to make it even more explicit. But making all threads death disabled would be opening another can of worms. We have experienced power creeps and stupidly over the top displays of power if the norm becomes death disabled or cPvP threads. Specially at the higher levels, character death is a required risk factor and can be a strong driver for story. The Mand’alor died recently, and the fallout from that event is creating one hell of an activity spike and really pushing the story forward.

    I have a feeling I know the fantasy site you’re talking about, I too wrote there in the past. And IMO it resulted in a lot of character and plot boarding and the story became very stale. People would grind to get high level characters and then just do nothing with them. And as you needed player consent to do anything to that character there was nothing you could do to craft a new story with that position.
     
  3. Boli

    Boli ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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    Sorry, I phrased that badly. For clarity, I don't want to tie power levels to rank. I suppose I'm more trying to ask what the benefits of having any kind of baked-in power levels are.

    From my experience at least - which, I'll grant, is a few years old at this point, so grain of salt and whatnot - but back when I was an admin, I could more or less create characters on any level I wanted to if I really wanted to push hard enough. And tbh partially because of that freedom, I haven't written a super-powerful character in aaaaaages. And maybe that just comes with time and experience, or my own personal preferences. Probably a combination of factors, if we're honest.

    But the thing is, super-powerful characters usually are pretty boring to me because they have limits on their character arcs, I guess. Less senior characters who progress and grow are far more interesting. But the moment I pitched myself against another character in a battle thread, any implied power advantage due to rank or whatever goes out the window, because writing ability and clarity always determined success in combat.

    So it didn't matter that my character had a rank advantage, because if I wrote their actions badly - which I did most of the time, because tbh I don't have much practical experience in fights - then I'd stuff something up and my opponents could exploit that.

    I guess what I'm trying to get that is that any ranking system has always felt like an illusion to me due to the way the site focuses around writing quality and clarity - that insisting any character is inherently 'just better' than another is a flawed thinking in itself and kind of a trap.

    But I say that as someone who hasn't really been around the site for this era of levels, so I honestly can't say whether or not this system has been useful or successful, so this is just my uneducated opinion. Any insight into how useful or successful the current system is would help me understand the situation better at this point.
     
  4. Sandshark

    Sandshark New Member

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    That seems like a different place. We didn't even have power levels, and people self-policed in-character power pretty well. If someone was acting way out of line they'd get reported to a story mod and ignored.

    Anyway I can't see the reason why you would become a faction leader and then abandon your post and not do anything. Wouldn't your faction players complain about it? It seems like the admins would just remove them from their position and make it a plot point if someone was acting in bad faith like that. Also, wouldn't that be the case now too? Someone could become faction leader and then never do PvP again to be head forever.
     
  5. Brandon Rhea

    Brandon Rhea Site Owner Site Owner

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    My preference is to de-couple rank and power from level. To me the leveling system is best used for your influence. You could create a character who, in your opinion, is the best bounty hunter in the world. But at level 1, no one's heard of you. So I like the idea that the leveling system can be a structure and guide for how you build your plots and grow your characters. And I like the idea of skipping ahead from like level 1 to level 4 (or whatever we call the top tier) based on what you're able to do in the RP. You shouldn't have to go level to level. If you're a level 1 and you kill the Emperor, guess what? You're the Emperor now and everyone knows your name.
     
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  6. Boli

    Boli ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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    I feel like 'reputation' would be a cool thing to have as a part of character sheets. Like, a Rep 1 character will be literally unheard of, a Luke Skywalker on Tatooine thing, whereas a Rank 5, let's say, would be Supreme Chancellor, or a Holonet star, or a Boba Fett.

    However, that being said, this actually comes close to a concept that I had for character sheets I shared with Bac a week or so ago, where I was going to play around with a slightly more literary 'Reputation/Reactions' section on character profiles that provided cues for how different people or group would or could react to your presence. So you wouldn't have to read every RP thread in order to understand if a character's reputation preceded them - you could simply look at their character sheet, scroll down to the Reputation/Reactions section and go 'okay, so this Jedi is a bookish, librarian type and rarely is seen in public, so they're relatively unknown. However, that other Jedi they're talking with is known across the galaxy for saving that planet of adorable kittens and puppies from that Cruella De Ville planet. Too bad my character is a furrier and he put them out of business with his heroics, so I'm not going to like him even before I've spoken to him.'

    So, with that being said, I don't think reputation is necessarily an idea that needs to be tied to any kind of level or rank system.I feel like it could more be something less rigidly defined that is instead moderated by the character mods.
     
  7. Sandshark

    Sandshark New Member

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    I've been looking over the NPC faction rules, and I think it might be better if there was a different system for determining allegiance. The first past the post system is reasonable to some extent, but the goalpost (100 points) is incredibly high given the amount of actual interaction there seems to be with the system itself. Since June of this year the highest anyone has scored is 24 points, which doesn't even crack 25% completion on the bar. I greatly suspect that no faction will become allied to a system-holding minor by the end of this timeline, and that's a bit of a shame.

