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Campaign Feedback

blargtheawesome

... is very scientifical.
Staff member
Staff
AUGURY CAMPAIGN FEEDBACK

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This thread is here to post feedback - Please keep responses constructive.​
 
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Electric

Lord of Altera
Legend
electricwisekid
electricwisekid
Legend
I wanted to give some feedback now that I've attended two Augery events (One with Auriel's group, and one with my group). I'll preface this by saying that I think these critiques are inspired not by the campaign's contents, but the party/group system it utilized. I know said system is retired as of now and we'll move to the usual, large-scale event style, but I still felt the need to give my opinion, in case any of what I say can be used to improve the system for future use. Also, what with the party system going away, I'm more or less confident the issues I found won't persist with future events - so, yeah, I'm just complaining about a defunct system.
So, with that, I'll start:

"Another meeting that could've been an email..."
This may be an opinion that others disagree with, which I understand. However, personally, I felt that the events I went to didn't result in any narrative shifts, or anything that would push the characters in a certain direction. Let me explain -
The first event I attended, "Through Fire and Ash," was one hour and thirty minutes long. To boil it down; we went to the Rift area, saw dragons fighting in the air (which was definitely cool), and left. No interaction with any campaign enemy or creature, no new findings (from my knowledge, dragons being around was already known to other groups and the info was being shared around), no narrative shift. There was IC discussion and planning, but it amounted to nothing, since Blarg had said our lead had "gone cold" mid-event. In my opinion, this event could have been a simple forum post for all to consume. I don't want to seem harsh, I just want to get my point across; to me, this event was the equivalent of if [this post] was an event. Something where you go and witness, say "huh, ain't that something," and then go home.

No Progress, and an Unstoppable Death
The second event is the one for my group. Now, before I discuss it, I'll preface with a few things. Firstly, for everyone in my group, this event had a lot of buildup. Other groups had had multiple events so far, multiple dreams. Mine only had one dream and, finally, we were going to get a campaign event. It's possible the expectations were a mistake on our part, I can admit that. Secondly, I understand that this was the last group/party event, so I know Blarg's hands may have been tied with what it could include. I'll discuss that point more later. But, to sum up the event without going into great detail:

The group meets at a mountainside. A mouth opens up on the side of the mountain and starts to talk, we're like "Ok, this is wicked." Expectations, and enjoyment, is high already. As the event goes on, we ask the mountain-mouth a number of questions, to get information. However, we found that our questioning didn't really amount to anything. Sure, maybe we asked some stupid questions, or maybe the mouth was never going to give us any useful information - but it felt like we were really putting our heads together to make the most of this event, and our questions got dodged. After attending the event, we don't really have any new information that we didn't know before.

Towards the end of the event, we were to make a choice IC. We had two options: We could leave, or do an action that would (likely) result in a death. Mira, a character in the group, decided to take the latter option - after talking with drbrownca afterwards, I found out that her reasoning was this: We hadn't gotten anywhere so far, so leaving would just mean the event was a waste. She wanted to take the chance and initiate a fight at least. However, this action turned out to just be a destined death. No matter how we interfered, Mira was going to die. Garret, in an attempt to save her, also died. Now, I'll be clear, having the death(s) is completely fine. Heck, the person who died is fine with dying. But, what we were all focused on was the entire situation. In a two hour event, we asked questions and received no new information. After that, two characters died and we had no way at all to save them or change the situation. You might say that we could have just left and avoided the death, but again, the reason we stayed was because we assumed proceeding would advance the story somehow, since we'd gotten nowhere so far. And, well, we thought it may be a fight, not just an unstoppable action. Sometimes in events, we'll run off track or make decisions that won't work - ie, shooting arrows at a big skeleton. However, the DM usually hints that we should reconsider, or tosses us a bone to put us on the right track. That didn't happen today, which leads me to believe that the event's outcome would've been the same no matter what.

Additional Things
I believe the reason we didn't get much new information from the event was because it was the last group event, and the idea was to end the group events and save the meat of the campaign for future, public events. An idea that was brought up during the group discussion after the event was that, instead of an event, we could have done with a choice. Either have the event such as the one we did, or simply get a write up similar to the dreams, more exposition, if you will. We just... don't feel like we got anywhere with this event. No new information or direction. Those in my group who attended Auriel's event, they feel the same way about that one as well. That's all I can think of for now, so...

