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PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 11:08 pm 
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Yeh, interesting.

I haven't weighed in here for ages and ages, preferring a below-the-line profile where cyclones, hurricanes, volcanoes, and other natural disasters don't register, but as this has come up over at the Guild I happen to know and love and which has been much bashed here on mystonline, I think it might be time to speak up.

This is the question: WHERE ARE ALL THESE PEOPLE???

Ambient blame keeps trying to find the Greeters, as if this group were somehow singly responsible for the fact that these 400 a week don't seem to stick around, Please. Try to find them. I have. I can't. Can you?

So... I love that we have hit 50,000 as some sort of symbolic victory, but at the same time I think we need to stay realistic about these players. Is it really the fault of the Greeters that these 400 fabulous newcomers don't stick around for very long? Is it? Really? Would a Greeter a day keep the meter in play?

I think the Greeter argument is the ultimate Strawman. My opinon is this: instancing and the peculiar start of the journey in the current incarnation of Uru actually directs new players AWAY from the common areas, so that a natural, organic journey will be mainly performed alone. I have played URU for so long and in so many ways that I am no longer the person to prove that, but my instinct tells me this is so. Myst players, the largest demographic that might be drawn to Uru, are zenlike loners who want the solo experience and likely fear social encounters rather than seek them out. Marry that to a game design that gives the option of lone instances and you have a game made for the solo player, albeit online.

There are never thousands of players clogging up the common areas. Never. And there should be, if there are 1200 newbies, on average, a month.

Now, tell me that Greeters, who by rights would hang out in their pubic hood, or helpfully go proactively to newly created public DRC bevins, or maybe in a pinch see if someone needs help in the public city areas are really the key issue here as to why these players are not being retained.

There is a Greeter hiatus. That is true. We can all agree that isn't helping but I don't think ANYONE can really say with any certainty that it is hurting. So, can we stop saying that? The Greeters are chillin' because it takes a lot of time, energy and organisation to put forth a full roster, and the current level of INTERACTIVE newcomers simply doesn't warrant that. Moreover, the newcomers who do make it into the communal areas are really well taken care of by non Greeters who also happen to love the game and want to help, a position the Greeters has always been in support of, by the way.

It would be a really nice start if we were to stop bashing the Greeters on these forums, as far as interguild communications are concerned. And also that might help us all see where the real problem of player retention might be coming from.

All the best
nerfy

many apologies if I took this off topic, but as I see it these statistics support my point of view. Squish.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 1:10 am 
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and I was supposed to get update noticies of this thread too...

Nyrph, I'm right there with you with what you say. ... except: Have you hugged an Ethan today...?

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 1:40 am 
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How on earth could I have neglected to do that! SQUEEEEEEEEEEESH!

nerfy

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 11:25 am 
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Nyrphame wrote:
Ambient blame keeps trying to find the Greeters, as if this group were somehow singly responsible for the fact that these 400 a week don't seem to stick around...We can all agree that isn't helping but I don't think ANYONE can really say with any certainty that it is hurting. So, can we stop saying that?


[Disclaimer: Nyrphame is one of the appointed Guild Masters of the Guild of Greeters, and I am a Greeter]

I'm not sure where you're getting your information from, but I'm not aware of anyone who is saying the Greeters are "somehow singly responsible" for players not sticking around.

You're right that we can't know for sure that it is hurting, but as you point out, and I agree, it isn't helping. Now, if the Greeters weren't on "hiatus", would it help? Likewise, we don't know for sure. What we do know is that the Greeters who are in the cavern, despite the GoG being on "hiatus," have had an impact. I believe that with the support of their Guild that impact would be increased. But it is impossible for either of our theories to be proven without an experiment.

So let's assume for a moment that you're right: that 400 new active accounts per week isn't enough to get the Guild off of "hiatus". What then is the number that would be required? It is logically impossible to say that 400 isn't enough without saying a number that would be enough. So, what is that number? 500? 750? 1000? 5000?

No one would disagree with you that MO:UL can be hard to navigate for new-comers. There are certainly known issues from a game-design perspective that should addressed one day, but those issues exist now like they did during the GameTap days. Nothing has changed. If those problems weren't a barrier to the GoG being successful back then, why do you think it would be a barrier now?

