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Rumi

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[quote name='Firsanthalas' timestamp='1299846482' post='80512']
It seems that the plans and ideas were changed. Mainly this seems to have happened because of certain people objecting. Certain people that made no effort to participate I might add. Personally, my message to said people is this: Get stuffed.
People complain that nothing happens in MD. When someone actually takes the time to try to inject something into it, the trolls emerge and complain. You know who you are. My message to you is simple. Either contribute something constructive or do the rest of us a favour and go F yourself or find someone to do it for you (if you can).
Is this offensive? Darn tootin. I am past caring. I've had enough really.
I'm off the wrestle with a pig. At least I can eat it afterwards.

(Rumi: apologies if you felt I was taking a crack at you. I wasn't aware that certain things were changed. Based on the original concept the cause and solution was very different from yours, but given recent events, well done for at least bothering.)
[/quote]

I think we as a community are facing a significant dilemma here. I would like to open this up to public debate with a goal of finding and implementing some real solutions.

This relates to other forum discussions about knowledge of the realm, most recently "Concerning Lore and Stories n' stuff."
http://magicduel.invisionzone.com/topic/9175-concerning-lore-and-stories-n-stuff/

Let me speak first about my particular experience with the Loreroot sludge quest. This quest was developed (as far as I know) by Sharazhad and Mya Celestia and it seems that Firsanthalas was also informed as to the full nature of the quest. I apologize for any inaccuracies and I welcome any correction of the specifics.

As the sludge was first introduced, there was initially a lot of talk about liquid dust in Loreroot. There were suggestions that the liquid dust had somehow taken hold and different opinions were thrown about, some saying liquid dust is only found in Necrovion, others saying there is liquid dust under all the lands flowing toward Necrovion, along with other such ideas. It was not long before word came from "on high" that liquid dust could not be a part of this quest because the quest would disregard game mechanics and and the true nature of liquid dust, which of course is little known to the general populace of the realm.

Not long afterward, there was talk of black water, and the possibility that it have come up in Loreroot with the flood. There was discussion about how Darigan was affected by the sludge and that he was not the first dragon to be affected by black water. Sure enough, word came again from "on high" that black water could not be a part of this quest because it would disregard game mechanics and the true nature of black water.

Some time later Mya found a shard in the sludge sample which was finally determined to be the broken tip of the kris lodged inside of Firsanthalas' arm by Granos during the episode of the Taint. We discussed the possibility of the re-emergence of the Taint and spoke to players around the realm about their previous experiences with the Taint. And word came from "on high" that the Taint could not be a part of this quest.

Who is "on high" anyway? I don't recall hearing too much from Mur.

I have no idea if Sharazhad had intended for the original nature of the quest to include some of these elements, but this experience presents a clear problem.

There are some quests built into the structure of MagicDuel, including story mode, which all players have the opportunity to work at and learn from. That said, the vast majority of quests in MagicDuel are created by players. Player-built quests with open-ended roleplay that can affect the entire realm make MD it unique among other games and online worlds.

In a traditional roleplaying game the quests are built by the game master or designer, who fully understands the mechanics of his or her world and can manipulate quests to adhere to those mechanics in a way that passes understanding to the players, as well as interlacing the various elements to tell a grand story.

From what I have observed, it seems to me that there was a lot more understanding of game elements and mechanics in the past as players learned about them as they developed. Some of these elements have been altered over time and more importantly the player base has changed. There are many new players whose only links to those previous times are contact with veterans and the adventure logs. If veterans have some understanding about the nature of game mechanics, they certainly do not share them openly. There is a culture of secrecy regarding the inner workings of the realm with the idea that new players need to learn from observation just as the veterans have. However, todays veterans were able to observe and interact with older veterans who appear to have had a more full understanding of the game mechanics of their time and developed quests which passed along the knowledge and grand story mentioned above. We have some tutorial quests which challenge players to figure out the world around them and answer questions, and I honor the existence of these quests that promote observation. However, these quests are based in thought and not experience.

There appears to be a lack of connection today between the camps of understanding and creativity. There are many players who want to create quests involving the grand story and the game mechanics, but lack the understanding to do so. The players who have some understanding of the game mechanics do not promote a variety of story quests involving those mechanics that can teach the new players to develop that same understanding. A player with deeper understanding of game mechanics is not obligated to develop story quests that use and teach the mechanics. They can do with their knowledge whatever they want. However, there needs to be a mechanism by which players with the spark of creativity can develop quests involving the deeper mechanics and grand story.

I don't know what this would be. Perhaps creative players need to submit quest ideas to Mur who could participate more actively in helping those players develop those quests. I don't get the impression that he is inclined to do this as he clearly is working on the grand story in his own way and time. Perhaps a council of players who have been invited into the Border Research Forum (I'm guessing these are players that Mur has judged to be understanding of mechanics to a certain degree) could help creative players develop their quests. I am very interested in other ideas and suggestions.

How do we empower players to develop quests using game mechanics and story without spoiling their learning experience? I don't know and I think there is a clear sense that the lack of creative quests involving story and mechanics are spoiling the playing experience and creating a sense of stagnation.

Sharazhad and Mya and Firsanthalas should have been empowered to develop the sludge story along their initial intended route, whatever it may have been. If it deviated from the game mechanics, they should have had assistance, not criticism. There is clearly a lot of history in the realm and a lot of usable elements if one knows how to use them. Perhaps creative players need to go ahead to develop their quests as they see fit and only Mur ought to speak to their suitability. It just may be that game mechanics are altered by players building quests and Mur finds them to be a welcome change. I suspect this has happened before. If he wanted a stagnant world directed solely by his own mind, he would have written a novel instead of MagicDuel. He invited us all in here to participate.

