Thoughts and Suggestions...

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Dastan Imatari
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Thoughts and Suggestions...

Post by Dastan Imatari » Wed Mar 03, 2021 7:04 pm

Hey there!

In the Discord, the group was just talking about some things to help out around the house, so to speak! Then someone offered that I jump in here and write up some ideas that would be potentially helpful for the community. I am a person who is very active in several gaming communities, as well as several tebletop gaming communities- off and on-line. I design game mechanics in my free time for fun, used to be a graphic/web-designer, and now work in IT security and have a family to take care of. I don’t always have all the free time in the world, but when i DO, i best enjoy working with entertainment, entertaining others, and helping make that happen continually.

I think someone in passing was joking about getting more members in to fill out the factions. And it got me thinking- that I don’t think SL advertises anymore, because i don’t see other affiliate postings. Then a spiral conversation happened about ideas for how to evolve things and help build the community up. The site’s community has been around for- i saw 20 years. That’s a long time for a site to have an active, healthy community and administration team. Active and passionate admin teams and staff are what make a site based around a community thrive.

Anywho- back to the first point i wanted to touch on…

Filling in the factions.
The only way to do that is for people to advertise! But i’m sure you knew that... Tell your roleplaying friends if you have them, and throw stuff from SithLore on other Star Wars RP Sites. There’s a slew of active ones out there. SithLore is at the bottom of the second page in Google when searching for ‘Star Wars RP Forum’. That means there’s plenty of other places to try and reach out to for help.

Reddit, for example. Reddit is a perfect place to reach out to and look for help, and active members. There’s /r/starwars, and even /r/rpg might be a good place to start looking. I dunno. Tap some people to come together and get a nice blurb for the site, approve it, and let approved people divide and conquer.

Also Just taking a couple minutes to look into some other places that do star wars RP- some sites don’t allow advertising of other star wars roleplays. . . but i’ve found a few who do have ads and link swaps-
----> https://www.sw-fans.net/forum/forum.php
----> https://swgalaxyrp.net/index.php
----> https://boards.jedivsith.com/

So, could be somewhere to throw up a ‘hey, this is a helpful, tight knit community that has created a star wars universe for you to roleplay an original character within’.

Having volunteers for doing this would be the easiest way to do this. Then have them partner with the mod team to make sure it's an affiliate that they want, and go from there.

I also mentioned an active and healthy admin team.
This is also imperative for newcomers to see they aren't joining a stagnant world. I know Sal and Jay do a great job. Though I do want to urge the use of backup or secondaries. Sal and Jay can’t always be around. There needs to be active moderation. They’re two people that live outside of SithLore- a site that’s been around for 20 years.

Moderators are one thing, but their abilities only go so far. So if for some reason there needs to be an edit made in the css/forum layout/SLIU/ whatever, they are the only people who can do it. Moderation and Administration aren’t the same thing. Mods don’t have important access, other than a direct line to the active admin team... So if and when things come up from folks that are helpful, and can be implemented to make a clear improvement (easily- or NOT), the admins can implement, or at least schedule a roadmap and work on things actively to keep things topped off, modern, and up to date. Or at least say ‘no, this will not be implemented’. I know this may have started as a passion project by a couple folks, and expanded from there, but placing administration abilities in capable hands is important to keeping any constantly evolving community. And if you don’t feel anyone is capable of handling things like this- then there are other issues at stake there that still need to be addressed.

Having an active and visible team is important- even if ‘everyone knows everyone’ like a small town, it’s important to know that the leadership is actively listening, and willing to help, and go up to bat for the members’ needs.


