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Forest State
Senator
 
Posts: 4396
Founded: Aug 23, 2016
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Forest State » Fri Apr 23, 2021 10:44 pm

Northern Socialist Council Republics wrote:
Lavan Tiri wrote:a general agreement to avoid reliance on Discord

This is and has been for some time a routine complaint of mine.

Nothing kills my interest deader than an RP that launches with all the pertinent world building already complete, a half a dozen registered reservations right from hour one, and an OOC thread that’s more boring than a church because everyone’s discussing stuff in a private server.

I'd disagree that Discord communities are a problem. As I've said before, they're more a response to a problem. One of the problems, I think, is that just the typical method of throwing up an OOC thread and waiting on signups from a random selection of players doesn't work as well as it used to.

To sum up my view of it quickly... Someone else in this thread pointed out the numbers, and just how many more threads were running in 2015 compared to 2020, for example. You didn't really need to work as hard to foster a community because there was an overall higher level of activity and even if some people were inactive or dropped out, you had a higher chance of getting the required activity to keep the thread going. These days, there's less fish in the pond. Losing "fish" hurts your thread more. Part of the rise of Discord is because having a private community encourages closeness and builds investment and increases attachment to a thread. These things matter more than ever.

Let's be real - running a thread can be a lot of work. It's exactly as much work as you put into it, but many of us come up with detailed lore, intriguing plotlines, and of course spend time thinking of how the players will interact with the thread. Making sure that everyone can do something and that as few players as possible will be left feeling like they're just sitting around without a role. We might have to think about things like difficulty. Not making a task like combat too hard while also not simply making it a display of how awesome the player characters are as they blitz through the opposition with no challenge by virtue of being the protagonists. Most people don't want to read curbstomps too often, in either direction.

You get the idea, there's a lot to do. So let's say you're doing all this and you think you have a great thread on your hands. What do you want to do from there? Stick to just an OOC thread and hope that it gains traction and people get invested just from that? But we all know that an OOC thread isn't exactly allowed by the mods to become a chat thread, and even assuming you don't need to have a chat thread to be successful, just have a look around the forum now and at how many threads have very active or large OOC threads compared to the past. There's not as many, and not all of those threads use Discord.

Not having Discord doesn't bring back the old school OOC thread mentality where people talked a lot and the thread could jump a bunch of pages in one night and others would log on the next morning and ask for recaps since there had been a ton of posts. Most of the time it doesn't bring it back, anyway. There's a thread or two around now that still has this kind of thing, but these real active OOC threads went from a usual occurrence to an exception to the norm. Also, I think Land of the Free has the most active OOC right now.

That thread is originally from like 2019 and the 2019 thread is a successor to one from 2017 or so. In other words, in a way, it still is a relic of "older" P2TM that's lasted into the present day. One of the other largest OOC threads belongs to Dance of Chaos, which was created in 2018. After doing the math, I can see that it's had about 3.7 posts per day since it was created, on average. Which is respectable. I respect the longevity and how it's going still after all this time, certainly. But is that really all we can do when it comes to activity around here?

Really, I'm pointing all this out to say that the era of really active OOC threads seems to be mostly gone. There's like one really active OOC right now that I know of and that's about it. I'm also not counting threads that have a bunch of pages after being made recently because the start of an RP is the easiest time to rack up pages. To get a bunch of pages right from the start isn't really hard at all. But after a week, a couple weeks, a month, that's when you see what the thread is made of.

Much of the time, as an OP, it's more attractive to try to build up a community on Discord where there's not a restriction on chatting and where it's easier to build investment. And investment is key because without it, the work put into a nice looking thread and interesting plotlines and a cool premise or anything else doesn't matter. Far too many times, this goes out the window after the thread gets a decent burst of activity at the start and then this tapers off and the same players end up seeing it slowing down and jump to a different thread with their activity instead. But are they just as likely to do that if they've gotten more attached to their characters through discussion on Discord? Or used it to plan out plots in more detail than the kind of planning that usually happens in an OOC thread? Or if they know the in-jokes and are friends with other players, in large part because they've talked more than they would have while just using an OOC thread?

In my experience, things like these are often the difference between something great that gets remembered for a long time and a thread that doesn't take off at all - or one that lasts for a bit with a slow existence of dropping in and out of activity. Now, I'm not knocking threads like that, not everyone can post actively because of either circumstances or their own lack of interest in doing so. But those of us who aspire for more have to rethink our methods, because the objective numbers show that things aren't the same as in 2015 and that using the same methods has only brought about less net activity at all.

