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On what makes a good server

General discussion about Avlis

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On what makes a good server

PostAuthor: Orleron » Mon Jun 14, 2004 2:43 pm

I've played on a lot of multi-player media. If I had to fill out an application for Avlis, my online experience section would be this:

JediMud
HexOnyx
Medievia
various other MUD's for short periods of time, mostly DIKU's
Ultima Online
Diablo (ha, yes I played)
Starwars Galaxies
NWN

Really I was big into MUD's. My freshman year of college, I MUDed myself from a 3.4 to a 3.0, which took a lot of work for me because I was practically a straight A-B+ student all my life before that.

I belonged to many communities in the games above, and in each one I always saw the same thing: the community gets torn apart by the same old upheavals, time and time again. There were two kinds of upheaval really. The player-caused kind, and the admin-caused kind. Either way, one or both of those existed in every community I was in. Every single time, the fights were over the same problems on both sides, yet each community acted like it was the first time it ever happened on the planet. I was always thinking, wtf? Doesn't anyone build a community with experience learned from these guys??


I'm happy to say that I was very successful in ridding this place of Admin-caused problems from early on, by using what I learned from the other place. These are the kinds of problems where people do things like fight over code, recognition, and other ego-related things within the team. That really doesn't happen within our team because we share everything and we screen the people that we let onto the team to make sure they gel well with the ones who are already there. It works beautifully, and I'd like to think that we have pretty good control over it's stability. Lucky for you!

Ah, excellent, so what about the players? The players are quite a bit harder to teach. It's not hard to see why. They are way more numerous than team members, and new ones are always coming in who go through a learning curve within the community. No blame there. It's all good.

But what makes a good server, i.e. one that doesn't fall apart because the players whine it into oblivion or destroy it in other ways? I go by what I've experienced. Player arguments are always the same:

* John Doe's character can do more than mine, and I've been here longer

* John Doe's class can do more than mine, and I think that all the classes (especially MY class) should be more balanced/powerful/etc.

* This server sucks because people get griefed (Luckily not our problem here.)

* This server has an abundance/deficiency of Class/Race XXX

* Feature A is killing the game by doing B

* John Doe is not playing the way I (or my guild) wants him to play

* My guild is pissed off because this other guild did XXXX

and the list goes on.


Pretty much every recurring thread on these boards fits one of those above categories. I knew this stuff going in to making Avlis a NWN PW. My intention was and still is to make a server that does not get torn apart by any of those above issues. I've been largely successful at it too, but not always due to help from our most vocal players.

How did I get around those things above? I decided to focus on other things. Avlis has a vision, as the team calls it. Our goal, as a team, is to make Avlis according to the vision. I figured, correctly, that if we concentrate on the vision more than worrying about these silly ideas above, we would get somewhere. It's the ideas above that kill servers. More accurately, it's trying to FIX the ideas above that kill them. They can't be fixed. No one has done it. If someone had, then why isn't everyone playing on their server?

So that's what I wanted to say. A good server is made from experience. My experience tells me that dealing with those issues is like the Dark Side of the Force. Once you set down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny. I refuse to do it, time and again. If you as a player want to post stuff in relation to the things I listed above, you are free to, of course. But remember that by doing so, you are not "helping the team". You are contributing to the death of Avlis, really. That death is of course a long ways off, we hope. But you are in effect speeding its arrival by doing things like that.

The Avlis Team knows what it is doing. We have a plan. You can stay and bask in our plans. Or you can go to another server. We totally respect either decision. The point is that we do this for FUN, and not necessarily to serve you, the players. Service happens, and we enjoy it when it does. But it is not our only intention or goal. The vision is the goal. We do respect input from players. Don't get me wrong. But the kind of input we respect is the kind that does not fit into any of the above categories, but rather the kind that would contribute to enhancing the vision.

To be blunt, this is not a democracy. You don't pay us a mandatory fee to play her. So even if the majority of players wants something, we technically STILL don't have to do it for you. We sometimes do though.

Thanks to all who play here knowing that.
"Truth has no form."
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PostAuthor: Camb » Mon Jun 14, 2004 3:08 pm

*all of Camb's non-IC posts have been deleted*
Last edited by Camb on Sun Jul 31, 2005 9:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostAuthor: Jorta » Mon Jun 14, 2004 3:51 pm

This is interesting reading coming from the age poll. I had forgotten how old I was and how many years I've seen good servers and bad. Before Avlis and a break from multi-person gaming, I had played MUD's for years and years (and years) and I have to say your analysis of what goes wrong is pretty spot on.

Avlis is free (dontations welcome!), fun, and a great job by everyone on the team. Keep up the good work!

