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Where did everyone go???

General discussion about Avlis

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Re: Where did everyone go???

PostAuthor: StormShadows » Fri Aug 19, 2011 9:34 pm

I've 2 points, plus a comment on Retsof's posts that I wanted to cover.

Point 1: Starting a new character
I think some things need to be done to help new players get into their characters. 2 main thoughts here.
The experience is too high. I think it is like 10x the base exp range (so instead of 3-5 it is 30-50). This is great for getting a player over the first few levels without requiring massive amounts of effort. The problem is that it also brings you to the cap very quickly, leaving you with little to do on a new character for a week. Perhaps reduce it from 10x down to like 3x (so like an 8 to 16 per crop rat range...)
Finding things to do when you are brand new to the server is rather difficult, and especially right now you really can not find anyone to help you out. Perhaps create an NPC that would give some pointers and directions to help players find starting quests and things to do.

Point 2: Finding people
With the lower populations we have at the moment I have run into 2 problems... When the server has a lower population then I can never find anyone. If the server has a higher population then most likely a group has already formed and is into the dugeon (thus leaving me behind.) Not sure what the solution here is, other than maybe more communication out-of-character, but I would like to see something to help people meet up to do stuff. If we can make it more fun to be on at any time, even with the lower population, then it would encourage more people to be on and help bring the population back up.

Retsof wrote:Second issue: When I first started I spent hours combing threw shops and always seen new things pop up and selections change all the time! It was great! But not it is only the "walmart" shops that seem to have any action to them.

Possible answer: I know that each vendor represent hours of work and play someone did to get there own shop, but it seems several have laid dormant as players have left. I don't want to say put an axe to all that work, but perhaps there is a way to know which ones are and are not active and maybe move the ones that have not been restocked/used a year or more so that space can be used by those still active.


This is perhaps off topic, but I had this thought when reading the above. Why not do something to recycle dead shops... If the owner has been inactive long enough, save the conditions of the existing shop, and let someone else buy the shop and set up their own (roughly equivalent) store in it's place.

If the original owner were to come back then he could have his shop restored at it's last status, and the new owner would get credit equal to his shop value to build a new store. Or the original owner can let the new owner keep the shop and take the new store credit for himself.

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Re: Where did everyone go???

PostAuthor: Merago Jert » Fri Aug 19, 2011 10:18 pm

StormShadows wrote:Point 2: Finding people
With the lower populations we have at the moment I have run into 2 problems... When the server has a lower population then I can never find anyone. If the server has a higher population then most likely a group has already formed and is into the dugeon (thus leaving me behind.) Not sure what the solution here is, other than maybe more communication out-of-character, but I would like to see something to help people meet up to do stuff. If we can make it more fun to be on at any time, even with the lower population, then it would encourage more people to be on and help bring the population back up.


Here's a thought - why don't we all just start, if we see someone else logged on, or logging on to, a server, sending them a quick "Hi" tell. If the other person is not tied up with something else, we could contrive (or cheese, if you prefer) some place to "bump in to" one another. With the servers as sparse as they now are, I think we have to accept that we'll have to cut OOC stuff like this a little bit of slack. At the end of the day, it's really not that far removed from organising a lowbie night on the boards. If the other person is busy, they can send a polite decline back and everyone carries on.
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Re: Where did everyone go???

PostAuthor: Pathos Street » Fri Aug 19, 2011 10:27 pm

Merago Jert wrote:
StormShadows wrote:Can't find people!

Send a "hi" tell!


I have been doing this since I started. I don't know about y'all, but I don't play this game online to play it by myself. Granted, I have to arrange to meet people much more often, since there's not the chance of just running across 6-10 PC's sitting around chatting as there once was. But I don't think anyone has ever suggested that sending a tell or arranging OOCly to bump into people was discouraged in any way, and if they did, well... they were wrong.
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Re: Where did everyone go???