Conclusion
I don't want to sound too harsh or jerk-like. Like I said in the other post, I am excited about the campaign and its contents so far. I've just not had a great experience with the events so far... but! Blarg is changing things up, and I really appreciate that. I'm certain the issues I pointed out in this post won't show up again in future events, because, I think, they are issues that spring from managing over a dozen parties. Needing to do events, dreams, responses for each group. Having the pressure of "Oh shit, I forgot x group." It's not easy, and I understand that - that's why I want to end on optimism instead of cynicism. I look forward to future events, I know they'll be great. I just hope my critique helps improve at least something, and is understood.
 

Brown

Survivor of Five Rivers
Patron
Doctor_Brown
Doctor_Brown
Patron
Surprisingly enough, I'm in opposition to abolishing this campaign idea. I think it was a brilliant idea that could work out very well, with careful planning. It's too late to salvage now, but future campaigns can benefit.

To preface: I haven't been around long enough to see how the traditional campaign structure works, so this critique will solely focus on the experimental one.

From what I gather, the experiment was to have multiple parties, all working on different sub plots moving towards a common goal. The pros to this is that every participating member will have an equal opportunity to contribute something, having equal information, all the while having a unique experience. The cons, which inevitably came true, is that it's a LOT of work when you suddenly have 20+ parties all fighting for the spotlight. There are only so many GMs, I get that.

I would definitely want to explore this system some more, the only problem is keeping the workload to a manageable amount so that every party gets equal treatment. I propose this: Restrict the number of parties only to the amount to which the number of GMs can handle. Keep the general subplots transparent for each party, and have the players sign themselves up to the party they're interested in. It gives players the freedom to choose their own path, while giving the GMs control over the scenario and the workload. If every player signs up to only one party, doing their best to stick to their subplot, even with the mixing of information from other parties, no event should be getting over crowded. Even with 100 active players, and 10 parties, making 10 players per party, that's still more than enough breathing room for players and GMs. To summarize, the ones running the campaign need to take more control over who gets what information to avoid things getting out of hand, while still allowing the parties to explore and find their own conclusions.

As mentioned previously, I haven't been privy to the traditional campaign style yet. Regardless, even without that knowledge I thought this experiment was a brilliant idea, and mostly a success, it only needs some proper organization and fine tuning to be a great large scale campaign device.

Don't give up on it just yet! Aside from the few blunders I've unfortunately been a part of, I've heard good things. This can work, don't scrap it because it went wrong the first time
 

Bartooliinii

An Alteran Bard
Patron
Bartooliinii
Bartooliinii
Patron
My only feedback is not on the campaign itself. Its on campaigns in general. I think the server has grown into something that can keep itself alive, without the need of server wide campaigns. Perhaps it's an unpopular opinion, but I firmly believe campaigns are disrupting the flow of the life on the server. A flow which has become of an extremely high quality, somehow.

Ive seen multiple factions host a lot of events between the last and the current campaign. I've seen people pleading for more time to host their own things, when the campaign was announced. People made their own campaigns and everything was justified by in character reasons. A server wide campaign always sort of drops onto the roleplay out of seemingly nowhere and has large repurcussions.

I advocate for having this campaign be the last for a long while and trusting more in player initiatives. The party in Halbed, the market in blackrush, they were visited incredibly well. Not just corona did that, I think. I believe we're growing toward a more organic way of role-playing. Our world is starting to live a life on its own which is disrupted by campaigns.

This campaign is great, I love the new angles and from what I've seen behind the screens as campaign DM it's an incredible something. But I urge, for the quality of players own initiatives (of which there were A LOT between the campaigns), to not host new campaigns after this one.
 
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Elt

Lord of Altera
Staff member
Staff
I think the server has grown into something that can keep itself alive, without the need of server wide campaigns.
I strongly disagree.

I've been active throughout campaign and non-campaign periods for a while. Everything I've seen suggests there is absolutely nothing that contributes to the server's well-being to anywhere near the same degree that campaigns do. They keep the setting dynamic and engaging, introduce new elements to the server's collective story in ways both subtle and life-altering to the characters, give people a reason to interact with characters they usually wouldn't, and provide a direction for players to take initiative with.

