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Democracy Is Good

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Democracy Is Good

PostAuthor: Lycanthropy » Sat Sep 09, 2017 6:53 pm

So, in another thread, I said that statements like "this is not a democracy" worry me. Here's why:

It's because attitudes like that are antithetical to good community building. And in a game like Avlis, community is everything.

NWN Avlis isn't like most games. It's a community project, administered by volunteers, with the aim of creating and perpetuating a shared roleplaying space. The primary motivation for everyone here is to have fun in an imaginary world.

NWN Avlis is a shared space. The team aren't salaried employees of a company which administers the servers and makes decisions. They're volunteers, community members, and players. Because we're sharing this space, we all have a stake in the smooth running of Avlis and the enjoyment of our fellow community members.

It stands to reason, then, that the health of the Avlis community is directly related to the health of Avlis itself. Healthy communities are based on trust, openness, and cooperation. Happy Avlis community members log in, make fun for others, cooperate, collaborate, and enrich one another's experience. Happy community members volunteer for the team, and produce or maintain systems, storylines, interactions, and mediate disputes. The converse is true - unhappy community members drift away, argue, or stop working on backroom projects. And if they feel they’re being unfairly, without recourse or even discussion, they not only leave, they become disgruntled. It’s a rational reaction.

At the moment, this late in the game, it’s clear that we're having problems as a community. The response to these problems can't be "more rules from above," because that top-down, authoritarian mindset is part of the problem. It’s part of the problem because over time the team has contracted, grown more aloof, and is now trying to assert powers that rest on very debatable grounds. It’s a problem because it’s fostering an “us and them” mentality, not only between team and player base, but between sections of the community at large. Avlis may not be run like a democracy, precisely, and we may not wish it to be so, but the reflex to state “this isn’t a democracy” strikes me as indicative of a view that the community is this unruly thing to be controlled, rather than one which is open to honest consideration of what the problems might be. Ultimately, if you’re repeating “this isn’t a democracy,” from a position of power, what you’re actually saying is “I’m in charge, so there.” And this mindset is antithetical to strong community building in a shared space.

If you're an authority, your authority has to come from somewhere. In most cases we accept an authority as justified because there's some sense in which the governed have consented to that authority. This idea was radical 400 years ago, but I sincerely hope it isn't controversial now. As it stands, this consent of the governed is not in evidence with the Avlis team and never has been. The team elects its own. Its rules are law because if you break them you can be banned or punished in some other way. Team members are team members because they're team members; they get hired at some point, they do enough to stay on, and they don’t get fired or quit. To some extent this isn’t a problem. It’s fine for a volunteer staff to decide who gets hired and who doesn’t, and to make its own decisions. The problem is when the power entrusted to the team becomes used for its own sake, rather than for the community’s benefit; or when team members come to think of their power and influence as team members as an end in itself, rather than for the end of maintaining a functioning, happy community.

Avlis has very few hard rules, and they're all common sense: We prohibit various behaviours and playstyles because they're antisocial, amoral, or an unfortunate mix of the two - griefing; grotesque, nonconsensual, or public sexual or scatological roleplay; duping; muling, and so on. I hope nobody would argue against those being prohibited. A problem arises, however, when you want to start to take a more rules-driven stance on something like CvC or, say, the forums. It's telling that we've never seriously regulated CvC, except through the player-enforced Gentleman's Agreement. One of the reasons for this, I think, is that it's not obvious from where the authority to moderate CvC, or the forums, stems. Take Micah's thread as an example. Even if one believes that forum moderation rules are now, suddenly, necessary (not at all a given): ask yourself, is it the job of the Lead Producer to decide the forum rules? If so, why? Should community members not have a say in how their community space is policed? Who would appoint moderators? Who gave that person the authority to appoint those moderators? How can they be removed? What happens if someone is chosen who has an obvious bias against various community members? What recourse do I have if I feel I'm not being treated fairly?

That is just a small sampling of the problems that arise. It’s a fundamental issue: community policing in a community space, for infractions which are not obviously antisocial, immoral, or illegal, should be decided by the community, or at least with the consent of the community. Anything else is tyranny. And if you're seriously motivated by a tyrannical impulse in a roleplaying game community, you should probably be engaging in some serious self-reflection.