PostAuthor: Gorgon » Sat Aug 20, 2011 2:12 am

StormShadows wrote:
Retsof wrote:Second issue: When I first started I spent hours combing threw shops and always seen new things pop up and selections change all the time! It was great! But not it is only the "walmart" shops that seem to have any action to them.

Possible answer: I know that each vendor represent hours of work and play someone did to get there own shop, but it seems several have laid dormant as players have left. I don't want to say put an axe to all that work, but perhaps there is a way to know which ones are and are not active and maybe move the ones that have not been restocked/used a year or more so that space can be used by those still active.


This is perhaps off topic, but I had this thought when reading the above. Why not do something to recycle dead shops... If the owner has been inactive long enough, save the conditions of the existing shop, and let someone else buy the shop and set up their own (roughly equivalent) store in it's place.

If the original owner were to come back then he could have his shop restored at it's last status, and the new owner would get credit equal to his shop value to build a new store. Or the original owner can let the new owner keep the shop and take the new store credit for himself.


First off, not a team reply. Just my own ramblings as an owner (and guild leader) with what could be considered dead housing.

I don't see the Avlis Team ever changing ownership of housing without the consent of the current owner (in some way, shape or form). Too many potential headaches and extra work, for a team that already has more to do than folks to do it. A list of dead shops could be maintained either IC or OOC on the wiki by players (with the owners syaing wtf? and fixing it if they disagree ;)).

The public market merchants might be doable with a system like that, but a few extra steps. Start with several pms checking for activity, and mentioning the plan to put their current merchant + stock in storage, then do it after at least a month of that. A new merchant is added in its place, then sold as usual (though I do think there should be a few more clauses to deal with this kind of thing added to how they are sold too, to make the boxing up of old merchants less of a hassle, or even unnecessary). If the old player ever comes back and wants his merchant, it is re-added to the market in the next available open spot. Keeping a few vacant stalls in back all the time might help for faster restoring even, though they might get one pick of the next "dead" stalls to relocate to later (Crappy locations can suck for the best merchants).

Like I said, this is just me rambling ideas off the top of my head, and none of it has even been brought up team side... but I might ask about it after a bit more thought. :P
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Re: Where did everyone go???

PostAuthor: l1t3r » Sat Aug 20, 2011 2:45 am

I would agree with Gorgon....

however, we have a number of shops "owned" by people who have been banned. I think there are two in the Elysia CoOp alone. Surely these could be cleared, and used by someone who doesn't have the funds to buy a huge store and who isn't banned? Also consider the one in Mikona that's listed as a "crime scene". It's been a crime scene for what...15 IG years? Since FOIG raided it, as the player was banned, and looted the thing 2-3 three years ago? Lets get some new blood into these places.

The point of all of it, for me, is that if a new player comes a long and manages to hit two shops owned by people that haven't logged into the game in 2 years, it's not speaking well for the activity of the playerbase as a whole.
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Re: Where did everyone go???

PostAuthor: GimpGenius » Sat Aug 20, 2011 2:58 am

l1t3r wrote:I would agree with Gorgon....

however, we have a number of shops "owned" by people who have been banned. I think there are two in the Elysia CoOp alone. Surely these could be cleared, and used by someone who doesn't have the funds to buy a huge store and who isn't banned? Also consider the one in Mikona that's listed as a "crime scene". It's been a crime scene for what...15 IG years? Since FOIG raided it, as the player was banned, and looted the thing 2-3 three years ago? Lets get some new blood into these places.

The point of all of it, for me, is that if a new player comes a long and manages to hit two shops owned by people that haven't logged into the game in 2 years, it's not speaking well for the activity of the playerbase as a whole.


All of that. Not to mention being an active merchant in a place that's sterotypically considered "dead" means the players who are active may not be getting the business/notoriety that they might otherwise have. I know I personally have several nice pieces of gear sitting on a merchant, along with a boatload of consumables that I know PC's use. With the reduced playerbase/play time I don't expect that stuff to move overnight, but some of it's been there for over a year. Whether or not that's due to pricing issues or the assumption that it's a "dead" merchant is beyond me.

