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On Events: Momentum

TheDeester

I don’t believe it
Evil
Retired Staff
GrapeFlavDragons
GrapeFlavDragons
Evil
#1
So I've attended my first event in the hunt chain, and while I've not lost the motivation to stop participating in the future, there seemed to be little thought towards the players participating. It shattered desire to continue for many that got involved, rather than promote it. This is not to berate the efforts of the event team, but rather my thoughts on moving forward.

Within a Dungeons and Dragons game (or similar tabletop), a campaign is a culmination of encounters between players and the Dungeon Master toward a goal. Ideally players are challenged and engaged by the encounters with their characters in the narrative propelled by their motivations to endeavour forward with momentum. Whether the motivation be personal, such as chasing treasure, or through stakes created by the Dungeon Master that the players invest in: the players accomplish something that will help them progress the plot. Story progression is remarked on accomplishment, and this brings forward that players would feel accomplished through story progression.

The movement of a plot dependant on story relies on tying encounters into a sequence, where X affects Y, moving towards Z. This narrative dependance is called stakes, defined as "personal interest or involvement". This promotes the idea that the first encounter will set players up for the second encounter, and that it will influence the overall goal and end to the campaign. A party that defeats a monster finds the details of where they must go next, or what sort of threat they have encountered, etc. The details of the upcoming propel the party toward it, as it the goal is now familiar to them. An encounter without stakes does not feel like an achievement, but just an encounter. Creating multiple encounters without stakes is akin to telling a story with multiple inciting incidents and no rising action.

A stark motivator towards many players of tabletop games is the belief that they/their character will benefit moving forward, be it information on the plot, tangible rewards, or the growth of their character through experience (in both the metagame and personal sense). A character gains from the encounter, preparing them for the next, or bracing them for worse. This is a boon to the character, and a motivator to the players in the party. Regardless of the goals and nature of the character, a player is pursuing the greatening of their character for the future. Being prepared for the next encounter, better equipped, wiser, or stronger all refer to this. It serves as the pay-off for rising action as the party moves toward the climax.

Impeding players and the party can vary in extremes to gauge interest, but a net gain should be the result of every encounter (unless the entire party is killed). The term net gain is to refer to what the party earns despite being impeded. A character's death can lead to the party understanding the nature of the encounter, or a sacrifice for others to survive, or for no reason at all, so long as the remaining party are still motivated toward the next encounter. The weight of death, resurrection, and injury brings tension to add to the stakes when handled perfectly, but losing that perfect balance means there is either no tension due to lack of threat (entering a level 1 encounter at level 10), or no tension due to lack of ability (entering a level 10 encounter at level 1).

The satisfaction of the party in a campaign is often affected by the momentum of the story they are helping to tell. Their ability to finish an encounter and look forward to the next is what makes a story engaging, and moves them to be involved. A Dungeon Master that can balance these traits in their storytelling is what players seek because they feel involved in the construction story, rather than reading or writing one themselves. The conclusion of the campaign as such is much more satisfying, because it feels earned as the party meets their goal.
 

Raphael Payne

Lord of Altera
Mystic
Raphael_Payne
Raphael_Payne
Mystic
#2
I agree with alot of whats here.


And as I wont type paragraphs, as I know this would get alot of views- I suggest more loot in events? Its kind of a driving factor sometimes and its always cool to find something to better remember the event.
 

TheDeester

I don’t believe it
Evil
Retired Staff
GrapeFlavDragons
GrapeFlavDragons
Evil
#3
I agree with alot of whats here.


And as I wont type paragraphs, as I know this would get alot of views- I suggest more loot in events? Its kind of a driving factor sometimes and its always cool to find something to better remember the event.
I tried to echo this sentiment in body paragraph #2. Loot (I think) is the easiest thing to moderately provide to players if there is not an experience-based system in play. Story information requires careful picking as to not give away too much or leave so little to players that you've effectively given nothing at all.
 