The team is closed off, and to some extent that's necessary. Plotlines, mysteries, and story arcs need to be decided in secret. Rulebreaking needs to be investigated in confidentiality. However, problems like mistrust and resentment result when the team is too closed - to people, to criticism, to ideas, to feedback, or even just to honest and sincere engagement with the community of which it is a part. The power entrusted to team members is a responsibility, not a privilege or a right. That power is accepted by the community only insofar as it's used to help foster the community.

This is a community of adults. If we have problems, we should be able to discuss them and resolve them - as a community. The only way we can truly have a healthy, happy, community, having fun with our roleplaying game, is if we're open and honest with one another. That means listening to feedback we don't like. That means - yes! - questioning the way things are done sometimes, even if they've always been done that way. It means treating our fellow community members like fellow community members - and human beings - not unruly children, experimental subjects, or what the heck ever. The mechanics of Avlis aren’t static, the playerbase and team populations aren’t static, and the size of the community aren’t static - maybe we should adapt to new circumstances.

You don’t need to be a democracy to be democratic. Maybe it’s only through adopting a more open, democratic mindset that we’ll see our way through the current strife and arguments. Retrenchment into hostile camps, or putting up more walls made of rules between team and playerbase, is going to continue to damage the community until it withers and dies; I, for one, would be incredibly sad to see that happen.
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Re: Democracy Is Good

PostAuthor: Orleron » Sat Sep 09, 2017 8:25 pm

My thoughts line up a lot with Lycanthropy, and as the person who started the whole "this is not a democracy" thing 15 years ago, I think I should say something.

1. I'm not a saint. The things I say and do are not always right. Moreover, I learn and grow as this community and the people in it do.

2. My words/actions caused a big stir in the playerbase back then. A lot of people said a lot of things about me. I looked inside myself and realized a lot of those things they said were RIGHT. That is one factor in why I did the best thing for the community and left.

3. I've had about a decade more experience since then on real teams in the real world and I know two things about leaders. One, you only get to use the "because I said so" line ONCE and usually it marks the beginning of the end for you. Two, leaders accept criticism with introspection, not paranoia or reactive defense. See #2.

4. The original premise of these boards was total freedom to speak one's mind, with responsibility to keep it civil. Responsibility is not the same as a rule.

5. The vision of Avlis NWN needs some updating, and I think with such a small group of players as this, we should involve everyone in retooling that vision for this game.

Thank you.
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Re: Democracy Is Good

PostAuthor: Sarmanos » Sat Sep 09, 2017 10:06 pm

I don't think there is an honest intent to promote these ideas taking place for "democracy." Just the shoddy illusion of one that actually means a justification in a clique of individuals empowering themselves to be able to throw their weight around to gain influence in how Avlis is ran because they've decided they don't like the leadership anymore since Sunscream was ousted. I will give though that they are pretty looking words that can appeal easily at first glance and look like no-brainers to agree with, but right behind them, the daggers are being sharpened.

Here's why: The same little group of people that generally keep hopping into these related threads, starting them, and agreeing with each other?

I don't trust your intentions.

They are dressed up to look nice for public presentation, but the timing, knowledge of past interactions with certain involved individuals, and so on instead is making this look like a very pleasant and palatable looking attempt at a coup of the current staff because a clique of individuals are upset with Sunscream's removal and may also dislike the current leadership. I don't think there is any attempt at genuine arguments. Just an attempt to build up the perception of public approval and validation even if it is illegitimate to justify either forcefully replacing or undermining the current leadership and team. It can be dressed up as "helpful concern for the community" as much as possible, but the attempts have been too blatant, too conveniently timed, and keep involving the same select group of people.

I know there is the "secret" IRC side-rooms where individuals are free to collude, present their views of the team and players for each other to agree on no matter how toxic they are, and even plan together. I know there are those who think only THEIR vision of Avlis is the right Avlis and anyone who differs in opinion from them is not only wrong but deserves their scorn. I have first-hand experience in witnessing these things over the years and at one time was even a part of one of these rooms. I have seen more than enough similar implosions across different PWs to see when something like this is coming.

So I'm sorry, but I'm just not feeling the honesty overall.
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Re: Democracy Is Good

PostAuthor: LadyAwesome » Sun Sep 10, 2017 1:12 am

How are these type of posts helping anyone? If you have a disagreement, instead of making a whole forum thread why don't you compile all the information together and submit it to the team. Not just the head the whole team.

