There needs to be a top to bottom re-evaluation of arrest and imprisonment processes

Specifically for code or policies you would like to see implemented.

Moderators: Maeve, Maeve

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Myrella
Posts: 57
Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2014 6:55 pm

Wed Nov 16, 2022 10:04 pm

Being in prison sucks. Period. This is a non-consensual lethal game where players can have control over the fate of other characters up to and including death, but also public shaming, outing as criminals, charging fines, changes in status and guild membership are on the table etc. etc. etc. All of this might fundamentally change the RP opportunities of a character, but its also one big part of the magic formula that makes TI such an immersive and engrossing experience.

I'm sure you all don't need to be told that having your character's fate in limbo can be emotionally draining. Nor that death, even if planned, is a BIG deal for the players because players inevitably become invested in their characters. All this is what we signed up for and if the stakes weren't as high, it wouldn't be as fun to play.

But jeeeeeeez. Once you're arrested BOY does the game STOP being any fun. It really feels like very little consideration is given to the PLAYERS behind arrested characters. You're given the Jail channel to arrange RP which is a useful tool. But the RP you arrange is all going to be very similar and very one note. While it can be dramatic at first, there's only so much torture, interrogation, investigation, and visitor RP a character can endure before it feels like a broken record. And in the meantime you're stuck in a room totally disconnected from not just the IC world, but the vast majority of the game itself. There's nothing to do while you wait, especially if you're not in the common cells, but in isolation, or if no one else in in the common cells with you.

Not only that. But for as long as this game has been around, and as many characters have been arrested, its surprising how messy and tedious the process still is. Why isn't there a mobprog that strips characters down and puts their eq in a named box and dresses them in prison garb with a few quick commands? It's a hassle for the arresting players and a bore for the arrested player, and not easy to RP around your equipment spamming the screen for 10 minutes.

And heaven help you if you're a mage and have to be gagged too. Nonverbal RP can be a fun challenge for a bit. But there's only so much you can do. I would argue that lore should be changed so that all spells should have a physical component, and none be verbal only so that there is no reason a mage would need to be gagged while in prison. Fingerbinding should be enough. I would also suggest that more allowances be given to prisoners to be able to interact with the game world. I understand the point of prison is to separate the character from the society they've offended. I'm not saying they should be given access to a post office and be able to mail their cronies. But while you wait for the fate of your character to be decided, I hope you have a good long book, or a different MUD to play, because you won't be PLAYING here. Maybe put the prisoners to work crafting newbie uniforms, cook charity bread, etc. so that they can at least grind some craft skills while they wait. There's rumors in the common cells, perhaps they should be free to interact with, or have the option to spend XP or some alternate prison currency to interact with them if you don't have cash on hand when you were arrested. How about an NPC that has carved pigsty dice or can teach thieves' cant? It would be quite interesting if there were some systems or even minigames that were ONLY accessible to imprisoned players. At least that would give some sense of discovery and something unique to do. These are just a few ideas off the top of my head right now, I'm sure they're flawed. But I'm certain, that with some creative thought, the prison and arresting experiences can be made much more interesting for the prisoners. This is a game designed around a central conflict, but when players interact with what should be the very climax of that conflict for their character, the game is at its most tedious, stressful, and boring, which a game should never be.

There's probably some more beyond just the prison experience that needs looking at as well. I think I could make a strong case that arrest privileges shouldn't be granted to cyans. And there should be more OOC onboarding and training for Orderites and Reeves.

But maybe that's just my opinion and I'm off base.

mystry
Posts: 78
Joined: Thu Jan 30, 2020 5:08 am

Thu Nov 17, 2022 12:54 am

Lorewise, there are 3 big reasons why mages can't cast spells in the cells, one of which is obvious to non-mages: the guards interrupting attempts. The others are only obvious to actual mages.

There's no reason to gag a mage when they're in the cells at all. None of those reasons have to do with sound.

Similarly, there's no reason to chop mage's hands off since those reasons still block them. And you can't evoke while in manacles either soooooo..... yeah. Cruel & unusual there.

Yinadele
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2020 11:51 am

Thu Nov 17, 2022 9:03 am

as a player of other RP games, including non-MUDs, being in jail is a timeout on an OOC level too, to some extent.
it's a core conceit of being arrested and, having been arrested before in this game, players do try really hard to make sure you can RP- more than in most RP games that involve permanent consequences.

however, i second prison minigames so people lose their mind less over waiting for RP. just some dice gambling nonsense and a high score for people in jail would be pretty neat, and easy to copypaste code from.

Geras
Posts: 1089
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2011 8:50 pm

Thu Nov 17, 2022 1:14 pm

I think the ideas of rumors being free and automation to the switch out of gear are great. (And I of course agree with the post as a whole - this has been a longstanding problem).

I'd note that I'm pretty sure yells from the Common Cells reach River Square, so I highly recommend folks having yell-RP sessions with prisoners too!

In terms of orientation, I think help cells could be expanded and updated, though there's a lot of really good information there for both sides of the equation.

One thing I'd like to see too is some automation for releasing people, so you don't have to find each other online to do that. I think the focus should be on processing folks as quickly as possible.

mystry
Posts: 78
Joined: Thu Jan 30, 2020 5:08 am

Thu Nov 17, 2022 7:39 pm

yells from the common cells don't reach river square (i don't think), but they do reach another location

oooo mysterious.

Geras
Posts: 1089
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2011 8:50 pm

Thu Nov 17, 2022 10:06 pm

If they don't reach River Square maybe that could be changed?

Temi
Posts: 428
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2011 7:22 pm

Thu Nov 17, 2022 11:02 pm

We've tried to do some rework of the process of arrests, though more probably still needs to be done and we haven't seen much of what should be in place actually working as far as automation, though we do think that most work with the goal of keeping things as interesting and quick as possible. I am sure we will be talking about it further. I can say that staff have never wanted to encourage that putting people in jail be used as a punishment. It's a temporary holding place while they are handled, hopefully made as fun as possible, before dishing out whichever punishments - which hopefully add to the drama of the game if not the fun. But we know that doesn't always happen too. I like the idea of things like dice games. Maybe we can do something like that.

I don't think we need to automate releasing people if you can't find them online. Staff can release someone for you if you're the person supposed to be handling that and they aren't online, but in general - expectation would be that you're not just holding people for no reason, and you probably need to interrogate them. Maybe just release them after that if it seems appropriate.

User avatar
Lei
Posts: 174
Joined: Sun Jan 09, 2011 1:32 pm
Discord Handle: Lei#3876

Mon Nov 21, 2022 3:42 am

Maybe put the prisoners to work crafting newbie uniforms, cook charity bread, etc. so that they can at least grind some craft skills while they wait. There's rumors in the common cells, perhaps they should be free to interact with, or have the option to spend XP or some alternate prison currency to interact with them if you don't have cash on hand when you were arrested. How about an NPC that has carved pigsty dice or can teach thieves' cant? It would be quite interesting if there were some systems or even minigames that were ONLY accessible to imprisoned players. At least that would give some sense of discovery and something unique to do.
Hell yes. There was some discussion of these things in the last OOC chat, too.

And this, (emphasis mine),
This is a game designed around a central conflict, but when players interact with what should be the very climax of that conflict for their character, the game is at its most tedious, stressful, and boring, which a game should never be.


is so true.
Old As Dirt

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