Your entire premise is based on the notion that the GoG is in no way responsible for player retention. And I'm not saying that it is. But to imply that it's an impossibility is short-sighted at best. I want to look at every avenue for player retention because I love this game. I'm sure you do too.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 1:21 pm 
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Thank you for making my point so brillliantly. The GoG has not now, nor ever has had, a responsibilty to retain players in any form or version of this game. That is, was, and always has been the resonsibility of Cyan, in the main. The GoG's very simple mandate has been to help newcomers who want that initial help so they can go off and enjoy the rest of the game and the community. It is about entree into the game; that's all. I would argue that if anything player retention rests with the other guilds who form the matrix of the community the player will encounter AFTER their initial entree. GoMe is a fine example of this principle at work. (Once a player has been launched into the game, how do we continue, as a community, to communicate with them effectively?). That is why Cyan set up partitioned areas of responsibility as manifested by the individual Guilds in the first place, surely.

Whether or not Greeting works as it should depends on newcomers being able to find their way to the Greeters or the Greeters finding their way to them. Over the years, the ease with which that happened changed as the mechanics, venue and tenor of the game changed.

Things have worked differently in other iterations of the game. A Beginner's Bevin was one way to counteract the impact of those changes that were put in place in the GameTap days. Syphoning Visitors directly into the GoG hood was another. I think I have already outlined the difficulties that currently exist, but, yes, things are NOT THE SAME now. I am sorry we are not on the same page here and I am saddened that you took my reasoned plea to stop bashing the GoG as an invitiation to bash it some more instead. Isn't this a bit like shooting yourself in the foot?

What I would like you, and others, to consider, is this further question: Is this prevailing, pervasive and chronically negative attitude toward the GoG the effect, or instead the cause, of a declining and demoralised Guild? Now, that's an important question if ever there was one.

And again, I am sorry as this has now defintiely derailed this topic - my original purpose was directly connected to interpretation of the statistics earlier posted.

nerfy

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 2:18 pm 
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Nyrphame wrote:
Thank you for making my point so brillliantly. The GoG has not now, nor ever has had, a responsibilty to retain players in any form or version of this game.

That was not the point I made. I did not say that the GoG has the responsibility to retain players. None of us do. But whether or not we have the responsibility has no bearing on whether we are possibly responsible or not.

For example, let's say we (as the people who play MO:UL) decided that noobs are evil and must be purged. So, every time we need a noob, we will attack. Consequently, no new players ever decide to stay. Yes, this is a silly blown-up example, but hopefully it's a simple enough illustration. In this scenario, we would ALL be responsible for people not staying. Yet none us of have been given the responsibility.

There are two choices. Either Cyan is the only one responsible for player retention, or we all are. For me, Cyan doesn't need to say "OHB, I'd appreciate it if you'd help with player retention." My attitude is "this is the game I love, I want to share it with anyone and I'm gonna do my best to see it succeed because I believe it can."

Nyrphame wrote:
The GoG's very simple mandate has been to help newcomers who want that initial help so they can go off and enjoy the rest of the game and the community.

If I point out that the GoG isn't currently following that mandate you'll jump on me. So I won't mention it.

Nyrphame wrote:
Whether or not Greeting works as it should depends on newcomers being able to find their way to the Greeters or the Greeters finding their way to them.

If I point out that there aren't enough Greeters to be found or to find newcomers you'll jump on me. So I won't mention that either.

Nyrphame wrote:
Things have worked differently in other iterations of the game. A Beginner's Bevin was one way to counteract the impact of those changes that were put in place in the GameTap days. Syphoning Visitors directly into the GoG hood was another.

Agreed 100%. And I'd love to see those done again. It's not going to happen right now so we need a work-around.

Nyrphame wrote:
...I am saddened that you took my reasoned plea to stop bashing the GoG as an invitiation to bash it some more instead. Isn't this a bit like shooting yourself in the foot?

I wasn't bashing the Guild. I was bashing what YOU wrote.

Nyrphame wrote:
Is this prevailing, pervasive and chronically negative attitude toward the GoG the effect, or instead the cause, of a declining and demoralised Guild?

That's an interesting question. It's somewhat chicken and the egg...which came first? Are people negative towards the GoG because it declined? Or did it decline because people were negative?

I think they way you put that raises an interesting point that I hadn't considered. No matter what the answer to the question, there are two constants:

1. There is a prevailing, persuasive and chronically negative attitude towards to GoG
2. The Guild is declining and demoralized.