As an aside, I'm not saying this all for doom and gloom either. This "RP decline" is avoidable IMO. I'm saying it as a sign that anyone with a more than casual interest in RPing on Portal should really think about their "tactics" so to speak, instead of keeping the exact same conventions from half a decade ago and expecting the same outcomes.

TL;DR: The old style pre-Discord OOC threads that a lot of people remember and talk fondly about are very nearly dead. Many threads exist without Discord and this doesn't do much to bring back the busier OOCs people remember from the past. And OPs should think more about these facts when making a thread, depending on their aims. The formula from a half decade ago doesn't have the same results these days.
don't tread on me

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Ithalian Empire
Minister
 
Posts: 3477
Founded: Jan 19, 2015
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Ithalian Empire » Sun Apr 25, 2021 4:40 pm

I have been in a single RP from like 2018 to the end of last year. By the old rules of NS it would have died in 2019 due to an inactive OOC. However our saving grace was a very active core group of players in the discord who really wanted to see the RP reach a conclusion. Discord made it possible to do the large battle posts we where making, coordinating posts when our characters where apart from eachother. Honestly the most fun I ever had on NS. Discord is here to stay and its time to accept that.
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Giovenith
Game Moderator
 
Posts: 20899
Founded: Feb 08, 2012
Left-wing Utopia

Postby Giovenith » Mon Apr 26, 2021 7:18 am

Constaniana wrote:
Talchyon wrote:
As one who got started in RPs in 2016, I never got the chance to see this paper. I for one would like to see it (or something like it) to make a comeback.

I would too. I remember someone started another paper a year or so ago, but it fizzled out.


We've decided to avoid "RP newspapers" going forward (not a rule, just a principle) because although good content has been provided through them in the past, they have a tendency to devolve into drama-courting and being used as a tool by bad actors to snipe at people they don't like.
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Grenartia
Post Czar
 
Posts: 43068
Founded: Feb 14, 2010
Left-wing Utopia

Postby Grenartia » Mon Apr 26, 2021 7:38 am

Giovenith wrote:
Constaniana wrote:I would too. I remember someone started another paper a year or so ago, but it fizzled out.


We've decided to avoid "RP newspapers" going forward (not a rule, just a principle) because although good content has been provided through them in the past, they have a tendency to devolve into drama-courting and being used as a tool by bad actors to snipe at people they don't like.


Oh, yeah, I remember that one kid from a few years back who stirred up shit intentionally, then tried to change his ways, and started a paper, and then unintentionally stirred shit with his paper.
Impeach Humanity, Legalize Death Stars, Life is TheftWis/Gren 2016 Something all cisgender allies should start doing. I wear teal, blue & pink for Swith. ⚧Copy and paste this in your sig if you passed biology and know gender and sex aren't the same thing.⚧
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Constaniana
Postmaster of the Fleet
 
Posts: 25444
Founded: Mar 10, 2012
Democratic Socialists

Postby Constaniana » Mon Apr 26, 2021 7:44 am

Giovenith wrote:
Constaniana wrote:I would too. I remember someone started another paper a year or so ago, but it fizzled out.


We've decided to avoid "RP newspapers" going forward (not a rule, just a principle) because although good content has been provided through them in the past, they have a tendency to devolve into drama-courting and being used as a tool by bad actors to snipe at people they don't like.

Dang, that's a shame it got ruined.
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Talchyon
Negotiator
 
Posts: 5363
Founded: May 05, 2016
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby Talchyon » Mon Apr 26, 2021 8:01 am

Giovenith wrote:
Constaniana wrote:I would too. I remember someone started another paper a year or so ago, but it fizzled out.


We've decided to avoid "RP newspapers" going forward (not a rule, just a principle) because although good content has been provided through them in the past, they have a tendency to devolve into drama-courting and being used as a tool by bad actors to snipe at people they don't like.


It all depends on who is running the newspaper. Someone more mature could do fine with it. (I don't have the time so please don't nominate me)
Current RPs -
Icarus - A sci-fi story about people from all different timelines and backgrounds, rescued right after they had died, and now on missions to find out what happened, why, and to stop renegade time travelers from destroying the past.

Awake in Prefeton - A superhero story about school students discovering they have powers. Was more on character then on fights, but now there is the fight for the future and for freedom. Now in the final chapter.