People, lets get creative! Offer your opinions and put solutions on the table.

Edited by Rumi
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Picking up on an old topic and changing it is hardly creative, is blasphemic.

There are so many niches in MD you can base creative stories and quests on, and nobody will oppose them because nobody knows more about it than the one who just found it. But if you take a topic that has been there before, there already is a story about it, and simply disregarding that story and changing it as long as it fits you, is not creative, but stupid.

The big researchers, who wrote a lot of stories about life, the universe and everything, didn't take up on something that has been done before. They did something that has NOT been done before, and did figured stuff about that specific issue out by searching for clues, making theories, testing their theories in discussion with other people...

Taking their findings and bending them until they fit your purposes has nothing to do with story, quests, or research. It's just spitting on their graves.

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(disclaimer: addressing an issue, do not know the particular case)

Burns, you used a few pretty strong words but sidestep Rumi's issue :-(
It seems that most of 'topics that has been there before' exists only in memories of vets, not written down and as such pracically unavailaible for newer MDers. Essentially there is a lot of people apprearing mysterious and knowledgeable and using non-spoiler policy as a cover and refusing eny information on things/events past or game mechanics. Some of them may know something - some just know nothing but hints they drop escalate mess.
As a consequence it seems unavoidable that new people will do things that have been done before and differently. Graves? If nobody took some effort to commemorate things, events, people there are no graves to spit on. It seems the other way around - new people come with potential and energy and they are spitted in a face 'it's been done before and better, don't touch it. how? cannot tell you, try to figure it out yourself'. And they either try - or give up
Either you have everything written down and people move in packs along well marked paths of propriety - or people try to find these paths, often just getting them dead wrong.

About RP quests - I have no idea how they are managed. Is there some vet committee that accept every development? Or somebody accpepts concept rightfullness? Or is it all left to sponsor/ author?

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[quote name='xrieg' timestamp='1299916374' post='80551']
It seems that most of 'topics that has been there before' exists only in memories of vets, not written down and as such pracically unavailaible for newer MDers. Essentially there is a lot of people apprearing mysterious and knowledgeable and using non-spoiler policy as a cover and refusing eny information on things/events past or game mechanics. Some of them may know something - some just know nothing but hints they drop escalate mess.
[/quote]

You have never heard of shades and liquid dust? Or what about Granos' Taint?

I only know how the quest has been forced to change based on this post, so please acknowledge that i only have the facts presented here, however wrong they may be.

I can see why whoever this "higher up" said no to liquid dust, because by creating a quest around it, you start creating its powers. As you said yourself newer players learn about lore from the quests around them, So surely its a good idea to not have someone making up things about liquid dust, that may or may be appropiate? Liquid dust is an intresting topic, even if we know little about it, So we really shouldnt start making up properties of it.

As Burns said, there are so many areas of MD that lore has not touched, whereby you can easily create lore around it. It would make it more interesting, and if nothing has been said about it before, then you can say what you like, for it wont be wrong.

Its great to use lore, But if you end up changing that lore by your quest (eg drinking liquid dust like whiskey) then it will effect a larger audience who would then believe such "new lore". Using it as a reference point is great, but if you are directly using it, and it having players interact with the older lore, then you better be completed informed on that subject, otherwise things will go bad.

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Pay close attention, Rumi has hit the nail on the head:

"Who is "on high" anyway? I don't recall hearing too much from Mur."

When was the last time that Mur stepped in and stopped players from doing something that involved RP? It was the Lore debacle, which is also in my memory the only time he ever spoke out harshly against the actions of players in relation to roleplay and role creation. Why?

By my reasoning, he told us to disregard the Lore because we were all latching onto it as the one pure truth. Since it came directly from the game, or so it seemed, and not from the mind of any single player, we all took Lore too seriously. Whatever Mur says becomes law, and as a result of this, these days he says little at all. Perhaps for fear that we can't take his words with a grain of salt. If he says it, it must be. His posts are brimming with vagaries, things that have no solidity that we can hold onto. It allows for both sides to have something to argue with.

The Council has, to my knowledge, been a sidelined authoritative force. With no way to truly converse with them, they are a reactive but not proactive group.

So then, in the void of such "pure" powers of influence, we are left to our own devices; purposefully left without guidance, because it's more interesting to 'watch order evolve from chaos.' And that's precisely what's happened, and is happening.

The veterans have sway. We are the ones who can shoot down Quests and declare this or that as suitable, and this or that as unsuitable. But I think the problem is that the veterans do not approve anything - because we're not really sure if we have enough information to approve something. Disproving is easy though - all you need is to find one fault, and with such a malleable world, it isn't too hard to twist the past and principles into any number of permutations that will allow for dissent.

Maybe I'm being wordy. When all the cards have fallen, the bottom line is that the veterans are apprehensive about allowing experimentation with older concepts such as Liquid Dust and Black Water. If I hardly understand them, how can I admit that a newer player does?

There are two break points:
1. The veterans start being more flexible and active. This, I believe, is what Rumi would see as the solution.
2. The newer, more ambitious, players start to create rather than recycle ideas. Burns, I think this is just a restatement of your argument.