    If competitive scoring systems are going to remain in the rules for the future, then I suggest lowering the initial post for faction alliances to 25 and allowing other factions to usurp control if they curry more favor (by gaining more points than the top scorer).

    In line with @Brandon Rhea's point about changing the level system, I think it could also be interesting to give independent faction players the chance to act as the spokespersons or board members of various NPC factions if they serve them exceptionally well. Right now, since you need to be posting level 4 to apply for a leadership position, no territory-holding independent faction that I know of has a player beyond the base rank.

    Even if the outcome of player negotiations for, say, Czerka Corp. still had to be approved by "the Czerka Board of Trustees" (aka the story mods), having a player-character cutting the deals and working diplomacy would make them a more lively area of RP. It would also potentially open the doors for indie-faction reps to organize mission packs and DM plots for main faction members to gain faction rep, thus streamlining that system.
     
  8. Ecclessey

    Ecclessey Active Member

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    So, quick response here.

    We've had more competitive scoring events similar to this one and they usually saw more involvement. Summers are well-known to create a bit of an RP-slur and we all know a new timeline 'is coming' so that could also explain the low scoring this time around.

    What I would enjoy is these radiant missions to become a permanent feature. For example, I decide to repost the 'Sector Rangers' next timeline and in the write-up I include radiant missions like "apprehend criminal in the Outer Rim" and offer a modest AT reward after successfully completing 5 of these missions. The player would still have to do the effort of RPing to get Advanced Tech, but without necessarily having to submit a specific plot for it.

    Thus, while @Sandshark proposes to lower the point limit, I'd rather see said limit disappear. Use them as 'Faction Rewards' for the independent characters (rewards themselves still subject to review by moderators).

    If one wants to rank-up in an independent faction they can complete a minimum amount of these radiant missions (and do a plot modeled around the amount of influence one is aiming to acquire)
     
  9. Boli

    Boli ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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    Er, I feel like a bit of a dunce asking, but where actually are the rules governing independant and NPC factions located? I cant seem to find them. >.<
     
  10. Sandshark

    Sandshark New Member

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    I totally like that idea. I was only thinking about the allegiance system because (IMO) I think they do a good job of complicating galactic territory and could give major factions a reason to have to cut deals with indies to get territory.
     
  11. Dread

    Dread Backend Admin Backend Administrator

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  12. Boli

    Boli ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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    Thanks!

    Reading over the rules for independent factions, I do have to say that I feel like they're....I suppose unnecessarily restrictive at best, and downright stifling at worst. Though I can only base that on my own interpretation of the rules - in practice, they may function more flexibly than they read, but to me I look at them and wonder why anyone would ever even try to create their own faction.

    Given that there's currently only one PC faction in the approved section, I feel like that alone is reason enough to re-assess the restrictions and requirements imposed on them. I've literally never seen that before.

    I want to refer back to the post by @Malon about accurately playing within your role - which really should be a cardinal rule of the site and should actually be a written and stated rule on which rulings by staff members can hinge IMHO - but I think that sort of guiding logic should be how independent factions are approved. Do they have a clear, defined role? Do they make sense? Do they have a modus operandi that member players can be expected to uphold (and thereby, staff can expect the characters to behave?) and so on.

    That being said, I think catch-all NPC factions - with different arms or branches governing all possible aspects - shouldn't be a thing, or should be severely restricted. I think smaller factions need to have a clear angle and direction. For example a privateer/merc group having a monastic Force Order is kind of silly an counter-intuitive - they should just be a merc group. A tech empire shouldn't be able to field an army - a security force isn't a paramilitary group, and so on. Narrowing the focus of the faction helps give it direction. And obviously there would be stated rules about the ramifications of the abuse of role and grabbing too much power unrealistically and so on.

    But I kinda think we need to go back to 'Do you have a cool idea? Does it have a niche in the story? Do you have enough players who are also willing to get involved? Then go ahead, have fun!', at least in spirit.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2019
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  13. Die Shize

    Die Shize The Drifter

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    There’s this alternative system to ‘T1 PVP’ (quoted because this seems to be the general norm for sitewide PVP) and dice rolls.

    I for one love T1. I danced in this PVP system before I even knew that it was called T1. It is my default PVP choice. Then I dabbled in dice. Eh, overall I prefer rolling dice in real life but it was satisfyingly surprising when I rolled them virtually in roleplay, from PVP to general storytelling.

    There has been some stellar discussion in this thread thus far on how to settle certain IC conflict, such as PVP duels, and one way to do this might be a system called ‘LBS’. Neither ‘T1’ nor ‘dice’.