On a related note, if there were some way to allow potential buyers to offer a price on an item that they think is too expensive, or leave a note (i.e. PM information or a PC name or something) that might allow the merchants that are active to make more IC trades, etc. etc.

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Re: Where did everyone go???

PostAuthor: Gorgon » Sat Aug 20, 2011 3:33 am

GimpGenius wrote:On a related note, if there were some way to allow potential buyers to offer a price on an item that they think is too expensive, or leave a note (i.e. PM information or a PC name or something) that might allow the merchants that are active to make more IC trades, etc. etc.


Don't the signs have the owner's name when you examine them? While it isn't hard to search the boards for the pm info behind that name, maybe adding a pm contact name there might be an idea too. Even if you create a new account for the shop (something I always do, and have any pms there send notices to my email... which Google bundles together and even gives desktop notification about *has been doing this merchant stuff way too long* :P ), at least there is a direct bit of contact info there. Everyone should always have that, even if they have a buy and sell price on every single item.
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Re: Where did everyone go???

PostAuthor: Tel » Sat Aug 20, 2011 6:51 am

Gorgon wrote:
GimpGenius wrote:On a related note, if there were some way to allow potential buyers to offer a price on an item that they think is too expensive, or leave a note (i.e. PM information or a PC name or something) that might allow the merchants that are active to make more IC trades, etc. etc.


Don't the signs have the owner's name when you examine them? While it isn't hard to search the boards for the pm info behind that name, maybe adding a pm contact name there might be an idea too. Even if you create a new account for the shop (something I always do, and have any pms there send notices to my email... which Google bundles together and even gives desktop notification about *has been doing this merchant stuff way too long* :P ), at least there is a direct bit of contact info there. Everyone should always have that, even if they have a buy and sell price on every single item.


not all signs have a PC's name attached to them, some just list the store name. And with that not all PC names are easily associated with their board name. It would be nice if shops were standardized with signs that included Shop Name, Owner(s) Names, & Forum Contact info.


As far as dead shops, there are plenty out there. And if there's an open shop stall (like the crime scene mentioned) I'm sure the Team is willing to allow a player to build a shop there, all they have to do is ask to have that particular spot rather than somewhere else.
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Re: Where did everyone go???

PostAuthor: g1asgow » Sat Aug 20, 2011 11:29 am

I think it is only fair to mention that the "crime scene" at the Mikona Farmer's Market is there to indicate the criminally low prices at the nearby 'Small Discoveries' stall.

Removing that 'scene' could upset the balance of the whole marketplace.

Honest.
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Re: Where did everyone go???

PostAuthor: solitude_peace2 » Sat Aug 20, 2011 4:28 pm

Retsof wrote:First issue:...I had hope to play out the building of my first sword... I am levels away from it being what I hoped it would be.

...I would love to see basic crafting books on each of the crafting types.

More recipe books as random drops, perhaps even a reward of a Tutorial Session in Katana Crafting instead of a DM drop of a Nice Katana. Heck, even if my non-crafting PC came across instructions for making a sweet weapon (or armor) she would treasure it and make sure that she got it into the hands of someone with skill.
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Re: Where did everyone go???

PostAuthor: Kip Durrin » Sat Aug 20, 2011 5:40 pm

I fail to see how crafting books solve the problem of not having enough crafting rp. How about you drop a note at ROTE or any of the other big stores (the one in Mikona I forget the name of for example) and ask what you want to know? You'll find someone for sure. I'm not sure about some of the other stores, but ROTE even has its own ROTE forum account, so it's not really hard to find. Our wiki lists no less than 6 people you might ask, so even if you don't know who's a member of ROTE and who isn't, you can look it up.