This is hurting the community and this community is all I care for. I hope that if anyone had a problem with anything I did as a DM they would come to me first because I don't know other wise.

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Re: Democracy Is Good

PostAuthor: Micah » Sun Sep 10, 2017 1:28 am

I appreciate you spinning this off Lyc. It's a good clear opportunity to respond.

In my post, I meant "Avlis is not a Democracy" literally, in the way wikipedia describes it. It was used in the thread under the heading of "DON'T PANIC" in a post about forum discussions because a lot of our people get put off at the sight of certain topics or polls (or sometimes just the fact there is one at all). So, to paraphrase, don't panic the vote won't hurt you. I appreciate your sensitivity to it though.
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Re: Democracy Is Good

PostAuthor: GrimlyAxefingler » Sun Sep 10, 2017 3:10 pm

Democracy can be good, but referendums are historically not. Rather than regurgitate common political theory, here is an article in the times that i thought hit the mark.

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/05/worl ... antos.html
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Re: Democracy Is Good

PostAuthor: Bane TooVall » Sun Sep 10, 2017 6:06 pm

LadyAwesome wrote:How are these type of posts helping anyone? If you have a disagreement, instead of making a whole forum thread why don't you compile all the information together and submit it to the team. Not just the head the whole team.

This is hurting the community and this community is all I care for. I hope that if anyone had a problem with anything I did as a DM they would come to me first because I don't know other wise.

I love you all, be kind to one another.


@ Lady Awesome. I think that, in this case, it is better to pen this as an open topic. You dont start a topic about Avlis Team distrust, secrecy, individual mandate, authoritarianism, ect by sending a post about it only to them. What good does notifying someone about a bank robbery when the only persons you notified were the robbers? (possibly a poor analogy but you understand). Also, if you care for this community, you should be trying to find the issues and helping them become known so they can be fixed, like Lyco is doing. Sweeping them under the "Email the Team" rug or pretending that not talking about them and only bringing up 'positive' issues with fix the real issues will not work.

To Lyco I would say, welcome to Avlis, this has only been going on for 10+ years. I personally believe, beyond any aging or mechanic or RP thing, that it is the single biggest contributor to the dwindling community.

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Re: Democracy Is Good

PostAuthor: silverfields2 » Mon Sep 11, 2017 2:00 pm

@LadyAwesome, Yes, I do enjoy this community and this game. No I don't want to see it go away. But my recent fears that bubbled up and caused me to panic, were that the vision that the leadership of this community had no longer matched up with what I think makes this place worth the work I put in it to keep playing it. I had no idea if I was alone in that feeling or if anyone else in the community felt that way until I started participation in the forum discussions. I have since learned via the communication on the forum boards that what I thought was going on, is apparantly not what I thought was going on. I had no way of knowing that without people posting and continuing to post. Even though I still have no idea what the whole story was, when I became aware of the conflict and got caught in the middle of it (or that's what it felt like any way) my trust in the team dropped like a stone. I didn't know who to trust because I found myself in a bunch of 'he said/she said' conversations.

Which leads me right down the path of frustration. I don't have any clue what the leadership does behind that curtain. For me this discussion has become less about what 'type of government' we have as a community because to be fair, the leadership will, in the end, by default, determine what kind of players they attract and keep even if we did vote for them instead of using the hiring process we do now (a process I only vaugly understand). This disscusion for me is now transparency and communication of what determines the following - because the answers would satisfy me that the leadership is listening to the community and able to respond to the player's interests - even if I found out it does not match mine:

What is our leadership's the vision for this world?

What policies guidelines and rules are used to determine who can be in the leadership?

What policies, guidelines and rules govern the leadership's actions?

What is the process that the leadership uses to determine the intrests of the community?

If it is posted on the wiki and/or the forums somewhere, by all means point me to it.

It is hard to get across in text the emotions going on behind the typed words so let me just state that my emotions right now are worry, sadness, and hope.
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Re: Democracy Is Good

PostAuthor: Ambrosia » Mon Sep 11, 2017 2:17 pm

SF2's above post is exactly what I've been trying to figure out how to say and her questions are my own. I've been super excited to be back until this last week or two of drama.

