Author Topic: Gaming vs Gamesmanship  (Read 584 times)

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Random_White_Guy

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on: May 16, 2022, 10:40:38 PM
Earlier today we had a very kickass chat ongoing in main and since Discord has this trend of being a tidalwave I wanted to bring out a few gems shared by DM Halfbrood and try to help contextualize and put voice to a few things in and around that idea.

Quote from: DM Halfbrood
Help others tell their story, instead of just butting heads constantly against each other... if we all did that once or twice a week, things would be much richer for it.

I just think for the benefit of some of our newer players its important that those of us who have been here a long time try and show the benefits of the rule of cool And try and steer people away from this 'gamer' attitude that we can fall into. I like to imagine EFU is deeper than that. And it is, at its best.

I want to preface this with all the gusto I can muster that this isn't a condemnation of anyone, this isn't accosting anyone, or casting judgement. It's just a witnessed phenomenon and as PCs and DMs alike keep bringing it up I think there's something to be had for trying to expound on it a bit. I have a tendency to get too much trying to word dump so i'll try and keep this brief, but here's a few tips I think that could help embolden our world and help push things further.

One: Please take a beat to consider Culture.


People often talk about how it feels like nothing is grown in EFU because it's so often destroyed but a lot of that comes from the fact that when people do try and build things there's this mix of ignoring or overlooking that just saps the soul out of those pushing it. The day to day of EFU has such a tendency to turn into this Reset - Quest - I want my Levels and Supplies upped - Quest - Reset. The Burgage is a place with so many groups and factions and more and possibilities for thriving concepts but so often more than not it gets relegated to this role of MMO Hub where PCs tend to sell shit, wander through, organize for quests, or hop.

A lot of people say it feels like the Peerage stands for nothing, but at the same time that's because when PCs try to stand for something there's this overwhelming feeling of apathy and gamer mentality and "Cool story but there's a call for a Quest and I'm here for that".

Supporting PC initiatives can be as easy as showing up to a Priest who chooses to give a Sermon in Person over whispers, a Bard who chooses to play on a street corner rather than blasting out outside of game on the Whispers or Forums, a Cook who wants to host tea parties, and more. "Social" RP is often a dirty word on EFU but as all things there is a balance and when you dig into the social side of things you can have such a growth explosion of other conflicts, other opinions, and making the world feel more real.

Try taking an hour, or a day, or some time to ignore the mechanics aspect and dig into the RP and see where it takes you as you wander around the Hub or the Wilds or anywhere, engaging with people on another level.

Two: Please pause and consider the nature of Cooperative Story Telling in Antagonism vs Reactionary Play.

We've all been there in EFU when you want to push an agenda but it feels like the world is out to get you, or the deck is stacked too high, or there's so many PCs you're up against and it becomes this feeling of a slog. The very nature of EFU though is cooperative story telling nad just like when you consider my point about Culture above, please consider that both Heroes and Villains and In Betweens and Mercenaries and more all have a place and purpose in this server and most of that is trying to help flesh out the world to be a broader, wider tapestry.

People are quick to go "ALL RETAINERS DO IS FIGHT EACH OTHER AND SLAM ON THE BRIDGE" - But that's because when Retainers try to get engaged in Politics there's PCs of various levels both of mechanics levels and investment levels that go "Ugh Politics no thank you I am off to quest" which can just be gut-wrenching, reductionist, and turn the political landscape into this awkward quagmire of BIG BULLY MEANIES vs NOTHING INTERESTING HAPPENS vs UGH THIS IS BORING.

If you can find the line to thread it's magical but it's so hard to cut that line clean, but if PCs actually supported agendas not by just throwing levels at a problem but RP? If people supported movements socially and culturally, or even just engaged in politics and political theater and the cultures involved EFU opens so many more avenues for the schemers, the dreamers, and the memers who just want to bring a wider world together.