First issue:The first thing in starting I ran into was the FOIG things, mind you I understand and even like the concept, but try as I did and talking to people I found, finding even a starting manual on basic crafting or a player with the time to devote to step by step creation rp was near impossible, so where I had hope to play out the building of my first sword and the making of my first real metal armor was ended quick, and though now I know a few of these things, I am levels away from it being what I hoped it would be.


I don't know a lot of crafters who don't give step-by-step descriptions of the "dice this, mesh that, let it simmer" kind and most will rp that out if crafting tables are close and the occasion arises. It's not default mode to do more, because you can only stretch a recipe you can type out in 3 seconds for so long with rp. Fru describes in detail and hackles the people who ask him for recipes with questions about ingedients all the time (he learned that from Gurky :lol: ), but even that way it's rare to take more than 15-20 minutes for a recipe. Did you ask the crafters you learned from for that much more detailed rp? I honestly can't imagine many refusing if you state that wish up front, because it sounds like a great opportunity for any crafter who knows the recipe. With the caveat that I obviously don't know the details, it sounds like you expected it to be a big deal, got the standard treatment, and were disappointed. If that's the case it's more a question of different expectations about the level of detail and lack of communication than a genuine lack of crafters and crafting rp.

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Re: Where did everyone go???

PostAuthor: GunnJ » Sat Aug 20, 2011 6:43 pm

finding... a player with the time to devote to step by step creation rp was near impossible,


Its not that the rp was not good enough, its that the character could not find anyone to rp with.
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Re: Where did everyone go???

PostAuthor: Kip Durrin » Sat Aug 20, 2011 7:07 pm

GunnJ wrote:
finding... a player with the time to devote to step by step creation rp was near impossible,


Its not that the rp was not good enough, its that the character could not find anyone to rp with.


And that is why I wrote my complete first paragraph ;)

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Re: Where did everyone go???

PostAuthor: DanishPastry » Sat Aug 20, 2011 7:16 pm

I'M RIGHT HERE!!!

...

Oh, wait a minute. :schauen: You were saying?

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Re: Where did everyone go???

PostAuthor: solitude_peace2 » Sun Aug 21, 2011 2:48 am

You can't swing a dead cat without hitting someone ready to help RP crafting, right? I have a PC that was shown how to make Bags of Fire. The idea was "Here, I'll show you how, now make some for me and I'll buy what you make."

My PC has made quite a few Bags of Fire. Haven't seen the Teacher again since.
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Re: Where did everyone go???

PostAuthor: Retsof » Sun Aug 21, 2011 4:10 am

GunnJ was right, as I have found, after nearly two years, the who and shat to ask to RP with as far as crafting goes, but my issue was the first couple of months playing it was tough finding a mentor, and that was when thing were more active. My idea to be honest is a " adventure's do-it your-self guide" with the recipes for say cloth, healing kits+1,a dagger, padded and/or leather armor, a small shield, and maybe a basic tier one potion. The book given to starting characters or found in many stores, like the maps are. I'm not saying give them the world, but I am saying give them a jumping point, I was first attracted to Avlis because a buddy told me about the crafting, I was ready to give up and leave, if it was not for making a Paladin girl and getting into some sweet rp by chance one night. :) The way I see it is we can offer new players a great deal by offering them the tools to get hooked even if one of us isn't there to help right away.\, I mean I would way prefer to help myself or have a fellow player help them "learn the ropes" but sometimes that is not a completely possible choice at first.

Another idea I had was maybe with all the ideas for adding info to the wiki and page was a list of character names, a few people who are commonly on and are willing to be the "go to guy" for new players. I know most if not all of us are willing to help a new player, but it may help a new person if they already knew who to send a tell to.

Just some thoughts.
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Re: Where did everyone go???