Naelwyn

Non sum qualis eram
#4
Be wary of using loot as your only stick lest you further encourage the semi-munchkiny attitude I've seen take place in many server events where people are there to ignore the story and/or actively disrupt the DMing of it in an attempt to locate loot.

Proper loot rewards requires some kind of standardization of shiny things and magic items lest things end up functioning in the style of waaay back where one errant DM can make and hand out artifacts like candy.
 

Azur

Lord of Altera
#5
I just want events to not be set up in the standard:

>Big bad guy shows up
>Is powerful/smart enough to avoid damage or harm of any type from players involved
>Weakness is discovered after a certain number of people are harmed/killed
>The big bad guy is chased away or killed.

That's not to say that all of the events that pop up are like this, but there's times where you can sit back and essentially predict it's going to happen, and it makes you lose interest super quick. I agree loot helps, along with proper pacing and everything that's mentioned here, but you also can't make an event too predictable that there's no surprise in it. With the mention of tabletop games, having not played any myself, I assume that each time you play it's a different situation that plays out in new ways, that offer surprises based off what happens.

Events with different ways of handling them, that still represent the overall "arc" of the events would be awesome. I like fighting skeletons or demons as much as the next guy, but some events about exploring why these things are happening/popping up, in between each of the really violent events, would be great in my mind. Not only that, but they'd involve a lot more players who aren't oriented towards violence.
 

TheDeester

I don’t believe it
Evil
Retired Staff
GrapeFlavDragons
GrapeFlavDragons
Evil
#6
Be wary of using loot as your only stick lest you further encourage the semi-munchkiny attitude I've seen take place in many server events where people are there to ignore the story and/or actively disrupt the DMing of it in an attempt to locate loot.

Proper loot rewards requires some kind of standardization of shiny things and magic items lest things end up functioning in the style of waaay back where one errant DM can make and hand out artifacts like candy.
Well-put point. Events aim to be enjoyable to players should also stick to a story to move this forward. There needs to be something to keep them in beyond loot, because otherwise the structure destabilizes. Arc is important.
 

TheDeester

I don’t believe it
Evil
Retired Staff
GrapeFlavDragons
GrapeFlavDragons
Evil
#7
I just want events to not be set up in the standard:

>Big bad guy shows up
>Is powerful/smart enough to avoid damage or harm of any type from players involved
>Weakness is discovered after a certain number of people are harmed/killed
>The big bad guy is chased away or killed.

That's not to say that all of the events that pop up are like this, but there's times where you can sit back and essentially predict it's going to happen, and it makes you lose interest super quick. I agree loot helps, along with proper pacing and everything that's mentioned here, but you also can't make an event too predictable that there's no surprise in it. With the mention of tabletop games, having not played any myself, I assume that each time you play it's a different situation that plays out in new ways, that offer surprises based off what happens.

Events with different ways of handling them, that still represent the overall "arc" of the events would be awesome. I like fighting skeletons or demons as much as the next guy, but some events about exploring why these things are happening/popping up, in between each of the really violent events, would be great in my mind. Not only that, but they'd involve a lot more players who aren't oriented towards violence.
I echo this stance. The hunt events exclude a lot of players that use characters that are clever, or charismatic, seeming to rely on brute force for it. Hopefully this next event breaks the mould, considering the title it was given.
 

Cymic_

Lord of Altera
#9
Event went hard and i loved the character development from it. I just can't wait to learn more about these demons/undead, and why they're in Altera, who created them, etc.
 

The Courier

Lord of Altera
#10
I think pro-active RP is a good thing to do. It is what can help you learn the nooks and the secrets of what's going on in the events. From what I understand, this type of problem of the demons coming forth was caused especially by the First Attack into Altera. While it was pitch black what was emoted was the sound of several large and different monsters were heard exiting the Rift. No one knows where they went but then we had the first Hunt after that.

