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PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 12:29 am 
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Okay... the title of this thread really should be something else. Like "How can we meet new players' needs while the GoG is on hiatus?". Because that is really where we're at.

:!: Option 1 is a clear non-option. While theoretically all guilds exist to serve the public, it's fair (if distasteful) to posit that what happens to the GoG will be decided by members of the GoG (and that is still technically true even if it is decided by only a tiny number of GoG members, or even just one). Though I have a message to all guilds, below, about that sort of thinking.

:!: Option 2 is up to members of the GoG to engage in at their own risk, within their own circle(s)... and talking about the issue outside of the GoG means you've already abandoned this option.

:!: Option 3, of the offered options, is the only viable course of action for the community-at-large as well as greeters who feel their concerns have fallen upon deaf ears.

As for Nyrphame's thoughts, I have a few thoughts, for all to consider.

First, clearly there is a strong, unhappy response - whether from few or many - at the GoG's "hiatus." People do not react strongly to an announcement like that unless it is important to them! Where the GoG may feel they are not so important anymore, it is clear that not everyone agrees. I think most groups would be honored to see such an outcry if they said they were suspending their operation - it really validates their existence and what they do.

Second, and this is my opinion - I really do believe the guilds exist to serve the community, but I understand why that creates a sort of conflict for each guild. The guilds are all made of volunteers - nobody is getting paid to run them and they cost money, paid out of the volunteers' pockets. So it's hard to accept, within a guild, being bossed around by those who aren't in the guild or even those in the guild who are less invested in the operation. What the guilds do is in a way defined by a balance of both their own interests and desires AND by what the community asks of them. That said... I really don't care what your structure is, but when you have reached a point where what the community expects of you is in direct conflict with your goals, it's time to let someone else do the job. It is NOT the prerogative of the Guild of Greeters (or any of Uru's guilds) to go on hiatus if there are ANY volunteers willing and able to keep the guild running and active. Anyone who disagrees with this should not be running a guild. Strong words I know, but I stand by them.

Third, tanshin already mentioned this, but Veralun's update in the locked thread has given the green light (with conditions) for this discussion. I wanted to add that I accept that Nyrphame may not have noticed that change, and I can't blame her for what she said about it. If the policy hadn't been updated, I woudn't be adding my voice here now.

Edit Since everyone's throwing in disclaimers - the opinions I've expressed here are my own. I am not affiliated with the Guild of Greeters, but I am presently a member of the Guild of Messengers and am a former Guild Master of that group.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 12:42 am 
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Nyrphame wrote:
Sadly, Cyan's request that we take it back home has not been honored here. I have watched this "discussion" now without comment if only to honor that request myself, but I am now so truly disappointed that some of my favourite people people who I have grown to respect a great deal and even in my own way, in the way of gamers with gamers, love, are now engaged here like this.


The Mods here said that another topic can be opened if people want to discuss it nicely, so far the discussion has been rather civil and I hope it remains such.


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I just see all these geat people just going down such a nasty little narrow path, It saddens me to no end.

I will not be coming back to this game, or these forums, or this community.

Ever,

last squish to all
nerfy


You do what you have to do, sometimes stepping back is something people need to do, I've had to do it myself.

However, there have been critical comments made about the GoG for years, and some of them down right nasty. Most of the time they go unheard through backroom channels, the difference is that more people are being open about it and are wanting to seek change.

I fail to see how that is a dark path if it means the betterment of a greater community experience. Sure things could stay the way they are (and are likely too in my opinion given how certain elements are), greeters could have a diminished presence in the cavern, new members can continue to be shut out and those sat up on their high chairs can continue to lord over what they have.

Or we could open the group up, have new members, new people in the cavern greeting in new places, have more involvement with the community in the GoG mechanics, try and throw off the air of elitism and stagnation that is seemingly rife within the GoG.

I ask you, which is better for the greater community?

Sometimes you have to adapt to the changing times otherwise you get left behind.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 12:53 am 
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Marten wrote:
That said... I really don't care what your structure is, but when you have reached a point where what the community expects of you is in direct conflict with your goals, it's time to let someone else do the job. .