Louisianan wrote:Talchyon has great comedic writing, that is true.

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Forest State
Senator
 
Posts: 4396
Founded: Aug 23, 2016
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Forest State » Mon Apr 26, 2021 10:31 am

Giovenith wrote:
Constaniana wrote:I would too. I remember someone started another paper a year or so ago, but it fizzled out.


We've decided to avoid "RP newspapers" going forward (not a rule, just a principle) because although good content has been provided through them in the past, they have a tendency to devolve into drama-courting and being used as a tool by bad actors to snipe at people they don't like.

There's been, what, a couple of active newspapers on here? One of them I believe was warned for one trollish post in an otherwise fine thread that I don't think had anything else raised against it, the other one was the Vanq thread more recently.

Now, the second one was locked and the thread owner has since been purged from the site, but I think one side of it that shouldn't be forgotten is that it was also probably the most recent time when there was something of interest to most of the subforum instead of one or maybe two of the smaller spheres of players that exist now. There's a bunch of people that can attest to this probably, but even if it lasted for a short time it ended up getting support from all over including getting people that rarely talk or end up in the same threads interacting with each other on the Discord. I even recall a mentor or two liking the news posts.

Of course, that specific thread is dead. But given the good things about it, will it really help the forum to officially discourage anything with a similar premise? It seems overly cautious - there's probably far more mod red texts posted due to other things like people getting heated over godmodding than there are because of newspaper threads and any trouble that has come about because of them.
don't tread on me

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Grenartia
Post Czar
 
Posts: 43068
Founded: Feb 14, 2010
Left-wing Utopia

Postby Grenartia » Mon Apr 26, 2021 11:52 am

Talchyon wrote:
Giovenith wrote:
We've decided to avoid "RP newspapers" going forward (not a rule, just a principle) because although good content has been provided through them in the past, they have a tendency to devolve into drama-courting and being used as a tool by bad actors to snipe at people they don't like.


It all depends on who is running the newspaper. Someone more mature could do fine with it. (I don't have the time so please don't nominate me)


I think the main issue with RP newspapers is fundamentally that unless you rely on people telling you what's going on in their RPs, other than some occasional writing advice articles, you're just telling other people what's going on in your RPs, and most of your readership will also be people in those same RPs. Which obviously isn't a very good model for a newspaper. Its more like watercooler chitchat where 95% of everyone participating already knows what's going on, under the pretense of said chitchat being a newspaper.

This isn't even an issue of favoritism as much as its an issue of limited time. You only have so much time in a day to dedicate to RPs and then to writing an RP newspaper, and likely no time left over to read RPs you're not otherwise involved in*. Coincidentally, this is also why RP Awards don't really work.

And if you are getting other people to tell you what's going on in their RPs, you're basically just doing an RP advertisement thread, possibly with the occasional "pro tip" article thrown in. And at that point, we might as well just have one centralized thread for advertising, and one for exchanging protips.

People keep talking about P2TM 'going downhill' based on a declining number of active RPs, when really, its a natural consequence of everything I just said. Instead of focusing on the quantity of our community's RPs, we should be focusing on the quality of them. As for the community itself, I think the proposed revitalization is a fundamentally good thing for us. One centralized community discussion hub where we can chit chat about the cool things happening in RPs we're in (which is cool word of mouth advertisement, btw), trade stories about days and people gone by, swap bits of advice when necessary, etc.

EDIT:

*seriously, when was the last time anyone here read an RP they weren't either in, or considering joining?
Last edited by Grenartia on Mon Apr 26, 2021 11:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
Impeach Humanity, Legalize Death Stars, Life is TheftWis/Gren 2016 Something all cisgender allies should start doing. I wear teal, blue & pink for Swith. ⚧Copy and paste this in your sig if you passed biology and know gender and sex aren't the same thing.⚧
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I'm a pansexual Androgyne. Also a Christian.
Please use they/them/their when referencing me, as I do NOT appreciate the other pronouns.
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Nolo gap
Chargé d'Affaires
 
Posts: 375
Founded: Sep 21, 2018
Scandinavian Liberal Paradise

Postby Nolo gap » Fri Apr 30, 2021 11:56 pm

Grenartia wrote:
Talchyon wrote:


seriously me, looking for even a single imaginative one, that hasn't locked itself into the box of its own making,
the box of at its core, it can never allow itself to be about participation in the making of its environment,
instead of being all about conflict and melee.

horses or cars or space ships, swords or guns or energy guns.
seriously, give me a break.

why is rp never about living an interesting life in an interesting world,
instead of an adrenaline overdose life, in a predictably cleche'd world?

and if pc's are supposed to be more powerful then npc (who aren't npc bosses)
why can't they ever do more interesting things, like creating and building things,
instead of looking for things to destroy?

my complaint is probably too general, and applies more to role playing systems generally,
but it is my answer to the question.