I doubt the server would see half the activity it does without campaigns. Many new players need something to help them integrate into the community, and returning players tend to sprout up when they hear about them.

While I've experienced many very compelling and enjoyable player campaigns, their scale and scope are very limited. They may bring some localized changes, but no matter how lively other RP is, I don't think I'm alone in thinking I'd hate having nothing to drive the collective history and overarching plot forward.
 

Jase

"Yes, milord?"
Staff member
Staff
Whitespoor
Whitespoor
For a stylized party/group system, I think there just needs to be more resources available in order for it to work. From what it sounds like- there was just too much workload for too few people. If you want to get this to work, you need to have a few more DMs who can help get this off the ground. I heard really good things from some people- but then nothing from others.

I think if the staff team gives more people the freedom and resources to DM certain larger things (under supervision if need be!) then I think things like this would turn out better! Or you gotta have fewer groups!
 

Elz

hmm
Staff member
Admin
I believe there were about thirteen groups in total and as I was participating more for once I was not really available to DM much and admittedly I've just not been in the right place to focus on DMing much either. That left a lot of work on two people in a time where several things were up in the air, so I can see the trouble with it and while I don't think this is a failure or that it'd be wise to cancel the campaign, I did and do advocate for some condensing of groups and refocusing of key elements.

So this campaign isn't over, to clarify. But the first phase of groups is going to narrow down and the next phase can change it up. I'm of the mind that groups can certainly work, but there simply cannot be so many of them and it could focus more on areas or factions to keep that IC reasoning together that was mentioned earlier. Mix in some server wide campaign events as well and let research and individual work still go along on the side.

Every campaign I've done or had a part in has felt experimental to me - And there is still no real ideal set-up so it can be hard. Groups have their own flaws, server-wide campaigns feel too chaotic and people feel excluded and useless, then there's the balance of 'divine and arcane' where if you're not magic you think the campaign isn't for you. Just lots of things to cater to, but I'd like players to know we're always thinking about them and how best to appeal to the majority without people feeling too excluded.

Thankyou for the comments, too. I like that they're supportive!
 

Electric

Lord of Altera
Legend
electricwisekid
electricwisekid
Legend
My only feedback is not on the campaign itself. Its on campaigns in general. I think the server has grown into something that can keep itself alive, without the need of server wide campaigns. Perhaps it's an unpopular opinion, but I firmly believe campaigns are disrupting the flow of the life on the server. A flow which has become of an extremely high quality, somehow.

Ive seen multiple factions host a lot of events between the last and the current campaign. I've seen people pleading for more time to host their own things, when the campaign was announced. People made their own campaigns and everything was justified by in character reasons. A server wide campaign always sort of drops onto the roleplay out of seemingly nowhere and has large repurcussions.

I advocate for having this campaign be the last for a long while and trusting more in player initiatives. The party in Halbed, the market in blackrush, they were visited incredibly well. Not just corona did that, I think. I believe we're growing toward a more organic way of role-playing. Our world is starting to live a life on its own which is disrupted by campaigns.

This campaign is great, I love the new angles and from what I've seen behind the screens as campaign DM it's an incredible something. But I urge, for the quality of players own initiatives (of which there were A LOT between the campaigns), to not host new campaigns after this one.
I see what you mean (I’ve heard similar stuff from friends during the past campaigns), but I have to disagree with this. I think Campaign RP and regular RP are two very different things, and they do indeed each serve a different group of players. Campaign RP, for me, is high-stakes, very involved, and keeps me drawn in. If I like the campaign, I’m interested in new developments, any new lore - it’s like watching an especially compelling show. Regular RP is fine, but it tends to be more or less segmented and not as high-stakes or exciting.

Campaigns also provide so many opportunists for medic characters to become a hot commodity, storytellers/chroniclers to have some interesting interactions, and of course Battle-Scarred-Warrior Characters to shine and expand their arc. I look forward to campaigns because it means Asero can go out and do some badass fighting that is consequential. I can destroy some big monster and save other characters, learn valuable information that benefits everyone, or just harm the big bad a bunch. Compared this to just a regular combat event - I can get a DM, set up a wendigo attack at do that. Maybe I’ll get a nice scar out of it, but it doesn’t hold the same weight that a campaign fight does. I think that’s the main thing - campaigns usually have a lot of weight to them, because you can progress a narrative and be apart of a story that changes by your actions.

