Rules Overhaul and Timeline Change

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by Brandon Rhea, Aug 4, 2019.

  1. Brandon Rhea

    Brandon Rhea Site Owner Site Owner

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    Hi everyone,

    In the last week of being more involved in the site, I’ve gotten up to speed on the state of the timeline and the state of the site through conversations with staff, reviewing the site survey results, and conducting a staff survey for admins and mods to give me their feedback on what’s working and what’s not.

    After doing so, I have come to a decision that I want to talk to you all about today.

    We are canceling the previously-announced time skip, kicking off a review and revamp of the site’s rules and systems to make them more user-friendly, and, by December, launching a brand new timeline in lieu of a time skip.

    Before getting into the plan, I want to first address my reasons for deciding to cancel the time skip and bring some transparency to what the planning of it has looked like so far:
    • First and foremost, I’ve found a staff team that’s pretty burned out by the current timeline. That echoes what I’ve seen from a lot of members as well. Although people are always attached to their characters, there doesn’t seem to be much drive to continue an overall site storyline for this timeline. The setting feels uninspired, and a 10 year time skip to the same era won’t change that.
    • The time skip was largely the brainchild of one admin and, because of burnout with the timeline, not many admins or mods have been involved in planning for it. The intention was to launch it by August 31st, but the staff has been largely unengaged with the process of planning it. That reflects the lack of drive to continue this timeline.
    • The premise with the Mind Invaders would have required extensive staff involvement in order to drive that plot, which won’t work with a staff that’s burned out on this timeline. I also don’t think the plot would have energized the community enough to fix the burnout currently in the timeline.
    • Time skips rarely work, in my experience. Quite often they become last-ditch efforts to resuscitate a stagnating timeline and, after an initial burst of activity, the status quo of burnout is restored and we inevitably change the timeline not long after.
    • Survey feedback from users and staff alike tells me that the site is too rules heavy, and that we added rule after rule to address one off problems to the point that the site is now bogged down in them. The site clearly needs an overhaul in terms of rules, and the current schedule for the time skip (only 28 days from now) is not enough time to really overhaul the site.
    Once the decision was made to cancel the time skip for those reasons, I crafted a multi-step plan in order to address the rule issues and ultimately bring us to a timeline change. This plan is meant to be done in collaboration between staff and members alike.
    • Step One. Cancel the time skip and announce this commencement of a site overhaul. Between now and whenever the timeline change is, I encourage you to continue RPing your characters and pursue plots. We will also create site events to help keep activity going. It will be several more months until the timeline change, so you have plenty of time to keep playing your characters.
    • Step Two. Commence a review of site rules and systems. This will be done independently of planning the story for the timeline change. The intention is to build an Operating System, for lack of a better term, that any story can be applied to. We will strive to create a ruleset that can have tweaks and amendments here and there, but should largely be stable for the foreseeable future and support any timelines we have moving forward.
    • Step Three. Collaborate with members and staff to create the story of the next timeline and launch it prior to the release of The Rise of Skywalker. The goal will be to create a timeline that fits into the site’s canon but allows for easier access to storytelling. This means it will be less reliant on new members being Star Wars experts. We’ll also be looking at what made previously successful timelines work well and see if there are themes that we can replicate. Between an accessible and compelling storyline and a less complicated ruleset, anyone should be able to jump in.
    I know this announcement will lead to several questions — chief among them will be "What rules are changing?" and "What will the new timeline be?" — but these questions don’t have answers yet. This announcement is a declaration of intent, rather than a comprehensive overview, because we want you to know what we’ll be working on and what our general thinking is behind making these decisions.

    However, I’ll do my best to answer any questions you have now.
     
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  2. Yuan

    Yuan Dominuce of Megadeuce

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    Would it be possible to incorporate some system to carry over our earnings, or some of them, to the new timeline? I understand the new timeline will need new characters, but couldn't we carry over our credits? Some of us only have so much time to RP in RL. I'm not trying to moan, but I work roughly 60 hours a week. I love Rping here, but it takes time for me to advance my characters. With the current TL having been so short, I'm just now reaching the point where my characters can start putting stuff together and possibly making a splash in the TL. I had just started putting together a new Organization and had 7 other members on board and excited to get it going. I was told that there wouldn't be any new org approvals until after the time skip, so we were biding our time and waiting patiently in excitement. Now it turns out the plan is to scrap everything and go back to square 1. I understand the reasons for this and I don't disagree with you. However it is extremely disheartening for myself and my fellows to suddenly have all the wind taken out of our sails. If all of our characters are going back to zero, we will have to do all the work it took us to get here all over again before we can even get back to where we are right now. So my question is, can we carry over our exp from this TL to the new one or at least half or so, so that it doesn't take us as long to get back to where we are? Or if the rules are changing, can the requirements for organizing a new group/faction be considered for changing and made so that we can start an org at an earlier stage in character development?
     
