Aquisitional Concern

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Aquisitional Concern

Postby Gillar on August 21st, 2009, 5:45 am

I hate to be the bad guy here but there is something I think that needs to be addressed and discussed. It seems that right now there are no limitations to learning anything as far as skills, magic, oh screw it, everything is concerned. While this may seem to be a good thing, as it stands anyone and everyone can learn everything in the game without barriers. What do I mean? I mean that if say my character wanted to learn Voiding through a simple self-mod thread without having to go through the trouble of finding a teacher, with the assistance of a moderator, I could do that. I guess I am feeling that there should be a requirement or some tracking down, hunting; effort of some sort to find a way to learn various skills of rarity, uncommonness and especially magical disciplines. I am VERY interested in knowing what you all think of this; players, storytellers and admin alike because frankly, I am not very hip to the idea of characters gaining things without having to hop through some hoops, do the time, cough up the effort and get storytellers involved if that makes sense.
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Re: Aquisitional Concern

Postby Ayla on August 21st, 2009, 9:43 am

Agreed. If the skill takes well... skill, then it should be required to have a teacher.

A character learning a new form of magic should be a very big event in their life. Magic, while not super-rare, doesnt seem be common-place in Mizahar. The idea that a thread with a mod, or another character that is skilled enough, should be required to learn any magical discipline.

I'd have to look in depth at the other skills to decide, but at the very least all the magical disciplines should require such.
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Re: Aquisitional Concern

Postby Tarot on August 21st, 2009, 10:31 am

Magical skills (some of them anyway) do not necessarily require a mod or even a teacher; even books will do for some, though they'll give ridiculously low experience if you start from zero. The design choice behind this stems from years of experience with PbP and watching generations of moderators burn out training PC after PC in the same things ad nauseam. It's especially true here where we have a limited number of mods at the moment and most of them are busy developing the world. It's a fact that if you say yes to PC #1 you have to say yes to PC #2 and so on. Before you realize it you've got half a dozen training threads that take up your time - time that could be better spent writing actual plots. Then, if you slow down, PC's start being annoyed at your holding them back whereas mod #2 in the next city posts so much faster! That's when it stops being fun.

(I'm not even mentioning how requiring a mod would lead to PCs with 10 magic skills at 5 points each in their starting package... 13 for humans. Solution being worse than the problem.)

I'm going on a slight tangent here, but my vision for Mizahar was that of a hassle-free game, and as grind-light as possible. In the ideal little world inside my head, your PC mostly trains offscreen and shows off in fun threads that other people may actually want to read. We aren't WoW, we don't need the grind - if you write about your skill and you do so well, you improve. So you want to learn magic fast? Great, have your 2 XP. Now try bringing them to a fight without further thought put into it, and watch your head blow up (well, you can't really watch that, but still!) Yes, you can easily die from using magic carelessly. Taking magic = signing a waiver for it to mess you up.

Right now, the only skills that are restricted are those revolving around interaction and roleplay - such as Gnosis and Familiary. Honestly, instead of forcing everyone through a system that we can't maintain, I'd give rewards to those who go the extra mile and actually seek out a teacher who's the best at what he does. (Note that skills requiring a laboratory already force you to do that). Maybe a starting XP bonus granted by mods?

Also, there are truly ultra-rare skills that will require lengthy quests to be learned. I already have a short list... for example, see Lost discipline...
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Re: Aquisitional Concern

Postby Ayla on August 21st, 2009, 11:19 am

I suppose that for me, I see it as an intentional artificial gateway.

To use some more gaming terms, power creep would quickly become an issue in a setting where its entirely reasonable for one PC to learn every single kind of magic, and weapon skill, and "trade" skill. While I understand that in a writing setting, that sort of thing isnt normally fun(flaws = fun), I cant entirely believe that everyone that comes to Mizahar's door is here for the story aspect and not so much the game aspect of it. It can be very easy to "munchkinize" mechanics that do not have these sorts of controlled gateways.

I would very much like to have such faith in other people, but time in and time out has proven that that simply isnt the case. If the mods and community at general have the power to curtail that sort of event from happening through whatever means, then I dont have anything to fear(but fear itself).


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Re: Aquisitional Concern

Postby Gossamer on August 21st, 2009, 5:25 pm

I honestly think what Gillar meant here was simple. He didn't seem to want a requirement of mod training, etc... but some storytelling behind finding that magical book that PC X could learn from, tracking down that teacher, etc. Rather than... 'boom - new magic goes in - a dozen training threads self moderated pop up'... have some groundwork laid out to let a pc cut loose and start learning - be it on their own, with another PC, etc.

