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Remember that one time, at Avlis camp?

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Remember that one time, at Avlis camp?

PostAuthor: Orleron » Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:15 pm

Been doing a lot of writing and forum/IRC lurking over he past couple months. Though maybe I'd graduate to trolling. j/k

I noticed a thread called Should cookies count toward Weekly XP cap, a poll actually, and it made me think a bit about the old days and the reasons for Avlis as it was/is.

XP is a thing. Can't deny that. Also, I'm not going to take sides on that poll, but instead want to remind people of some things they may or may not remember.

1) This server was not made for XP-gain as a main goal. The main goal was immersion.

Anyone remember Kima and Timo? Kima was head of the Raven's Guild. With a word, Kima could kill any player the server... on any server, really. She could do serious damage to some NPC's too. Kima was 8th level.

Kima's power came from her roleplayed social contacts and clout, not from how much XP she had. Something to think about. X:|


2) Level 40 characters were a big deal IF they took the time and effort to roleplay. Most were not.

Once upon a time, if you were 40th level, or lower depending on the old NWN level caps, it usually meant you spent too much time leveling and powergaming, and not enough time building your relationships and influence. Most of our max level players didn't last long in those days. They got bored and left because they had nothing else to do and no social basis to stay.

3) People came here to create memorable characters for themselves and others.

Cuxn, Damar, Miette, Sammy, Kiva, Timo, Hargas Steelhead, The Bouldershoulders, Janur da Medican.... Some of these got to max level eventually over time, but they were all famous way before that, and some never maxed out. A couple of them barely left the inn.

These characters provided so much flavor to the world because that's what the game was about. Leveling up was a pleasant side issue, which was tweaked over the years to keep balance with the population and still gets tweaked.


Now, I know that things are different today because we have ~125 players in the playerbase, as opposed to ~2,000 back then. The world is emptier and flavoring it is tougher because of that. DM cookies help with that and are a good thing.

The possibility arises that some DM's may overdo it and I promise you guys I will look into that because I'm curious and this directly acts against the kind of cultural feeling I outlined above. So give me a bit of time. I can't promise anything else but to look into it and ask around.

Meanwhile, think about this post, please. Ask yourself what you could do to bring back or keep that feeling for all of us and each other.



:prost:
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Re: Remember that one time, at Avlis camp?

PostAuthor: Vichan Lyonsen » Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:58 pm

I think the main goal (#1 above) still stands.

I think most people now, as then, create their PC's for RP purposes. Yes characters level a whole hell of a lot quicker than they used to, that's a mechanical issue based on the systems that have changed over time and for the most part I think because of the smaller playerbase the increased xp gain is intended to give people a reason to stick around. The main problem with the speed of advancement is that compared to "Old / classic" Avlis, its far easier to min/max a build to 40th level.

I'm less convinced that comparisons between Classic Avlis and present day Avlis are really all that applicable though. Classic Avlis was a low magic world where just about anything over +3 was unachievable beyond custom DM awards.

Now, that's about the minimum bonus acceptable in crafted items, +5 Plate armor has appeared a few times from our amazing crafters, in Classic Avlis that would have been a Mythos carry over or a 1%er item. Thankfully the embedded costs prevent every single warrior from being encased in +5 plate, but +3 and +4 items are available as jewelry and clothing with some commonality. When I was DMing, so-called glowstick weapons were a DM gift only, and still rare at that. That's hardly the case anymore though admittedly there still aren't any static glowstick drops I'm aware of.

Improved crafting systems attract and retain crafter players, they boost the player economy and I dig all the changes that have been made to the crafting system, and I'm not even a crafter anymore.

Present Day Avlis simply isnt Classic Avlis anymore.

Kima and Timo, Janur as well were as Orl says, influential well beyond what their level would indicate. In present day Avlis pretty much all the guilds with perhaps the exception of a few mage orders, are significantly down on membership and prestige or just flat out dead. I would daresay that such notoriety is going to be far more difficult to achieve now than then, and even if it is gained the levels will still go up quicker than before.

However the most important part is the level and quality of RP. In my opinion the level of RP hasn't diminished in the least. I base that on comparing my experiences in 2003 with my experiences here in 2017. There are fewer people to RP with it is true but the quality of it is just as good, if not better.

If the RP is there, I couldn't care less about the XP, high or low. But if I have to solo most of my play time then in all honesty the xp keeps me coming back.

Just my .02

edited once :)
Last edited by Vichan Lyonsen on Tue Sep 05, 2017 8:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Remember that one time, at Avlis camp?

PostAuthor: Katroine » Tue Sep 05, 2017 8:22 pm

Not to be that girl, but it was Kima not Kiva.
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Re: Remember that one time, at Avlis camp?

