Inactive in RP

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Kinaed
Posts: 1936
Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2011 8:54 pm
Discord Handle: ParaVox3#7579

Wed Jul 01, 2020 5:12 am

I think the emote speed is just a matter of taste. I personally largely don't play TI these days because I can't get RP in 30 min to 1 hour spurts. I have other commitments that I didn't when I was in university. In fact, I've been trying to get through Persona 5 recently and frequently complain to my partner about how you can go an hour unable to save and walk away. Generally speaking, the games industry has recognized the trend of players having less time and preferring 30-60 minute spurts of play. In fact, this is why emote combat is designed to be brutal with people hitting for a lot of damage more often than not - because a four hour fight scene across twenty emotes would tax the patience of the best RPers in the world. When we designed it, Staff actually sat around and said "What is the maximum patience we have for a fight if people emoted once every 5 minutes?" and tried to fit it into the 30 minute window.

It is true that back in the day long ago, people emoted in 1-2 sentence emotes and RP was fast paced. Now a 3-5 sentence emote is pretty standard, and that's all fine if they can be delivered within a 5ish minute period. A lot of players can. However, what we are seeing is that, regardless of how long the emotes are, we have ongoing complaints of unfocused RP with players going inactive in the middle of RP. When emotes take longer than a few minutes to come out, people's minds wander, and it becomes a self-feeding cycle of slow and inattentive RP - which is pretty much the topic of this post, and it's pretty much come up about once every two months for several years now. I think most of us agree one emote every 20 minutes is too slow unless people are in agreeance to RP slowly with one another up-front. It's pretty much declaring that you're busy doing other things and are just kind of 'hanging out' together rather than actually actively scening.

I have two specific questions I'd love to hear people answer:
1) Do you have additional suggestions on how to alleviate this problem that haven't already been made?
2) What is your preferred pace of RP, and when are you 'waiting too long' for another emote to come out?

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galaxgal
Posts: 107
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2018 7:32 pm

Wed Jul 01, 2020 12:48 pm

Kinaed wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 5:12 am
1) Do you have additional suggestions on how to alleviate this problem that haven't already been made?
Is this from a code/design perspective or a community one or both?
Kinaed wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 5:12 am
2) What is your preferred pace of RP, and when are you 'waiting too long' for another emote to come out?
For me 5 minutes is the upper limit, not the goal -- past that, it always seems like I've got someone who writes multiple -- like three or four paragraphs -- of prose or is somehow unable to commit their full attention. If someone's attention is split to the point that emotes start taking long I'd rather have a quick and low effort 'say' or one-line emote.

I think sometimes there is a belief that long emotes make an interesting character, or maybe people judge themselves for short emotes and try to press themselves to 'add more' (I even had a phase like this on TI), but on reflection a couple of the most memorable characters in my TI experience used almost exclusively one-liners and 'say' but had evocative character concepts and spoke a lot through outwardly consistent character actions and motivations.

Eldar
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Jun 22, 2013 8:33 pm

Wed Jul 01, 2020 3:38 pm

I'd be really really reluctant to go back to a standard 5 minute per pose (unless it's in something like larger scenes with turns where you can pre-write pretty effectively). Often times, for me, even in a one on one, it takes around 5-10 for me to respond as i'm really thinking through the scene and the pose, and then editing for readability. I try and hold myself to a minimum standard of writing and quality, as well as include things (via action, word and thought) to provide context and 'hooks' for my partners. 5 minutes, to me, is not always enough to do so when factoring in editing.

Speaking more generally on pace, I legitimately don't feel like I have a hard preference. I'm perfectly willing to match the pace and style of my partner(s). I mostly write the faster 3-5 sentence emotes, but if the scene calls for it (tense, emotional, etc) I definitely find my self falling into 15-20 min 2-4 paragraph monsters as the length helps immensely when adding context. I also find those types of scenes legitimately difficult to write. Any scene with real character impact deserves my full effort and attention, and I find myself agonizing over actions and word choice in a way which does certainly slow me down. I do tend to try and stay away from say poses to 'carry' a scene as I think it can be difficult to use them in a 'good' way, but I definitely do use them from time to time if the situation warrants it. I strongly dislike one liners or say poses that do not give an rp partner anything to hook into. EG something like a 'yes' with no context action or thoughts in response to a question. It shifts the weight of carrying a scene fully onto everyone else and there have been times it's felt like i'm rping with a brick wall. That's really really rare though, but it's certainly a big RP turnoff for me.