I see his point totally. That wouldn't overburden moderators, create hassle, etc. It just makes sense and creates less 'pulling out of ones rear' verses 'the hunt for new stuff'... I myself would like to see PCs either witness these fantastical djeds to find out they exist - read about them, hear about them all IC rather than have player X read about them OOC and have their character suddenly decide to go learn it.

I'm just worried, and I think Aya hits the nail on the head here, that we'll have a lot of PCs that are all learning the same stuff for OOC reasons rather than for IC reasons... and I think thats why Gillar posted this thread.
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Re: Aquisitional Concern

Postby Akuaysun on August 21st, 2009, 5:58 pm

Personally I don’t think you have to worry about people power playing and maxing skills. At the minimum you would need 100 posts with a very generous moderator, and I could see upwards of 500 or more posts being needed easily. Assuming that as you get higher in rank it becomes more difficult to gain XP and that the writing you put into it is going to have to show effort.

Most people don’t have the time nor the patience to PP that out, not to mention that to hammer through that I am sure some mod is going to notice and give them a little bit of overload be it overgiving, or an injury to slow them down.

As for some interaction to get skills going I don’t have a problem with that. I recently did a short training thread where I “remembered” this skill from a past life and focused on that training. I got much more then I expected out of the thread, but honestly if someone said they wanted me to do a Flashback of actually being alive at that time and learning from the teacher I referenced I wouldn’t have a problem with it either.

I do however agree with Tarot that mods shouldn’t be forced into training. If they want to do it great but I know that on other sites a simple training thread could last outwards of a year or more because of burn out, time differences, etc. (And that’s if it even got finished.) Personally I think that is ridiculous, and with the site being in its fledgling stage would do very little in the way of creating a positive RP experience let alone be a productive use of moderator’s and Developer’s time.

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Re: Aquisitional Concern

Postby Colombina on August 21st, 2009, 6:00 pm

I can see the reasons on both sides here. Here is my two cents on the matter.

I recoil at the idea of a meta-gamer with a wagonload of skills. It's not my style and they're often annoying. However, what is the real harm? That they will bully players or mods with sheer xp? It's an open game, no one has to play with impolite writers. Or maybe that they will try and destroy the lovingly crafted in-game world with their skills? The world exists to be used, and destruction on a grand scale would be difficult. Or is it just the gut instinct of "that's not fair"? Some people have more leisure to gain points or write faster than I do. More power to them. I rarely had the time to develop skills with my PC's in the past, but I still had a great time and a decent storyline.

My philosophy is: the right to swing my fist ends where the other man's nose begins. Is their leveling up inhibiting others enjoyment? I don't feel it necessary to make an obstacle course when another's acquisition of skills doesn't affect me.

Also, I loathe modding training threads. Being asked to mod one was like having someone leave a flaming bag of poo on your porch. You ignore or accept it at your peril.

If lots of training is what a PC needs to enjoy the game, I don't think I should dampen their experience. There are still rare skills that require especial talent and patience, like Tarot mentioned. Also, a PC is not beating another to a goal or winning by gaining more skills. There is no win or lose. The goal here is a good yarn.

If someone does a crappy job researching or struggling for a skill, a mod can just dole out less xp. Perhaps it is a regulation of mods and their xp awards that should be more structured as opposed to how a PC wants to approach their thread. Maybe a two mod review with an averaging of xp scores if they cannot agree.
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Re: Aquisitional Concern

Postby Voreasos Alisier on August 21st, 2009, 9:48 pm

My views are simple. I enjoy the system like it is. I enjoy the idea if I want a skill I don't have to go though flaming hoops of doom and a long winded thread that goes on for ten pages just for some x amounts xp points that leave you and the mod in questions bored. Most training threads I hate as I hate training threads and will just rather suffer with self mod to get a few points then hack away in a new thread that can risk it blowing up in my face.

If a pc does try to ruin the game by being 'Ha I am so much better with all my skills' then well a god can pop up and smite him for all I care or I can just walk away from him. With Gods being more in the game I think learning skills should be easier with stress free like it is now. If a pc gets out of hand well a god can pop up.

If a pc goes to a teacher then say book then well that pc can do more due to they could get a job or more information or xp in the long run of things then just a book as a book can only offer so much as I am sure a book won't take a person from 0-100 xp no matter how many threads it takes.