I'd be more than willing to compromise on the first if I saw the second taking place. As always, I speak for myself.

Awi

PS: I claim no responsibility for convincing Mya and Sasha not to use the Liquid Dust and Black Water, but I did write to Mya to tell her that I didn't think it was a good idea.

Edited by awiiya
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I'm curious about one thing, I can understand not allowing the use of Black water or Liquid dust those are actual things based somewhere within Murs game plan mechanics. But the Taint as far as I'm aware was a player based event that had no bearing on game mechanics or the lore. So why exactly is it that that it could not be used?

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[color="#8B0000"][font="Palatino Linotype"]I'm going to set something straight here about the sludge. Liquid dust, black water, and the taint were not nor were they going to be used in it. It was debated but never my original intent to use. If people want to claim that they had an influence over the decision, be my guest. I had several people come at me with "can't", "don't", and "you don't know" arguments. Even using the shard got people bothered even though I was a first hand witness to when the event actually happened.

I was told we can't do rp segments like the sludge if they don't involve game mechanics. Then I was told the complete opposite. A few little things that I did to "set the stage" for the sludge got me told that I didn't know what I was doing. People argued that they wouldn't acknowledge it because they didn't "see" it. That doesn't wash with me. I don't have to see disasters to know that they happen. If we work in MD in this manner, nothing would ever happen because we all can't see everything that happens.[/font][/color]

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[quote name='Chewett' timestamp='1299918754' post='80554']
I can see why whoever this "higher up" said no to liquid dust, because by creating a quest around it, you start creating its powers. As you said yourself newer players learn about lore from the quests around them, So surely its a good idea to not have someone making up things about liquid dust, that may or may be appropiate? Liquid dust is an intresting topic, even if we know little about it, So we really shouldnt start making up properties of it.

As Burns said, there are so many areas of MD that lore has not touched, whereby you can easily create lore around it. It would make it more interesting, and if nothing has been said about it before, then you can say what you like, for it wont be wrong.
[/quote]

I agree with Burns and Chewitt and Awiiya that the development of new stories based on new research is the most appropriate way to move forward. The recycling of old ideas and stories does not lend anything new to the realm, but rather brings up all the old points of contention.

I also think that ignoring the old ideas and stories creates the problem of a lack of continuity. Those ideas and stories are documented in the Adventure Logs, with players, and in places all over the realm. MagicDuel is a realm where the history has been developed by the players and there is a clear respect for that history. The involvement of older lore and research gives grounding to new lore and research by connecting new events to historic events. When grounded on the foundation of existing lore, the new events have a logical place in history and stand on their own merits.

Building on the foundation of historic lore is valuable from a storytelling perspective because these connections give a story depth. This foundation is valuable from a community learning perspective because it creates the opportunity for players to interact and learn how to research as part of interactive roleplay quests. I see far more potential benefit from experiential learning where players research to solve a problem instead of research for its own sake. You might compare this to classroom learning versus hands-on learning.

[quote name='Chewett' timestamp='1299918754' post='80554']
Its great to use lore, But if you end up changing that lore by your quest (eg drinking liquid dust like whiskey) then it will effect a larger audience who would then believe such "new lore". Using it as a reference point is great, but if you are directly using it, and it having players interact with the older lore, then you better be completed informed on that subject, otherwise things will go bad.
[/quote]

This is the problem for quest creators. As Chewitt says, they need to be completely informed on a subject of lore for their creation to be considered to have merit. As Awiiya alluded to, nobody is completely informed on any subject in MagicDuel and the veterans are the gatekeepers because they have some greater understanding. He suggested that veterans need to be more active so that other players can be more informed and more flexible so other players can make something of the limited information they have. I will take it a step further and suggest that we need some kind of transitional strategy where new players can get informed enough to where they can develop quests that are not cut off at the knees by the gatekeepers. I say a transitional strategy because I think that when creative players have an understanding of relevant game mechanics, they will develop quests will empower new players with experiential learning through those quests. It is a continuous cycle that appears to be broken at the moment.

Clearly the difficulty here is the spoiler issue. I won't suggest that old players need to just spill out their secrets to those who want to make something of those secrets. However, if they have no interest in developing quests involving experiential learning, we need to help them find some way to communicate their understanding in a way that they are comfortable. I think that the knowledge needed to develop lore quests is insignificant compared to the understanding of how to research to gain such knowledge. Maybe the veterans would consider some way to teaching research, rather than teaching knowledge so spoilers wouldn't be a concern.

One idea that pops into my mind as I write is the involvement of the Legend Speakers. Neither Curiose or Fyrd are ancient veterans, but I think they both have something very valuable that they could contribute in this way. Curiose may very well be the appropriate person to learn lore and game mechanics if the veterans can find a way to help her become a premier researcher in the realm. It appears to me that Fyrd Argentus is the most creative quest developer we have at the moment and I suspect that with the appropriate foundation in lore and mechanics, he would be able to develop experiential learning quests that empower other players to accomplish the same thing. Perhaps this kind of transitional strategy could kickstart the cycle of lore and learning. Just an idea.

I'd like to see some other ideas of how we might be able to accomplish such a transition. Thanks for your input everyone.

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I m going to simply sum up this entire thing as to why nothing will get done/fixed by stealing a rant from Mr. Granos.