I'm not sure I have an answer about which caused the other. [Perhaps we should have a poll?] But in one sense, it doesn't matter which was the cause. I would argue that something needs to happen to fix both any way you look at it.

Nyrphame wrote:
And again, I am sorry as this has now defintiely derailed this topic - my original purpose was directly connected to interpretation of the statistics earlier posted.

As am I, however you bring up some interesting points that I feel need debated. I have already asked for the topic to be split and our posts moved to a new thread.


Edit: fix typo

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 3:21 pm 
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Split away, but I am not going to discuss these points or any others directly with you on this forum, as you and I have our own entire website where such discussions can be shared across the entire GoG membership, a place, incidentally, where your views as a fellow Greeter will have the best chance of becoming actionable. As well, my invitiation to discuss them directly with me if you wish, issed on those forums and yet to be taken up, still stands.

I have made my case and my point and I shall now disappear back below the fold here where I am happiest and possibly most valuable.

squish

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 3:40 pm 
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I didn't want to participate in this discussion, bashing the GoG is not something I want, I want to see it moving and working in harmony with the rest of the community.

But this point made by Nyrphame made me think:
Quote:
Is this prevailing, pervasive and chronically negative attitude toward the GoG the effect, or instead the cause, of a declining and demoralised Guild?

Having a declining a demoralized Guild is one of the worst things, except for not having it at all. It is my belief that that is exactly the most important job of the Guild Masters, trying to keep the Guild alive and not demoralized, using all the tricks and opportunities they can find to bring it back to life when it is sleeping, because the more the group falls asleep the more it will be difficult to get it working again.
So a GM should use every possible way he can, because it is really the biggest responsibility of a GM, to me.
Then it's up to the single GM to find the way. When there was no Uru, I kept on pushing the Newspaper Team not to let go, and keep publishing the Newspaper. It worked for a bit then we really had to suspend it. But I kept working to make it seem the guild was still active both from the outside and from the inside, keeping on updating the website software, keeping the frontpage full of News and sometimes posting on the forums.
Then Uru came back and we rapidly took the opportunity given for making the Guild active once again for real, riding the wave of excitement for recruiting new people and taking up services that were on hold, so the Guild came back to life. And from then everyday we keep our eyes on the Guild to find more ways to keep it going, forging new links with other people and groups to keep the Messengers interested in the Guild and the explorers interested in using our services (or recruiting them) so the Messengers will be more motivated to stay with the Guild.
This is what I think the GoG is missing for now. I don't know your reasons to be on hiatus, but a Guild Master should always push for it's Guild to be active, have fresh air flowing and working against the reasons that put it on hiatus.
This is not meant to be an attack on the GoG or the current GMs, it's my view of the real meaning of being a GM, or however a leader of a group, and I wish the current GMs of the GoG will share this view to bring it back to its former glory and out of the current negative thoughts.
You can't just say "stop attacking me" and at the same time keep maintaining the source of the attacks, a wise GM will understand that if the people are heavily attacking his Guild, it's because the Guild is very important to them, but they are seeing it declining/going in the wrong direction and it feels wrong to them. And from the feelings of the people the Guild serves (and he always remembers that! The Guild serves the population), the GM can understand if the current direction of the Guild is correct or should be changed and he will change it without the fear to admit it was a wrong direction.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 4:07 pm 
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Nyrphame wrote:
I am not going to discuss these points or any others directly with you on this forum, as you and I have our own entire website where such discussions can be shared across the entire GoG membership, a place, incidentally, where your views as a fellow Greeter will have the best chance of becoming actionable.


Um...you started the discussion in this thread. Moving the discussion to the GoG forum you suggest makes it private and secret. These discussions are for everyone...not just Greeters. As Leonardo pointed out, we serve the community. I think it's only fair that we accept praise and/or criticism from everyone.

Feel free to leave the discussion you started, but I suspect it will continue without you.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 4:40 pm 
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OK, maybe I should contribute with my experience as a newby. Keep in mind that I do not wish to judge anyone, bash anyone or actually take a stance in this discussion, as I do not feel I've been around long enough to do so.