So if the community does not like the way I play the game, I should change just to suit them? Oh, yeah that's fair
Marten wrote:
It is NOT the prerogative of the Guild of Greeters (or any of Uru's guilds) to go on hiatus if there are ANY volunteers willing and able to keep the guild running and active. Anyone who disagrees with this should not be running a guild. Strong words I know, but I stand by them.

What has the hiatus (alleged) of the internal workings of the guild have to do with Greeters greeting? I am unaware of ANY official announcement within the guild to pull up stakes and quit greeting.

Are there any FACTS other than conjecture and supposition for all this discussion?


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 1:17 am 
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johnsojc wrote:
Marten wrote:
That said... I really don't care what your structure is, but when you have reached a point where what the community expects of you is in direct conflict with your goals, it's time to let someone else do the job. .

So if the community does not like the way I play the game, I should change just to suit them? Oh, yeah that's fair


There is a large difference between how one plays the game and how one acts as a member of a group that has been placed at the forefront of new players interactions. As a greeter one doesn't just help new players one introduces them to the larger community, you are representatives of said community thus behavior should be attuned accordingly. When ones behavior, be it a single person or (in this case) the guild falls counter to that then people are going to call it into question.

It can be handled two ways, one can listen to the comments and criticisms and seek to change and improve, or one can ignore it.

It is worth highlighting, however, that whilst people have a problem with how the Guild works currently, that no one is denying the pluses to the help you (the greeters) have given to new players.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 1:21 am 
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/me would like to take this time to remind everyone that civil conversations should be in order lest the topic be locked again. Some of the recent comments have been a little "harsh" so to speak.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 1:36 am 
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Seem to be just a handful of the disenchanted that are...well, disenchanted... I, for one enjoy a bit of banter..but not if it is meant to spit in ones' eye..so to speak..

I just thought of a new Avvie name...GeezLoueze..Im goin' in...See ya there...

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 1:54 am 
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johnsojc wrote:
So if the community does not like the way I play the game, I should change just to suit them? Oh, yeah that's fair


I have erred and you have caught me. I should have started with, "Of the guilds that were chartered to serve the community, I really do believe the guilds exist to serve that community." I sometimes forget that there are guilds that exist more to serve themselves than anyone else. And that's ok. It's really all about "Do you do what you've told everyone you exist to do?" because if you don't, that's kind of dishonest.

We know the Greeters exist to serve, and there is a divide between expectations and performance. It would be completely unfair to complain if the GoG were accepting new members and this divide existed because there were more people making crazy demands than people willing to help. But the GoG is not accepting new members... that really complicates things.

johnsojc wrote:
What has the hiatus (alleged) of the internal workings of the guild have to do with Greeters greeting? I am unaware of ANY official announcement within the guild to pull up stakes and quit greeting.

Are there any FACTS other than conjecture and supposition for all this discussion?


I felt the facts were already stated, so for brevity I moved on to my opinion.

Here are some facts.

First, the Greeters do more than just greeting. They have an excellent website, which serves as a resource for new players as well as providing another community hub with the forums. Though the lack of new content means that most of this resource is static, that doesn't mean it doesn't need maintenance. Things get broken ( http://guildofgreeters.com/ produces a blank page rather than forwarding to http://www.guildofgreeters.com/ ); new FAQs occasionally come up as new players find new questions to ask; and issues such as being unable to collect one of the sparks/flames are not reflected in their information.

Second, while greeting continues, there's not as much of it happening as some would like.

Regarding the "hiatus" - you are correct, there wasn't an official announcement, as Nyrphy noted above. But the hiatus is not alleged when multiple Greeters have indicated that specific word was used - even as only an acknowledgment of the status quo.

Once the word "hiatus" was employed in the discussion, some people voiced that they wanted more activity out of the GoG, not less nor the status quo. That desire met resistance. The discussion spilled over to these forums when Nyrphame brought it here.