Certain types of RP and characters also, bluntly, will take longer to emote. EG: on Eton, if i'm writing limericks to fit a scene that calls for it, that will take substantially longer than a regular pose. Generally between 10-15 minutes between sorting rhymes, writing, rewriting, and then formatting to post into the game. I would hate to be pressured to 'rush' those types of poses due to some sort of 'slow' penalty.

As far as people idling out in scenes.... Generally doesn't bother me? To be... semi-blunt. Shit happens that needs to be attended to IRL. If the scene is not 'important' (EG queen's bar RP where half the people are there to farm legendary rpxp) than I have little problem with it. It bothers me more when a character 'sits down at a table alone'' and then does not engage with the scene for the next hour. And if the scene is important, it is almost always that something that can be re-scheduled via pboard.

plague
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2020 1:43 am
Discord Handle: plague#6022

Wed Jul 01, 2020 10:12 pm

What is your preferred pace of RP ... ?
My preferred pace of RP significantly depends upon the context. With public scenes, I often prefer shorter, snappier emotes (for me, this is very much the '5 minutes' category) that allow for shorter, snappier replies, though sometimes there will be something that I feel either necessitates or encourages a longer reply. Especially in the case of emotional or philosophical waxing, I find it enjoyable to write my character's actions and words expressed thoroughly and carefully (typically, yes, up to about twenty minutes or so, but sometimes longer than that).

For example...

When Percivale was in his Review of Faith, when he was in the final moments of his RP and it was clear, I wrote what a lot of people would probably consider an extreme amount. That wasn't out of some sort of insecurity about the idea that a complex character cannot be expressed simply, but just because I felt as though there was a lot to 'say,' through actions, through words, or through the descriptions thereof. He had a sort of 'crowning moment of indignity,' and that was both therapeutic and thoroughly enjoyable to 'put to paper.' However, during some parts of the interrogation, the tension and pace demanded those smaller, snappier, five-minute replies. It was just more fitting to the scene, and it was better off for it. (Blessed be our Order players for the vast amount of RP devoted to those Reviews in such a difficult time. <3)

---
As an aside, unrelated to directly answering the question...

Reading about people's preferences with pace is sometimes a little discomforting to me when it comes across as a judgment of those who differ. I value my writing and the writing of others quite a bit, and think that not only are these diverse writing styles, paces, lengths, and depths inevitable, but also important. There is quite a lot that a person can say in two sentences. There's also quite a lot a person can say in two paragraphs. Sometimes, a person says more in two sentences than the other has said in two paragraphs. Sometimes the two sentences are instead a dry, intentional IC hardwall with very little to go off of. Creativity and expression are extremely varied, and respecting and appreciating that variance is very important to me.

The (perhaps self-inferred) implications that people who write so much are inattentive RP partners, insecure in their writing and pad it out to make themselves feel better about their writing or characterization, or think simplicity and brevity are inherently inferior to The Wondrous Five Paragraphs of Prose, or that those who consistently write a significant amount more than the norm are inherently riskier to roleplay with because they're more likely to completely flake out on you, or people's Calls To Label People Slow So You Know They Are Boring And Not Fun To Roleplay With make me feel hesitant to just... write. It puts me on the defensive, self-confirming-prophetically makes me self-conscious, and bitters my warm, refreshing tea.

I wrote a lot more about this (go figure), but it sums as, "I think I'll just stick to trying to make sure my RP partners are enjoying themselves and try not to participate much in these discussions because they sometimes tread the line of making me feel insecure about just playing the game." For what it's worth, though, if someone doesn't have enough time to RP with me, I'm not going to hold them hostage, take offense to that, or infer some sort of character flaw. It's just that it's not my fault or inherently a problem with how I interface with the game, as much as a mismatch of circumstances, and the implication that it is puts a bitter taste in my mouth.
---
... (W)hen are you 'waiting too long' for another emote to come out?
I'm only "waiting too long" when the wait time feels disproportionate to what I've received or makes it difficult to react when I have put in significant effort, alongside consideration for any expressed OOC complications ("Sorry, I was making food!" "A bit sleepy, so I'll be slow" "Held up by OOC, writing now", etc. in osay tend to make me feel better when this is the case). Knowing that I have occasionally kept people waiting longer than I intended due to OOC circumstances, I rarely feel as though I'm in the position to complain, and if someone is writing something for the benefit of me reading it, I don't mind waiting (even if that means doing something else in the meantime) so that they can have all the time that they need to do so. Except for the really absurd, I'm not typically bothered.