When I first entered MOUL I was pretty much lost, and thus started linking around like a maniac, trying to find somebody, anybody at all. Since this or the classroom gave rise to more questions then answers, and I couldn't find any way to the public areas an thus people who could help me I searched online for some information on KIs, public instances, sharing of ages etc etc etc. I also read about the GoG. As soon as I was able to go to the nexus and thus the public instances of the city, everybody was very warm and welcoming, explaining things, and offering help without me even asking. I only went to the GoG bevin some days later when I acidentally discovered it's existence. I've been there a few times now, sometimes finding no one, sometimes one person, sometimes a group of persons. Anybody who speaks back to me says they're filling in for greeters. I've been trying to "Greet a Greeter" since I got there, because I thought it would be a funny achievement, but I haven't ben able to talk to a real greeter yet, unless I now do injustice to those people who told me they were filling in.

My point here being: I found my way, everybody helped me, and everyone was super nice. This leads me to the question if an official GoG is even necessary, since most explorers seem more than willing to take on that role when there is cause to do so.

Again, I don't want to bash anybody, just share my experience, since you are talking about retaining newbies like me, an inside perspective can't hurt :).

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 5:08 pm 
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Narameh wrote:
My point here being: I found my way, everybody helped me, and everyone was super nice. This leads me to the question if an official GoG is even necessary, since most explorers seem more than willing to take on that role when there is cause to do so.


I think the whole bone of contention is that a group a long time ago took it upon themselves to be Greeters and help new players. Now that is very admirable and should never be criticised or discouraged, however, we are talking about now. Now it is often the case that new players hear about the Guild Of Greeters and what they are there for. They find their way to the Guild Of Greeters Bevin because they have questions ... only to discover the one thing missing is an actual Greeter. Yes there are those who support greeters, and yes they are very capable of helping new players, and again that should be encouraged, but when a group claims to be there to help new players, and yet cannot be found, should they be suprised at the criticism?

Look at it like this, If you were having an operation in hospital, would you rather the doctor operated on you or the friends of the hospital? If you think that sounds ridiculous, bear in mind that is what has been said above "since most explorers seem more than willing to take on that role" = if no greeters can be found, someone else will have to do.

I'm sorry if my opinion seems over the top, but if you set yourself up to help new players, then at least be there. According to the Guild Of Greeters website there are 107 Greeters (yes I counted them all) yet only 1 or 2 available at any given time.
That (IMO) is why people complain.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 5:16 pm 
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Narameh brings up an interesting point: if a newbie can't even find the GoG, how can they possibly get any help from it?

The problem may not even be at the Guilds' end - it's the way Uru is set up. At the present, when you link to Bevin from Relto for the first time, you get (what seems like) a random DRC Bevin. Perhaps Cyan should set it up so that GoG (or better yet, A Beginner's Bevin) is the default Bevin/Neighborhood.

How can we help newbies if they can't find us and we can't find them?

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 5:40 pm 
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AlienND wrote:
...a group a long time ago took it upon themselves to be Greeters and help new players.

I wouldn't presume to speak to the rest, but that's not the history of the Guild of Greeters. If I recall correctly, The Guild was started with guidance from Cyan Worlds and sanctioned by Cyan Worlds. It is the only Guild to have that pedigree and an official presence in the game.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 5:49 pm 
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JWPlatt wrote:
AlienND wrote:
...a group a long time ago took it upon themselves to be Greeters and help new players.

I wouldn't presume to speak to the rest, but that's not the history of the Guild of Greeters. If I recall correctly, The Guild was started with guidance from Cyan Worlds and sanctioned by Cyan Worlds. It is the only Guild to have that pedigree and an official presence in the game.


Indeed. Although Narameh is new and didn't know that part of the history. The rest of the post is still valid, however.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 5:52 pm 
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For the record, I "greet" in the Guild of Greeters Hood every night, albeit late. I have been in the game every night except 4 nights since MOULagain started last Feb.

It has always been my belief that the Greeters lost energy because the game is in a static state with no new content. The vast majority of new players will either:

1. Take a look, and not return (what, no guns and swords?)
2. Take a look and play an Age or two, then not return.

A small percentage will play a lot and make some friends, but lose interest (i.e., no new content).

A smaller percentage sticks around longer, getting involved and making friends. I think it's the social aspect that keeps those folks around.

So, with no new content (and I mean new Ages and gameplay, not Bevin parties), most of the Greeters I have spoken with tell me that they came to the GoG Hood for "duty" and stood for two hours with no visitors. No fun in that. Last night I was in for an hour and had no visitors. All of us will scan the new Hoods for new players, and we also seek out explorers in the City.

Regarding new Greeters, I have suggested several interested explorers as potential Greeters in the past year.

Cheers to all. Enjoy the game!

Dadguy :-)

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