I enjoy my pc able to learn whatever he wants to other then lost arts as then it feels like I am getting somewhere other then just being a push over. skills are good for me in the game as then it feels like I can do what I like within my limits of what Vor will want to do. I don't think he will learn every skill but I do see him learning more and doing good then just killing random things.

If a pc wants to learn all the magic and try to blow up a city then well more power to said pc but I would fear the glares of said gods or the glares of others that could kill the person later. I would hate to see something I made go to waste but I don't think blowing it up will make it go to waste as I would then see other people working together to rebuild it or do something else with it as it is just a great story in the end of things.

I hope my thoughts made sense overall.
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Re: Aquisitional Concern

Postby Gillar on August 22nd, 2009, 2:19 am

Perhaps I did not make my point clear enough so allow me to clarify. I am not saying that we need "Training Threads" that are modded and such; never once did I state that. Goss kind of reinforced what I was trying to say and I most definitely hate that whole concept of every thread needing modded. Ayla touched on a bit of my meaning as well. Perhaps I have been jaded by past php experiences as well.

We have a unique system here where there is no limitation on the number of skills one can get or how high they can get them. Does this mean though that there are no limits on how one goes about acquiring them?

Allow me to use a more developed example to get across what I am saying using a non-existent character a generic location.

Bluey the human has a little bit of background with a weapon and some larceny type skills. Now Bluey, starts "playing". He posts in some threads, does this and that; the normal stuff we do around here. He decides at some point to take up Reimancy though he does not have any experience with that discipline or even magic in general. He goes to CityBlah to do this and starts up a thread where he just develops skill in Reimancy. He decides to play around in the woods just outside of the city as he works on this magical discipline. (This could be the case with non-magical as well. It doesn't matter the skill really.)

So this leaves me with several questions. First, shouldn't Bluey contact the person who storytell/mods in that city that he was going to do this? Maybe ask the storyteller if there are any NPCs that the Bluey could use or at the very least an NPC that Bluey could meet with and get some guidance? I don't know about the other people moderating their own cities, but I sure would get rather upset if Bluey came into my city and didn't at least contact me about wanting to do something like this; ask if I had any suggestions or NPCs that could be used. What if there are certain aspects of a city or other location that may conflict with a person wanting to start learning a skill? What if there is some obstacles or threats that could hinder or at least spice up the whole process of learning that skill?

I don't want any of us who moderate/storytell to feel obligated to hand out skills and skill points or even unique items to players who start up gain threads without any prior communication with the mod/storyteller. I for one don't want to have to tell a player to redo their thread after the fact because I found something that just didn't fit with the city/location/environment, etc that I am moderating.

Anyway, I guess I just want to make sure that everyone understands that I am not asking for modded training threads to be required or even recommended. Perhaps everyone is so afraid of that happening here that they jump the gun the first time someone mentions a limit of some sort, I don't know. I just think that if we have people designing and evolving cities and a system that allows maximum customization and freedom, that at the very least, simple communication between players and storytellers over things such as the example above or anything related to it, be something that is expected.

Disclaimer: I haven't seen anything yet that really reaches a level like that mentioned above. I am just one who likes to address potential problems before they happen.
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Re: Aquisitional Concern

Postby Colombina on August 22nd, 2009, 3:57 am

Maybe mods could require a heads up for every training thread. Perhaps even a thread stickied in a forum where PC's jotted a brief sketch of what they were doing and where. Then mods could give a quick permission in the thread but not necessarily oversee it. Also, newly arriving PC's would learn from previous sketches what the mod permitted and did not permit.

The PC would not have to wait for mod permission to begin the thread, but should they begin their thread, they run the risk of being asked to edit it.

With that heads up, the mod could give a brief commentary. For example, Hilana did a cooking thread in Eyktol. She gave me a heads up so we were able to talk about what kind of fruits and vegetables would be common in Eyktol.

Does that sound reasonable, or is it micro-managing?

The only problem is, it does not address skills woven into play. Doing that well may require PC's to be familiar w/ the regions they are in, and mods to have clear parameters on what can be learned/practiced where.

Having said that, I don't really mind PC's training in whatever they want in my cities/ wilds if it does not grossly step out of the character of the area. And if I want to annoy them with deus ex machina in the midst of their thread, I think that's the hazards of doing business in Eyktol ;-) .
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