PostAuthor: Gorgon » Sun Aug 21, 2011 4:40 am

I keep saying it, but never doing it (yeah, yeah), but finding someone to teach how research mode works will be a huge perk to any crafter wannabe, or one looking for that last thing in that last recipe. Spending a bit of time figuring out exactly what the different messages mean (most are straightforward), or more specifically, when the message changes to another one, is not that hard to do on your own too (big hint there)! You can also get a feel for when it gets dangerous, and you could lose stuff while experimenting. It isn't all that random. In fact it is fairly predictable.

I hate being "taught" a recipe someone else figured out. It just feel dirty/lazy to me, unless working together with a few folks towards that goal. Be happy we aren't using the old system of dumping a billion things in, then figuring out what worked in the lot, if you actually got it to make something (ugh).
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Re: Where did everyone go???

PostAuthor: Vichan Lyonsen » Sun Aug 21, 2011 5:00 am

I think it speaks volumes about the players here that they are concerned enough about avlis to throw ideas out. I was a long time player in Avlis' early days, I took off to do other thangs for a few more and have recently (since october) returned to a significantly changed Avlis.

The first thing I think we have to all face is the halcyon days of nwn are gone, Avlis will never have the playerbase it had a few years ago, and given the current state of nwn in general its going to be difficult to recruit new players.

None of this is to say that Avlis shouldnt try, the bioware social network is out there and Avlis should have a representative there beating the drums as it were.

Once those new people come, however many or few it may be, all thats left is how avlis comes off to these new people. Most importantly in their first few days/weeks of playing. There have already been many good ideas and issues mentioned.

I agree with bidocks that the low level <10 xp cap should be changed or removed altogether, I understand why it exists and that its not going to go away, but avlis seems incredibly top heavy, with major events revolving around players deep deep deep into epic levels. To be fair , ive never seen a low level pc rejected from any of these events ( by low I mean anything less than 20th level) but nothing makes you feel like a fifth wheel faster than being a 19th level pc in an event that beats up on all the 30+ level pcs there. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt - used it as a rag.

From personal experience its no fun when the baddies are knocking your 15-20th level pc into bleeding in two blows and after awhile the epics have got to be getting tired of constantly picking you up.

I love Pathos streets idea of the heirloom item.

I am also totally on board with retsof's idea to provide more very low level crafting information for the starting player, things like basic healing kits and the should be easy to discover, they are not only a necessary item for low level pc's but they also give you something to work on after youve hit your cap, and a player can sell them for coin.

There are no easy solutions for the main problem of few players on at any given time I'm afraid.
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Re: Where did everyone go???

PostAuthor: Gorgon » Sun Aug 21, 2011 5:40 am

Vichan Lyonsen wrote:I love Pathos streets idea of the heirloom item.

It is a nice idea, but I don't like it for one reason. It is specifically designed to make you feel better about solo playing while on Avlis.

Crafting, artifacing, even crumping do lead to role playing with others at some point. I guess you could hit 40th, 20th+ in all crafts and artifacing, and never deal with anyone else, but I'd love to meet the person who thought that was fun... not. A personalized item, entirely done by the owner, with custom perks, again entirely picked by the owner, isn't why we are here. *pictures folks comparing the size and colors of their Schwartz IG when they do bump into each other by accident*
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Re: Where did everyone go???

PostAuthor: Gumble Tinkertumble » Sun Aug 21, 2011 6:03 am

Gorgon wrote:
Vichan Lyonsen wrote:I love Pathos streets idea of the heirloom item.

It is a nice idea, but I don't like it for one reason. It is specifically designed to make you feel better about solo playing while on Avlis.

Crafting, artifacing, even crumping do lead to role playing with others at some point. I guess you could hit 40th, 20th+ in all crafts and artifacing, and never deal with anyone else, but I'd love to meet the person who thought that was fun... not. A personalized item, entirely done by the owner, with custom perks, again entirely picked by the owner, isn't why we are here. *pictures folks comparing the size and colors of their Schwartz IG when they do bump into each other by accident*


It could work if the potential of the item grows, but you still need to find a skilled enough crafter to 'unlock' that potential. The again what would be the need with artificed items already in game. Maybe as was suggested just have more craftable nice items in game?
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Re: Where did everyone go???

