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 Issues of Communication

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Lawless



Posts : 22
Join date : 2011-01-27

PostSubject: Issues of Communication   Wed Apr 20, 2011 9:29 pm

This is something that has bugged me, not just on this game, but on a lot of games I’ve been on over the years. The lack of communication that exists, often centered around proper use of the BBS when it comes to events.

A shooting happens in the street, in front of loads of witnesses. Which is good(from an RP perspective). Someone famous does something strange and eye catching. The press gets involved in X, Y or Z. Even in a private scene. Something happens within an organization that logically would probably make it policy that information is shared between members.

Things like this happen.. and no one save those directly involved knows about it. There is no BBS post to general or faction related news boards and nothing is given for players who weren’t there to react to, thus the happening goes under radar and the game seems a little less active and more dull for those who don’t happen to be present for events.

And it reduces chances for people to get involved and RP about happenings.

Now, this doesn’t always happen. There have been plenty of good posts that keep people in the know and anyone who doesn’t follow the BBS does so at their own peril. But at times, things don’t make it that far. And this has been an issue with players and staff on many games I’ve been on. Not just here, as I’ve noticed from time to time.

I understand people forget, I understand sometimes you don’t feel like delving into such things, especially after running a heavy scene or the like. The few times I’ve run things, the last I want to do is more thinking afterward.

Even so, I’d like to ask that whenever something significant or ‘loud’ happens, people think about if it need be noted because people would hear about it and may investigate. Or at least talk about it in RP. And especially those who are within organizations that would logically share information or require after action reports and the like. Because the less that gets communicated, the less impetus there is for people to get involved.
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Mika



Posts : 2
Join date : 2011-02-03

PostSubject: Re: Issues of Communication   Wed Apr 20, 2011 9:39 pm

Being involved in gun fights in the city, supernatural showing off and whatnot in sight of Joe Bloggs the civilian, but it never even reaches the ears of the Bureau. 9 times out of 10, those with Bureau characters don't even get a chance to look into what has happened at all! The event happens, it vanishes, end of job and nothing is even said.

I'm not aiming this squarely at players at all. In fact, it has occurred through staff, too. I recall an OOC conversation with a player (who shall remain unnamed), who mentioned that he should come to the Bureau's attention due to things he did in an event involving mutant animals.

People now may start to whine that I'm 'not on' as much as they are, but sheesh, I don't live the US, I don't share the same timezone, and I'm damn lucky to be around where there's anything that can affect my character. There are those of us outside of the US would like to be able to pick up a few things we could share with those within our groups.

Lack of news happens outside of the Bureau boards in general news, and it also happens within the Bureau. It makes it hard to get involved in things, and damn, it almost makes it hard to know what your character might know. Jimmy Smith guns down 5,000,000 in a random shopping center, or does something bad that gets him arrested in front of people in daylight, complete with a press van, that should be known! Same as gunshots ringing out from sniper nests in the city.
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Thomas



Posts : 32
Join date : 2011-01-28

PostSubject: Re: Issues of Communication   Wed Apr 20, 2011 11:58 pm

I have lots of sympathy, there, and agree with the sentiment. Just speaking on an absolutely selfish level, Thomas has never had any official, non-PC contact with the Bureau, despite the fact that he's set out to seduce several of their agents for the explicit purposes of gathering information and having an 'in' with the organization, willfully and cheerfully suborned anyone involved that he could get a hold of, interfered with Bureau investigations very deliberately, and been the closest supernatural around for the kidnapping /and/ murder of one of their agents. His name has, as far as I know, been explicitly passed on to the Bureau NPCs by at least two PCs as 'supernatural willing to talk to us'. And possibly as 'supernatural trying to infiltrate/corrupt us'. And he's a member of the news media who, theoretically, secret government agencies should be somewhat concerned about having the information that he does. But there's never been any follow up outside of what PCs decide to do on their own, and I don't think his name was ever passed on as either a potential contact or threat.