Not every conflict ends in FD, nor should it, but half the fun is the anticipation.
But when all people seem to want to do is hit that next quest, hit that next DM event?
It makes PC driven events, PC driven endeavors, and more feel like this overwhelming struggle.

Be it a House Retainer PC wanting to run his own plot where he endeavors to stop the dishonorable practice of MERCENARY CONTRACT or just a guy who really likes hunting deer talking about hunting deer and making up laws to regulate that, if you buy into some suspension of disbelief about our world and dig into it more and support the PCS who are taking more active stances in whatever way you can (Either for or against their cause), the world opens up so many more choices and avenues.

Three: Please pause and consider how horrifying it is to try something new or different

During our chat a PC hammered home something I feel goes to reason:

Quote from: Blue41
Given the choice between doing a fresh new thing which may suck and cobbling on your half baked thing to an existing legacy it’s scary to do the former and safe to do the latter

It's easy to go "Ugh the Moil is cool but it's so empty I wish more was there" vs "Ugh the Ponds are so dangerous why would anyone want to play there and exile life is hard" vs "My god I am so sick of the peerage it's all just the same".

A single PC or two can change the entire direction of a Peerage House - Look at what came out of House Glitt when PCs like Nazey and Wench and more said sure drunken louts are fun but what if we cleaned that up.
A single PC or two can change the entire direction of an entire area of the Module - Look at what came out of Ring 97 when VP and Nelly said The Inquisitor Tower is a tool let's use it to change things.
A Single PC or two can change the entire direction of an entire story arch - Look at what came out of Ziya on Nephezar drawing a line against Big Bad Sunpurse's greed and corruption and hiring Seventh Face Assassins to fight in Noble Tournament.
A Single PC or two can change the entire direction of an Association - Look at what Lannister and NND and one or two other faithful pulled off with returning Ishmenka.

Bucking the Status Quo, pushing agendas outside the norm, pursuing something that is new and organic over "Hey can I be Lord Toms's 9th Cousin even though we've had so many of their family", and so many other things can be horrifying and daunting.

But if you build something from relative scratch in defiance of the current trends, status, and more? It opens up such a world of possibilities. Find something about a Peerage House you'd love to twist or you feel is missing- Maybe since Orza has Devils, Velstra goes for Hedonistic Demons, yay Blood War in EFU. Maybe it's time for an Angelic Cult to move into Moonspear and counter all the Necro and Evil Cults.  Maybe new Sunpurse Sanctuary needs a Mesmer Sorcerer of Fey Blood who adds some weirdness outside the usual Peerage Norm. Maybe the Peerage Patrician needs a rival newspaper. Maybe the fact the Black Velvet is lacking an Event Promoter or Arena doesn't have a Gladiator Master. Maybe all the Infiltrators and Traitors means the Peerage needs to have a new PC Ran group ala the Harpers to spy on and investigate Retainers of dubious origins.

Quote from: Great Quick Example
I mean, LastOne is trying hard making "Paladin" a rare collectable servant and that kind of RP and innovation just breathes such a hilarious life to our world. And what is more hilarious, or quinitssentially a 'Velstran' Vibe than - A Paladin? Gracious no that's not for marching in crusade or slaying undead they're loyal and faithful and well bred and clean and neat and like Prized poodles...

Would a Paladin want that kind of support? Or would they reject it? Would they openly sigh and try to contest it or would they try and threaten him to stop it.

That one move is a lightning rod, and so are so many others,I tried to find these examples to give a breadth of scope and scale and I know many things try, many things fail, unlimited things fail, but trying is what the magic of EFU really is.

People talk a lot about how easy it is to burn things down, or how it's impossible to change things, or build things.

But a lot of that comes from a place where trying to build so much, for so long, really drains on people to have their stories or agendas brushed aside for "Gamer" mentality over Cooperative "Gamesmanship" of PCs trying to build a story and push an agenda and bring more life to our world.