Posted 18 February 2010 - 03:03 PM



[quote][Rant]

Ok so its time for a real post on this issue, lets focus on what the main subject matter of this is, the problem with MD? Well guess what its not Murs incomplete projects or the lack of shiney things or AL, history or whatever other BS reason you may have. It all simply boils down to the problem being you, You the players of MD who would rather rant whine and complain about lack of things rather than working with what you have. I swear its actually worse now than it was with the RPCs, which is scary that I find myself agreeing with Burns, although not in nearly the same regard, as it seems EVERYONE now is incapable of action because they seem to wait and demand that they need X to do this or Y I cant do this because of the lack of. When you all seem to be missing the most important aspect of what makes MD what it is. Its not the fucking lore or history or even the little stories, those are filler little distractions and praise, its all about the perceptions of how you see things how the hell do you think its possible to have something like the savelites otherwise? Savelfuser was not a god, yet there is an enitre church built around one character, hes not widely regarded as a god, but enough people saw him as such thus it was through thier perceptions that such a thing is made possible, Religion in md.

Now you might be wonding where Im going with all of this well its quite simple most of you love to sit back and come up with great ideas and concepts for things but then NEVER do them you say oh lets stand togeather and fix this but when it comes down to it, people will look up to you as they already have and you fail them epically, how so? Just by making your self serving posts here in the forums youve failed them as that means you talking about fixing things rather then doing it. We have the tools already to do any of the given suggestions here and we dont need mur to code anything for it to happen. Yrth suggested a PAL well its really easy to set something like that up, hell Ive being doing my own personal one since ive started playing MD watching people and recoding their actions its usually how I end up choosing people to come and work on project with me to actually have something happen in md. For a PAL to work just get a few freaking people in on it and put it up on a RPC item and there you go!

Oh I cant do this I cant do that, let me put it in very simple terms for all of you, Ive managed of all freaking people to cause and generate more things happening in md than some of the past would be RPCs for quite some time with little to NO TOOLS, if I can do it then anyone can.

It is better to ask forgiveness than permission.

[/Rant][/quote]

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Since my name came up, I will give you my two cents on Lore. This is of course nobody's official policy, but it of course affects the way I try to stear Legend Speakers.

When Mur slapped down the Unofficial Ancient Lore, the bit that caught my attention was his desire to have us talk about what players actually have done, rather than made-up stuff. So "Legend Speakers" really ought to be chronicaling the things that are really happening in the game - especially the less-fact-based and more-cultural-based stuff like politics and intrigue. As you all know, my efforts along those lines have met with very mixed success, and I can't get enough players interested in this to even hope to tackle the job. Frustrating, thankless job it seems. [Insert here comments about MDNP, the Adventure Log, and Innocence's project - get the idea?]

There is a lot of stuff still in Mur's head that has never made it to "game mechanics". There is stuff that happens because of a negotiated wish (like our two special trees - three at Christmas). There is no way a new player can wrap themselves around these possibilities, because they are all simply a license for Mur to play with "his" world. The world of MD is being shaped by programers, not "game mechanics". It takes a "vet"'s perspective to realize that the game mechanics are not fixed immutables, but ever changing.

As my own quest creation progresses, I have come to realize that the closer to mixing with MD history you get, the more likely you are to get burned. We each really need to do something that is uniquely our own, so that we can exercise our own artistic license without trampling on Mur's. So I create new stories about things that happened in other realms and are spilling over into this one. I talk about sympathetic resonances and make no claim about the true MD history. Attempts to stitch things to the existing fabric just lead to grief. Let Cutler's Astral Plane be a lesson to us all. The horror of his loss -- all of our loss becaus he has stopped creating for MD -- must not be repeated.

Edited by Fyrd Argentus
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Thank you Fyrd and Curiose for your responses. I can see from your replies that my suggestion would not be appropriate.

I'm not familiar with Cutler's Astral Plane and I would be interested to learn the story and not make the same mistakes.

In my experience as a new player, there seemed to be a lot of emphasis on reading the adventure log and learning about the history. I have to wonder what is the point of learning about it if it needs to be avoided in our own time. I recognize the value of the adventure log and other lore as a model for new roleplay. I also hope that there can be ways to fold the lore into new events where there is opportunity for it. In the case of the sludge roleplay that began this discussion, the shard from the Tainted Kris has resurfaced and so the history must necessarily be considered.

I appreciate the sentiment that Granos shared in his rant that there is nothing holding us back from developing storylines and quests. Granos spoke about the trouble with "I can't do this because of X or Y". The issue I take concern with is "YOU can't do this because of X or Y". Should a creative player developing or participating in a quest simply ignore the misgivings of the respected veterans?

In the case of the sludge quest, I came up with my own roleplay to solve the quest and checked with Mya for guidance to make sure I wasn't stepping on anyone's toes. We completely avoided recycled material and developed a new story that I suppose is now its own part of MD lore (for those few of us who cared or participated). Great, right? If it were all peaches and cream, we would not have seen the upset remarks of Firsanthalas that started this thread. There was a quest with a specific solution developed here which had to be abandoned and the quest creators feel stifled.

Perhaps if a veteran has a specific problem with the development of a quest or story, they can participate in finding a suitable workaround that everyone can be satisfied with. All that great lore and history is nothing but a hindrance if it prevents a new lore from unfolding today.

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Exactly.

Instead of running around like Chickens with our heads cut off, and crying witch at every corner, perhaps things will get done.

I applaud that you made a move without waiting on the dominoes to fall.

