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The Direction of Lore

NIAH

The Awkward
Retired Staff
#1
Hello lovelies.
Welcome to my novel.



By now, most of you guys have heard about the recent changes in the Lore Department. Due to Arch’s busy life, he has chosen to step back into other departments and I’ve decided to step forward into the role thanks to Solus’s invitation. Based on the commentary in Axex’s thread, I’m seeing some mixed feelings about the choice: reservations, doubts, critiques, and compliments. The opinions are varied, but each one is valid.

I want to take this moment to assure everyone here that I have every intention to put my heart and soul into this position because HollowWorld is a part of me. If you log in and check these forums as much as I think most of you do, then I know you also have a passion for this place. For the people who have been here for years, I have SEEN the devotion you have for the server. For the people who have only recently joined us, I know that it might feel a little overwhelming to start out, but you’re here because you have found something that interests and draws you in. Regardless of who you are or how long you’ve played, if you’re reading this, then HollowWorld is a part of you too. I cannot fault anyone for feeling passionately about our little corner of the internet. We may not all agree on particular policies or certain paths, but we all want HollowWorld to blaze brightly and to be successful for years to come.

So please don’t think that I approach this position lightly. Glados in particular raised a point about my past tenures as staff and I won’t say that he’s wrong for bringing it up. I’ve done a lot of jobs for the server and have been part of many different departments. But the difference is that every time I’ve been part of staff, it’s because I have felt an obligation to be helpful. That is not the case with this recent change.

I did not accept Solus’s invitation to Lore Coordinator because I felt an obligation to do so.
I did not accept Solus’s invitation to Lore Coordinator because I wanted the title.
I did not accept Solus’s invitation to Lore Coordinator just so I could be a lore writer.

I am here because I have a passion for this server and a passion for the work this role entails. Of all the jobs and roles I’ve had on the server, writing lore has been my favorite. I enjoyed being on Lore Council more than any other role, and a reason I left was because I disliked the constraints in the Council format. But as I step into this position, I feel utter excitement and absolute joy because I have confidence in my ability.

As for my plans as Coordinator, I intend to build from existing lore and flesh out everything I can. I want to make sure that the Events team feel inspired by the old and the new content. I will be working with Lannis and Elz to make sure events integrate seamlessly with lore, and to make sure that Lore Department is ready with any questions players come up with about events. I’ll be parsing through convos in the future to get those caught up as soon as I can. The Lore Council will not be making a return, but I know my limits and I know that I am not an expert on everything. Just like Cherry, I will have a roster of Consultants to pull from on the staff team for certain confidential projects, and will at times open up player submissions for less confidential pieces.

I understand and respect that many people have reservations about Solus choosing me. I know that many people worry how Events and Lore will intermingle in the future. But I feel hopeful and confident. Don’t worry guys. I got this. ;)

And if perchance you don’t believe me, give me enough time to get caught up and watch me prove it to you.​


(ohmygod I am made of excitement)
 
#3
Will you also be working closely with Kam? I've seen more RP generated by her little events in the last weeks than I've ever seen Lannis online at all :') Or that might be a timezone difference.
 

Rossu

Legend of Altera
#4
I hope this change does lead to something positive in the next few months. Best of luck to you with this position, though, my current suggestion is to try and first fix up many loose ends that exist with the lore. A lot of them are like patches in a torn quilt. Eventually, it'll all rip and tear, though it is very fixable.
Either way, I think you'll do just fine.
 

NIAH

The Awkward
Retired Staff
#8
Will you also be working closely with Kam? I've seen more RP generated by her little events in the last weeks than I've ever seen Lannis online at all :') Or that might be a timezone difference.
I'll be working closely with everyone. :) If folks want to shoot me, Elz, Lannis, and Solus a convo about potential events, we'll take a loot at it. Kam's events have been pretty great from what I'm hearing anyway, so most of it shouldn't need lore oversight so long as it doesn't introduce any new, server changing elements.
 

Kamaoe

The Green One
Staff member
#10
I'll be working closely with everyone. :) If folks want to shoot me, Elz, Lannis, and Solus a convo about potential events, we'll take a loot at it. Kam's events have been pretty great from what I'm hearing anyway, so most of it shouldn't need lore oversight so long as it doesn't introduce any new, server changing elements.
*She sweats as she slides a new, server changing event into the inbox for approval*
 

Naelwyn

Non sum qualis eram
#11
As always, if you have any curiosities about formerly taken decisions, be it what they are or why they were taken, or "Did we have anything written for X that isn't written down anywhere" - feel free to ask me anything you so desire and I'll do my best to give you what you've looked for.