Edit: at some point Orl's vision post was quoted. If that still applies and is the team's base for its "Mission Statement", that works for me.
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Re: Democracy Is Good

PostAuthor: Xeo » Mon Sep 11, 2017 2:52 pm

Sarmanos wrote:I don't think there is an honest intent to promote these ideas taking place for "democracy." Just the shoddy illusion of one that actually means a justification in a clique of individuals empowering themselves to be able to throw their weight around to gain influence in how Avlis is ran because they've decided they don't like the leadership anymore since Sunscream was ousted. I will give though that they are pretty looking words that can appeal easily at first glance and look like no-brainers to agree with, but right behind them, the daggers are being sharpened.

Here's why: The same little group of people that generally keep hopping into these related threads, starting them, and agreeing with each other?

I don't trust your intentions.

They are dressed up to look nice for public presentation, but the timing, knowledge of past interactions with certain involved individuals, and so on instead is making this look like a very pleasant and palatable looking attempt at a coup of the current staff because a clique of individuals are upset with Sunscream's removal and may also dislike the current leadership. I don't think there is any attempt at genuine arguments. Just an attempt to build up the perception of public approval and validation even if it is illegitimate to justify either forcefully replacing or undermining the current leadership and team. It can be dressed up as "helpful concern for the community" as much as possible, but the attempts have been too blatant, too conveniently timed, and keep involving the same select group of people.

I know there is the "secret" IRC side-rooms where individuals are free to collude, present their views of the team and players for each other to agree on no matter how toxic they are, and even plan together. I know there are those who think only THEIR vision of Avlis is the right Avlis and anyone who differs in opinion from them is not only wrong but deserves their scorn. I have first-hand experience in witnessing these things over the years and at one time was even a part of one of these rooms. I have seen more than enough similar implosions across different PWs to see when something like this is coming.

So I'm sorry, but I'm just not feeling the honesty overall.


This simple sums it up for me.

SF2's post is generally the most productive and honest collection of thoughts I've seen and read so far. SF2's thoughts also have suggestions and questions attached to it, which is are productive and helping a situation.

There are a couple of things I don't agree with though because I have either a different view, experience or knowledge. Doesn't make me right or wrong.

The distrust for me lays not with Team but with a small section of the playerbase. I've seen a few Team Administrations in my time on Avlis and I seen some pretty diabolical behaviours by some but people learn, people grow and people gain experience... I believe have I changed because I am husband and father now but I am not perfect in a long way.

If this was a collection of genuine, honestly and respected concerns that were presented than I would have not a single issue. What makes me very distrustful of some players at the moment is where this all has been born from and how it's been carried out.

This is not a easy time for anyone on what ever stand or view point we have but what we must do which is paramount to the community, is to communicate without self interested agendas, revenge, power struggles, anger or us vs them but for Avlis. I want people to actually take a step back and think about those people who are involved.

We are all the Avlis Community because without the players there is no Avlis. We are a family of super geeks and friends who all love to roleplay and even the ones who dont like me or I them. We are family.

So what ever the issues are we can work them out together. I don't want to see anyone not logging in or not wanting to tell thier story... That's including me.

This is my lost thoughts on this because I just want to focus on the fun of Avlis and my online buddy's. :D
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Re: Democracy Is Good

PostAuthor: LadyAwesome » Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:52 pm

SF2 it wasn't the discussion I was annoyed with, it was the attacking and hate against one another that was getting on my nerves.

That kind of thing is not constructive with all the emotion attached to it. I like where this headed though and it needs to keep civil.

Enjoy your day everyone.
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Re: Democracy Is Good

PostAuthor: silverfields2 » Tue Sep 12, 2017 12:15 am

Thank-you for clarifying, Kayla. And thank-you to Ambrosia and Xeo for your input also.
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Re: Democracy Is Good

PostAuthor: Micah » Tue Sep 12, 2017 1:46 am

I appreciate all of this you guys.

SF2 I will answer every one of your questions. I'm going to do it one at a time... aaaand they'll almost certainly be out of order. I look forward to it.
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Re: Democracy Is Good

PostAuthor: silverfields2 » Tue Sep 12, 2017 12:36 pm

Thank-you Micah.
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Re: Democracy Is Good

PostAuthor: Micah » Wed Sep 13, 2017 6:58 pm

I violated rule -13 1/2B: thou shalt not tl;dr.