So what if what Rumi did left out something vital from in game? Perhaps, if people were to stop-- for lack of a better term-- bitching all the time, and fussing about what goes where, and how to do whatever, people would.. oh, I don't know-- ENJOY THE GAME A BIT MORE. Perhaps, if you guys took more risks, and actually got off your high horses and actually let things roll with the punches, then we wouldn't be having this conversation.

So what? Maybe it was uncouth, but was it disastorously wrong? Was it 'quoting the words of the lore' in which Mur hates? No.

Maybe I am getting a bit off topic, but, we wouldn't have had this problem if people weren't pointing the nasty finger at Mya and Rumi for actually trying to bring things to the game. You lot whine constantly about nothing being done. Well guess what? SOMETHING IS BEING DONE. And I am sick and tired of veterans thinking they're all hot shit because they've seen everything. No one can predict the future. Just because you have been here forever doesn't mean crap.

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Personally I think people are too afraid to step up and do everything they wish to do.

As I see it, people are always wanting to please the 'higher ups' or are too afraid of doing something wrong in their eyes and therefore be considered stupid. Which, in my eyes, is a slight form of sucking up, but that is just me.

As I have learned in all my time of preaching... it really does get you no where. And to be blunt, it took me a while to realize that until I took a step back, and I dissociated myself from the game and took a good look. What I see, is not a pretty thing to be honest. If anyone has anything to blame on someone, it should be themselves for letting it get this way.

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[quote name='Fyrd Argentus' timestamp='1299971227' post='80570']
Attempts to stitch things to the existing fabric just lead to grief. Let Cutler's Astral Plane be a lesson to us all. The horror of his loss -- all of our loss becaus he has stopped creating for MD -- must not be repeated.
[/quote]

I disagree, The reason that was told to be removed as people were not using md, and ended up seeing things they shouldnt, and spending more time sitting there at a clicky. Mur said he didnt like the "out of game" clicky chats and such, and therefore made a new rule. The issue we are talking about is history and such. The clickies are only an example of what you do might not "fit" and be removed.

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edit for typos only)
Very interesting discussion here.

If I may toss out my thoughts as a VERY new player, who is still in the process of finding and completing a few random quests myself... I will agree there is a strange and very uncertain grey line that bothered me recently, in trying to define WHERE the game of MD stops and the creative flights of fancy start.

To use the example of characters, I see the story mode and picture 'myself' as a human similar to the guy behind the keyboard here... Add to that a few vague OLD comments from MUR about how MD was developed less as a "purely sandbox role-playing game" and more as a reflection of Life in a fantasy world of his design.
Then again, I have been directly welcomed to create and grow the "character" of maebius in any way I see fit since magick happens here. If I wanted to re-write my papers to be a dragon with angel wings and able to breathe glitter-breath, that apparently would be accepted by quite a few folks, veterans and newbies alike.

Yet, in my mind, the two "realities" are at odds, which causes Rumi's initial concern. On one hand Pure Fluff-Roleplay (not to describe it insultingly) allows so much open-endedness that it can not by definition be limited my game mechanics. One the other hand, sticking to pure game mechanics as I see then so far (am still new, just hit MP4 a day or three ago) the only think I feel allowed to do is click on things to enter pass-codes, and fight with my creatures against others, while changing the "background" of the scene using little arrows.

In order to bridge the gap between the pure PURE mechanics of clicking things in my browser, and seeing the world of MD as a realistic environment, you need to mix in the Adventure Log, and old Forum Stories and stuff along with the StoryMode descriptions and the papers of individual characters playing along with me.

Unfortunately, this means using those Old stories of Lore as a foundation, and a very strong feeling that simply saying "Maebius builds a fence around Bob to protect him" would be dismissed as fluffy RP in the best case, and "Don't mess with BOB, you noob!" in the worst case, since Bob the tree is an established lore/game feature.
It's a very, very fine line that seems to be drawn differently by different people.

I agree with Awiiya's comments in that such "mandated Authority Reality" on Mur's part is not necessary either, since to do so would automatically limit the creativity, as well as change what I am slowly sensing as an underlying Reality of MD itself, which I can't describe any way except "a social experiment to see how we act and reflect on those actions beyond MD". (this of course trivializes the game MUCH more than I intend with those words, as they convey the idea too simply)

I would personally lean more towards the former suggestion of allowing greater creativity, similar to Burns's encouragement of greater creative ideas, yet also understand that in order to be "Appropriate to MD" as a newer player sees the world, all we have to go on is the Old Lore. Pure Roleplay is jsut chaos and against the apparent designs of a structured world.

As time goes on, I am realizing that there is danger in both ideas though, as if MD starts to lean towards a purely Roleplayed environment, that is just as limiting as enforcing a particular adherence to certain rules. I am wondering if the "Game Mechanics" of MD are just being totally misinterpreted by a lot of people, myself included, and actually include the Roleplay, in some limited and veiled manner.

Edited by Maebius
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[quote name='Maebius' timestamp='1300118856' post='80634']
Then again, I have been directly welcomed to create and grow the "character" of maebius in any way I see fit since magick happens here. If I wanted to re-write my papers to be a dragon with angel wings and able to breathe glitter-breath, that apparently would be accepted by quite a few folks, veterans and newbies alike.[/quote]
And quite a lot of them would not, for various reasons. Dragons are too cliché, dragons are over 9000 (depends on a full description of your 'powers' though), glitter is scary... there's never been much consensus on what is allowable and what is not, there's just a large list of things that most people don't like and a small set that most do. Personally I consider characters that are immune to everything (including scars) to be less interesting than a rock. At least rocks change over time and can hide fossils or support life if they're big enough.