    There are other names for it but, for the sake of simplicity, LBS is “Load, Block, Shoot”. The theory is that two or more combatants are involved in combat with one another. Another party is uninvolved. That party, the ‘judge’, is who the others individually PM with one action per turn: “Load”, “Block”, “Shoot”.

    Each round, a combatant may perform only one of those three actions. A combatant ‘loads’ their weapon in order to attack with it, blocks the attack of another combatant, or attacks. There are gauges and parameters, such as attacking weakly without ‘loading’ or having a cap of how many times you can block, like maybe only three times every five rounds, etc. All based on a chosen ruleset; nothing universally strict across the Internet or whatsuch.

    Kinda like Rock, Paper, Scissors. At some point, the judge (who the PMs go to) publicly posts the outcomes in, say, an OOC thread, and the two or more opposing parties acknowledge the other’s actions, and they are applied in the IC narrative—immediately or down the road.

    Granted, this can all be expanded in more detail, but the gist is that such a system allows for narrative storytelling alongside a degree of ‘chance’ insofar as you can only try to predict what your opponent might choose (‘load’, ‘block’, ‘shoot’), without the total probability of RNG/dice.

    I wanted to kinda skeleton-suggest this system given the PVP focus of SWRP and the related discussions thus far in this thread. Hopefully this is not redundant input. Personally, I was once a judge for LBS, not a participating combatant, but both the judging and the match were quite fun!

    I thoroughly enjoy competitive combat, but LBS offers some collaborative combat interwoven, because you are agreeing to three absolute outcomes as you compete and can overall apply the OOC choices IC at your discretion. It can be like collaborating on a story until one of you finally decides to apply your LBS choices and then you both interchange them IC, with the neutral ‘Judge’ ensuring fairness.

    Again, explanations can be expanded on, but I just wanted to try to throw something out there for alternative PVP system. I’m not the best with words but I try lolz
     
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  14. Yuan

    Yuan Dominuce of Megadeuce

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    I'm curious if we have a release date yet?

    I'm not a mod, so I don't know what stage of readiness we are at right now with the new system and all the changes. I'm sure everyone on staff has been working hard on it, and I don't mean to rush anyone. I'm just saying, if we are ready or are going to be ready soon, I think that we should probably roll out at least 1 week before the new movie is released. I know @Brandon Rhea was saying that he wanted to time the release close to the new movie, which is only about 20 days away, but I think shifting to the new TL on the day of the movie release could be folly. Most potential new members (and most of us old members I bet) will be flocking to the theaters on those 2-3 nights of the opening weekend, so we may see a brief slow-down on the site. Also, we probably want to make sure everything is up and running and moving smoothly before the potential rush of new members comes in. Also, it kind of feels like we are already seeing a number of new members coming in, and making characters and learning our rules and systems... I feel kind of bad that we are about to make them restart their chars and change the rules on them...

    But again, not trying to rush anyone. We appreciate all of the staff's work, and I hope that they are not stressing about it. I'm simply saying if it is ready or about ready, might want to think about setting the date a little earlier than the movie release date.

    Also, if I can help with anything, please let me know!
     
  15. Boli

    Boli ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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    Basing this off my own experience, but usually before a new timeline goes live, there's an announcement about what it is, what time period its set in, as well as a few other things to allow for the current timeline to be wrapped up and whatnot.

    I could be completely wrong, but I think especially given that Rise of Skywalker is probably going to be having a major impact on the Star Wars universe in terms of information and lore, it's probably going to take a while to sort that out as well.

    So I wouldn't expect the new timeline to go live until early next year at the soonest. But that's just my estimate.
     
  16. Sreeya

    Sreeya The Devil/Site Co-Owner and Manager Site Owner

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    We're pretty seasoned when it comes to timeline releases after having done it since 2005. Trust us when we say we have this covered. It'll happen with the least bit of disruption and problem for members and with plenty of lead in and warning. :)
     
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  17. Boli

    Boli ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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    Since the timeline's coming to an end pretty soon, and then there'll be the transition period between then and the next timeline starting up, I just want to take a moment to sort of.....address more broadly my general thoughts in terms of the site philosophy around the RP and rules.

    Basically I just want to take a moment to broadly talk about where I would ideally like to see the rules and the RP head in future. Because tbh I do think that the broader site philosophy, and questions of 'what kind of RP do we want to occur, and how do we want to govern it?' are important questions to ask at a crucial moment like this.

    Now, obviously part of me is always going to long for the way things were back when I was more active on the site. That's probably a given, but it's worth recognising, even if just for myself, that part of me is probably always going to be at least somewhat coloured by my own history with the site and preferring the more collaborative, writing-based and often informal RP and moderation that the site was founded on way back when. But it's also important to recognise that that kind of system had its flaws too - after all, the shift away from that kind of structure wasn't purely ideological in nature, there were very good reasons for many changes that have been made to the site.