The Vision

Avlis is a unique role playing experience even 15 years after its creation. I see its potential as a stained glass window where the lore and servers are the panes and the community paints them as players and staff. We focus on the people we have now so the painting varies over time, but we are keeping a place to come and play how you want, leave for years if you must, then come back and find us again. The game may feel different but you are still welcome.

Avlis is a social game. The center of our experience is the community of growing, maturing people who work through problems primarily by talking, righting wrongs, and forgiving. We move towards healthy community practices out of game to support players, devs and DMs in their other contributions toward the world. We also want to be here for more than any particular facet of the game and are willing to work together to create the experience we want.

Leadership Qualifications

The hired Leadership positions are filled with these in mind:
Merit. Skills, abilities, reputation relevant to the job
Trust. Can we trust them and work with them
Availability. They have to be around enough to do the job
Positivity. Have to have a positive attitude and be constructive
Responsibility. Willing to do whatever it takes to keep Avlis ticking

The majority of leaders in this community are players and staff who bring their thoughts and perspectives to the table in constructive ways, who take responsibility for some part of Avlis and focus in on it, who organize events from dungeon crawls to fairs, who add creative flair to the world, who breath life into quiet guilds, who start all new groups, who ensure information and skills get spread, who connect players, who heal the community, who help people both new and vet, and who speak from the heart on the forums.

--------------------------------------------------------------

The other two are long enough to be posts each on their own, so I will split this up a bit.
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Re: Democracy Is Good

PostAuthor: Micah » Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:10 pm

Leadership Actions

I show up to Avlis because I believe in our players, I believe in our team and I believe in what we have built and can still build together. My personal compass aims in that direction with a desire for an ever-healthier and more mature community where communication and support go both ways. When I started this, I had no idea what I was getting into. I'm still learning on the job, and the more I learn the more I realize we have some work to do.

The thing in common here is that Leaders see something that needs doing or that they want to do, take responsibility for it, and then go for it. When things start requiring interaction from the team, like "hey guys can I reboot guild X/start guild Y I need your backing and some keys", the time and deliberation that it takes depends on how many people are around, involved, and of the reputation of leader who is stepping up.

-------------------------------------------

When you start moving back into systems, there is a tremendous amount going on in the black box that is avlis, a bazillion ways to judge whether the state of something is good/bad/misdirected/OP, etc. Then there are conflicts of interest in what we do. For the most part, I steer gently based on my preferences and goals and watch how things play out and recruit folks when I can. Sometimes I get more involved… sometimes I get in the way.

CCC starts having conflicts of interest when we permit people to work on areas that interest them ,especially when those areas also affect them. We do this because we're small, intimate and volunteer. I will use myself as a blatant example, but I want you to know that almost every Dev encounters something similar at some point, and most of the current lot work on projects that are well outside conflict of interest range or have so much impact that I'm happy to address those concerns.

My expertise is based on hundreds if not thousands of hours with magic for mages, clerics and holy warriors. I have a real crisp understanding of where they fit into the world as we play it today, but at the same time, any changes I make are going to affect my PC(s). Somebody is bound to disagree with my change. It is clearly a conflict of interest. No disagreement there, and as I'm LP, there is nobody in an official position to slap my wrist… how do things proceed?

There is mutual oversight, but it has not fit a static rule over past several years. We try to stay fluid because dev business has its booms and lulls, with generally 1 expert (or less) in any given area. This means there is no perfect teamside discussion group for dev, on the other hand, our objectives are informed by the people we talk to as well as our own experience.

In 2012/13, we made a bunch of procedural changes for breaking us out of the "old way" to meet the needs of a smaller more agile team. Many of these ended up being clumsy, irregular and caused stress as time progressed. That's actually pretty cool if you think about it. We have been making progress long enough for '12/'13 solutions to be rendered well obsolete, in this case by a CCC team with focus and development skills that demand a better way of doing things - one that will make for healthier development for years to come. Yeah, it's 2017 and CCC is planning for your future.

Back the blatant example of me (and any other CCC person who works on a project with COI). The clumsy process of the past and the ideas of CCC present have led to a standardization of the way we do project proposals that helps small teams work effectively during less oversight using better documentation and large teams work quicker during too much oversight (read: Micah, get out of the way) but keeping the good documentation. Anything can be reopened for discussion, so those COI's can be redressed or a system can be updated - even Lead Producer stuff.

