Activity related questions

Discussion in 'Role-Play Discussion' started by Elena, May 14, 2014.

  1. Elena

    Elena Resident Game Owner

    In the almost 5 years on forums, I have seen 4 different approaches on RPGs, even further divided with nuances. Which is yours?

    1.RP-ing is a hobby and one will post whenever feeling like posting. Nobody should be reminded about owing posts, no matter that a certain character's post which isn't happening is blocking several important threads. (Eg, the captain who doesn't order the battle starting on one side, while the enemy is already firing, or the missing master gunner to actually order the fire, or the spy who has to deliver the vital information... or even the king opening a festivity. In some case, they are blocking only one vital thread, but on the outcomes of this thread several others are affected. And if it is one writer who has several characters not posting... then it is worse).

    2.A character should be sorted as inactive(or deleted, if the site doesn't use inactives), losing their position and face claim, if they don't post in one month (or miss an activity check).

    3. If a character hasn't posted for a while, but he isn't involved in any ongoing thread (ie not actually owing posts/ blocking a thread) it is OK.

    4. If a character hasn't posted for a while, even if the writer is active with other characters, he loses the faceclaim and position if the character would have been needed in the story in some threads in the meanwhile, because he hadn;t done his duty in the story.

    Which is your stance and why?
  2. Shriker

    Shriker Shadowlack Owner RPGfix Admin Patron Game Owner

    I've got two answers for this, and really it depends on the kind of game that you're running.

    If you're running a game that relies on members to be active in a position (leader of a faction, alpha of a wolf pack, etc.), then I believe that it is reasonable to expect a certain level of activity from them, and boot them if they aren't meeting that requirement. The exact same could be said for someone who is essentially "squatting" on a face claim. You could have other, new members who want to have that play-by, and are missing out. If that's the case, and it's a concern, by all means, make it a part of your rule set. That said, I've never run a game where having a face claim was a requirement (although I imagine if I were to come back after an unexplained lengthy absence, I'd be much more upset over losing my character's "face" than I would be their position). So I support your number two.

    However, I also strongly support number one... but only for games where positions/rankings are not integral to the overall plot and setting.
    Elena likes this.
  3. Csstaff

    Csstaff Newcomer

    Well before when my site was active active and I had much more time to dedicate to it I know how annoying it can be to have an active site with inactive characters. If your character holds a ranked position of some kind and is a key player or important to plot in some way, you need to be active. If your character is a miner..I like to go shopping threads..then really does it matter? Also I think it depends on the site, if the site is slower paced then its whatever works for everyone. If someone wants faster, well there are plenty of sites to offer that. At the end of the day this is supposed to be fun, so if you want more face paced active people then you need a site that will enforce that. If your busy with a job and life and want to just have a hobby at a slower pace, then there are sites for that too!
    Elena likes this.
  4. Pisces

    Pisces Newcomer

    I agree with the third one. For me, I have more then one character and if I get super involved in a thread with one character I sometimes leave the other for a while. As long as another person is not waiting for a reply or needing that character for their ongoing thread then it is fine.
    Elena likes this.
  5. I'm not really sure why face claims are apparently such a hot commodity. There's endless options out there, right? If it's a concern, surely you can just find something suitably obscure. Anyway, my answer will be with regard to posting only, for obvious reasons.

    I'm basically of the opinion that the official line is better off being as lax as possible, and that a culture of nagging for posts can only be detrimental. Sure, sometimes it means threads get held up when they shouldn't. God knows, I privately get pretty antsy about waiting sometimes, and sometimes (like right now, as it happens) I have to face the fact that great threads die thanks to one no-show. I think it's worth it, though, to keep a relaxed and friendly culture overall. This is just a thing to do for fun, after all. The day I start getting legitimately upset about these things is the day I should quit.
    Archaeon and Fallyn like this.
  6. Cyn

    Cyn Newcomer Game Owner

    Most of the time I tend to lean toward #2, though I only hold activity checks once every three months. If you miss it, you lose your claims. If you hold an important position on the site, though, like teacher or prefect or Auror, then you only have 30 days grace before losing the position. I run an active site and need these important spots to be utilised fully and if you're not going to put in the time, then play a less demanding role.
    Elena likes this.
  7. massacrahamster

    massacrahamster Newcomer Game Owner

    I agree with everything you stated.