If any of the above is in dispute and I have erred again, I welcome corrections.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 5:34 am 
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Hi gang,

I find myself wondering at the end of the long posts what the posters view point is (know what I mean?).

Some of my thoughts:

1. Hiatus: What I have always said is that I can understand why some Greeters have lost interest due to the relative emptiness of the Cavern. There is no hiatus, just a loss of energy in a mostly empty Cavern. I would like to see what happens if we have some more in-game Greeters (many Greeters contribute out-of-game).

2. That being said, if there are other potential Greeters that would like to give their energies to help the Guild, that seems like a good thing. I don't expect them to have any more energy than the current Greeters (after a month or two), but let's see.

So, my hope would be that we can open it up and see who is interested in becoming a Greeter, and let's see how it goes. We can still use the existing process to qualify them.

Again, I am in every night, and I am a Greeter.

Cheers,

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 8:12 am 
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The GoG’s logos and other art may be copyrighted by Cyan or someone in the GoG, I don’t know. The GM may have signed a NDA or FCAL and still be bound. Most Cyan agreements have non-disclosure clauses that make it impossible to discuss things or even the existence of an agreement. GoG is Ubosoft era and they may be involved. Does anyone actually KNOW what the situation is?

While the name Guild of Greeters can be copyrighted, it cannot be trademarked. Other games have guilds. I doubt an effort to have exclusive use of the name would stand up in court. Celestial Bridge had a http://www.celestialbridge.net/fogel/randomiaq.txt]Greeters Guild… However, Google returns 27,000 hits on GoG, all of but 50 or so are about Cyan’s GoG. So, the lawyers would have a hay day. But, Tweek is right that it is irrelevant to what people want to do.

Trinity Church Boston wrote:
One manifestation of this commitment, partially inspired by […]Class for newcomers exploring membership […]asking all of us at Trinity to go much farther, to make welcome and hospitality the work of every one of us, not just the clergy, ushers, or a guild of greeters. We imagine a Trinity where every single member could tell a visitor […] wondering how to get more deeply involved in our life: “Here’s how, and here’s whom to contact.” We imagine […] each of us would believe: “Welcome here begins with me.” (http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cac ... 3NgWyutWOg]reference)



The Trinity Church document on page 4 well sets forth the ideas of everyone participating in creating a warm greeting. I think that is the whole point here.

As to democratic selection of a new leader… that seems like a repetition of a mistake. Democracies that elect single leaders usually see them turn into dictatorships. A coalition of free people or anything that can avoid vesting power in a single individual or small group has got to be a better solution.

Tanshin, asked the question of whether we need the greeters. I’ll point out that Second Life very much has a player retention problem (95+% of the 10k per day do not return) and has tried several greeter schemes to handle new player orientation. Several academics have studied SL to figure out what people do and how they interact socially. Linden Lab has experimented with many of those ideas. They have detailed stats to study from the last 7 or 8 years. They have stats we don’t have. So, while we can’t know that Uru is the same, I suggest people are people.

The non-intuitive answer coming out of all the study and stats is; greeters do not work.SL tried paid employees, company trained and overseen volunteers, volunteer organizations, private organizations, and on and on. The stats consistently show the highest retention rate is with players that have no contact with greeters… those dumped into the fun part of the environment with other players… untrained, no company supervision… just turn them loose in an auspicious place. Those are the ones most likely to stay.

Without stats we cannot know what works in Uru. Greeters may help, hurt, or have no effect on retention. We don’t know. Of the 400 to 600 people signing up, how many are spammers, 10% or 90%? How many meet a greeter? How many of those are returning? How many are not? Without numbers how do we know which is better?

Geert, explains some the scenario of the early days. Geert omits the point that MMOG’s were still very new in 2003 and most new players were playing their first MMOG. Some type of trainer was needed and the GoG filled the role. Things have very much changed.

As to available information… everything one needs to know is in this forum… just try and find it if you are new. We have some great FAQ’s sites, a manual, and lots of helpful stuff. It would be great if the web site part of MOUL had a link to the PDF manual, and other key pieces of information under a help button.