In the name of transparency, it isn't always possible to adjust something that needs attention or that we want to give attention. That's a staffing thing, mostly, but a real constraint. Also, the projects that get done depend highly on the devs, their interests, and how they work together. I call it "lightly collaborative", where folks have their own projects, share lots of ideas, and periodically get their elbows dirty together. The current team has evolved a culture that leans toward system stability (read: your future), bug crushing, and cool stuff people will use like crafting. When we get complaints about things, we tend to check if it is bug caliber before shifting off the current key projects to focus on it. In other eras, different team compositions might give a particular complaint or system more nuanced attention.

One of the thing I wish I could do is be super transparent about what is going on dev-side, however, the shroud of silence is in place because historically, 70-80% of what is started never gets finished - and that's not a shot at CCC mind you, these guys are one of my very, very favorite things about Avlis - its just a reality of busy people trying to complete hobby projects that are a ton of work. (Edit: credit where credit is due, the current group has a much higher completion ratio. Its pretty incredible) I wish we could keep a development checklist of some sort, but reality has shown me that things are super hot now, but in 6 months could be really quiet, only to pick back up 4 months after that. I do not want to disappoint anybody, though come to think of it, if anybody has an idea for this sort of thing that might work, I'm all ears.

One of my favorite things about doing this has been learning from the community as I go, which means making mistakes, doing things the hard way, and periodically (Seka is probably laughing at me "only periodically?") not having a clue. I like listening even when I'm swallowing my pride, especially when somebody is interested in teaching me something. All of these things contribute to the way I deal with the next set of actions I take, and they are ultimately aimed at the vision in a way that is authentic to me.

----------------------------------------------

When we start talking about the most controversial actions that I take, they almost always boil down to people are looking at me to do something, I give a serious f**k about the community, so I go for it. This has led to some massive changes in how we deal with people. Keeping in line with the vision, the 800+ thread/person watchlist of Avlis legends has 20 threads have any posts dated 2014 forward. Nine of those are old bans, five of which were reversed without a single regret, four others were continued due to exceptional duplicity or wickedness toward other people. Most of the rest were basic "heads up, talk it out, all better" stuff.

That means nearly everybody who has blown up at a DM, written a nasty PM, made a stupid mistake, bad meta'd, crossed an old Avlis rule, had a bad day/week/month/year so on and so forth from the bottom to the top has been talked through it as best as we are able then forgiven, with a few very sad exceptions. We've even cut people loose, ushered people out, given them time to get their heads straight and then let them come back when they were ready. Zero regrets there, too, especially considering we're in this for the long haul. Sometimes you just need a break, yeah?

People treating other people like shit is one of the most damaging things a community like this can suffer. The latest drama is something we are going to sort out, and having exhausted my preferred ways of dealing with these things we are back to drawing and enforcing boundaries that have not been required for 4 years.

Whether or not this is going to stop is not a question, "how" has a great deal of flexibility and one of the reasons all these crazy conversations are presented in public is so we can hopefully work through this stuff together. Things are moving step by step in the right direction, though I cannot promise the right direction has a happy ending, we will be more on track when this has passed.
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Re: Democracy Is Good

PostAuthor: Micah » Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:20 pm

Best Interests of the Community

This answer is less about one thing and more about how All The Things are connected to point in a particular direction.

The biggest part of our interests for the community is: do what we need to keep the server running and offer the baseline unpainted "stained glass window" I described above.

The second part is to cultivate the kind of community atmosphere we want. We want as many people to take responsibility for a part of Avlis, be it as a player, a tester, a builder, a DM, anything. There is room for everybody to be involved and I think in many cases what limits us is our creativity in bringing people together. The hard line between 'team' and 'player' is a big one. There are good reasons to not want to be team, but a person may have a ton of lore in their head (we're working on this one…) without wanting to DM, or may be really good at testing stuff without wanting to build. Other examples include players who do a hell of community building as players, in game, through guilds or RP.


The other part of the community atmosphere is how we treat each other. The health of communities and organizations are driven by common factors and we are a smart enough, caring enough, mature enough group that we can incorporate most of them naturally into our practices. I believe that presently, the reason we don't is because we do not know what they are. We can sort that. Those who struggle will catch up. In the end, we will be communicating much better.