PostAuthor: Orleron » Tue Sep 05, 2017 8:36 pm

Edited!

No worries. My name recall is shit in real life too. :P
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Re: Remember that one time, at Avlis camp?

PostAuthor: Katroine » Tue Sep 05, 2017 8:40 pm

Mine too! Faces, I never forget.
People still make epic characters (by reputation, not always level), by the way.
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Re: Remember that one time, at Avlis camp?

PostAuthor: loki70 » Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:12 pm

TBH, there was some of this going on when Kuras came online. None of us were uber, by any stretch. But still, there were some who were well known and revered throughout the server, even when the highest level was, I think, 12th. So, yeah, I understand the low level power character.
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Re: Remember that one time, at Avlis camp?

PostAuthor: Orleron » Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:34 pm

loki70 wrote:TBH, there was some of this going on when Kuras came online. None of us were uber, by any stretch. But still, there were some who were well known and revered throughout the server, even when the highest level was, I think, 12th. So, yeah, I understand the low level power character.



Oooh yeah, good one. Kuras is a great example. Even now, as all NPC's living out there, I can tell you that few if any (probably none) of the fiefdom heads are 40th level. And they will kill your ass.
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Re: Remember that one time, at Avlis camp?

PostAuthor: silverfields2 » Wed Sep 06, 2017 12:10 am

OMG! I have read no other posts at this moment but Orl's at the top of this topic. This is what I remember about Avlis when I was watching over my husband's shoulder while he played. This is what drew me in. Yeah, we have less players now then back then and I often feel like I came to late to the party. I also often feel sorry for the players that real life keeps them from logging in regularly. But I loved that it was the relationships that mattered more then anything else. The good ones, the bad ones and the complicated ones.

Edit: Ok I read Vichan's post. He's got some good points. I think that I am not sure that 'most people' build their PC's for role play. I think that 'most people' (not one of them) build their PC's 'not to suck' - by whatever personal definition that means to them.
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Re: Remember that one time, at Avlis camp?

PostAuthor: Xeo » Wed Sep 06, 2017 6:45 am

Orleron wrote:Meanwhile, think about this post, please. Ask yourself what you could do to bring back or keep that feeling for all of us and each other.



:prost:


What I can do to bring that feeling back?

I'm going to try my hardest to be more tolerable to a small handful who are in my view displaying an old Avlis trait of elitism.

The numbers as you say are around 125. Then it highlights a greater cultural goal for me. I hope that everyone starts with a clear mind, drop thier agendas and thier formats and bring together thier wisdom, experience and creativity in keeping the Avlis dream alive and the experience pleasurable.

I believe that bridges need to be repaired, extend and even new ones by everyone.

I came back to Avlis just under a year ago thinking that Avlis of old had disappeared. I starting to and I really really hope I am wrong here, though I have seen all sorts.

As Orleron opened up with one of his posts with "friends" and that is what we are. Some more than others and that is life and nothing wrong with that. But we really need to look after one another because the community is not as large as it once was.

For me, I'm starting to drop off a bit. I've stopped DMing and now I'm looking to do the same as a player but I really really don't want that because I love my d&d and also I will protect my sanity :lol:

So can we try and respark that community spirit again on a hobby we have love and passion for? Or we going to continue with what we are slowly falling into and that is a pit of elitism and forgetting that there are real people behind these avatars and PC'S.

Is it possible to start a fresh new project together in addressing some of the cultural issues and IG issues we face? I strongly believe as a community we can achieve this but only if we can start with a clean slate.

If I have offended anyone, please accept my apology. I don't want to argue and fight. To old and to busy...

So can everyone show a bit more understanding to each other, a bit more basic respect and more importantly look after each other.

Game on.
Last edited by Xeo on Wed Sep 06, 2017 6:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Remember that one time, at Avlis camp?

PostAuthor: Pekarion » Wed Sep 06, 2017 6:47 am

Great post Orl,

I do think RP has diminished, and more often than not acts as just a vessel for monster bashing. Of course, that has happened since the beginning of Avlis, but I now feel it has become the base line.

I enjoy the Avlis of today personally. I love a good dungeon crawl or accumulating levels, gold and items. That being said I don't think it's what's best for Avlis. The world is made up of it's players but it should have it's own motivations, rules and integrity.

I especially believe that the argument "We have to keep our small player base happy or they will leave" is a false dichotomy. If anything, the tone and feel of Avlis should tighten up and get a more unified and collaborative spirit. Catering to the player base removes whatever dynamic is supposed to be there. The world should move on it's own accord, and be influenced by the characters. At the moment I think it's just as much fuelled by player motivations. The fact that so many DMs still play and are DM'ed by each other gives it a pedal boat vibe, and we all know how hard it is to steer a pedal boat.