I have the fullest confidence in your ability to make this work, and I wanted to make sure you'd be given the means to do the job properly, and it sounds like the answer to that is 'Yes'. It's quite encouraging, and as a whole a great step in the right direction. This is exactly the kind of thing I think folks want to see, and need to see.

I place my services available to you, in the capacity that they have available, to use as you see fit.

-Naelwyn
 

Centurion

Dark Council Elite
#13
Why not break the mold and have two lore writers? A vast majority of the problems faced by the staff team are due to relying on a single person to have final say every time. If there won't be a team built, why go down the same path every single previous lore writer since Naelwyn has gone down, even when it ends poorly every time? I'm sure Niah can handle it starting out, but when she's overwhelmed with conversations six months from now?

I'm sure there are several good candidates for a partner position. I can think of at least three. Four, if staff is capable of looking past my monthly shitpost and instead at my quality of writing.
 

Naelwyn

Non sum qualis eram
#14
Why not break the mold and have two lore writers? A vast majority of the problems faced by the staff team are due to relying on a single person to have final say every time. If there won't be a team built, why go down the same path every single previous lore writer since Naelwyn has gone down, even when it ends poorly every time? I'm sure Niah can handle it starting out, but when she's overwhelmed with conversations six months from now?

I'm sure there are several good candidates for a partner position. I can think of at least three. Four, if staff is capable of looking past my monthly shitpost and instead at my quality of writing.
With the full benefit of hindsight and past experiance I say unto you that you can have as many 'Writers' as you like. Writers is not the issue. You can make open submissions and contests and all kinds of things. The head of lore doesn't even need to /be/ a writer themselves, just have discriminating taste.

What /is/ important however is succession planning and, ideally documentation- of decisions made and, importantly, why they were made and what vision they support.

Treat the person who will come after you into your codebase as a psycopath that knows where you live.
 

Centurion

Dark Council Elite
#15
With the full benefit of hindsight and past experiance I say unto you that you can have as many 'Writers' as you like. Writers is not the issue. You can make open submissions and contests and all kinds of things. The head of lore doesn't even need to /be/ a writer themselves, just have discriminating taste.

What /is/ important however is succession planning and, ideally documentation- of decisions made and, importantly, why they were made and what vision they support.

Treat the person who will come after you into your codebase as a psycopath that knows where you live.
Yeah, this would feasibly work, except for the fact that department leadership on Hollowworld has a long and unfortunate history of lack of planning for succession and lack of stepping back and saying "Time to step away and let the next one take over."

In my post I don't necessarily mean "writer" as just a worker, but as a partner. I see no reason why two lore department heads working as equals couldn't function excellently. Their disputes could be handled internally, and any that couldn't be resolved could easily be tiebroken by Solus, who already has input in Lore as the server's director.
 

Naelwyn

Non sum qualis eram
#16
Yeah, this would feasibly work, except for the fact that department leadership on Hollowworld has a long and unfortunate history of lack of planning for succession and lack of stepping back and saying "Time to step away and let the next one take over."

In my post I don't necessarily mean "writer" as just a worker, but as a partner. I see no reason why two lore department heads working as equals couldn't function excellently. Their disputes could be handled internally, and any that couldn't be resolved could easily be tiebroken by Solus, who already has input in Lore as the server's director.
There can be only one person that decides on vision for something. Too many cooks spoil the broth.

That doesn't mean you can't have understudies or team members but lore Partners specifically is right out. One person /must/ have executive vision authority.
 
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Centurion

Dark Council Elite
#17
There can be only one person that decides on vision for something. Too many cooks spoil the broth.
The vision will always be set by the server owner, who has the highest authority. Lore shouldn't necessarily dictate the vision for the server entirely to begin with. Setting wise, of course. But this is why I give the partner scenario instead of a team based one. Maybe in the past it's been thought that only one person can fit into the management of the setting, but it hasn't really been only one person for years. Solus and Lannis have both been necessary for any conversations involving lore in addition to the reigning loremaster for a long time. Today I added Niah to my ongoing project's conversation as the third loremaster since the project's conception less than a year ago.