Now, if we have a stained glass window ready to be painted and a community that is ready to take responsibility for all kinds of different pieces, we are primed to get the most out of Avlis. From there you can superimpose anything you want… crafting, plots, etc… but we cannot take for granted that anything somebody wants from Avlis somebody else has to provide. Respecting this is an absolute necessity as we go into the future, especially when we are going to criticize somebody about their work.

Not only is the respect essential, but we need to develop the skills to do it properly as well. I've worked corporate strategy during times of change and morale has an astronomical effect on what people are willing and able to give. Whether a job is high paid, low, or volunteer has almost nothing to do with it. It is not uncommon to get 150-200% productivity for people who are really into what they are doing compared with "average" morale, and "low morale" do only what's most comfortable.

When I look at our DM team, I think they're all great and I support each of them 110%. They're smart, they're funny, they're clever, they're very motivated when they feel welcome. It is short leap to realize it is in the best interests of the community to step up and take responsibility for helping make the DMs job worth doing.

Don't tell the DMs this, because it's part of my psychological conditioning program, but I am completely confident that if we treat them right, support them properly, give back and provide for them so they can provide for us, this question of "why don't DMs, DM" vanishes. Not only that, Pleth and I get to recruit using the lines DMing is Awesome! You'll love it! Don't worry if you aren't perfect the players will support you and you'll get better!" If we don't do it, which we aren't, then no dice. We don't force people to do things here.

Pulling it together: We cultivate a community base that DMs really want to DM, get some new recruits, pull some people who take responsibility and pick up the wand so they can create part of the world they love (or their friends love!), couple that with a kicking CCC that's going to make this place stick for another 5-10 years, slot in a community that is dedicated to improving itself and providing for the team (incoming: LoreQA/Lore Council but open to ideas) so the team can return the favor…

Everybody is involved. Everybody treats each other well. The RP is epic and who knows what else might happen. I got ideas, but we need to make a bit of progress here first.
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Re: Democracy Is Good

PostAuthor: Ambrosia » Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:44 pm

Thank you for sharing!
Have a*´¨)
¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*¨)
(¸.•´ (¸.•´ * Wonderful day! *
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Re: Democracy Is Good

PostAuthor: Katroine » Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:53 pm

I see its potential as a stained glass window where the lore and servers are the panes and the community paints them as players and staff. We focus on the people we have now so the painting varies over time, but we are keeping a place to come and play how you want, leave for years if you must, then come back and find us again. The game may feel different but you are still welcome.


Does this mean that lore is the base and solid or that the lore changes as players/DMs alter it?
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Re: Democracy Is Good

PostAuthor: Micah » Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:57 pm

I see the lore is the base, the setting itself. Ideally that does not change, but the way Avlis has been recorded over the past 15 years, vast stores of lore live and die in the heads of the people who come and go. That's a huge deficiency and is something we're working on now so we can make that more concrete in the future.

Let me know if that answers what you were asking, since "lore" can be a pretty broad topic.
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Re: Democracy Is Good

PostAuthor: Katroine » Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:06 pm

I guess I mean the gods/goddesses, the history, magic, geography, etc. the things documented for the past 15 years regarding the world. A lot of our lore is fairly well documented.

For example: Sorvanok is not going to come back as a baelnorn.
O'Ma and Maleki are not going to make a baby god of evil free will loving feral fey.

Basically, does the base lore of Avlis stand?
"However friendly they may seem, they must be corrupt to the core, and I must never forget that."
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Re: Democracy Is Good

PostAuthor: Micah » Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:16 pm

Yep.
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Re: Democracy Is Good

PostAuthor: Katroine » Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:19 pm

Micah wrote:Yep.


Thanks!
Just wanted to be sure my 13 years of Avlis Lore degree was still good. :D
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Re: Democracy Is Good

PostAuthor: Sarmanos » Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:30 pm

Good stuff, but it all should be posted somewhere like one of the World Info boards so it isn't lost to time and activity.
Vetinari: I have noted before that you have a definite anti-authoritarian streak, Commander.
Vimes: Sir?
Vetinari: You seem to have retained this even though you are Authority.
Vimes: Sir?
Vetinari: That's practically Zen.
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Re: Democracy Is Good

PostAuthor: Orleron » Thu Sep 14, 2017 12:44 am

Katroine wrote:O'Ma and Maleki are not going to make a baby god of evil free will loving feral fey.



:anmachen:
"Truth has no form."
--Idries Shah

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