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Talchyon
Negotiator
 
Posts: 5363
Founded: May 05, 2016
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby Talchyon » Sat May 01, 2021 6:29 am

Nolo gap wrote:
Grenartia wrote:


seriously me, looking for even a single imaginative one, that hasn't locked itself into the box of its own making,
the box of at its core, it can never allow itself to be about participation in the making of its environment,
instead of being all about conflict and melee.

horses or cars or space ships, swords or guns or energy guns.
seriously, give me a break.

why is rp never about living an interesting life in an interesting world,
instead of an adrenaline overdose life, in a predictably cleche'd world?


and if pc's are supposed to be more powerful then npc (who aren't npc bosses)
why can't they ever do more interesting things, like creating and building things,
instead of looking for things to destroy?

my complaint is probably too general, and applies more to role playing systems generally,
but it is my answer to the question.



There are some good ones I've been in that were "slice of life" style with interesting characters. I like comedy so they were probably comedies, but they have made appearances. I know Harbertia made some like this that weren't comedies.

If you're not seeing one you like, why not try putting your hat in the ring and try making the kind of RP you want?
Current RPs -
Icarus - A sci-fi story about people from all different timelines and backgrounds, rescued right after they had died, and now on missions to find out what happened, why, and to stop renegade time travelers from destroying the past.

Awake in Prefeton - A superhero story about school students discovering they have powers. Was more on character then on fights, but now there is the fight for the future and for freedom. Now in the final chapter.




Louisianan wrote:Talchyon has great comedic writing, that is true.

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Grenartia
Post Czar
 
Posts: 43068
Founded: Feb 14, 2010
Left-wing Utopia

Postby Grenartia » Sat May 01, 2021 9:38 am

Nolo gap wrote:
Grenartia wrote:


seriously me, looking for even a single imaginative one, that hasn't locked itself into the box of its own making,
the box of at its core, it can never allow itself to be about participation in the making of its environment,
instead of being all about conflict and melee.

horses or cars or space ships, swords or guns or energy guns.
seriously, give me a break.

why is rp never about living an interesting life in an interesting world,
instead of an adrenaline overdose life, in a predictably cleche'd world?


There's a reason so many people believe "may you live in interesting times" actually is an ancient Chinese curse: because 'interesting times' are inherently (and unfortunately) filled with conflict. "This guy existed and that guy existed, and they got along together forever and lived happily ever after" is a story as boring as it is short. As for "predictably cliche'd", you can't say every RP ever is, unless you'd like to argue that using any trope whatsoever is "cliche'd". The fact is, humans have been telling stories to each other since we first evolved language, and we've been writing them down since as long as we've had writing (so, 5000 years, give or take), if not longer (if you count cave paintings as written storytelling). Things are BOUND to get repeated. Ultimately, there is nothing new under the sun. The best we can hope for as writers is an original remix of various tropes, or at least an interesting remix of them.

You don't like it? You think you can do better? Then do so. I doubt you'll succeed where everyone else has failed, though, but I wish you the best of luck in proving me wrong.

and if pc's are supposed to be more powerful then npc (who aren't npc bosses)
why can't they ever do more interesting things, like creating and building things,
instead of looking for things to destroy?


I'm like, 95% sure there are RPs here where people create and build things. At the very least, there are many where people aren't writing characters who seek to destroy, but who instead fight to preserve what has already been created and built.

my complaint is probably too general, and applies more to role playing systems generally,


Probably.
Impeach Humanity, Legalize Death Stars, Life is TheftWis/Gren 2016 Something all cisgender allies should start doing. I wear teal, blue & pink for Swith. ⚧Copy and paste this in your sig if you passed biology and know gender and sex aren't the same thing.⚧
"Don't take life so serious. It isn't permanent."-Dyakovo
I'm a pansexual Androgyne. Also a Christian.
Please use they/them/their when referencing me, as I do NOT appreciate the other pronouns.
Textbook definition of irony
Quotes of awesomeness

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