Speaking more generally: things do tend to 'fall off the map' pretty quickly after events. A lot of these big plots stall out until someone decides to kick them on to the big battle scene simply because the information is dispersed to ten or twelve different people, five of whom are no longer logging in. In fact, I'd argue that there's a lack of.../continuity/ and setting, particularly on the mortal end of the world. Who ARE the movers and shakers in Port Angeles? This is supposed to be a town bought with corrupt oil money, but there's never even been a name of one of these companies mentioned. There's no one to investigate, and even if you do, what will happen? Will anyone notice and hire someone to come smash your car (or your face)? Will corrupt cops be encouraged to do a little 'investigating' of their own? Does anything really matter, if it's not reflected in getting a shiny new Token or Hedgespun thing?
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Crow



Posts : 13
Join date : 2011-04-07

PostSubject: Re: Issues of Communication   Thu Apr 21, 2011 12:57 am

Just from my point of view:

What's the incentive to share this information? In fact, what's the incentive to risk yourself in this way at all? You don't get extra xp for being in plots and risking your neck. By sharing information, you just run the risk of someone coming into the scene with the 'zomg look at how special of a snowflake I am' attitude, and not really working together as they try to one-up each other for the glory of saying that they were the one who pulled it all off.

Really, it's disheartening, and while this 'shouldn't' be the way the game is run, sadly this is how most gamer's mindsets go. I think that, once again, it's a flaw with how we do plot-forwarding versus characer development on the xp end of it. If there was more incentive for getting active and getting involved in things, and standing out above the rest of the seething masses, things could move along quite quickly, in a fun manner.

And yes, I'm aware that 'this has been the philosophy of the game from the beginning etc etc so on and so forth', but that doesn't mean that it's too late to change it, especially when things are starting to stall because there's really no driving spark to get involved and/or share information of this nature.

Now, I'm sure that someone is going to flame on me for this one, so sure, bring it on, but I think that I've addressed all of the comebacks already, so do as you will. Smile
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Thomas



Posts : 32
Join date : 2011-01-28

PostSubject: Re: Issues of Communication   Thu Apr 21, 2011 1:05 am

I would argue that 'incentive' doesn't have to mean (and should not mean) 'extra XP'. There can be significant incentives in sharing that information, in facilitating play (for a reason that doesn't have to do with overcoming a mechanical penalty), and in gaining IC influence in the setting as it stands.

Not to mention the not invaluable benefit of just getting a chance to do what your character is meant to /do/. Characters whose concepts involve being criminals or outlaws should be able to plot and carry out crimes/events without artificially inflated barriers in their way, and characters whose concepts involve investigating crimes/events should get a chance to do what strikes their fancy, as well. I mean, how many 'thief' characters do we have running around who have never gotten a chance to plan and pull off an on-screen heist that matters? Smugglers who never get to smuggle. Drug-dealers who have no clients, no difficulty with other dealers, and never get to do any kind of 'underworld' play, because we don't really have an underworld. Cops and Bureau agents who've never been allowed to see a case to completion?

Just getting a chance to do some of those things, and have them have an actual affect on the game world, where people could see it, would be a pretty hefty incentive. XP isn't required to make play meaningful, and I really think that the XP issue is...a side-issue, at best, with the issue of communication of events and consequences among players/staff.
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Lawless



Posts : 22
Join date : 2011-01-27

PostSubject: Re: Issues of Communication   Thu Apr 21, 2011 2:21 am

Personally, I think the thought towards incentive is the wrong direction to go. But I suppose the incentive of forward more RP and making the game more fun might be a bit too much for some to fathom, if they hold that particular viewpoint. I don’t see why this game would be all that competitive, to be honest. But everyone approaches RP in differing ways.

This has nothing to do with that and everything to do with people simply putting information out there that would be roughly within IC ‘realism’. Especially when it comes to players who are in organizations. If you commonly go out and get in trouble and don’t debrief your superiors, that would be grounds for removal. So perhaps membership in said organization might be the impetus to share info. If you’re not doing your job, after all, why would they keep you on hand? Though honestly I don’t know the Bureau well.