I like both types of RP, and personally I’d like a mix of both. The way we have now. I know others may just want regular RP, but... maybe the campaigns can be adjusted to allow for that. That’s always an option, have a campaign that only affects those who wish to partake.
[edit because my finger accidentally clicked post]
 

Baron2537

Lord of Altera
Campaigns are necessary. As some have said. It's a means for furthering character arc. They make the world our characters live in feel apart of something bigger. It also helps characters get involved with others or make truly lasting changes on not just their group but the continent as a whole. Campaigns also open the world space to new and exciting things you won't likely see, attain or experience otherwise. Campaigns give opportunity for characters to shine. To gain renown. Fame or infamy and to be rewarded for involvement. It works for everyone. Healers, scribes, warriors and even opportunists looking to steal a moment of glory from a big fight. These are much more impacting than what comes from casual events.

Tl;dr - Campaigns are good, and the fact they blanket the continent and generally effect everyone is a positive because it keeps everyone involved one way or another.
 

I am Wake

You are Loved
Staff member
Crafter
Staff
I_am_Wake
I_am_Wake
Crafter
It would be enjoyable to myself if every casual Roleplay I had did not revolve around the campaigns, however. My experience with the campaigns thus very was been wholly negative. I would very much enjoy it if things were to calm down: or if the issues stated by the first two posts were resolved by the DM's.
 

Baron2537

Lord of Altera
It would be enjoyable to myself if every casual Roleplay I had did not revolve around the campaigns, however. My experience with the campaigns thus very was been wholly negative. I would very much enjoy it if things were to calm down: or if the issues stated by the first two posts were resolved by the DM's.

This more has to do with timing on return. There is usually a long down period between campaigns. In fact your recent return to the server this last time just happened to be when the campaign started. You sort of came back after the calm down phase.
 

Brown

Survivor of Five Rivers
Patron
Doctor_Brown
Doctor_Brown
Patron
Hate to play devils advocate, but I'd like to offer an argument in favour of Blart. If high stakes campaigns are the only thing keeping people active, then maybe more power should be given to the players, and their own initiative. Allow them to GM their own events, and have things of higher stakes than just "look guys a festival". The obvious drawback would be the potential of intruding other players experience with a larger scale event, but then that's what the moderator team is for. To make sure that doesn't happen. And with permission, maybe some player initiative can grow into something larger.

In my current opinion, I have to agree with Wake and Blart. My experience thus far in these campaigns hasn't been all that positive, and I feel I got more engaging and narratively interesting RP outside of these campaigns. I really believe smaller, player driven subplots is the way to go.
 

Auriel

Lord of Altera
Lover
Auriel_
Auriel_
Lover
My only feedback is not on the campaign itself. Its on campaigns in general. I think the server has grown into something that can keep itself alive, without the need of server wide campaigns. Perhaps it's an unpopular opinion, but I firmly believe campaigns are disrupting the flow of the life on the server. A flow which has become of an extremely high quality, somehow.

Ive seen multiple factions host a lot of events between the last and the current campaign. I've seen people pleading for more time to host their own things, when the campaign was announced. People made their own campaigns and everything was justified by in character reasons. A server wide campaign always sort of drops onto the roleplay out of seemingly nowhere and has large repurcussions.

I advocate for having this campaign be the last for a long while and trusting more in player initiatives. The party in Halbed, the market in blackrush, they were visited incredibly well. Not just corona did that, I think. I believe we're growing toward a more organic way of role-playing. Our world is starting to live a life on its own which is disrupted by campaigns.

This campaign is great, I love the new angles and from what I've seen behind the screens as campaign DM it's an incredible something. But I urge, for the quality of players own initiatives (of which there were A LOT between the campaigns), to not host new campaigns after this one.

Saw a couple notes on how campaigns are potentially negative, had a thing on this. I'll go with anecdotal as I don't have any great empirical evidence on subject of server population- but when we do have campaigns/ongoing event lines, server population does at the very least seem to spike. Granted- you do see this from time to time with festival events that are open, but more often than not restricting to a player populace.