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PostAuthor: Spartan » Mon Jun 14, 2004 4:24 pm

Awesome post.
Gave me a lot to think about too I'm humbled to admit.

If i had to give an opinion on one of the most important things that create a server I would say staff members who are friendly and helpful but ready to put their foot down and NOT be everyones friends. (Sometimes hard to do when staff members have publically known player characters too but i dont see that problem on avlis.) Theirs always going to be unhappy players and like the boss said, their always going to have the same problems.
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PostAuthor: Hortis » Mon Jun 14, 2004 4:50 pm

I have to add to Camb's comments. You guys have put together the closest thing to PnP RP that I've seen anywhere, and I just love playing here. Keep up the absolutely excellent work (or else!)

And most importantly, you have a great, caring team. You guys rock!
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PostAuthor: GreyLynx » Mon Jun 14, 2004 5:44 pm

Seeing beyond all the crap and holding onto the vision reflects a good dose of wisdom. I'd be pissed as hell if Avlis got torn down by knee-jerk reactions to complaints about balance/playing style/etc.,. I've seen it happen on other worlds, and it sucks. I hope all the team realizes that for all the complaints they hear, most of us are very happy with the world you've made and the effort you put in. We're all grateful for the vision you are creating and letting us be within it.

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PostAuthor: DurGil » Mon Jun 14, 2004 6:05 pm

Thanks. nuff sed

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PostAuthor: Wulgara » Mon Jun 14, 2004 6:09 pm

Good post, Orleron, and I agree with the vast majority of it. As a student of human behavior, the internet has always been a very active experiment, watching communities develop and fall apart (probably has already made one hell of a thesis paper for someone). However, there is one point with which I must disagree completely, and insist that you are utterly wrong:

Diablo is not an RPG. :-P
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PostAuthor: tha_monsta » Mon Jun 14, 2004 7:14 pm

Keep up the good work, guys. And stick to your guns.

Even in the best of situations, there is a very vocal (whiney) minority that is going to make a lot of negative noise. It's very gratifying to the rest of us to see them ignored, admonished, or even banned (tee-hee!).

Any MUSH, MUDD, MMORPG, MORP, GORK, FLORP, or BOGSARD (Bunch Of Geeks Sitting Around Rolling Dice) is a game. A game. If you find yourself getting overly pissed about it, you need to go outside and look at a squirrel or something.
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Very interesting

PostAuthor: Rahl76 » Mon Jun 14, 2004 8:40 pm

Very interesting reading this post... It's sometimes amazing to me to see how similar the experiences people who enjoy these types of games go through really are. I played D&D way back when it was just the colored boxes of rules and have been hooked ever since. MUD's in college... though free ended up costing me several thousand dollars due to losing my full Computer Science scholarship. *cough* I played Medievia, Arctic, Duris, and Sojourn. I have to say the creators of those games paved the way for the current MMORPG craze. I hope some of them gained some benefit from their efforts.

What Orleron said is exactly right. I have watched nearly every player community I've been apart of torn apart by simple jealousy and "grass is always greener" mentality. The primary problem is usually a lack of skill and the player wants extra "powers" to compensate for that lack of skill. For example... Class A player gets pwned by class B. Class A player then rolls a class B toon and gets pwned by someone playing his original class. This results in an endless stream of whining... which draws other whiners.

Basically all I'm trying to say is I agree... stick to your plans and do what you feel is right with your world.

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PostAuthor: alucard_knight1 » Mon Jun 14, 2004 9:25 pm

you know i posted a complaint about fighters being underpowered having thought about it and reading this post youre right. ive been on avlis for a while now and got alot more from it than ive gave to it.
no avlis isnt perfect but take my word for it having tried alot of servers
avlis is bye far the best server there is so to orleron and to the rest of the team you have my apologies.



what you have created here is truly amazing
this isnt just a game its a community

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PostAuthor: Vanor » Mon Jun 14, 2004 10:03 pm

One thing that IMO at least that keeps Avlis humming along nicely is that while we do care what the players think. We stay true to The Vision, no matter what.

If 99% of the player base voted for Avlis to become a monty haul place, where boots of speed dropped from the sky, +10 2d8 elemental damage weapons were for sale on every street corner, and you could make lvl 20 in 48 hours of play...

We wouldn't do it.

Now that is an extream case, granted. But the point is still there. We do things based on this vision of the ideal Avlis. In the almost two years that Avlis has existed, the staff has worked towards that.

In that time, we've grown, and grown and grown. We started out with one mod, Mikona and few places to adventure. To 6 mods, with thousands of areas. We've been featured on the Bioware web site, we've been named to the NWVault hall of fame, we have a player base in the thousands, and have linked up to 4 or 5 different worlds of like minds... With more on the way.