And honestly? I’m the sort of person who tends to think towards the best interest of the game. Which is why this particular thing annoys me as much as it does. Because such lack of ‘bookkeeping’ is not good for any game because it removes potential for both RP and people in differing spheres interacting a bit. Which isn’t necessarily bad. And one is ever able to deny RP as they wish, since no one can force anyone to RP with someone else.
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Thenomain



Posts : 48
Join date : 2010-07-19

PostSubject: Re: Issues of Communication   Thu Apr 21, 2011 4:00 am

Mika wrote:
Joe Bloggs the civilian

This is now my favorite new version of "Joe Q. Public". Does he know a girl, Josie Tweet?

If anyone has a system (that is not the bboard or forum) for helping keep this information alive, let me know. Staff has discussed setting up a second staff-only wiki for stuff we should remember, but time and the lack of staff's own incentives have turned the idea into out-of-sight, out-of-mind.
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Lawless



Posts : 22
Join date : 2011-01-27

PostSubject: Re: Issues of Communication   Thu Apr 21, 2011 5:35 pm

This has nothing to do with internal staff bookkeeping. This has to do with how public events that should be known to the grid at large in some detail(low or high, depending) slip under the radar because those who were involved ICly or those who ran it don't follow up with BBS posts and so much RP and interaction is lost. How the staff tend to their own matters of communication and record keeping(or lack thereof) is beyond my paygrade.
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Cobalt



Posts : 88
Join date : 2010-05-30

PostSubject: Re: Issues of Communication   Sun Apr 24, 2011 3:27 pm

I'll be honest:

+bbposts after an event aren't high on my list of priorities. This is because traditionally news-stories, rumors, and so on that have been posted have been ignored or simply not investigated. There are some major things that should have been posted, but didn't get done. Not because of any malicious desire to lock people out of RP but simply because:

I have a lot of balls to juggle, and occasionally I'm going to drop them.

I'm genuinely sorry you guys feel like you don't know what is going on as much as you should. If you have a suggestion on how to help the issue, I am all ears.
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Lawless



Posts : 22
Join date : 2011-01-27

PostSubject: Re: Issues of Communication   Tue May 10, 2011 7:16 pm

If you have a lot on your plate, draft players to do the work when it comes to putting up posts. Approve them beforehand, of course. Though it isn't just staff plots, but if something significant happens in the Atrium, it might warrant a post, etc. Some people won't investigate them. Sometimes because they don't want to OOC, sometimes because it doesn't make sense IC. And I don't mean grand, massive posts full of details need to be put up all the time. Even a short, few sentence blurb can be enough to catch someone's attention. I understand being bogged down, certainly. I've done the staff thing before. And there is a reason I don't have much drive to delve back in again. Wink
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Lawless



Posts : 22
Join date : 2011-01-27

PostSubject: Re: Issues of Communication   Tue May 10, 2011 7:23 pm

Oh and Thenomain. Some places have a +rumor code. Where people can inject rumors into the mix and folks can hit +rumor and get a random something from the list. Might be something to toy with, encourage people to drop small blurbs in there from time to time. Make it anonymous to players, but put in a contact command or flag to pop an @Mail to the rumor creator if someone wants to look into it on the off chance it might lead to some RP.
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Thenomain



Posts : 48
Join date : 2010-07-19

PostSubject: Re: Issues of Communication   Wed May 11, 2011 7:58 am

Even though the code might be available, my main consideration is how it would integrate with the usual workflow of the average player. In the mid-90s, a number of small but detailed systems worked well, but I haven't recently seen much that doesn't distract from how people play. We have Mediawiki, for example, and bboards, people are much more educated and much more used to threading and hyperlinking and tags (Mediawiki categories), which most Mu* code isn't suitable for.

I haven't read this thread for a while, so I can't speak to the true nature of the suggestion, but if it's one of giving people ideas for RP, then we could find a wikisprite who doesn't mind getting their hands dirty and designing a "plot seed" category that can be mixed and matched with other categories, using resources that we already have and that people are used to.

If that wasn't the intent, then I apologize for missing it and ask for further clarification. Thanks.
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