[quote]As time goes on, I am realizing that there is danger in both ideas though, as if MD starts to lean towards a purely Roleplayed environment, that is just as limiting as enforcing a particular adherence to certain rules. I am wondering if the "Game Mechanics" of MD are just being totally misinterpreted by a lot of people, myself included, and actually include the Roleplay, in some limited and veiled manner.
[/quote]
Similarly roleplaying and game mechanics were never completely defined and are debated frequently. Some obvious changes to the outer mechanics are seen from time to time too. Other things don't seem to change: MD has never been an obvious game with clear rules and a set goal. Mur doesn't seem to hunt people that do things wrong unless they either flaunt it or it becomes too big. People get stabbed in the back. People fail to understand Mur (happens to me a lot). People miscommunicate (idem). People don't get how 'big things' happen in MD. People don't like that the AL isn't moving forward and think they can do it better than Mur.
I've never been an expert on instigating big changes in MD, but those I saw happening all followed a pattern: someone throws a small snowball and it becomes bigger and bigger until it reaches a critical mass. The ones I saw failing were people trying to lift a whole mountain by themselves. It took two dozen people several hours to heal a tree. By comparison, three people have claimed to create a flood that covers half a land in a few minutes? That is how it is literally written in the account on the forum and I guess the only reason it wasn't immediately shot down is that it was supported by someone who holds some power.
But since many people need clear game mechanics, I'll name one: 'roleplay reality requirement'.

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[quote name='Kafuuka' timestamp='1300130733' post='80638']
And quite a lot of them would not, for various reasons. [/quote]

I fall into the would not" camp myself, thus, my only flight of fancy so far is mitigating the mechanics of PMs and the forum through placing notes in my fancy tophat, and the magic scroll we all pick up that states in-game how it changes based on our actions. Butthose are simply shorthands to an actual mechanic. Maebius is as Maebius is, for now.

[quote name='Kafuuka' timestamp='1300130733' post='80638']The ones I saw failing were people trying to lift a whole mountain by themselves. It took two dozen people several hours to heal a tree. By comparison, three people have claimed to create a flood that covers half a land in a few minutes? That is how it is literally written in the account on the forum and I guess the only reason it wasn't immediately shot down is that it was supported by someone who holds some power.
But since many people need clear game mechanics, I'll name one: 'roleplay reality requirement'.
[/quote]

Yet here I would argue that a sludge was an attempt to 'Move Mountains'. They started a snowball, but it sadly did not pack further snow to create the Real avalanche that would effect the realm in the same public manner as that tree you mention. I'm sure even healing a tree started with one or two people's efforts. This does not invalidate their efforts, nor be-little the fact a "big name" started the sludge discussions. It is up to the rest of us to pick up their threads and continue weaving them. I myself am just as guilty in not supporting this particular 'quest/storyline'.

As I said before, there seems to be a line in the sand between "proper" MD stories and "fluff" in popular opinion, but I think the sand is a shifting dune, and am, myself, trying to see the line as clearly as possible here. The only way we know for sure if something will work is to try it. Shared reality and public opinion will filter the good stories into "reality" anyway, won't it? :)

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I fail to see how anyone can consider a flood that encompasses half a land as a starting snowball? I gave a very clear comparison: two dozen people were needed to manage to heal one (very special) tree. Sure it started with one person and soon there were two and then three and so on and not until a whole lot of effort was spent, did they manage to accomplish anything.
On the other hand we have three people, of whom two were not actually contributing, who just happen to create a nationwide catastrophe. It starts with only them and it ends with only them. Even if it was supposed to be a prelude, a prelude too has a start and an end.

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[quote name='Kafuuka' timestamp='1300133623' post='80643']
I fail to see how anyone can consider a flood that encompasses half a land as a starting snowball? I gave a very clear comparison: two dozen people were needed to manage to heal one (very special) tree. Sure it started with one person and soon there were two and then three and so on and not until a whole lot of effort was spent, did they manage to accomplish anything.
On the other hand we have three people, of whom two were not actually contributing, who just happen to create a nationwide catastrophe. It starts with only them and it ends with only them. Even if it was supposed to be a prelude, a prelude too has a start and an end.
[/quote]

yet the king of hte land was in agreement, and had enough effort been put into it, would the Land itself have been changed as the tree was? With diligence and a growing effort of belief and work... I think the two examples are not as dissimilar as you imply.

Back to the original topic: This related to the sludge, and I though the effort was valid, if allowed to continue and had it gained support. Some veterans seem to think otherwise.

Why the two opinions? Which is right? Is one wrong? that's what Rumi's asking I think.

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[color="#2e8b57"][i]Sweet Jaysis!!!!!!!!!!

My little RP did not break game mechanics.
My original idea for the taint was to create some sort of strain of taint. We steered away from black water and liquid dust because it was involved game mechanics. Fair enough I can respect that. BUT I dont see how bringing up a strain of the original taint again is spitting in the face of a player who left MD and I as far as we know is not gonna return. Granos rp'd breaking the Kris in Firsan's arm. Obviously it can be used again for what ever purpose. He didnt break it off and then say: "Oi Firs, please make sure not to use it again."
As far as I know there are no "patented ideas" that one has to pay for. I was using a historical event and I see nothing wrong expanding on it.