    In saying that, though, I can't help but feel that things have gone too far in the opposite direction. For a site that was probably too informal at times, now I think things are too rigid. For example, it feels like (and I'm not saying this is or isn't the case, but just how it feels to me) it's very difficult to just join the site, post a character, and get into an RP. For a more specific example, I think that getting 'into' the RP flowed better before character profiles required approval, and I think the community engagement to help moderate profiles and even have discussions in the profile section was a great way at breaking the ice, making new connections and even just getting general hints and tips on how to improve. So I feel like the current profile approval system kind of loses that.

    Something I said in one of my previous posts keeps sort of coming back to me:

    And I feel like a number of things that currently require manually approval could do with that kind of more relaxed and permissive attitude in general.

    Also, I kind of think - though I'm still trying to figure out how to word this as I type it - that Levels are probably the biggest thing I keep coming back to when I think about what should be loosened up on the site. Partially because, to me, they're something of a keystone system from which many others flow, but also because I feel they sort of represent part of that broader site culture in the RP.

    Now, before I dive into this, a disclaimer: tbh, I think that power levels are kind of bogus, and any kind of character interaction that hinges on OOCly telling the person you're interacting with 'My character's just better than you because I outrank/outlevel/am more powerful than you' is a bad argument to begin with. So I don't like arbitrary power levels really at all. And maybe that's all that my issue with the level system boils down to - a dislike of some forced hierarchy in the RP that doesn't rely on the RP itself.

    And maybe suggesting that letting your writing and RPing do the talking rather than insisting on power level or ranks is a bit naive. But I came up in an RP system that preached that one's writing ability should be the ultimate determinating factor in their character's failure or success. And granted, the site didn't always walk the walk on that front, but it's still a philosophy that's kind of stuck with me.

    Now, does that mean that I think that a Jedi Padawan should be able to take on the Dark Lord of the Sith and beat them with brute strength alone? Well, it's kind of tricky. The short answer is 'yes, with a but'.

    The longer answer is that I think that if that person writes exceptionally well - if they are clever, and cunning, and strategise successfully and write their posts well enough (but not deceptively), then....yeah, they should be able to pull off those Obi-Wan vs Darth Maul, Luke vs Vader, Rey vs Kylo Ren heroics. And I don't think they should be shut down by arbitrary restrictions based on Level, postcount or reputation.

    However, if they do so by writing a post about how they summoned more Force Lightning than the Sith ever could, or if they tapped momentarily into the Dark Side and it *empowered* them to overcome a Sith master, or anything absurd like that, then.....no, they shouldn't be able to win, because they're not writing appropriate to their role.

    And, I'm sorry to keep harping on about this, but Malon's idea about making sure players are writing their characters appropriate to their roles? That's the kind of elegant, cardinal rule that you can use to govern whole swaths of the site without requiring manual approval, or power levels, or Force Power restrictions or anything like that.

    Any moderator could come in, say that using the Dark Side as an arbitrary power boost to overpower a Sith Lord isn't writing appropriate to the character role of the Jedi Padawan in question. Now, if you wrote something deeper about the temptations of the Dark Side, of fueling your strikes with anger, of feeling that rush of bloodlust and adrenaline in a way that was story appropriate without resorting to a cheesy gimmick to win, then you could continue to write the fight, and maybe even find an opening to win.

    But I personally think that that's a much more appropriate way to handle storylines and conflicts than arbitrarily telling players they have an inherent advantage or disadvantage. So I feel really strongly about, at the very least, minimising the influence of levels over the RP itself. And that flows on to stuff like Force Powers and even tech as well - if its role and character appropriate for your character to carry that extra blaster, then....whatever, fine. Go for it. If its appropriate in a story for your fledgling Force User to use a highly advanced power, and you write it well enough that it makes sense and isn't unreasonable, excessive or a bald-faced attempt at pushing an instant 'i win' button, then....again, go for it.

    And I genuinely, genuinely think that applying that rule about writing and behaving appropriately to your character and their role, should form a sort of cardinal guiding rule for the site. It should be a guiding, core philosophy moving forward. That's how strongly I believe in it. And I genuinely believe that if we used that kind of philosophy in conjunction with reducing the frequency or likelihood of sudden deaths (like my proposal a couple of pages ago, or something along those lines where there are outcomes to losing a fight that don't necessarily result in death or capture, and advocate communication between both parties), then we could very well be looking at a more open, freeform and writing-focused RP.

    And like I said at the start, that's definitely where my own preferences lie, of course. And not everyone may agree that that's the best way for the RP to run. But I guess that that's just where I'd like to see things headed. And again, maybe it's a bit naive of me. But I think there is real merit in doing so - not just for the RP, but for the site community, and even the longevity and fun factor as well.
     
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