    In regards of posting, I would also say that people should not feel forced or obligated to thread with anyone. If they don't click, they don't click and that's that. Not everyone can match writing styles, people do roleplay differently and that's fine.

    When you're on a lot of boards, you very quickly lose that "ownership" feeling toward faceclaims. I used to be so obsessed with Dane DeHaan that I couldn't join a board if someone else played him. Since I started playing on multiple boards, I also learned to ignore that ownership feeling and rather be excited when I see people use faces that I love and adore. I think most people who obsess over faceclaims are those who're only playing on one board and who, for whatever reason, feel like it's "their" face and attach it to their character. But I totally agree, it's lame and it's childish and there are SO many faces out there that looks alike that I don't understand why people even fuss about it to begin with.
  8. Atticus

    Atticus Newcomer

    I always distinguish between what I consider a 'role-player' and a 'story-teller'. I prefer to think of myself as the latter. When I come across a site of 'role-players', that is people strictly adhering to their 'roles' and writing in the their own encapsulated bubbles, I get the heck outta there.

    I would be considered a 'fossil' by most. Been around the block more than twice and sites exclusively based on 'role-playing' never last that long. The detached stories go no where, threads just die out and new ones as pointless as those preceding them emerge. Now, you're not going to get away from 'operating a character', not the way most sites are set up. As the 'hamster' there mentioned there's still a need for 'ownership'. "That's my character." Really, it should be about the tell. "That was my plot-device", "We wrote a great story." RPG sites that adhere to running plots and keep the characters on track offer continuity and much needed direction where many tend to stray. Above all, a character is the means to an end. They are an emotional connection, an important part of the story... but they are nothing without 'a story'.

    I've often considered starting a site where all the canon are used by all. So long as time-lines don't clash and their kept within 'character' the should be used by like a medium to weave colourful stories. That way, no one ever has ownership of a popular canon like 'Wolverine' (in the Marvel world). Personal characters would be 'originals', canons would be used by all. What would truly define one in this style of RPG site is the quality of one's writing, popularity would not then be based solely upon who was lucky enough to get a hold of the popular canons. So often I've seen integral canons in the possession of the most unimaginative of writers and these characters which are heavily relied upon simply end up tearing down plots instead of building them up.

    That's my spin on things at least.
    Archaeon, Shriker and Elena like this.
  9. VirusZero

    VirusZero Resident Game Owner

    Personally I fall somewhere in between numbers.

    On my site we have no faceclaims and we don't really use playbys. Well... people can say "my character looks like <name>" but I don't keep track of that, enforce any rules about them. (Other than basic site rules like if someone started kicking up some drama because A used <face> and they wanted it... Then yeah I'd deal with that.) So people don't have to worry about using duplicates or losing "their" face.

    Important positions though vary.
    I mean in some cases if they aren't being active then it makes sense to replace them. They're holding things up unnecessarily. If they've let us know they're going to be busy that's one thing. We can make some exceptions for a time. (We can either write around that character, NPC them or just take actions and have there be consequences later. Like in the ship battle example... if an enemy fires at you and hits... even if the captain doesn't order return fire the crew may still start working to return fire anyway. They don't exactly want to get sunk...) However, if they're chronically busy then it becomes a lot harder to justify them holding an important position. (Or it just makes less and less sense to have to keep writing why this character is still able to lead when they don't do anything.)
    Though sometimes even if they are important we still might not need them. Like we have a leader of a squad, but then we might also have guest squad leaders too (so like a leader from another squad, usually an NPC) commanding things. So we might have another way to get things done without relying on an inactive leader character. (Or we just change their title from "Leader" to "Self-appointed Leader" which means they claim to be leader but no one recognizes their authority.)

    Now if they're not a leader (or another important role) though, we can more easily just ignore them. Write that they're off doing something else (like they're off in another area or something) or just write it like they're still present but are acting with a group. (Since in some cases we presume that there are like 3-4 other people present and doing things, their character would just be part of that group. Like in one mission we had character searching a factory... that group might have been in another area entirely.) So in those cases it doesn't hurt to have them just kinda idling around.