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galaxgal
Posts: 107
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2018 7:32 pm

Thu Jul 02, 2020 1:29 pm

I'll be open with it: I do have a problem when someone makes the choice to use a certain RP style that negatively impacts the game for people who have tight play schedules and characters who need to get multiple things done in a day. TI is a game about intrigue and social connections; even if you won't judge me for staying away from your characters, other players who do have the time to be around them inevitably might. It stops being a personal preference when it gets these knock-on effects that affect everyone in the pbase in some way.

TI is also not a place where I can say 'oh Joe takes 10 minutes or more to pose and I only have 2 hours, I'll stay away from Joe.' Even if Joe isn't a noble and doesn't antagonize in his RP, what if Joe gets attacked by a mage? What if an Inquisitor wants Joe investigated or questioned because he might be connected to heresy? What if Joe is suspected of or the victim of a crime? What if a noble is mad because Joe isn't doing proper etiquette and I have to defuse or otherwise react to the situation?

What if a subset of time-limited players starts to avoid Joe because of his preference and someone accuses them of OOC blackballing?

Sparkles
Posts: 69
Joined: Sun Apr 14, 2019 3:52 pm

Thu Jul 02, 2020 1:42 pm

I have other commitments that I didn't when I was in university.
I would state this here is likely true for the majority of "longer term MUDers" which a lot of folks of all roughly the same age range picked up MUDing as a habit in younger years when they had less responsibilities. Those same people still enjoy the hobby, and would love to still participate. However, their available time might be less focused. I think expecting that to change and asking to penalize people ultimately is deciding who is or isn't allowed on the playground, so to speak.
I'll be open with it: I do have a problem when someone makes the choice to use a certain RP style that negatively impacts the game for people who have tight play schedules and characters who need to get multiple things done in a day.
Unless people are honest and up front OOCly that is a concern, how should people be aware this is an issue? How can people predict other people's RL situations? I feel like some of this would be cleared up with folks being more honest about needs/expectations with their RP partners. But this is starting to feel like folks are sort of getting mad at other players because they are RL busy.

Kitty
Posts: 102
Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2018 4:29 pm
Discord Handle: Kitty#2410

Thu Jul 02, 2020 1:54 pm

At the same time, we cannot say, "Joe absolutely must play this way because certain people in the game have less time in the game than others." We can ask Joe to be more OOCly polite about people's time, but we can't tell him he must play a certain way for the convenience of (insert subset here). It limits the creativity of the player, and that's what makes this place so rich - all of the creativity and variety. If everyone played exactly the same, it would be no fun. It's Joe's game to try to enjoy, too.

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galaxgal
Posts: 107
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2018 7:32 pm

Thu Jul 02, 2020 3:16 pm

If we want to say that TI is a game that is culturally open to especially long (time-wise) poses, and that those can happen in public and on a regular basis and even when , that's fine. Those of us who don't have time for that (and weren't served that expectation many years ago) can pack up our toys and go.

What's not fine and doesn't sit well with me is the continued reinforcement that this is somehow creating a more varied, welcoming, or inclusive TI. It's not. It's creating a TI for people who have lots of time to spend on TI, and excluding people who don't. If we want the culture to pivot toward total acceptance of the level of longform that's become common in just the past few months, that's fine, but I want us to be honest in accepting a few things that I've tried to drive home:

1) There is a cost to this in player engagement and retention. Players with lots of time can pick up the pace for players who don't have lots of time, and the game will still be there for them once those 2-hour-session players log off. The other way around is impossible.

2) This does not match the tone of existing documentation and code. Players go to the idle void after 20 minutes, which means that if two players take 10 minutes each pose, they will both come and go from the idle void. Combat turns have a hardcap of 5 minutes. RPXP is either penalized after 5 minutes or rewarded if less than 5 minutes.

3) This is not a game where you can say 'if you don't like it, don't RP with me'.I It's a small world. We have 25 players online tops. Other players can involuntarily become locked in to your pace.

4) As an extension of 3; characters have literally died or risked death because they were waiting for a pose and something bad started happening around them.

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galaxgal
Posts: 107
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2018 7:32 pm

Thu Jul 02, 2020 3:29 pm

And to be frank, if we want to talk about social pressure, we can also talk about the OOC pressure those of us trying to timebox our play receive from others, as well as the strange IC reactions we sometimes receive. It has not been a welcoming environment.

Sparkles
Posts: 69
Joined: Sun Apr 14, 2019 3:52 pm

Thu Jul 02, 2020 3:32 pm

galaxgal wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 3:29 pm
And to be frank, if we want to talk about social pressure, we can also talk about the OOC pressure those of us trying to timebox our play receive from others, as well as the strange IC reactions we sometimes receive. It has not been a welcoming environment.
I will admit that I'm honestly not 100% sure what this means.

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