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The Great Thinking: Suggestions for RP and General

Posted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 3:23 am
by Kerbal22
Instead of the usual cycle of whining and doing nothing about it, I'm going to step forward and present some issues to perceived problems - anyone's welcome to comment, and some of these are subjective to my personal opinion. I've been on Citadel for roughly a year, now, and seen things come and go. Not much has actually happened in the grand scheme of things, which is somewhat unfortunate. Less for a lack of effort, and more from a lack of direction. RP seems somewhat ... well, directionless. By fault of the failure of the first lore team or bad decisions, who knows.

I have a few ideas, which I will list concisely in order and expand on. Again, some of these are subject to my opinion, and input is welcome. Constructive input, that is. This is intended to be a discussion on how to make things better.
  1. Separate RP and Main Staff.
  2. Rebuild the Lore Team.
  3. Establish a concise story-line and system for events.
  4. Re-Introduce Antagonism.
Separate RP and Main Staff:
RP and Main are in essence and practice, two different servers, with two different sets of mechanics, setting, players, and a dozen other minor differences. Having a single set of staff with very minor differences between the two servers is not ideal. Those who are more familiar with Main should ideally, administrate where they know best, and those more familiar with RP should do so as well. I am not proposing total separation, but rather, making the current subdivision more visible in both policy and effect; Staff should communicate to each other as one but administrate separately, and RP should establish it's own set of (stricter) rules to denote the higher level of expectations on a roleplay server where talking gets you farther than mechanics. I think fresh blood and a new set of rules, plus a new SoP and a redux of Corporate Regulations would alleviate a lot of the distaste a lot of people currently have with the state of things.

Rebuild The Lore Team:
Perhaps the silliest suggestion of them all. I know the first attempt at the Lore Team was an utter disaster that ended in ... well, clusterfuck puts things lightly. But lore is essential for an RP server. We can't just let people assume everything and say that's hunky-dory, or go off the lore of another server entirely. To that end, I suggest that we rebuild the Lore Team with Species Maintainers, one or fewer general Lore Maintainers, an Event Planner and a Head of Lore. These are positions that should be applied for on the forums. A Species Maintainer is able to maintain for one or more species, out of our ... vast number. This is to hopefully prevent the lore team from bloating like it did last time. Some species may not require massive alterations to keep their lore in line with others. General lore maintainers should maintain parts of the lore that do not fall under species maintenance, and help work out events with the Event Planner. The only potential for staff powers of any sort would be the Event Planner, who logically would have stricter requirements on their applications.

Lore team members of any sort should be required to submit a decent portion of their writing with their application to prove they can write well, in a non-biased fashion.

Establish a concise story-line and system for events.
I'm not talking massive, universe altering events. Small things that tie into various departments - having an event that gets the entire station involved without it being downright antagonistic is difficult. Having many smaller events which include one or more departments at once is probably the best idea, since it allows more freedom with tailoring events and ensuring things don't go totally tits up. A storyline could go well with this - have a number of smaller events which lead up to bigger ones. We have a wellspring of talent on RP for writing, and it's a shame we're not taking advantage of it to make things more interesting on an admittedly, nearly always sleepy server.

Reintroduce Antagonism.
The hardest of my suggestions. As I understand it, staff currently do not want to run antags because it requires them to manually pick people to be antagonists, and suffer through the salt from people. I think these issues can be overcome. It would require a significant amount of rebalancing of all antagonist types, preferably one at a time and starting with the classics. This must be taken slowly, and done carefully. The systems for adding antags in without administrative intervention still exist, which would hopefully take the salt off of the administrator and put it back where it's always been with antags: the person who was picked for antagonist. Hopefully, the most administrators would have to do is punish bad antagonists who go on rampages or abuse the antag system to do whatever they want. What people do not seem to understand is that roleplay antagonists require responsibility. And this should be made very clear. If someone can't handle that responsibility, then they should not choose to be an antagonist. This will have to be enforced, i'm sure.

If you have any suggestions in addition to mine, please feel free to share, or rebut my ideas.

Re: The Great Thinking: Suggestions for RP and General

Posted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 3:29 am
by bear
This has already been talked about a couple of times in discord. Just posting here to show my support, especially the idea of antagless events. Those can be super fun, and I'm already planning on doing one soon(tm), so, ye.

Will make biggie post later, am out atm.

Re: The Great Thinking: Suggestions for RP and General

Posted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 3:41 am
by Kered
Brief thoughts.

1: RP and Main staff are already seperated, very few staff manage both. Things are in the works regarding seperating rules and policy in a more concrete manner.

2: Personally, I'm against it. After the last lore team I have zero trust that a new one wouldn't be people trying to build their own random species, insert a veritable snowstorm of bullshit that's tailored to their own desires, and otherwise ignore the general players feeling that they're special. I also don't believe the playerbase themselves would trust a new lore team, but I'm not them.