And pro-active RP is taking the initiative during the event. Like my attempted base to be placed in Hell, while it technically was a victory it was extremely Pyrrhic. I am certain if it was a success, as in we didn't get awful rolls lmao, something likely may have been able to be found out or we could follow the source of where the attacks were coming from in the least. Personally, I'm tempted to do a secondary excursion but this time attempt to find a Fortress or some type of base of operations for the demons. I still haven't forgotten the figure which originally appeared and seemed to lead the demons in the First Attack.

As for the events, they are fun. Well, the second hunt had me frustrated to degrees unimaginable despite the fact I had an epiphany near the end and furiously messaged Cukie1 about it because I was M A D. However, I do agree that beat 'em ups are only so good for so long. Charisma is an important thing in a character and so is the ability to notice key things. I do hope this next event plays out how I expect it to because that'd be really interesting from a character development point. I am curious as to what we can learn from this upcoming event as loot is not something I care for. I'm here for the story, not the trinkets.
 

Snerus

I didn't do it for the 'Gram, I did it for Gotham
#11
I think a part of it has always been just the difficulty in dealing with the massive groups that flood the area during events such as this one. HollowWorld is very unique (And this is usually in a positive way) in that it allows players and DMs to simply RP out combat, negotiation, action and the like when it comes to events, server-run or player-run.

However, when it's a server event where 20-30 people appear for the event, each with their own, unique prerogatives and motivations, and only two active DMs to manage all of them? Well, I think then the event may start to get a little messy. I'm no stranger to getting spammed by emotes, and I've often spammed others with emotes as well. It's difficult to process and go through all of them, and almost impossible to treat them 20 people attacking you in the same way as you might treat 2 people attacking you.
At the end of the day, it can get tedious not only for the event DMs, who are showered with emotes and PMs asking about said emotes, but also for the players, who are waiting forever for their emotes to register (with only a menial return such as: "The blade slices the beasts hide but that's about it") or who are getting frustrated because other players are trying to run counterclockwise to their own objectives.

Which brings me to the subject of momentum. Yeah, it usually takes me one or two paragraphs to get to my point. In my opinion, hype and excitement for events is generated not simply by a driving narrative (which is also hard to pull off in a 30 person spam of emotes) but also by the enjoyment of an event. Lannis and Elz do an absolutely and utterly fantastic job of DMing smaller groups of players, as I've seen numerous, numerous times, and I feel like if events were coordinated to be for smaller groups, they would generally be more enjoyable, more rewarding, and would generate excitement and momentum for the next event.

That doesn't mean, however, I'm in favor of one group of eventgoers getting to be the stars in every single event while the rest of the playerbase sits at home sucking their thumbs. I'd prefer - rather, numerous events that need little planning or effort for people all across the server, or large events that are able to separate and thin out the herds to make sure everyone involved gets a unique experience to share. Or hell, just get some more DMs. I think it'd make the events themselves less stressful, and less tedious for those involved.

Or maybe I'm just talking out of my ass. I've only been to the first incursion event, and that was a blast.

Literally.

Because I was shooting a cannon.

TL;DR - Split the groups, but still keep it inclusive.
 

Electric

Lord of Altera
Patron
electricwisekid
electricwisekid
Patron
#12
One thing to note.

Sometimes an event where there is more loss and sorrow than gain and happiness is needed to advance a group or campaign of this sort. ICly, your character may feel a tug of vengeance against these monsters for the death of ol' Aunt Cecilia (rip). I think that though your point of making events that advance the campaign more is fair, I do like a grim event where not much is learned, and the characters are left with a sense of failure, one that will drive them to try harder next time.

Also, in my opinion, there should be two DMs for each entity. Most of me and my friend's emotes were ignored/not seen due to the large amount of people emoting at the same time- I believe that having two staff members DM the monster will be great because it will allow two people to keep track of emotes coming in. If one misses an emote, the other can give a heads up. This way, there won't be just one dude trying to keep up with all the emotes and forgetting some, which is a bit annoying as a player cause it seems as if the DM is ignoring you.
 