This isn't to say that player-hosted or player-organized events aren't plausible, they are (as some have breached 35+ alone without being part of a campaign), only that campaigns are constantly known to breathe life into a sometimes less-so populated area or otherwise boost player population and allow new players to engage (see some of the new player groups that formed up for Augury and so on) or new player involvement in the other campaigns.

In addendum, the time inbetween most campaigns to me definitely spells out quite alot of time to do other events. (I don't have it front of me, but I recall this one you had basically four months and a half to prepare, and we're not even in the nitty gritty of this campaign). I'm not saying it's a non-issue, but I do think it's an exaggeration in that people aren't able to host their own events as these go on. I think this one in general is pretty generous and would allow for people to host whatever they'd like regardless the campaign.

The insane (and likely more disdained opinion) is that more arcs and more overarching ones is cool, this one is a good start on that note.

tl;dr
campaigns have a consistent track record with boosting player population, keeping the general story alive and breathing life into the current lore of hollowworld

edit:
drbrown brought up a fair point in regards to allowing players to gm, but that as of rn is already a thing but restricted to a fair few.
 

Electric

Lord of Altera
Legend
electricwisekid
electricwisekid
Legend
Saw a couple notes on how campaigns are potentially negative, had a thing on this. I'll go with anecdotal as I don't have any great empirical evidence on subject of server population- but when we do have campaigns/ongoing event lines, server population does at the very least seem to spike. Granted- you do see this from time to time with festival events that are open, but more often than not restricting to a player populace.

This isn't to say that player-hosted or player-organized events aren't plausible, they are (as some have breached 35+ alone without being part of a campaign), only that campaigns are constantly known to breathe life into a sometimes less-so populated area or otherwise boost player population and allow new players to engage (see some of the new player groups that formed up for Augury and so on) or new player involvement in the other campaigns.

In addendum, the time inbetween most campaigns to me definitely spells out quite alot of time to do other events. (I don't have it front of me, but I recall this one you had basically four months and a half to prepare, and we're not even in the nitty gritty of this campaign). I'm not saying it's a non-issue, but I do think it's an exaggeration in that people aren't able to host their own events as these go on. I think this one in general is pretty generous and would allow for people to host whatever they'd like regardless the campaign.

The insane (and likely more disdained opinion) is that more arcs and more overarching ones is cool, this one is a good start on that note.

tl;dr
campaigns have a consistent track record with boosting player population, keeping the general story alive and breathing life into the current lore of hollowworld

edit:
drbrown brought up a fair point in regards to allowing players to gm, but that as of rn is already a thing but restricted to a fair few.
I only rated your message 'disagree' because I just saw they added it. Can't wait to spam that react c:

I do AGREE with you, though. Campaigns take a while and engulf the whole playerbase/server... but, after they end, there's an equal amount of free-reign time to do whatever you wish. Anyone can host events and start player-led campaigns (I've been a part of numerous private campaigns, such as Aelmere's, Veraci's, or Valarius'. Each had multiple events and many people involved). I think there's ample time in between campaigns to host events and start mini-campaigns. I do believe that players should be allowed to contribute more to lore - in the same way that campaigns introduce new lore, players should be able to introduce new lore with their small-scale campaigns.
 

MelodyMusica

Lord of Altera
I think my biggest issue with the campaigns is how often they feel like they happen. I know I rarely get involved in them (mainly cause I'm always busy that I barely have time to keep up), but it feels like we end one high stakes campaign and a month later there's another.

I realize they bring in a large crowd of the server's members but, at the same time, it gets a little tiring to go to casual RP and all the conversation is focused on the next big bad thing threatening the whole world.

now with saying that I'm gonna crawl back in my hole and not appear in any serious writing for another 3 weeks.
 

BoredBrit

I am the LORE!
Staff member
Staff
BoredBritishGuy
BoredBritishGuy
Legend
i think a lot of campaigns are cool. campaigns being often is cool. having every one of them be an end of the world scenario is less so. i think there needs to be a shift in the stakes, for sure but its also a lot of work.
 