Faction Leaders as Mod-Lite
I know there’s a few tiers of staff members. Administration, Moderation, and Faction Leaders. The faction heads act as something like a team supervisor. They wrangle the members of their faction, promote activity, promote growth and networking, and help their players out. This is both in, and out of character responsibility. I haven’t been a faction leader for a long time, but I do believe that there needs to be some expectations that need to be met. Everything was word of mouth at the time, and there was no clear cut policy to look at when it comes to ‘what you should or need to be doing’. Sure, there doesn’t need to be ‘everything’ spelled out- but there ‘does’ need to be some precedent. Keeping a certain activity level (with communication in and out of character), certain things that need to be done within the SLIU, positive conduct, and a good relationship with your team. There were Faction Lead , and co-faction lead positions when i was a faction lead back in 2015, which was a great idea, since then there would be an active and helpful back-up for if the current faction leader was on a vacation and couldn’t respond in a reasonable amount of time. I’m sure it’s probably still a thing, but i think both need to have some written policy/procedure around them for accountability’s sake. As someone who deals with policy and procedure on a professional level, I'm more than happy to provide ideas!

Also setting the precedent of In character/IC and Out Of Character/OOC faction leadership and conduct. Someone who is important to the faction may need to be someone who is also in a leadership position as a character. This is fine, but if activity begins to drop for a character, what happens? Is everyone okay with retcons, things like that if they just don’t communicate their absence? If a chancellor of the Galactic Alliance becomes a faction leader, and they need to take a few months due to some personal time- that’s a few months that the players aren’t getting with their leadership. For more active writers, this is a lot of time. Those are faction paychecks missed, and even activity threads that get thrown into limbo. This means the Co-FL is required to step in and help out- at least OOC to assuage issues that may arise.

IF the Co-FL can’t handle it, then a moderator should be able to step in with the same powers and be able to handle what needs to be done, in the SLIU, IC, or OOC. Moderators need to have the same capacities as faction leaders - like global faction leaders. That way, force forbid, if disagreements arise, moderators can weigh options and make changes or clarify things if need be to both players and faction leads.

For instance faction paychecks!
It's my understanding that the Admins have the ability to advance the site to the next month which issues out credits to the SLIU, etc. It has not been done for February or March... I’m not sure, but i feel like there needs to be someone doing this. I think this can tie in to having more responsibilities for admins or staff.



Beta Store
First of all, let’s say that a five+ year long ‘beta’ shouldn’t be called a ‘beta’ anymore. Lol

Another issue I've heard some small rumblings about is the Beta store. I know the beta site was introduced back around 2016? Maybe it was 2017. I’m not sure. Either way it was super neat, and we were all excited for all the awesome changes being advertised. But since then it’s kind of been a ghost town for updates. I know people get busy, and have other priorities outside of a forum RP site. But with a tight knit community, you get passionate members, and that’s when it’s important to have those backups.

The store has probably been the same for maybe 7-8 years. Items, weapons, armor, vehicles, all sorts of new information has come out about so many things. The items that are listed are very specifically listed by name and model, etc. This is pretty granular. It’s a tough sell to say that there’s a fistful of ‘canon’ items there, but no generic ones for players to use their imaginations or use other items. Player agency is also very important to a site that totes playing the character you want to make. Those few specific weapons listed may not be the specific in-universe weapons the players want to use.

The Mandalorian armor came up last night as a great example. It’s 11000 credits in the store. Sure, that may seem like a lot in current major real-life currencies. But in the game, it’s easy to pick up. Yes, it’s great to have a capable set of armor at the get go when you first start making credits. But it just seems like each individual item doesn’t necessarily need to be named as it’s individual item name in the universe’s canon. It’s mandalorian armor. That stuff has a lot more meaning, now especially with the canon lights shed on it being very much tied to the culture of a people.

There are two ways to handle this…. You can add in AS MANY sets of armor, and weapons that you can think of that exist out there in canon (or whatever the site follows more closely), and set them up. By name, with specific stats. OR. You can make them much more generic.

I am a huge proponent of using generic weapon and armor tags- and allowing the player base to RP it as whatever they want as long as it falls in line with the mechanical output of the weapon they’ve purchased. For Instance: ‘compact, light, medium heavy pistol’ and giving them a certain group of stats. ‘Light, medium, heavy armor’ and the same. Giving them stats. Then within each faction (if you wanna get creative and fun), have some legendary or rare items out there that require membership, or post requirements…. Like the current rule for lightsabers and force powers to gain- like mandalorian armor, for instance, since there is no mandalorian player run faction. Or something like stormtrooper armor, an anti-tank/aircraft/ weapon, flamethrower, or rocket propelled grenade launcher, could be ideas on more ‘epic’ items requiring some play to get.