In short time has proven that we're doing something right. I don't lists those things out of ego, or pride, even though I am proud of Avlis. But rather as proof that Avlis is doing something that many people seem to like.

Lots of other PW's have started and died but Avlis keeps growing.

We've had hundereds if not thousands of pages posted here, about some of the issues that Orl mentioned, by the players. We always listen to them... Looking for a grain of good to be taken out of even the most serverly beaten undead horse.

I think it's the staff's dedication to The Vision, and the players trust and acceptace of that, that is Avlis' strongest point.

The players know that what they say is heard, but also know that the staff will do what they feel is best for Avlis...

We've been doing that for 2 years now, we're still here and stronger then ever. Guess it works.
Last edited by Vanor on Mon Jun 14, 2004 10:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostAuthor: gravehead » Mon Jun 14, 2004 10:20 pm

This is a really cool post. And I've got to say thanks for all the work you and the team have done. Keep it up!! :)

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PostAuthor: Aloro » Mon Jun 14, 2004 10:26 pm

The moral of the story is this:

We have a Master Plan, and we try to fit everything into it. It is 100% impossible to please everyone, and there will always be a vocal minority who complain about ANYTHING. While it is good to share your opinions with the community, it is not helpful to try to force your own opinions on everyone else. So if an issue been discussed in detail before, EVEN IF YOU DON'T LIKE THE ANSWER, accept it and move on. Please don't resurrect cold, dead topics and flail away at them, as it is only detrimental to the community.

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Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn wrote:The meaning of earthly existence lies, not as we have grown used to thinking, in prosperity, but in the development of the soul.
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PostAuthor: stoertebeker » Tue Jun 15, 2004 12:53 am

Avlis rocks and theres nothing to complain about

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all those who like decent electronic music go here before whining or bitching on the boards:

http://www.theplayground.com/static_music/
Craft the pain away !!
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PostAuthor: stoertebeker » Tue Jun 15, 2004 3:24 am

wow .. i seem to have secret powers to close threads

amazing




kenny larkin rules anyway
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PostAuthor: yeoua » Tue Jun 15, 2004 8:43 am

Wait... boots of speed dropping from the sky?
:)

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PostAuthor: KenLie » Tue Jun 15, 2004 9:01 am

yeoua wrote:Wait... boots of speed dropping from the sky?
:)


Forget it! :lol: :lol:

Yeah. I also like to give my thanks to the team in looking the big picture, instead of letting small issues mess the whole thing.

My experience in RP is mostly from LARP with AD&D and Rolemaster
(Yeah. been playing Diablo too, where's the RP in it?)

PS. I've been a bit "whining" about fighter's situations, but still, in a way... I kind of actually like the challenge in it! Which makes it more fun in the long run... :lol: :D
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PostAuthor: Vanor » Tue Jun 15, 2004 2:42 pm

yeoua wrote:Wait... boots of speed dropping from the sky?
:)


I actually had that happen. I was trying out a different PW as a lark... I spent 5 min's roleplaying like I would here. I got 2 pairs of boots of speed and 2 lvls worth of exp's.
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PostAuthor: choraldances » Tue Jun 15, 2004 5:35 pm

Vanor wrote:
yeoua wrote:Wait... boots of speed dropping from the sky?
:)


I actually had that happen. I was trying out a different PW as a lark... I spent 5 min's roleplaying like I would here. I got 2 pairs of boots of speed and 2 lvls worth of exp's.


So you used the boots and got yourself out of that PW.
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PostAuthor: Raen » Tue Jun 15, 2004 5:40 pm

Vanor wrote:Lots of other PW's have started and died but Avlis keeps growing.


Been there, done those - Really glad I am here, even gladder that if RL calls me away for a day or a month, AVLIS will still be here. (My personal online stress relief!)

Complements to the chefs!
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PostAuthor: Vanor » Tue Jun 15, 2004 5:46 pm

choraldances wrote:So you used the boots and got yourself out of that PW.


Pretty much... But I did powergame like a whore first. ;)
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PostAuthor: Arnimane » Tue Jul 06, 2004 12:16 am

Nicely written and helped me understand a bit about Avlis. Mainly learned to keep my yap shut a bit more and sit back and observe. Well, that and no more posting up whilst partaking of the adult beverages........ :shock:


(Amazing the reading that I get done when I cant play....... :D )

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PostAuthor: Precis Riddell » Tue Jul 06, 2004 1:57 am

Great policy. And thanks for explaining it.
Elves are not tall. Stop making tall elves.
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PostAuthor: Orleron » Fri Apr 08, 2005 1:40 pm

*bump*

This is a good thread to read once in a while.
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