Martin eloquently points out the importance of and interest in the GoG. I also understand another of his points about ‘the guilds exist to serve the community’. I see that from another point of view where I think that phrasing, which while accurate, hides the nature of guilds.

People often get far too lost in altruistic ideals and fail to understand actual human nature and fit their plans to it. And in failing to do that their efforts to serve the community fail. Guilds DO NOT exist to serve the community. They exist because people want to help other people. A guild, organization, allows them to do that more efficiently. That may too subtle for some. I know of no guild that exists to meet its own ends and serve itself.

It is part of the nature of people to help others. They appear in every gaming community, RL communities and every nook and cranny of human endeavor. I enjoy helping others with Uru, SL, making 3D models … I’m not interested in running a guild or setting up a bureaucratic structure or having to conform to someone’s idea of how I should do that. I appreciate information from others with experience in the things I am interested in. We all participate because we get something that meets some need we have; a need for escape, entertainment, a hobby, social interaction, creative outlet…

Johnsojc’s idea that he would have to, as in be forced to, change to suite someone else misses the point. Martin’s guilds are serving because they want to be of service. If one wants to help... the point is to provide the help needed/wanted by others in a useful way to them. If they tell you it isn’t working you can only meet YOUR goal by changing. Failure to change is then self defeating.

Tweek, brings up the point of being a representative of the game and/or community. I agree that if someone wants to represent something or someone they have duties and obligations. I think that is the issue that Ubi/Cyan and Linden Lab had when they created volunteer ‘helpers’ and tried to control them. All that can be avoided by NOT having representatives. Let people represent their self.

Dadguy, makes the point… if people want to greet and help others… let them. I say they don’t really need anyone’s permission. As Larry said, “Getter done!”

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 8:32 am 
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dadguy wrote:
There is no hiatus, just a loss of energy in a mostly empty Cavern.


I think we need to draw a distinction between the Greeters and Guild. The Guild is on hiatus, not the Greeters.

I think we also need to qualify statements like "mostly empty Cavern". Define mostly empty? It can't be done without using specific numbers OR a comparison. "Mostly empty Cavern [compared to MO:UL GT]" I think works well and is accurate.

But, I could easily as say "Quite full cavern compared to 6 months ago" and I'd also be right. One of the side-effects of having OHBot running is that I can see his screen. It's 3 to the left of the one I'm typing on now. For about 11 months now I've glanced over at it probably at least once every 5 minutes. Something moves on the screen in my peripheral vision...and when I glance over I can see the size of his buddy list. Anyone that's every spoken to him is on there. Almost 2000 avatars. Over that time it's provided my a sense of cavern population. It's not scientifically accurate or anything, but it's the trends over time that I've observed. This time 6 months ago it would be normal to see 4 or 5 buddies online. Right now it's 14...which is about right for this time of night these days.


@Nalates, what do you think about the way There.com handled things with the Island Guild program? I was an Island Guide there and I thought it was great. For those that don't know it, basically anyone could apply, if you met the basic criteria you got in. You attended two 1.5 hour training sessions, and that was it. Now, in that system, you /had/ to do 8 hours a month IIRC. But basically you were given a list of do's and don'ts and that was it. And, if you didn't meet your requirements after 2 months you were out. But you could come back at anytime. I'm not saying that system would work here, but it was a interesting system and I thought it worked well while remaining open to everyone.

@nerfy, if you are indeed going I know I won't be the only one sad to see you go. I think I speak on behalf of a great number of people in saying 'Thank you' for years of service to this community.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 9:42 am 
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Ok, I've taken the time to read this topic and I want to respond. As a very new player I'm in a good position to let you know what new players actually experience. Some part of that I did in the last topic, I'd like to add to it. I will not name people.

As I stated in the other post I found my way using the forums, google and random friendly explorers. Because I was enthusiastic about the GoG I kept returning to the GoG bevin to "Greet a Greeter" and be greeted in return. I've been doing this almost every day for more than two weeks, and yesterday I succeeded. I Greeted the Greeter present and got an 'Hello' back (I have Luna(nne) as my witness). However, I'd been there chatting to people for a long time before, and I stayed a long time after, and the greeter in question only once said this "Hello", and didn't react to any other comments, questions or pokes. He also suddenly left without a word.