What pisses me off is that people would stomp on the RP putting all sorts of do's and and donts and then do nothing to contribute. That stifles creativity - because you just say what we can not do and then dont bother offering a bloody solution!!! I dont want to do another RP or take part in another RP after this. Why? because: 1) No one gives a flying cucktoos tail feather 2) It always lands up on the shoulders of one or two people that are always carrying things. 3) People are always giving out about not doing anything and then when someone does do something it gets BLANTANTLY IGNORED. If Mur wrote "Loreroot is in flood" in the moodpanel, I would bet everything I have that most people would go scrambling to Loreroot to investigate. Have some one else do it, and its useless information. Kafukka, My lack of contribution in this story was not by choice - unfortunately Real Life does factor in somewhat, and Maebius how was I to stand back and watch for an "avalanche" during a developing story? Was I aware that Rumi was gonna post this?

The flood was originally set as a stage, something were people could branch of all kinds of RP from. It was was born out of frustration because NOBODY Rp's anymore - At that time everyone just sat in the park and ground for ridiculous stats. I would have loved it, if loads of people got involved in this RP and loads of people contributed to finding a solution (thats why the sludge and floods discussion thread was set up) . I can count on one hand the number of people that were actually arsed to contribute to the discussion.

I find it really ironic that the people who did not bother to take part in this at all, are those that creating such a huge fuss!!! Seriously, dont criticise my attempt at injecting life into the game if you didnt bother to acknowledge it all....

As far as I am concerned MagicDuel has lost its Magic, and now its just DUEL.

edited to remove the cussing.
[/i][/color]

Edited by Sharazhad
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I don't actually know much on the sludge scenario, but on the over-all question about mechanics and RP here's my POV:

There are carefully constructed connections and clues in-built into what in this thread are being called the 'mechanics' of the game. If you start to take these and use them in made-up stories that have no basis other than what is in your head then as Chewett says, you start to define what they are. If you start to do that, then you start to take away from those carefully constructed connections and clues, you lead people up the garden path. When a mathematician makes a wrong assumption in a calculation, the logic of their entire research from there on out is flawed.

Here is an example: The quest run by Renavoid recently caused a rukus because some people doing it thought it to have something to do with something fundamental to learn from, and yet one of its own fundamentals (that Renavoid was in the house of liquid dust) can instantly be dismissed as he was not inside and we already know that if you can get into a place in MD...you can ACTUALLY get into it. (If you can't, how about an rp quest to try to get in? There are lots of options...)

I'll add that you can't win either way here with the newer players - tell them not to do something and they get outraged that their creativity is quashed. Allow them to have their fun or even join in with it and then explain why it isn't part of the system of connections then or later on and they demand to know why they were allowed to waste their time and were not stopped.

'Fluff' RP is, imo, RP that has no logical reasoning behind it's actions. When 'fluff' adds 'mechanics' we start to see 'fluff mechanics'. Now that doesn't even sound good.

In terms of this: "Maebius builds a fence around Bob to protect him" would be dismissed as fluffy RP in the best case" - That is perfectly reasonable RP imo, except consider how long it takes to build a fence and what it requires to build one. Building a fence isn't as simple as just saying, ta da! a fence! We have tools and items and materials and time and words. There's one difference between 'fluff' and 'proper'right there.

There are loads and loads and loads of ways to affect the game itself, but twisting things that you don't fully understand in order to accomodate your story is not it. Research them, debate, experiment, see what you can actually make happen using all the information and tools and history you can find. Look at how people have done it before for help, or ask the people who have done it before how it happened. Or alternatively, make something totally your own. If you want instant gratification then take the fluff way and enjoy yourself - without sticking your hands in the soup. Sometimes that fluff RP can actually become something real in it's own right anyway...if anyone bothered to pay attention they would know that. If you want to affect the game then start asking questions and digging deeper with what you do. Do you really need people to give you a list of questions to start on? Surely you already have the questions, start using them.


Z

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"It took two dozen people several hours to heal a tree."

Could I ask how much effort it took to get the tree hurt in the first place? Would it be true to say that the fact of dozens of people working to heal the tree was enabled by those same dozens of people agreeing to act as though the tree had been hurt?

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I appreciate everyone contributing to this discussion.

I found Z's comments to be particularly useful in the sense that they at least outline the sorts of things that need to be taken into consideration. Personally I still find some difficulty in figuring out how some of the more concrete elements he mentions work.

For instance, how do we know that the house of liquid dust cannot be entered? I didn't think that Sage's Keep could be entered and then I found myself there for the awards ceremony. I suppose every time I want to know how an element can be interacted with, I could just ask a veteran, but I know the answers to such questions are often considered spoilers (if not asked the right way, anyway).

He also mentioned tools and materials. I must admit that bringing this up makes me feel like a complete noob, but I don't understand how inventory items work. I know Grido keeps glass and cement (or something like that) for work on the lighthouse in GG. Where did he get them? How does he use them? In the sludge roleplay, the Onyx Shard was a physical item which I even had in my own possession at one point during a conversation with Darigan and Mya. Where did it come from? Does its existence make the roleplay legitimate? Without giving too much away, the quest I am developing will certainly involve certain tools and items and materials and I have no idea how to actually incorporate them.

It seems to me the way Z describes fluff roleplay becoming something real is analogous to Kafuuka's comparison to the snowball. As more and more people participate, the greater effect it will have and the more it stands on its own legs.

