Idling all day on MU*s
A long time ago, someone used to get on my case about leaving my character logged in. I didn't feel like this was a big deal, I liked to read the backscroll or answer pages, etc... but they felt like 'no one ever knows if you're really there or not' and made me feel like it was Not Cool.
So then I felt bad whenever I walked away and went idle.
So to avoid that I only ever logged in if I thought I was 'really' going to be there.
So then I was logging in less.
And eventually I wasn't logging in at all.
My take away, don't make people feel bad for logging in.
I think it's very helpful when people are polite and at least make an attempt to be reciprocal when it comes to the askers/open scene initiators, if they participate and enjoyed themselves.
It is possible for mush-extroverted players to feel burnt out on it after awhile, and sometimes it's not even easier for them to keep asking and asking and asking and showing up and showing up and showing up than it is for for anyone else. It can be kind of a depressing, lonely place--even if one understands and accepts that the reciprocity is never going to be strong.
So honestly, player to player encouragement when people are trying to initiate play is nice, even if the person isn't available to do it right then.
@thesuntsar I mean that honestly reads as someone being a little too intense about your activity. Definitely not on you.
Okay, one -- springboard away, my good sir. Two, I agree entirely, and I apologize if it seemed like my suggestion to passive aggressively whine on the boards was even remotely genuine. I'm pretty mortified by the thought. That one was a firm tongue in cheek comment, because it WAS the preferred method of addressing this issue on many an oWoD game. It was stupid. It didn't work. It always made people just log in less.
I think it's important to understand that the blame for this sort of thing often lies at the feet of policies that weren't followed through to their logical consequences before they were implemented. You get the environment you build, and every bit of it can be catered to.
If you're building a game and you want a lot of public RP of a particular sort to happen, you build into your system ways to encourage it. It can all be done intentionally, and it's not even much of a mystery. XP policy and approval policy and what your +where looks like and how many ways people can indicate (without asking, with asking, BOTH) they're looking for RP right now. Do you give people a bonus reward when they flag themselves LRP, go somewhere public, and someone else comes to play with them? I mean, you can do that -- but make sure you follow that thought through to the ways that people might abuse it, and what kinds of RP it ends up encouraging.
Oh, I honestly don't think that it's a reasonable expectation that somebody do it, and keep doing it, when they're the only one doing it. But it does have to start somewhere, and somebody has to do it. The ball has to get rolling, and none of the solutions to problematic idling are passive, unfortunately.
Lotherio last edited by
and I apologize if it seemed like my suggestion to passive aggressively whine on the boards was even remotely genuine. I'm pretty mortified by the thought. That one was a firm tongue in cheek comment, because it WAS the preferred method of addressing this issue on many an oWoD game. It was stupid. It didn't work. It always made people just log in less.
You're golden, it came off that way, I took it the same and completely agree with you. I just added onto it.
ALSO another thing staff can do:
Turn idle timeout back on
(I think it's a terrible solution and there are reasons you turned it off to begin with BUT)
And yeah, definitely have been there with just not logging in very often when I heard people complaining about idleness.
To me, it feels super demanding to have someone criticize people for being idle off grid/in private areas. What does it matter? Maybe just do a +where if the game only supports people in public rooms and stop typing WHO. The thing is, especially these days, it's never not going to be awkward to be the one asking for play or sitting in public. Yes, it would be super nice if when you logged in you saw a selection of people in multiple places that you could choose between, wouldn't that be nice? But I think most game cultures by and large (Arx is an exception there but it's still no guarantee) don't have people sitting public most of the time anymore. So if you want to see people sitting in public you have to do it. Or you might have to be the weirdo to page people and say "Hey, wanna play? I have an idea and a place, if you're interested in meeting up." People will say no a lot, but I mean it's not like you're getting to RP if nobody is in public and asking either?
And yes, I'm aware, somebody has to do it. I just think it's good to keep in mind it can tend to be the same sombodies asking for RP or setting it up, and when that is unacknowledged/unreciprocated/if they don't initiate then there tends to be silence, while in most cases it's probably not personal (though sure some of the time it will be, nobody is everybody's cup of tea), it can still feel kind of lonely. So I think it helps if people do try to step out of their comfort zones just as much as they complain about nobody else doing so.
As far as staff action/encouragement, though--I really can't think of much except for staff STs running stories/plots/scenes. Most incentives get exploited for as long as they last, but I don't think that makes people stay out in public more after that fades (despite the noble intention). I think eliminating ooc areas/private areas just means people won't log in at all, which I guess would reduce annoyance factor for some people but still won't mean more RP is had by those that are there (especially if it requires initiative/people asking). I do think keeping numbers low enough for personal attention helps as well, but that's hard to manage long term especially on a public game. I think it's as much if not more important to have buy in from the players than direction by staff, esp. long term.
What does it matter?
I think it's a psychological (and selfish) concern.
"I am bored yet look, 25 people are online but 18 of them are idle when they could be playing with me right now."
