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07 April 2008 @ 05:08 am
A few thoughts on the subject of activity and rebuilding.  
So here I am when I should be at work, pondering the imponderable mysteries of space, time and online games. I don't mean things like World of Warcraft or Guild Wars, but the older text-based variant. I'm pondering SouCon in particular, and the acrimony that has occurred there in the past. I wasn't around for the Whole Ierne Thing, as I've got it dubbed in my head, so I'm just getting bits and pieces here and there. There was a question about what to do with it, and a few options.

There are a few people that want to rebuild things, see if they can't make them better or just different. There are others that left, tired with the whole thing. Can't blame them, I'm sure they must have had their reasons. It's just really weird right now, not seeing all the old familiar names, or having the option to RP with them with the character I like a lot. Anyway.

The question is of course what to do to help out. Aedai and Sucali seem to have things firmly in hand, and I've volunteered all sorts of ideas and some of my time. There's just one question - how do we get activity back? Some people are speaking of transferring riders and other characters in. Some are mentioning the next Search cycle, and hoping that'd make a change. Others just idle. So anyway, I'm thinking none of those are extremely bad ideas (except the idling!), but once that's over, then what? Is there contingency planning for a longer term? Precisely what is the critical player level for a Weyr before it can't support itself in terms of roleplaying anymore? Why am I even treating this like a Disaster Recovery plan?

Anyway, to segue to the World of Warcraft thing. Why is it so popular? Well, for me it's because there's always something to do. Pop out and go and bust a merloc in its gut. Mine. Do the perching-on-a-fence thing. You don't necessarily have to interact with people if you don't want to, unless you really want to. Text-based games are vastly different, but also fundamentally the same. People don't go where there aren't things going on. Why log into a game where most of the players just sit online and channel-chat? You could do that on any chat client, and not even have to invest in the background and/or the description. I think the only way to get the activity up again is to show people that there's something going on. It doesn't have to be large things, or small things. It just has to be something that most everyone enjoys, whether that's Search, or a big plot going on, or just the little beach party thing I want to try and pull off. Take some time, Ierne, and recover.

So what about transfer riders? I don't have a problem with them. More people, right, and theoretically good people if they can get past background screening? I don't really think golds should be allowed to transfer in, and my reasons are as follows. Whether there's any kind of OOC authority attached to that shiny dragon or not, they still have to have it ICly, and that kind of thing is difficult if people don't know you, and you don't have some kind of firm support network in place until they do know you. There's always those two or three weeks (or months!) right at the beginning when you have to fight for any kind of RP beyond the normal chatting in the Living Cavern. It's normal, this; after all, you don't meet someone in real life and immediately jump into a deep friendship with them. Having people there that know you eases that a little, right?

I'm not surprised by the amount of feeling invested into this whole event. It might just be a game, but it's a game that mirrors life to some event, and I don't think it's possible for anyone to just switch off like that. Even those people that say 'It's just a game' still seem to hang around the community, interjecting the odd comment, argument, praiseworthy thing or insult. Most people say that you should stay away from a game if it stresses you out in real life. I've no problems with that; again, it's your choice, not mine. I tried doing that too. It didn't work, mainly because I'm getting things other than just stress. Is the answer leaving the community as a whole, or the game? I used to think so too, but I've since reconsidered that thought. I'm not going to move to another job because someone here makes my life really bad. I realise it's not a perfect analogy, but it's mine.

This was a mish-mash of thoughts. I've not fully thought it out in my own head, so you have my apologies for that. I do think it's going to require that those still on there make a really large effort to get the ball rolling again and gain some momentum. I also think it's going to require that a few of those players that left come back, even if it's not with anything close to your old character. Bonds can be rebuilt, or new ones can grow in their place. There's a reason things like these resemble communities. I'd love comments, really, since they help me sort out things in my own head. What are your opinions? You don't have to join the game, or even come back, but I'd like to know what you think.
Location: At work
Music: Advent Children - Beyond The Wasteland
flyingbrownie on April 7th, 2008 01:51 pm (UTC)
Well one thing is, whenever I log on, and maybe I'm logging on at weird times, there seems to be generally more people at Southern, so that's where RP happens. So maybe people leads to RP, and RP will lead to a more active Ierne.

But a bunch of people just left, and Ierne seems to have this reputation for not being the greatest place, seeing as how this isn't the first time large groups of people have left. So we have fewer people, and a not-that-great track record for people sticking around. So maybe people don't want to come because everyone's just going to throw a fit and leave anyway in about a year.

So maybe we have to get around 'nobody ever sticks around Ierne' to get things active again. Ierne does have plenty of people who stick around, they're just apparently always busy I guess. I know I used to connect a ton before I entered college and now I only connect once in a while (and admittedly, I don't stay logged in long because there's generally no rp happening, it's quiet on the knot, and it is hard to rp because you haven't been rping for a while and you have no idea what's going anymore).
flyingbrownie on April 7th, 2008 01:51 pm (UTC)
Oh yeah, this is Audrey's player.
Veyanneveyanne on April 9th, 2008 10:00 am (UTC)
On Activity
The Weyr in search always seems to end up with more activity. Not long before the clutching, Ierne was the place to be if you wanted RP. It's one of those facts which people want to deny until their face turns blue, but it's going to stay that way. That being said, I would love to see Ierne return to the activity level it had when I first transferred there.

I'm currently part of the problem, since my husband and I are going on a trip in less than a week and I've been obsessing over it in RL to the detriment of online (to give an idea of how bad it is, I packed last night... we don't leave until Saturday). Once we're back I hope to start doing things again. In fact, to RSVP for your post online, any weekend after this coming one will be good for me.

One thing which needs to be done is to get the leadership council filled so Aedai's hands aren't tied so much. Perhaps I'm misreading, but I get the feeling that she's waiting for at least a quorum before she does anything drastic. Anyone reading this who is concerned about that aspect should put in an application so the seats can be filled.

I have a few ideas which I'm sitting on for a bit, at least until after the trip. I'll be ecstatic, though, if things happen while I'm away and I come back to a rejuvenated Ierne.