Forum Structure

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YK - Yuri Khavlor
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Forum Structure

Post by YK - Yuri Khavlor » Fri Jun 19, 2020 10:17 am

At this time much of the game is played in forums. Probably for the best given the drawbacks of email, and past complaints about group discussions in email. I do get the impression there are drawbacks that can be addressed in the current format. Such as the ingroup/outgroup dynamic that crops up all the time, which becomes so cancerous to the longevity of games.

I really enjoyed the Taelshore dynamic, forums were not public but may as well have been. The courts and membership to various centers of court intrigue made sense.
[+] Open Court Forums

I would like to propose publicly viewable court forums for future games.

Domains that build a palace or choose to spend money on an appropriate level court could be granted a Court Forum as part of their maintenance. It would be up to the founder of the court to set rules of etiquette. Who can create or reply to posts in their court, and the accepted practice of speaking to the monarch only, or general cross talk. They would accept petitioners and ambassadors to give role played permission to participate beyond observations.

It would be nice to see courts become specialized through gameplay. A court known for gossip and intrigue, another for auction and barter, etc.

These forums availability will generate game content for everyone to enjoy.
It makes sense in that courts while exclusive they were not private, 'news of court ' was important
It addresses concerns about players being inactive with the OOC forum,
It ameliorates some concerns about 'cliques'
It makes alliances and social circles two different things again, not punishing independent realms
It allows for more realistic 'cause for war' with news of rumbling at court
[+] Hidden Court Forums

Hidden conclaves for discussing great plots and strategies away from spies and gossips would still be a thing. It just would not be the default, and require a modicum of effort to achieve by characters. At a cost per person each season of 1GB and 1 Diplomacy action, a classic forum would be created.

- Conclave host can decide at end of turn to lock the forum, and to possibly reopen it again in the future with GB & diplomacy costs paid again. This then risks it being viewable by players espionage actions.

-Conclave host can have forum deleted, to secure its secrecy. Posts are not available to be reviewed as there are no notes preserved beyond what characters remember or choose to personally document.

-Conclave host moves the conclave to their court forum, for public view.
[+] Battle Forums

I don't know how viable this is but would like to see battles get their own threads, instead of taking place in player or alliance forums. Especially when a battle takes place over multiple war moves, and has contributions from multiple domains.
Except in rare incidents, battles and their play by play would be quite newsworthy

-Battle methodology becomes more transparent
-Battles may become more dynamic, participants are able to inform strategy, respond to battle conditions, use reserves to deploy to changing conditions.
-The game is not 'on pause' while those turns are being processed.
-A custom or Standardization for engaging in battles can be formed to improve efficiency for Juan
[+] Email Communication

I would like the community to adopt the standard reply of 'You do not receive a reply' when there will be no response to in-game communications. Or if you may reply after length or time, or unrelated communication use the response 'You receive no immediate reply'

Failing to do so demonstrates disrespect for other players and their time
Leaves others wondering if its a junk mail issue
Leaves others wondering if you are an inactive participant in the game
Being a real-life communications black hole should not be a permissible 'meta-strategy' intended to impact the game.

I don't know an in-game mechanic for enforcing this, but perhaps the aggrieved party might be forwarded a random email by Juan from the offender representing their messenger getting impatient and grabbing the next scroll being prepared in error.
YK - Yuri Khavlor
Lord Mayor of Lyssan
“Nature is not cruel, but pitilessly indifferent. The hardest lesson for one to learn, is to admit that things might be neither good nor evil, but simply callous -- indifferent to all suffering"

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TH - The Hunt
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Re: Forum Structure

Post by TH - The Hunt » Fri Jun 19, 2020 10:54 am

I like all of the first idea, but the second one, I just love.

The third, I'm not so sure. I thought the lack of transparency for and awareness from the participants was a feature, not a bug.

I don't like the 'you do not receive a reply' because it seems too much like social 'cutting', like it's the same as ignoring a message, only more aggressive. (Though still less aggressive than the whole 'kill the messenger' shtick.)