PostAuthor: Gumble Tinkertumble » Sun Aug 21, 2011 6:15 am

Oh yeah, I think we should make an effort to use slightly different wording.

It's not Avlis that is losing players, it's NWN.

Avlis as a world will still exist with all the players past, present and future that love it. It just needs a platform for all the players to play it on.
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Re: Where did everyone go???

PostAuthor: Gumble Tinkertumble » Sun Aug 21, 2011 6:20 am

And something else I just remembered. I remember before p-merchants came in there was a lot more activity and RP on the forums. Mainly because that's where most of the player to player trading went on. Since p-merchants came in it doesn't happen half as much.

Not a criticism of the p-merchants, because I think they are great! It's just a shame there aren't as many auctions going on via the forums.
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Re: Where did everyone go???

PostAuthor: Pathos Street » Sun Aug 21, 2011 8:15 am

Gorgon wrote:
Vichan Lyonsen wrote:I love Pathos streets idea of the heirloom item.

It is a nice idea, but I don't like it for one reason. It is specifically designed to make you feel better about solo playing while on Avlis.

Crafting, artifacing, even crumping do lead to role playing with others at some point. I guess you could hit 40th, 20th+ in all crafts and artifacing, and never deal with anyone else, but I'd love to meet the person who thought that was fun... not. A personalized item, entirely done by the owner, with custom perks, again entirely picked by the owner, isn't why we are here. *pictures folks comparing the size and colors of their Schwartz IG when they do bump into each other by accident*


At this point, though, solo players are at least players. It's another hook to get people to log in.

But if that's a concern, then... change it so that it only accumulates XP when partied up? Make it require hard-to-find in game items or some sort of quest, best accomplished by a party, to upgrade? There are a lot of ways to make it more RP-conducive. Still, anything that entices people to just log in and play is a positive in my book.
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Re: Where did everyone go???

PostAuthor: Kip Durrin » Sun Aug 21, 2011 9:56 am

solitude_peace2 wrote:You can't swing a dead cat without hitting someone ready to help RP crafting, right? I have a PC that was shown how to make Bags of Fire. The idea was "Here, I'll show you how, now make some for me and I'll buy what you make."

My PC has made quite a few Bags of Fire. Haven't seen the Teacher again since.


The point I'm making is standing around and waiting is not a good idea if you want something on Avlis. There's a number of crafters who don't play often or only when there's arranged meetings (me included), so it may well seem someone has vanished when in reality they're still around. You just have to write a pm asking if that person would meet and teach you more stuff. And if that doesn't work out you just try to find someone else. I can guarantee you will find someone.

It's not that hard really. When I started frequently playing on Avlis last summer I didn't know anyone, and still I managed to get into ACE (a guild that was basically dead then!) and pretty quickly I joined ROTE too. Of course I had the great luck to meet Gurky, but none of that would have ever happened if I had been sitting around. If I could get into this guild and that player business as a newbie, you surely can find someone to teach you crafting too. ;)

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Re: Where did everyone go???

PostAuthor: Retsof » Sun Aug 21, 2011 10:41 am

Thats why I said just the little stuff like the most basic items, and maybe ever a pointer to where to look for more info say

......."recipe for dagger" .........And now you have crafted you own dagger, and if you are interested in learning more please stop bu (insert shop/guild) and see (insert character name and board name of player)

I think it would help two ways, one it would allow them to tinker with the crafting first day whether they are on alone or if others are on ether way, hence more to immerse ones self into. Two it could even point out a new person to your guild or shop to learn more.

by no means am I meaning anything over first or second tier crafting, past that you can figure out a good deal or find someone to help. ever easier to do with a point in the right direction.
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