And every time that's stepped over or ignored or cast aside EFU loses a bit of that magic that is story telling.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2022, 10:49:06 PM by Random_White_Guy »
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Providence

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on: May 17, 2022, 08:13:11 AM
I find it weird to even talk about this because 80% (subjectively)  or so of all my PvP experiences are "someone I don't know robs me wordlessly" and various "not a single line of text PvP" experiences. "Magic that is storytelling" my ass.

And if you claim this is not encouraged I think you are just lying.

Maybe I am old fashioned, but I feel like you could give your quarry (that usually doesn't even know who the heck you are) a single emote or something. Where's the story in wordless robbery? Where's the story in mute FD? Might as well just quest, at least the quest mobs aren't going to FD you and are sometimes scripted to talk.

Edit: I know, bitter and off-topic. Whatever. Magic my arse. The magic on EfU is the cool lore and DM quests, but the player versus player aspect feels like it's just an arena server with extra steps.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2022, 08:15:22 AM by Providence »



Bio

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on: May 17, 2022, 03:13:51 PM
I find it weird to even talk about this because 80% (subjectively)  or so of all my PvP experiences are "someone I don't know robs me wordlessly" and various "not a single line of text PvP" experiences. "Magic that is storytelling" my ass.

And if you claim this is not encouraged I think you are just lying.

Maybe I am old fashioned, but I feel like you could give your quarry (that usually doesn't even know who the heck you are) a single emote or something. Where's the story in wordless robbery? Where's the story in mute FD? Might as well just quest, at least the quest mobs aren't going to FD you and are sometimes scripted to talk.

Edit: I know, bitter and off-topic. Whatever. Magic my arse. The magic on EfU is the cool lore and DM quests, but the player versus player aspect feels like it's just an arena server with extra steps.


i don't know how many wordless fds or silent robberies you've had in your lifetime at efu but I can think of that happening to me 1 time.


even the worst fd i ever got wasn't wordless/emoteless so i feel like you're either having a very unique experience or complaining about something rare.
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Jubek

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on: May 17, 2022, 07:11:17 PM
I agree very much with that, and I'm quite glad someone brought that up. I find it ironic that some people say nowadays that "the Peerage stands for nothing" because it used to be something folks said about Ticker Square. (Which stood for money...but money for what...?) I felt recently that the Houses were becoming more similar and losing of what made each of them unique, but that's another topic...

To me, to not go on a quest train and do social roleplay always meant I missed an opportunity to stay on-par with other people in terms of level, supplies and gear. Even more when I had suffered recently from a death. (Because nobody's safe from a failed save or a 80 hp critical hit) Sometimes I went on the quest train instead, after a while I tried to mostly stick to roleplay whenever the possibility's there, because I realized that's what I'm here for, in the end.

I feel like some sort of compensation would ease that up. Experience meaning "life experience". For example, still have that 10 xp tick going on after level 6. It's just a small example, but that way it feels like people aren't punished for not sticking  to the grinding aspect. Because the issue is mostly mechanical.

But in the end? Yes, I think it's the roleplaying moments that we remember the most. So it's important to become conscious of that. It's ironic, but yesterday I read someone's comment talking about Game of Thrones. (concerning the Targaryen spinoff) Basically he said "I don't care how much you put into epic fights and CGI. Bring me dialogue. It's the badass interactions between characters I remembered the most of the original series."

Speaks for itself.


As a sidenote, I didn't experience a lot of PVP ambushes  in-game. However, many people told me of their characters' sudden FD. And not folks hellbent on PVP either. (Found myself lucky to not get more of that) So while we don't all experience it the same way, it is definitely there.



Howlando

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on: May 17, 2022, 11:37:54 PM
Wordless FDs and zero-role play robberies are not encouraged in EFU as you are perfectly well aware, Jasede!

There is something about EFU where people seem to remember the incredibly rare incident where things go sour, or perhaps when new players are too hasty or clumsy with PvP, or otherwise where things don't go ideally. But the general culture of the server is not like this as best as I can tell, and if it is then players need to communicate issues to DMs so we can take steps to address issues.