"The message is received, but there is no immediate response." is good because it doesn't lock the recipient out of replying later if they calm down, or otherwise change their mind. It also prevents time travel problems, where someone already knows what's (not) going to happen in the next year or two wile they're still deciding what to do the first week.
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TH - The Hunt
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Re: Forum Structure

Post by TH - The Hunt » Fri Jun 19, 2020 11:01 am

Oh... there should be a clear option (it already exists, but let's formalize it) to say '<myrealm> breaks diplomatic ties in response to this message' (with an optional ' violently.' and a further optional description of the violence done to the messenger, envoys, diplomats, available hostages, or embassy).

Then the cutting is serious, no IC messages can be sent in either direction, and the only way to reverse it is by saying '<myrealm> seeks to establish diplomatic ties', optionally with gifts or other concessions delivered uncondionally to the recipient, in an OOC manner. The one seeking to reestablish the ties can only hope for consent from the other party, they have no real way to communicate--which was the point of cutting ties.

If we have this in effect, then even threatening to do it is serious, just like it is in real life.
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JB - Jana Boulderbrew
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Re: Forum Structure

Post by JB - Jana Boulderbrew » Sun Jun 21, 2020 6:41 pm

As great as the idea is, I believe the best choice needs to be something that reduces the administrative burden on the DM.

The objective should be to make it easier for the DM to find conversations that can be forwarded for espionage.
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TH - The Hunt
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Re: Forum Structure

Post by TH - The Hunt » Sun Jun 21, 2020 7:03 pm

The way to do that is just to standardize the format for email subject lines, isn't it? (And also get people to stop replying to the threads from previous turns.)
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DM Juan
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Re: Forum Structure

Post by DM Juan » Sun Jun 21, 2020 9:58 pm

I tend to agree: the private forums need to be reduced.
Some times, it feels like they are being used expressly to evade espionage.

That said, forum communication is far easier than by email.
So open forums work as a quasi-solution to that problem.
Also allowing spies to gain access to Private Forums: you'd simply have to create a new "alliance" forum (or sub forum the old alliance posts) each turn. Tedious, perhaps, but plausibly doable. And lock all the old threads.

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CI - Charrek Ironfist
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Re: Forum Structure

Post by CI - Charrek Ironfist » Wed Jun 24, 2020 8:21 am

AF - Areida Faderan wrote:
Fri Jun 19, 2020 10:54 am
Though still less aggressive than the whole 'kill the messenger' shtick.
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CSF - Flint
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Re: Forum Structure

Post by CSF - Flint » Wed Jun 24, 2020 10:25 am

It definitely felt like there were large parts of the game being played that were completely invisible to most of the players. I tried to do my best to post News! regularly that would be common knowledge but if not all players are doing that it doesnt really solve anything.

How much of an impact did winterfests not existing / being consistently undermined affect the global news/storyline propagation compared to previous campaigns?

Was that where most of the international mingling occurred previously and the loss/undermining is the problem?

Can we incentivize "good" news posts or winterfest participation somehow to raise engagement levels?
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WM - The Waste Mage
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Re: Forum Structure

Post by WM - The Waste Mage » Wed Jun 24, 2020 10:32 am

If Juan stopped posting News so we were all blind to anything unless we heard from other PCs it might spur some chatter between players. And make going to Winterfest a necessity to learn about the lands far away.

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TH - The Hunt
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Re: Forum Structure

Post by TH - The Hunt » Wed Jun 24, 2020 11:34 am

The Winterfests last game didn't change the course of it much, they did more to make it easier to move in the direction it was already going. Most of the game was still invisible to most of the players, that's just the nature of having dozens of players of which only about a half dozen interact with any given one.

I like the idea of wars not being in the turn news, though I imagine a consequence would be people saying 'my two units beat their ten!' 'no, my ten units beat their fifty!'
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