As a person who makes games, I understand the cost/power mechanic weight and how complicated things can get. I don’t know how this stuff ties in with the beta site, or whatever is run mechanically when generations are done, but I am always happy to get insight on that, and provide ideas. I’ve got lots, and i’ve got plenty of experience. Getting someone (anyone) to help with this as a side duty as a beta store mod or something would help. Share the responsibility, it will help get things out faster. This was the dream of a few people to implement, but if they're unwilling or unable to share the responsibility - maybe look into the reasons why.

Help Facilitate Roleplaying
Moving along- to the wonderful world of Star Wars Roleplaying. The site’s activity is probably fine with the amount of players who log in and write. However an old idea that would be fun to return is Campaigns! I think everyone would love the chance for some multi-factional cooperative stuff involved in the boards that actually give you a reward for participation. Or even if it ends up as players against each other.

Have your players sign up for the event’s participation under a faction - or as an independent. It could be a single set overall goal- A new planet has been discovered to have kyber crystals. Your faction wants them, obviously! Then divide that into smaller sub-objectives, and give the players 5-10 posts to reach each objective together as a faction- or independently. 1- reach the planet 2- set down on the planet and search for signals 3- arrive at one of two landmarks (this is where factions can interact) 4- locate the caverns 5- secure the caverns for your faction to mine or protect (combat opens up for group vs group as a generation, and everyone involved gets XP for their part, win or loss). Both sides get a little something for their trouble if they make it to the end, a fistful of credits, 5 or 10 xp, and a fun item.

This brings me to another pain point for some new folks. Experience Gain. This really needs to be able to be gained from more than just combating other players. Period. The above is a good outlet. The gains allotment, in this player’s opinion, really needs to be adjusted as the winners of combat get significantly more experience for a win. Which means the rich get exponentially richer. 5xp for a loss is fine, however maybe just doubling it to 10 for a win would lower that gap, and probably make the actual combat that HAPPENS more frequent and engaging. This ‘is’ a game... There may not be a ‘win’ condition, but numbers should either be important- or not. And if they’re not important- that begs the question of their existence.

Support and Encourage all levels of Roleplaying activity
The site has historically moved fairly slow. And that’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with that. But i think some of the changes above - if they’re at least considered- will help bring about more activity. Especially, obviously, the advertising and promoting of the site…. Promoting casual, and more active play both. People will always only post when it’s convenient for them.

**Whew**{/b]I’m actually a little brain dead right now. I always have more ideas, and thoughts on things. SO i will absolutely be adding to this. But i really REALLY hope this is taken seriously. These are some thoughts i've had for a little while as a previous member. These are meant as thought provoking conversation starters, and are intended to be helpful for the site as a whole. Obviously I am not the end-all-be-all authority on how things need to go, but i can guarantee there’s people out there who are active, positive members of the community who will agree on at least SOME of it.

Thanks for your time, and consideration, and may the Force be with you!
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Dastan Imatari
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Re: Thoughts and Suggestions...

Post by Dastan Imatari » Wed Mar 10, 2021 5:14 pm

Haven't heard anything. Giving a bump here in the off chance there are actually discussions going on of - or at least an acknowledgment of - anything on the above in the Discord staff channel or something. LOL
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Luckur Dreiger
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Re: Thoughts and Suggestions...

Post by Luckur Dreiger » Wed Mar 24, 2021 1:21 pm

I know i am pretty new here (i just got officially made a real boy last night) but a lot of this seems like a really good idea. Is there any reason some of it isn't being looked into?

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Luckur Dreiger
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Re: Thoughts and Suggestions...