    I wouldn't bother marking them as inactive (and certainly no deleting of accounts) though simply because for our site it's not really necessary.
    Star Army, Atticus and Elena like this.
  10. Though this post probably better answers the question of "what do you look for in an rpg?" than the one posed in the OP, I have to agree with this sentiment. It's the promise of plot involvement and development that always works best to keep me engaged in a site.

    Having said that, I would argue that the responsibility for that rests just as much with the players as with those in charge. I think lots of your ideas would be great, but they're unnecessary in most cases; what's most needed is to foster a culture of constantly thinking about plots, discussing them, and inviting anyone and everyone to get involved - no matter if you recognise their character or not.
    Atticus and Elena like this.
  11. Keela

    Keela Fresh Blood

    Its an interesting question. The site I run doesnt use face claims so much its just accepted that if someone has already used that actor or actress no one else will.

    The thing that keeps me posting is a love of the challenge but also a love of the storyline and a buy in to the characters where they take on their own life. So I guess as a CO I follow number one but I will demote someone from department head (Startrek) if they disappear without a good reason and preferably warning.
    Atticus and Elena like this.
  12. Shelter2015

    Shelter2015 Newcomer Game Owner

    I fall in between I believe. As I typically approach on the site with faceclaims with the mindset of "If you're not holding up an important thread then 'so be it' however if they are holding up an important thread they will either get written out or they will be asked to return canon control to the admin the canon will be NPC'd out the situation and put back up for adoption.

    However on my other game which has no faceclaims is one account per person I've gone for a different strategum. On there if someone is in a thread that has suddenly gone quite I will quite happily enforce a random event happening. Whether its Local (one thread) or area wide (multiple threads) either way it can become a great way of writing certain characters as having 'deceased' in this event.
    Elena and Atticus like this.
  13. Etro

    Etro Newcomer

    I agree with a lot of these claims actually. For the roleplay I am currently developing I allow people to not actually immediately take upon an important role but to allow their characters to pushed themselves in that direction. This also allows me to see the dedication, activity and style of this person. If they do not follow up or have a lack of attention towards the RP when they're core roles, I am forced to make the decision of "putting the character down" (They suddenly fall ill and faint or something along the lines). Eventually with this I can at least manage some time, and keep the story going. When it is time to remove them completely from the picture, you will be able to either kill the character off.
    Elena, lyrebird and Atticus like this.
  14. Rowena Ravenclaw

    Rowena Ravenclaw Resident Game Owner

    I actually subscribe to a couple of these views, so I'll give you the reasons for them all.

    1. RP-ing is a hobby and one will post whenever feeling like posting. Nobody should be reminded about owing posts.
    I don't believe that RPing is more than a hobby and I don't think that people should be reminded about posts unless they are actively breaking activity rules. Yes, it can be frustrating for people in a multi-character thread who require the input of the other character, but if they're not responding there is no reason that you can't just skip them and NPC them for a time. If they don't like it then it's too bad, they were holding up the thread.

    2. A character should be sorted as inactive (or deleted, if the site doesn't use inactives), losing their position and face claim, if they don't post in one month (or miss an activity check).
    Our activity rules at Fractured are stricter than this; you must post once a week, after the second week without a post (so seven days after we've warned you of inactivity) you are deactivated. At the start of the following month, if you haven't made contact we delete you. All in all you get anywhere from 4-7 weeks to become active once more. I don't believe that people should be allowed to hoard positions and face claims if they're not active on site (and haven't warned of inactivity).

    3. If a character hasn't posted for a while, but he isn't involved in any ongoing thread (ie not actually owing posts/ blocking a thread) it is OK.
    No, it's not okay. If you're on a roleplaying forum you're here to roleplay, if you're not going to roleplay then go somewhere else because you're not contributing to the story or the community in any way. All characters who do not post on our forum, regardless of the roleplayer's activity, are removed from the forum to clear space in positions for those who are going to be active.

    4. If a character hasn't posted for a while, even if the writer is active with other characters, he loses the faceclaim and position if the character would have been needed in the story in some threads in the meanwhile, because he hadn;t done his duty in the story.
    If you are active as a roleplayer on Fractured with other characters, the characters you are not active with are still subject to the rules outlined in answer 2. There are times when I've deactivated and deleted a character of a perfectly active roleplayer, and we are transparent about that fact, especially since we give warnings a week before we deactivate. This is especially true for those who are an important part in any plot or thread.