Now I don't mean to talk the GoG down, honestly, I'd never take up the job of standing for hours waiting for newbies who aren't coming. I respect the Greeters that take the trouble to be there all the time. However, being there and not answering doesn't really help. Even though I didn't actually have a question, just my weird little goal to complete. I didn't mind, but imagine a newbie completely lost, trying to find help in the bevin the internet says it can be found, talking to a greeter for 30 minutes who doesn't respond once. It might seem like the community is dead. While if you go to Ae'Gura, there's always a quick and friendly reply, what ever the time of day.

The last thing I want to say is: why so serious? I found my own way, and I'm loving URU. People that don't stick around probably just aren't that interested. Why try to keep people who don't want to be there? Those who want to be there will find the way in any case, because they will invest in finding answers to their questions themselves. The GoG website was very helpful, as were a lot of other websites. Also, trial and error gets you there. Myst players like puzzles, why not view entering the cavern as a sort of puzzle? I know I did :). Like Nyrphame said: it's a game. Let enjoy it and stop talking about it as if it's a secret government agency. Players find their help, why bicker over where they find it, how they should find it, who provides it, or other instances of "how-it-should-be"?

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 1:42 pm 
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Nalates wrote:
Does anyone actually KNOW what the situation is?


How could we? Those of us on the outside don't know what it takes to run a Guild.

I think the term "Guilds exist to serve the community" is largely dependent on the Guild in question. In the case of the GoG it applies. The Guild is there to help the new players; the new players are the community (or will be if you want to get technical). Whereas in a Guild like the Writers it is more blurred. One could argue that they should be making tools and Ages for the community, but some people there probably feel like they are working on them for themselves.

I would say that the Guild of Messengers would be another one that would fall under the "serve the community" ideology as well due to the nature of their work.


Last edited by Tweek on Thu Feb 17, 2011 2:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 2:19 pm 
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Great posts, everyone! I appreciate your participation in this very civil discussion. Just a little warning, though: I'm afraid this thread is in danger of straying back to the topic of who's responsible for player rentention and assisting newcomers. I believe that's already been answered: everyone, not just Greeters. And, with that answer, this thread was created to address what that means for the Guild of Greeters now. Is the GoG still relative; what can it do to remain viable, etc? So, I ask that everyone please re-read the original post before posting - even if you already have, rather than just reacting to the latest postings. Thanks!


Tweek wrote:
I think the term "Guilds exist to serve the community" is largely dependent on the Guild in question.

IMO, guilds exist to support their members whatever their mission may be. The Guild of Messengers doesn't report the news; rather it's the Messengers in the guild that report the news and the guild structure supports their efforts and makes it possible for them to perform their service for the community. As OHB noted, Greeters aren't on hiatus, just the guild that supports them, and therein lies much of the basis for these discussions.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 2:39 pm 
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Tai'lahr wrote:
As OHB noted, Greeters aren't on hiatus, just the guild that supports them, and therein lies much of the basis for these discussions.


I think that brings up a very good point there as well. I know I often say "Greeters" and refer to the GoG, while sometimes I'll say GoG or Greeters to refer to the people. So perhaps we need to set some specific definitions for this discussion to avoid any misunderstandings?

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 2:52 pm 
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tanshin wrote:
Tai'lahr wrote:
As OHB noted, Greeters aren't on hiatus, just the guild that supports them, and therein lies much of the basis for these discussions.


I think that brings up a very good point there as well. I know I often say "Greeters" and refer to the GoG, while sometimes I'll say GoG or Greeters to refer to the people. So perhaps we need to set some specific definitions for this discussion to avoid any misunderstandings?


Well for those of us who were around in GT and before, saying "Greeters" /did/ mean the Guild as well. But that isn't the case. I think we should just pay special attention to our choice of words. This thread is about the Guild, not the Greeters. So any posts should be in reference to specifically the Guild only.

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