Post by Luckur Dreiger » Wed Mar 24, 2021 2:47 pm

Since I have been "encouraged" to post in suggestions, and there doesn't appear to be anyone looking anyway, i will just add this here

There are tons of pinned threads about things that don't appear to still be in forced or matter. The pinned threads in the New Player area are completely useless, they don't help a new player actually join, they just tell you not to make a stupid user name.

How the battle system works is never actually explained in the battle system "rules" just how many posts you need to make and how you go about submitting the request

The store is both incomplete and oddly specific. It should either be generic (like most of the armor is) or very specific ( like most of the weapons are) Instead it is both, and confusing. I assume bigger numbers are better, but that isn't explained anywhere and neither is what the numbers actually mean.

I know you earn XP, but i don't know exactly how, or how much. That's not explained anywhere

There is a monthly writing prompt to encourage engagement, but it is a contest with a single winner. Why not give everyone who participate something to encourage engagement? It would also give the newer players, the few that manage to get this far, another way to get XP to meaningfully engage in the combat, which is apparently based on XP, except when it's based on your gear? That is also not very clear.

There is no "Hey New Players, start here." There is no link to the discord, or even mention of it that I could easily find. (i did get there through a friend, but even they couldn't point me to a place where it is posted)

I love the concept of a living universe like this, especially one with all of the history, but if I didn't have people i was already interested in playing with, i would be lost and confused and would have no reason to stay. The older players can't just play with themselves forever. Unless that is your goal in which case, why let new people join at all? Seems like joining is made very difficult already.

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Ben Kenobi
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Re: Thoughts and Suggestions...

Post by Ben Kenobi » Wed Mar 24, 2021 3:12 pm

Checking things out now. Please standby.

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Dastan Imatari
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Re: Thoughts and Suggestions...

Post by Dastan Imatari » Fri Apr 09, 2021 1:34 am

Just another bump here. . .

Thought of something else, too.

The monthly writing prompt.

This is a neat idea. I like that it gets people active in posting something. Having a little friendly competition is fun, too.

I also love that it's something else that can give XP to your character.

My only suggestion is that XP should only be given for something that drives actual growth for your character.

The prompts, while fun, don't seem to be geared toward any actual development or growth of the character, nor even necessarily be "canon" for the universe.

If the prompts are built toward showing something awesome about your Character's backstory, or a neat detail on how they would handle a situation that they would all feasibly have dealt with or would come across.

I do love that there's something else to give XP other than personal combat. So there's that. But if it's just for something that is non-canon for your Character it seems XP is awarded to the WRITER, not the CHARACTER.

Just a thought!
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Slade Xandir
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Re: Thoughts and Suggestions...

Post by Slade Xandir » Sun Apr 11, 2021 8:10 am

In regards to above post^

viewtopic.php?f=21&t=980&p=11604#p11604
"𝒯𝒽𝑒𝓇𝑒𝒻𝑜𝓇𝑒, 𝐼 𝒶𝓂."

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Dastan Imatari
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Re: Thoughts and Suggestions...

Post by Dastan Imatari » Sun Apr 11, 2021 9:46 pm

Sure that's just telling me the reasoning you had behind setting it up.

Still waiting for any sort of formal feedback or acknowledgement, on everything else, too. I thank BK for at least getting the dialogue going for it a couple weeks ago when I think Jay happened to be on.

Call me a squeaky wheel. But its just sorta driving some of my points home I think.
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Luckur Dreiger
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Re: Thoughts and Suggestions...

Post by Luckur Dreiger » Sun Apr 11, 2021 10:00 pm

Slade Xandir wrote:
Sun Apr 11, 2021 8:10 am
In regards to above post^

viewtopic.php?f=21&t=980&p=11604#p11604
this contributes nothing, why even respond? You're neither a mod nor an admin.

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Ben Kenobi
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Re: Thoughts and Suggestions...

Post by Ben Kenobi » Sun Apr 11, 2021 10:40 pm

Excuse me Luckur. But Slade was trying to be helpful by directing to the meat and potatoes behind the Writing Prompt idea. Information is often the best ammunition. There is no need to be rude about it. Leave the pointed talk out please.

Thanks.

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