Rygan

Deathblade
Staff member
Staff
Rygan_Deathblade
Rygan_Deathblade
Lover
Four to five months between campaigns is plenty of time, I think, and (Bart aside) I rarely see the people asking for more time to do their events using this down time to do events. Player events can have great turn out but they, frankly, don't have to stop just because a campaign is going. There's a hunt today, I went to Scardrac 's first event a week or two ago, and just yesterday we had the Ka'ar cultural event. I think the health between 'casual' roleplay and campaigns are directly related, in a wave. A campaign starts and everyone's logging on again, it goes on and everyone starts to get tired of it, then it ends and that activity remains for a few months before the server starts to get quiet again. There are blips of greatness where some good events with fantastic turnout happen, but part of that is because people are starved for anything to do at all and will attend things they may normally have not felt so invested in.

Player events do not happen often enough to provide a source of varied action and excitement for the portion of the server that roleplays for that sort of thing. They are wonderful and an important part of the server, but many are exclusive or based on things like fairs, parties, and things of a similar nature. As for the world ending stakes - we enter the territory where I speak wholly in my own opinion and say that I love when the setting changes and the entire world is affected.
 

Bartooliinii

An Alteran Bard
Patron
Bartooliinii
Bartooliinii
Patron
That was a healthy educative discussion. I think in the end there's two sides. One that really enjoys them and only come back during campaigns, the other that doesn't like the way they disrupt casual rp and sometimes even become semi inactive during them.

So I'm the end, to come back on my earlier statement, I think I would now say to not to stop hosting campaigns entirely, but to rephrase it to: spend as much time hosting campaigns as not hosting campaigns.

I think this'll satisfy both groups who seem to be of even numbers. There are those who are online all year round and like to host their own little things and there are those who return only for the campaigns and cannot find motivation in between them, and I think both sides should weigh equal in such decisions and should both be respected.
 

Bartooliinii

An Alteran Bard
Patron
Bartooliinii
Bartooliinii
Patron
Four to five months between campaigns is plenty of time, I think, and (Bart aside) I rarely see the people asking for more time to do their events using this down time to do events. Player events can have great turn out but they, frankly, don't have to stop just because a campaign is going. There's a hunt today, I went to Scardrac 's first event a week or two ago, and just yesterday we had the Ka'ar cultural event. I think the health between 'casual' roleplay and campaigns are directly related, in a wave. A campaign starts and everyone's logging on again, it goes on and everyone starts to get tired of it, then it ends and that activity remains for a few months before the server starts to get quiet again. There are blips of greatness where some good events with fantastic turnout happen, but part of that is because people are starved for anything to do at all and will attend things they may normally have not felt so invested in.

Player events do not happen often enough to provide a source of varied action and excitement for the portion of the server that roleplays for that sort of thing. They are wonderful and an important part of the server, but many are exclusive or based on things like fairs, parties, and things of a similar nature. As for the world ending stakes - we enter the territory where I speak wholly in my own opinion and say that I love when the setting changes and the entire world is affected.
I do wholly disagree with you. Blorbis too has asked for more time and there is a strong hard core group of players who enjoy the casual roleplay and narratives they make together. So to say people only attend cause they are starved of things to do is an offense I dare take. There are good initiatives that are properly enjoyed and they do not have to be downgraded like this.

I personally do not host many events during campaigns, because it wouldn't make sense ic to host something that is entirely unrelated to the world ending, monster spawning, magic inducing thing that has been draped over all RP a.k.a. The campaign. It is not only positive, campaigns ignore what happened before that might be exactly what that event would build on from and those who return just for the campaign wouldn't even realize the things they are unable to relate to, yet truly did happen in between and can have been of significant impact on characters (even though its not a campaign)
 

Rygan

Deathblade
Staff member
Staff
Rygan_Deathblade
Rygan_Deathblade
Lover
So to say people only attend cause they are starved of things to do is an offense I dare take. There are good initiatives that are properly enjoyed and they do not have to be downgraded like this.
It's not a bad thing - it's a healthy outcome from campaigns. It would be harder to appreciate a more lighthearted fair or party for a lot of people if they were year round and the main source of events on the server, is my meaning.

As for equal time:
Unhinged ran from September 25th to about, we'll say, December 15th. So less than 3 months, while Augury began about three and a half months after and hasn't disrupted the world too much at all yet.
 
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