3: If I understand you correctly; Canon events have never been a good idea and would only intensify the hatred of events in the first place. It'll also give the appearance to newer players or those coming from main that things are very enclosed and that if you didn't happen to be there when this little narrative started, then what's the point in being there for this event now?

4: As mentioned in point three, this isn't going to happen until people want it. The hands off system for antagonists is flawed on RP, as nobody does roleplayed combat. Wanna spend time talking and roleplaying out a hostage situation? Too bad, sec flashbanged and cuffed you without a word. Wanna try to negotiate as sec? Too bad, an antagonist already bombed the bridge and is silently raiding it. I feel this'll also give rise to favouritism, but don't quote me on that.

Re: The Great Thinking: Suggestions for RP and General

Posted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 4:29 am
by areebur
In response to Kared:
1) I think that's what Kerbal's getting at. Seperate rules, seperate admin team. Being 'Pretty much seperate' is different than actually being seperate rule and admin wise.

2) I understand that what happened to the last lore team might lead you to believe that there'll be a repeat, but that's what trial and error is about. Find people to work with, boot people who don't work well with others, don't let fear of what might happen dictate what *will* happen, unless theres a good pattern.

3) Canon events are a good idea when done correctly. Need help figuring out how to run a successful event? Make a game plan, have people review said game plan, revise it and find good people to help run it.

4) Like you just said, make people interested in antagonistic events. Make them more than just "enemy comes to station, fight and capture". If someone's more interested in roleplaying, make sure the event doesn't effect those that just want to roleplay that day, its not that hard.

Don't let the fear of what might happen dictate what you can and can't do. Afraid something might fuck up? Make sure there's guidelines and rules in place to make sure thst the system doesn't fuck up. Don't be afraid to boot people; One angry person is better than an entire angry playerbase.

Re: The Great Thinking: Suggestions for RP and General

Posted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:30 am
by Cygnet
I am in full-agreement with Kerbel’s and Areebur’s points. I firmly believe that giving up is never a good way to grow. Trying to succeed in waking the “sleepy” RP server might do wonders in attracting and exciting new and current players, could fill out departments out more to see the RP server toward its potential.
This is the opinion of an outsider however, but I still believe in people who are willing to offer their time and ideas to affect positive changes.

Re: The Great Thinking: Suggestions for RP and General

Posted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:45 am
by Kered
2) Who? The entire history of that team and the dissatisfaction with how it was run that is still ongoing demonstrates at least some pattern.

3) How are they done correctly? What constitutes a successful event? Which people?

4) What kind of event then? What constitutes affecting those who're roleplaying? Doesn't the presence of something out of the ordinary affect roleplay?

What guidelines and rules? There is no system to fuck up. Why would we remove people for valid criticism?

Re: The Great Thinking: Suggestions for RP and General

Posted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:41 am
by deathride58
Headmin here coming in to lay out what isn't going to happen.

RE: Lore team
Absolutely a hard no. Lore is available to contribute to as a repo on Github, available at . There is currently only one lore maintainer, though the other one left and we haven't quite gotten around to looking for another because nobody's contributing. And ya wanna know what happened when we did have a lore team? Nobody. Bloody. Worked. On. The. Lore. Literally only one person on the entire fuckin team actually bothered writing anything at all, and the quality of said writing was less than acceptable. There was also the issue of people wanting to contribute to the lore, but being unable to because the people representing the resulting lore team were elitist as fuck. Moving to a crowdsourced model for lore inherently resolves the latter issue because there's no need to worry about getting into a secret club, you can just make a PR with the changes or additions you want to see and go from there.
So yeah, wanna see lore make some progress? Make PRs to the lore repo, work with the current lore maintainer, actually give the lore repo activity. Rebuilding the lore team would be very counter-productive.

RE: separate RP and Main staff
Also a hard no, the majority of the staff team already staffs either one or the other, though a good chunk of staff happen to actively administrate both servers. There are no activity requirements or the like, so staff administrating the servers they know best already happens naturally, we don't need to forcefully split the team in half in order to artificially evoke this separation. The RP Staff and Main Staff roles are self-assignable by admins to choose which servers they wish to receive notifications for, and when staff members need help on server (whether they're leaving or are just flooded with tickets), they don't ping @staff, they either ping @rp staff or @main staff, meaning staff that care about one server but not the other are absolutely able to ignore the other's existence if they wish.
As for RP-specific rules, they already kinda exist, and the headmin team is already in the process of fleshing it out behind the scenes (hence the move of the rules page from my-free-website to a github repo that has its .md files rendered on an external site, this is to make changes much easier for us to make in the future)

tl;dr: The lore repo is open for contribution by anyone, history has shown lore team would be counter-productive. Separating RP and main staff would also be counterproductive, since the separation already happens naturally.

Re: The Great Thinking: Suggestions for RP and General

Posted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:47 pm
by Kerbal22

Can't say I didn't try, though.