The obvious fallacies:
- if they weren't online I wouldn't be less bored
- maybe they aren't idle when I am (due to timezones, schedules, etc)
- many players target favorite partners (you're meeting Bob to finish a scene) so they're waiting for them to get on
- even more players log on MU* to chat more than to play. I know, it's shocking
- it's none of my damn business why you are online but idlying. :)
faraday last edited by
People will RP when:
- They are available to play.
- There is something interesting enough to motivate them to play.
While you can certainly target your RP requests to peak activity times, #1 is largely out of your control. If someone isn't available to play, badgering or guilting them about it doesn't increase activity because they were never going to RP anyway. All it does is make them less engaged with the game as a whole, which ultimately leads to less RP overall.
If you care about getting people engaged, focus on #2. Give them something that's actually more interesting to do than just sitting around chatting with their friends.
@arkandel yes, I think perhaps we should encourage people to get over themselves in that regard.
If people want to be in public they will be. If you eliminate idling people just won't log in, and then the people complaining about idlers wi complain hardly anyone is on.
@fang oh this person was 100% nutty in various other ways too.
I will idle on your game, and you will like it.
As someone who will stay logged in all the time just because I leave my PC on all the time, I feel personally attacked.
I very much understand this frustration. I'm an extreme extrovert, I login to play the game. To use one of the examples, if I logged in to see 8 people active and RPing, even when not with me, I'd feel energized by that place and keep logging in, trying to RP there because 100% of the folks (or close to) are playing! Let's build this thing! If I saw 22 out of 30 people inactive while logged in, and 8 people doing something where I can't join ... then only 27% of the people are playing versus 100%. I'd have more frustration trying to create ideas, entertain and encourage those others who are idling due to all the Nos, not available, regularly happening while trying to get them involved in the game. This is a 'me' problem. But as an extrovert it very much feels like a game is dying and I don't want to waste my time there. That's not always the case, but MU*ing already has a problem of population it is exhausting as an extrovert to feel like 1 of a small group trying to create excitement whether or not I know the same amount of people are playing. Rational vs emotional sides of a being.
It isn't me feeling like I'm special, or that everyone has to RP with me, again I regularly login to play on places with small communities because they 'feel more alive' to me. Overall fewer people may actually be playing but it is certainly easier to identify them. Which translates to a feeling there's a better chance to get involved. And that my efforts to include others get more Yes than No is also great! It's like cold calling the same 8 super enthused customers for whatever you are selling, versus calling 30 everyday and only getting 8 yesses but 22 Nos. For those who have had these sales jobs, the first is nice, the latter is soul crushing - for those of us with that kind of personality - and it's the same end result.
After talking with many more people OOCly who play on MUs I came to the realization, decades ago, that most people on MUs are far more introverted than myself. They don't see activity as inherently energizing they like to feel the connectedness of the online community, and that translates to a safer more comfortable place to relax/chitchat/etc. I will go to a bus stop, a cafe, a night club, etc to do those things. We are using the same space for gaming, but some are also using it as a social connectedness which boggles minds like mine, because if I can't be with you in person it isn't social to me. So I tend to keep my OOC existence out of my game spaces, even when I run D&D/Shadowrun/etc for my IRL friends. It's a work, RL free zone.
I won't say people have to stop idling or not logging in, I get people's desire to have their own way of being. Just know it can turn people away who only have the same desire as those logged in, to make a great game for everyone. This is why I highly enjoy games that have +rp flags, with a separate who for those. It works for both of the people on this topic, gives me a smaller list of active people, and it gives those who idle their space to do so with ability to inform others when they want to play.
Let's build this thing! If I saw 22 out of 30 people inactive while logged in, and 8 people doing something where I can't join ... then only 27% of the people are playing versus 100%. I'd have more frustration trying to create ideas, entertain and encourage those others who are idling due to all the Nos, not available, regularly happening while trying to get them involved in the game.
What if you knew there are actually 100 character accounts but 90 of them aren't even logged on? Then only 10% of the people are playing! :)
Ultimately it's a game. If 90% of your coworkers aren't showing up that's a problem. This is not.
Tinuviel last edited by
@nessa And if people log onto a game if I ever run one, and don't understand people have RL that comes before RP, and decide the game isn't for them?
I wish them well, but I understand RL > RP. Sometimes when I'm having a shitty day and can't get out to see RL friends, online connectedness is a comfort to have.
if I logged in to see 8 people active and RPing, even when not with me, I'd feel energized by that place and keep logging in, trying to RP there because 100% of the folks (or close to) are playing! Let's build this thing! If I saw 22 out of 30 people inactive while logged in, and 8 people doing something where I can't join ... then only 27% of the people are playing versus 100%.
What tugs at me about this is that it's still 8 people RPing in both scenarios, but if a game only has 8 people logged in versus 30 people logged in, my brain would say, "Oh the game with 30 people logged in has more RP potential" than a game with only 8 people whether they are all active or not.
Either way it's 8 people RPing.