I enjoy a lot about Avlis in it's present form:


- Being able to catch people and events by use of the calendar and lfg functions.

- Getting XP easier with the new XP script and DM cookies

- Getting around easier with help of portals and caravans

- Still lots of great roleplay

- Remort/Refresh are great options for people who feel they have invested too much time in any one single character.

What I think could be improved:

- Tighten up the lore and feel of Avlis by being less lax on immersion disruptive elements. A lot of it has bubbled to the surface during these last weeks and there's been some good conversations but it needs to be a team effort, not a player one.

- More DM's. I feel like the DM roster are if not overworked, overextended. It's hard to lay blame on people doing their best to cater to all these players(and I do mean all!), but I believe it hurts in the long run. Because of this, criticism gets taken personally.

- Make a bigger distinction between DM and player. I don't think DM's shouldn't play, but I do think that they shouldn't DM to a group their PC interracts with, have important plot relevant characters and DM each other. There is a lot of overlap at the moment.



I don't think mechanical ways of limiting XP or limiting how the game is played is the solution.
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Re: Remember that one time, at Avlis camp?

PostAuthor: Xeo » Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:08 am

Pekarion wrote:- More DM's. I feel like the DM roster are if not overworked, overextended. It's hard to lay blame on people doing their best to cater to all these players(and I do mean all!), but I believe it hurts in the long run. Because of this, criticism gets taken personally..


I will put my hands up high and admit that I've taken it personally.

I've taken it personally because of the effort and time I've put into my stories and helping PC's develop thier characters, feels like a giant slap in the face. I personally know alot of this is not targeted at me. I am very much in line with Orleron original vision of the world but also I understand things evolve over such a huge 15 year period of existence.

most of the Team are built on players and there is really only two highly active pure DM and that's Pleth and NH4.

So you are right, we have a Team that are.trying to do several things all at once.

I agree with alot of your points Pek.
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Re: Remember that one time, at Avlis camp?

PostAuthor: bolo » Wed Sep 06, 2017 1:27 pm

It is a relatively tiny player base now. Saying DMs shouldn't DM for people they play with would pretty much mean DMs shouldn't be playing.Elitism has always been a thing. Avlis has always been a tough nut to crack for some people. I've been on both sides of the " cool kids" equation ( truthfully more on the outside than in ). But that's also been a thing wherever you go, with any group of gamers. I see it here and I've seen it in tabletop groups too ( never as bad as when I dm'ed for Pathfinder Society though. Jesus that was rough. I had a player complain to the head of our district that I didn't award him enough xp for an adventure once. What a self-entitled douche)).
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Re: Remember that one time, at Avlis camp?

PostAuthor: Orleron » Wed Sep 06, 2017 1:33 pm

The XP debate is etermal. So is the debate on players being DM's and vice versa. With 125 people, you can make a rule that DM's cannot be players and then suddenly wipe out a giant chunk of your active playerbase, because with 125 people we have probably 12 that DM intermittently and 2 that do all the time. Those 12 would leave because they want to be players too. Then others would have to step up to the plate, and wind up leaving.... etc. etc. It is not the solution. I also don't like DM's being active players, but I cannot and never have been able to do anything about it because the alternative is worse, agreed?

With 125 people, we are more like a gigantic weekly tabletop game than a MMORPG. I agree with Xeo and Pek that civility and forgiveness on multiple fronts is a good start. I also think that faceless forums make it too easy to blast each other. We are real people. Most of us are fathers and mothers, wives and husbands, and if none of those, we are sons and daughters. I'm going to talk to some people and see what's up, but do it on video.
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Re: Remember that one time, at Avlis camp?

PostAuthor: krackq » Wed Sep 06, 2017 1:56 pm

More dm's would be great.. but if the pool of people to pull from is diminished, you have a harder time finding them.. especially from those already actively contributing in other ways like QA/CCC/admin etc. Transitioning to a dm would either mean sacrificing either the other responsibilities which impacts those areas or sacrificing player time. To be a dm/admin/CCC full time and not be a player at all I think you lose a little bit of connection to the world in some respects. You also really really have to love that stuff to only do that and not actually play, else it suddenly feels like an actual job except you don't get paid for it. At that point its much easier to take things personally or be rubbed the wrong way when there are community blowups and problems and bad drama because you're investing you're free time into supporting something. It happens but its much easier to wear you out and that's when you lose team members or team members no longer wish to be as active because it just not worth it.

There are some core aspects to Avlis that are still the fundamental and core aspects today as they were 10 years ago. How strictly some have been enforced has evolved over the years because they've had to for Avlis to survive... sometimes for the better sometimes not so much.

I have no idea where I was going with this any longer so here ends my post. :lol:
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