Z clearly feels that there is a set of mechanics or carefully constructed connections, which can be found through research, debate, experimentation, etc. His analogy of a mathematician with a false assumption does bring up the spectre that veterans understanding of mechanics could be just as faulty as the new players, since none of us are Mur, who alone understands the full mechanics. The veterans have the sway to turn a snowball into an avalanche, so we must assume that their assumptions are correct based on their experience and ability to work the mechanics. Of course, Newton fully understood and worked mechanics before Einstein and his contemporaries developed a completely new set of further reaching applicable principles.

I started this thread specifically looking for solutions in addition to opinions. Z and other veterans insist that we need to dig deeper and ask the questions. I don't think that new players need incentive, but I think we could use some directed stimulus. Personally, I would appreciate the development of more RP quests that require real research and debate. Rather than passing along spoilers, I think there are ways to encourage new players to learn how to ask the right questions. The realm would clearly benefit from more creative people understanding the known connections and learning how to see new connections. I wonder if more veterans would be interested in developing some simple RP quests with the specific purpose of encouraging learning. I appreciated the second part of Burns' tutorial quest and it would be nice to see more like it, especially that involve some RP elements.

Still interested to hear other opinions and solutions.

Edited by Rumi
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[quote name='Sharazhad' timestamp='1300138908' post='80650']
[color="#2e8b57"][i]Sweet Jaysis!!!!!!!!!!

My little RP did not break game mechanics.
My original idea for the taint was to create some sort of strain of taint. We steered away from black water and liquid dust because it was involved game mechanics. Fair enough I can respect that. BUT I dont see how bringing up a strain of the original taint again is spitting in the face of a player who left MD and I as far as we know is not gonna return

The flood was originally set as a stage, something were people could branch of all kinds of RP from. It was was born out of frustration because NOBODY Rp's anymore - At that time everyone just sat in the park and ground for ridiculous stats. I would have loved it, if loads of people got involved in this RP and loads of people contributed to finding a solution (thats why the sludge and floods discussion thread was set up) . I can count on one hand the number of people that were actually arsed to contribute to the discussion.

I find it really ironic that the people who did not bother to take part in this at all, are those that creating such a huge fuss!!! Seriously, dont criticise my attempt at injecting life into the game if you didnt bother to acknowledge it all....
[/i][/color]
[/quote]
Shara, I think there's a reason why some people who did not bother to take part is the one creating a huge fuss. It's simple: they do not approve of what you do. If they don't approve of what you do, there's no reason for them to join, right?

I agree that using black water and liquid dust without complete knowledge on what they are is a bad idea. Using them means you will need to RP what they do/what effect they have, and without knowledge on what they do, chances are you're gonna give off the wrong thing. Using the taint, on the other hand, is much more acceptable since they are not an inherent part of MD. They are made by players, and modification by players to a certain extent is acceptable IMHO, as long as the original creator does not mind.

Now, one problem is that the whole situation is not even clear.
Who is in charge of/started this storyline? Mya? Firs? You?
What is being used in the RP? Black water? Liquid Dust? The Taint?

From Mya's comment black water, liquid dust and the taint was never going to be used. Yet throughout the whole "quest" there are lots of people who think they are being used. Inevitably, you are going to get a lot of people who won't bother joining it because they do not agree with the use of the first two. Even if now it is cleared (by Mya - but again, I do not know for sure who is in charge of this whole thing) that they were never part of it.

And then, there is the part where Loreroot is said to be flooded. How is this not breaking game mechanics? It's like saying a meteor fell on marind bell and now the whole place is scorched with hellfire. Mechanic wise, there is this little thing called RP Reality Requirement. Having a flood might be acceptable for 2-3 people, but when you want to do something that affects a lot of people, then the requirements are hard.

While this is originally used for scenes in-game, the same logic can be applied if you're attempting a game-wide quest.
[quote]
- intimate: 2 or less people, rp is unrestricted, reality is irrelevant between two people if both accept the fantasy.
- loose: 2 to 5 people, rp can go wild but common sense is required. As long as the other few accept it, most things are ok.
- moderate: 5 to 10 people, rp is considered real only if it is based on proof or good logic. Your avatar may give you elements to support that logic, your inventory items, a very well established role in a clear and distinct activity, things in the current location/scene, abilities you posess.
- strict: 10 to 30 people, only real things, unrefusable to anyone present. These are the things you can do based on your actual abilities such as spells or special interfaces, actions supported by your inventory items, fights, and other interface supported actions. Simple logic without a real base to support it is not enough to form reality under this level.
- real only: 30 or more, in large groups, only what you can do in such way that is undeniable by anyone observing it, can pass as reality. What you do under this level should stricter than the strict level and as real as it can get, so that nobody can say or think "no you couldnt possibly do that" or "you are making things up".[/quote]

Now I think this would answer the question below as well:
[quote]Back to the original topic: This related to the sludge, and I though the effort was valid, if allowed to continue and had it gained support. Some veterans seem to think otherwise.[/quote]
If it had gained enough support, I think it the whole thing can certainly turn valid. But if there is so much opposition and relatively little support, then the opposite is true.

And I would also like to remind that MD, AFAIK, has never been designed as a true sandbox, freeform RP platform. If anything, MD even said at one time (might still do) is a unique world, different with others where you won't find the standard fantasy game things like demons or orcs. Something with its own unique setting. It can function as one now, with RP reality requirement telling you that you can do anything just between limited number of people. But when it comes to the mass, there are limits to what you can and can't do.

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