  3. Taz

    Taz Active Member

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    Will the next timeline be a continuation of the "site story" the way that this TL was of the last TL. Thus the events and stories of this TL will influence the next ?
     
  4. Brandon Rhea

    Brandon Rhea Site Owner Site Owner

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    Generally, new timelines means that everyone starts over since it's the beginning of a brand new story. Like any story, there's always a beginning before anything or anyone really takes off.

    However, I can't say definitively one way or another if people can or can't have anything carry over. Under the current rules, the answer would be no - but with a rule overhaul, there's no way of knowing just yet. It's something we can consider.

    It will fit into the site's canon. Whether it's a direct continuation where impacts are felt depends entirely on the setting. We could go forward in time, but there's also the option of going backward in time. That's all very TBD.
     
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  5. Taz

    Taz Active Member

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    @Yuan , 5-6 months is a good long time to RP. With the cancellation of the Skip I would reapply for your sub faction. Have 6 months of fun and if the TL is a forward leap, have your group reinvent itself in that new time. (Just my two cents)
     
  6. Yuan

    Yuan Dominuce of Megadeuce

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    That is an interesting idea. If the org could be formed now and survive the new TL under NPC control, and then our new characters could join up and work to retake control of the group. But I'm not sure if that would fly (@Brandon Rhea) because I think last TL shift, nothing survived aside from the main factions, and even some of them got new coats of paint or completely overhauled.
     
  7. Nor'baal

    Nor'baal That guy who RPed Hutts all the time.

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    So, like many members I assume, I'd planned on waiting out until the new TS. However, as we're cancelling it, and - well, this is a members driven sight - I'll dive back in early, and do my bit to help is cruise out in style.

    New (criminal obviously) character on the way this week, and then a good number of plots to follow!

    PS: hia brenden.
     
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  8. Brandon Rhea

    Brandon Rhea Site Owner Site Owner

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    Couldn't say yes or no one way or another at this point, given the pending rule review.

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. Gamov

    Gamov That Guy

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    Just adding my two cents, but I'm quite relieved to see the time skip will be scrapped in favor a new timeline. Having been away for some time, I was planning to get back into things after the time skip, but I still had my reservations re: the current system/rules (which I have personally found, even before my hiatus, to be overly (perhaps even needlessly) complex).

    That said, I still feel like stretching my RP wings for the first time in a long time, so I'll be hashing out a fresh character and diving back in to reacquaint myself ahead of the new timeline.
     
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  10. Taz

    Taz Active Member

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    @Brandon Rhea, I know it might seem a bit like opening Pandora's Box, but will active membership get any kind of say in the rule review ?
     
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  11. Brandon Rhea

    Brandon Rhea Site Owner Site Owner

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    Yes.
     
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  12. Insoulent

    Insoulent free

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    I would decide to try getting back into forum writing when you guys announce changes, yessss. I know you guys are gonna do a good job brainstorming and deliberating for new rules and the storyline but I want to add something I pitched long before the Old Republic shift: that maybe focusing on an alternate timeline after “Return of the Jedi”, where in all the major characters died during the Second Destruction of the Death Star, the forum’s story beginning directly after that event or some 30 years later to have a small established forum lore to go off of.

    I think it’s a familiar time period where most fans would be comfortable in, for new and current members, promotes a lot of new interesting story possibilities and tech for the most part wouldn’t have to be too outrageous as we got a lot of established canon stuff to refer to already. So like an established open canvas.

    And while I’m here, I would suggest maybe looking at the site staff and maybe restructuring their roles a bit and maybe adding some more assistant mods or something to help alleviate workloads and help the next timeline move a little faster, just my two cents as a member that hasn’t been on this site in over a year and a half but I know that was a problem when I was here last.

    Still, this all makes me excited to come back weirdly enough. This frees me up to bring in a throwaway character in this timeline that I’ve been wanting to test anyway.
     
  13. Eden

    Eden Hopeless Artistic

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    At this point I'm really conflicted, as I don't want to put too much effort into characters that will be a distant memory in only a few months. Is there a chance we'd be able to push back the new TL a few more months if the current TL gets back to it's former glory? I imagine it's a tactical decision lining it up with the Rise of Skywalker, but if we breathe enough life back into this community (perhaps taking advantage of the United Protectorate system as a catalyst for that), would that be a possibility?
     
  14. Brandon Rhea

    Brandon Rhea Site Owner Site Owner

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    Sure, though I have no confidence that this TL will ever really pick up steam again.
     
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