    All in all, RPing is a hobby, yes, but it's also something you should be committed to. If you don't show up to sporting matches on a consistent basis should you expect the coach to keep you on the team? If you're the lead in a theatre production and you don't show up for rehearsals should they give you the spot on stage opening night? RPing is a hobby that requires just as much dedication as sports, and clubs, and other activities in the real world, and if you don't have the time to dedicate to it in your schedule, then it's probably not a hobby that you should be participating in. Different sites have different levels of activity requirements, which is always nice, but if you can't be active then with how our plot moves we're probably not a good fit for you.
    Death Kitten, Star Army and Elena like this.
  15. Jenn

    Jenn Newcomer

    I'm pretty devoted to RPing but I kind of get on kicks of things. For me I think it would be best to approach my RPing with "slow and steady wins the race" because I kind of go all in and eventually fade away. I think the right community would be very important in keeping me around. So, yeah, I don't really know- I've done so a lot of things, it really depends on the situation.
    lyrebird likes this.
  16. Baphomet

    Baphomet Newcomer

    I think that having some activity is important, but something as minimal as a post a week works for me. Some people just don't have the time to post every day with a character. So I think that as long as they meet that kind of activity, they're fine. But if they are obviously gone and just taking up space in my member list, I could see moving them to an inactive area or deleting the account (after they've been inactive for a good while).

    The only time I think activity is majorly important is if a character is a leader or otherwise important to site plot.
    Elena likes this.
  17. Anactoria

    Anactoria Newcomer Game Owner

    Number 3 is basically my stance. I care more about the activity of members as a whole than of characters. A lot of people, myself included, tend to have something of a rotating cast—at any given time, a couple characters will be their "main characters" while the others are temporarily on the backburner, waiting for a good opportunity to be brought out and bumped up to main status for a bit. I think this is perfectly natural. Not every character always has something to do.

    Really, the only time I have a problem with inactivity is when the member doesn't post with any of their characters, or has sidelined a character who is still in ongoing threads, especially if they're plot-heavy threads and not just fun slice-of-life type threads.

    I'm A-OK with reminding people they need to post if the thread is important and time-sensitive, but not to the point where it becomes nagging. There's no need to make a hobby any more stressful than it needs to be. That said, if someone is really dragging ass on replying in a plot-heavy thread, I have no problem with writing around them. You snooze, you lose, after a certain point.
    Elena likes this.
  18. Khaki

    Khaki Newcomer

    I'm definitely a #2 kinda person. I don't want inactive characters hanging around or making it look like we have more active members than we actually do.
  19. slytherinwitch

    slytherinwitch Newcomer

    I liked it when people took on only what they could actually handle within a reasonable amount of time. Some players. who knew their time was limited, would make sure their characters were on the sidelines or otherwise not needed for major game-wide plots that involved the characters of many other players. Others were not so considerate. Waiting for them to reappear was one of the major contributing factors to my last game going defunct. The fact that several people did this repeatedly, irks me to no end. In those cases, I can totally see booting people a lot sooner.
    Elena and Death Kitten like this.
  20. Star Army

    Star Army Resident Game Owner

    Consider the following:

    Question: 5 players are in an RP. Each player waits until the other 4 players have a chance to post before posting again. What is the limit on the speed of the RP posts?

    Answer: The RP can only go as fast as the slowest-posting player. In fact if one player disappears, the whole thread could be frozen forever, unless the group decides to go on without the missing person.

    This is why RPs on my site are required to have some sort of activity guidelines. You can make you RP fast. You can make your RP more casual. But whatever you do, your players need clear communication on what is expected of them. In advance.

    The reason my current RP plot is still running after 8 years is because it keeps moving no matter what. If a player can't meet the posting guidelines, and there's no explanation (e.g. taking a leave of absense for life events), I'm not going to wait forever. I'll push the inactive character out of the way (whether that means writing them out, reassigning them, or violently killing them off) and keep posting for the people that are active. Don't introduce uncertainty for the players about whether your RP will or will not continue.
    Elena and Death Kitten like this.
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