Too many cooks can spoil the broth, but I hardly think two cooks is too much. Especially since there will always be the oversight of at least Solus. The partners wouldn't have to be best friends, but I believe that so long as they could divide up their work and correspond appropriately a system of two could work very efficiently.

Ten conversations come in. One takes five, and the other takes five. It would take half as much time to process these if there were twice the hands working towards a shared vision.
 

Naelwyn

Non sum qualis eram
#18
The vision will always be set by the server owner, who has the highest authority. Lore shouldn't necessarily dictate the vision for the server entirely to begin with. Setting wise, of course. But this is why I give the partner scenario instead of a team based one. Maybe in the past it's been thought that only one person can fit into the management of the setting, but it hasn't really been only one person for years. Solus and Lannis have both been necessary for any conversations involving lore in addition to the reigning loremaster for a long time. Today I added Niah to my ongoing project's conversation as the third loremaster since the project's conception less than a year ago.

Too many cooks can spoil the broth, but I hardly think two cooks is too much. Especially since there will always be the oversight of at least Solus. The partners wouldn't have to be best friends, but I believe that so long as they could divide up their work and correspond appropriately a system of two could work very efficiently.

Ten conversations come in. One takes five, and the other takes five. It would take half as much time to process these if there were twice the hands working towards a shared vision.
The instant you have more than one person you can go to, one instigates a system of 'Shopping around' - trying to get the member most amenable to what you want to accomplish.

If the two members agree on everything, why have two.
If it requires both to approve - adding a second person has made it slower.

I say unto you that Lannis should not have been necessary to involve in lore conversations, not that having Solus & Lannis was a system to be emulated.

Frankly Niah just got the job and it's December. Give it at least a few weeks to see how things shake out before proposing alterations.

The current lore person needs to, at the very least, have some time to sort through the tangle that it is right now before they consider how to work the schema most beneficially.
 

Naelwyn

Non sum qualis eram
#19
Frankly Niah just got the job and it's December. Give it at least a few weeks to see how things shake out before proposing alterations.

The current lore person needs to, at the very least, have some time to sort through the tangle that it is right now before they consider how to work the schema most beneficially.
Saying this though separately in it's own post to emphasize it. Quite literally, getting a co-ordinator position around this time of year is rough. At the very least, recognize that lore has gone untended for... a whiiile and there's probably a lot to sort through, and ideally document.

After that's been done and the loremaster can tender an opinion on the dept, /then/ discuss departmental objectives and the like.
 
#20
I'll quote what I said in my application to join the lore team here. I'm not going to say what Niah responded with because that's her right.

Obviously I cannot expand upon what I meant as you can't edit conversation posts, so I'll just make another one about twenty minutes later as I've thought about it. The lore council was a failure from the moment it began because there was no direction and Readij had no idea if she wanted to replace Cherry. When she came to me asking who I would put on it so we could form something to keep lore alive, she didn't exactly specify to every member that we were meant to be pen pushers. For me, I became the one viewed as holding everyone back because Cherry came to me in private and asked me to keep lore in check until what she promised was her final return. By the time it became obvious she wasn't going to be doing that it was too late and the resentment was already there - combined with Solus being made owner during a time when we were even more unsure of each other than now, I quit.

The problem with the a team managing lore was not that there was a team managing lore. The issue was a complete lack of direction or leadership, and some members feeling the need to one-up because they were so desperate to write. This wouldn't be a thing with a proper coordinator, and the decision to bring things back to relying on one person is to me an awful one. I've no doubt in your abilities. But I had no doubt in Naelwyn or Cherry's abilities, and human error will occur. Both were brilliant but so inactive by the end that the server still suffered, and wouldn't have if they'd had others to pick up the slack of their inactivity. If you ever need to go inactive or feel overwhelmed a few months from now, we're right back to where we started - either waiting, or having to thrust someone new with no real help into the position again. I'm not saying you need to buckle up and be strong and not do either of those things. They're valid things that can happen and do happen to most people often.

I'm saying there should be a couple of people under you who can pick up where you left off if God forbid they have to. Equally as confident as you because they know the drill from working together and proven capable of keeping the gears turning. I agree with disbanding the lore council, because it had a pretentious name and voting without a leader accomplished nothing.

I do not, however, agree with disbanding the lore team.
I made this application before the change in lore, of course - no one should expect Niah to get her bearings together so fast. It's just a discussion we were having.