TsunamiWombat

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on: May 18, 2022, 02:56:36 PM
On the discussion of building things, the issue's I see facing people who try to make something are;
1. Getting attention
Just getting people, be it players or DM's, to pay attention. So many of us are bitter jaded vets. DM's don't want to watch you emote *repairs bridge* for 5 hours. Making things is boring, burning shit down is fun and exciting and provides loot and exp.

2. Getting 'attention'
As soon as you try to do something, someone WILL try to murder you. Because they're desperate to get that attention too. If you make headway, someone will materialize from the woodwork to try and ventilate your skull and make their own bones. This drives conflict to be sure, but can create difficulty for the more mechanically impaired who don't know how to build or wage PVP conflict.

At work are a whole lot of subconscious, ingrained behaviors as people compete either for DM attention or 'to win' (in order to get DM attention). In a strange way, the DM team are our chaos gods, and we are just puppets dancing for the grace of the dark powers. Maybe there's a character concept there...

3. Dying on the vine
EFU is a game, not a job. Nobody is obligated to be here, nobody should be obligated to be here. But sometimes, player driven things that gain momentum just DIE because the principle players, be they PC or DM, check out. Nobody is really to blame for this - again this is a game. But it does happen. And then you're left with a hanging thread that is forgotten or swept under. Everyone talks about Sabuth and the Sons of Sabuth and the great revolution, nobody mentions what actually HAPPENED with Sabuth. Which iirc, the player mcfucking vanished and left everyone holding a bag.



zerotje

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on: May 18, 2022, 03:43:31 PM
I feel like people's main goal is getting attention to your character. So that DM interaction is generated. Because from that spawns the most fun. It's a popularity contest IC & OOC.

Yes, that is a sour opinion. But there is alot of obviously great things in EfU too. The setting, lore and DM events.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2022, 03:45:06 PM by zerotje »



Bearic

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on: May 19, 2022, 01:11:49 AM
Generally, the best thing you can do in-game to build things is help other players have fun and drive conflict. This doesn't mean you need to engage in PVP necessarily, but that your group takes stands, makes enemies and serves an interesting and relevant purpose in the game world. There are a number of ways to do this, but providing a cool scene, recording cool stuff other players do, taking crazy risks and standing against the majority of the server are usually the most rewarded.

Ideally though, your purpose shouldn't be DM attention, but having fun and creating/doing something difficult or rewarding in and of itself.



cmenden

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on: May 21, 2022, 03:19:57 PM
This is a pretty negative thread for some reason and feels like none of these responses are related to the original post xD

Since when is EFU about getting attention and not just immersing yourself in a consistent portrayal of a made up person?

Also sudden FDs happen, PVP can be really intense and emotional but I've never seen or heard of a silent/non-emoted FD in my life, surely this is rare and should be reported separately? The logs and screenshots would be pretty wild to see and DMs would definitely do something about it



Vlaid

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on: May 24, 2022, 04:09:51 AM
When people talk or think about how bad PVP culture, karma and consequences in EFU are if your line of reasoning begins with "I haven't experienced any of the negatives but OTHER people have told me..." then you should probably stop right there buster. People love to talk about their bad experiences but almost never repeat the mild or good ones (myself included). The amount of bad PVP experiences or bad FDs I've had are miniscule compared to the amount of times I was able to talk myself out of the situation or was let go without even being robbed.

That goes for most people unless they are just angry about a recent situation and their salt levels are through the roof. So take such claims with a large pinch of salt (ha ha).



Jubek

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on: May 24, 2022, 07:47:13 PM
I understand your point of view. I say this very respectfully, but I won't continue the point of PVP (someone else's answer triggered something and like cmenden, said every post diverted from original post to this) , because we're missing, in my opinion, the important and juicy topic of IG culture and social roleplay, which adds a lot to a game world and was the original topic.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2022, 08:30:51 PM by Jubek »