TheDeester

I don’t believe it
Evil
Retired Staff
GrapeFlavDragons
GrapeFlavDragons
Evil
#13
One thing to note.

Sometimes an event where there is more loss and sorrow than gain and happiness is needed to advance a group or campaign of this sort. ICly, your character may feel a tug of vengeance against these monsters for the death of ol' Aunt Cecilia (rip). I think that though your point of making events that advance the campaign more is fair, I do like a grim event where not much is learned, and the characters are left with a sense of failure, one that will drive them to try harder next time.
The tonal shift you're mentioning is sensible, but typically this occurs just before the climax in the story; the grand triumph against impossible odds, or the bitter conclusion for the party or heroes. Making something seem difficult from the start only to begin to change course long before a climax does not take the same effect or weight narratively.
Also, in my opinion, there should be two DMs for each entity. Most of me and my friend's emotes were ignored/not seen due to the large amount of people emoting at the same time- I believe that having two staff members DM the monster will be great because it will allow two people to keep track of emotes coming in. If one misses an emote, the other can give a heads up. This way, there won't be just one dude trying to keep up with all the emotes and forgetting some, which is a bit annoying as a player cause it seems as if the DM is ignoring you.
I think what Snerus said in his response solves this problem much easier than adding more coordinating parties:
TL;DR - Split the groups, but still keep it inclusive.
Doing small events with groups and cliques may achieve a greater effect than bulk events with 40 people. I mentioned this in that one Hawklight thread a while back, but granting items, plot tools and information between different groups would create a greater need for cooperation for players. This works so long as one group isn't given centre stage unless they earn it.
 

Lavilethorn

Lord of Altera
#15
I agree with a lot of the points made here, but the thing that urks me the most about these hunt events is that the same thing is being done to stuff that happened in the past; constantly rolling out events because people liked the first one.

I partook in the first demons coming out of the portal, the march into Hell, and the first hunt. All of these were great events and I enjoyed them, but I have not partaken in any of the other hunt events because of how quickly these events are getting thrown out. It feels like what happened to Jishrim; he showed up so much that people were not scared of him anymore. Instead, people saw him as a nuisance and no real threat because of him being driven into the ground for lack of better words.

Why I bring this up is because I feel like the same is going to happen if these events aren't given more sporadic occurrences. Otherwise people are going to get tired of the events taking place. Give people something to look forward to other than making a thread for the next event right after the last one ended.

Something else that could increase immersion, is allow these events to happen without OOC knowledge so that the owners of the regions can make posts for like cries for help or something. That is one of the main things about these events. People who have no reason to be in certain regions show up just because of an event is happening. I personally feel like this kills immersion of the event. Let people discover these events ICly and call for help if their forces are too weak to handle it on their own.
 

Raphael Payne

Lord of Altera
Mystic
Raphael_Payne
Raphael_Payne
Mystic
#16
Real quick.

This isnt directed to anyone in particular at all but in the past year I've noted that most situations cause for anime instagib deaths with no real progression.
 

TheDeester

I don’t believe it
Evil
Retired Staff
GrapeFlavDragons
GrapeFlavDragons
Evil
#19
The fact that this has not received a single sign of acknowledgement from the entirety of staff leads me to believe that there is disregard for either the thread or the section. If I am wrong I of course look forward to the response.
 

Elz

Secretly Niah
Staff member
#20
I've read it but there's little I could think of to say in response, so ultimately I never responded. Sorry you felt ignored, Dee.

You make good points, I'd say there's some kinda storyline but it's not as driven/obvious as bastion stones might've been.
I don't personally like the idea of loot, no. I also don't think multiple DM's per creature is good either. I emoted what I could to what I saw and that included the multiple PMs to remind me that people had emoted something.

If you really want a response Lannis probably needs to get summoned, I'm just the assistant. : )