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Old February 8, 2017, 06:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Scroll Multiple Characters & Factions Changes

Hi folks!

This update is a two-for-one, with two site changes of particular importance:
  1. All players may now have two active characters without needing Companions status.
  2. The Guilds & Factions forum format has been changed.
Multiple Characters

Since the inception of the Circle of Companions donator program, the ability to have multiple characters has been tied to maintaining an active subscription to the Circle of Companions. While those not subscribing were limited to a single active character at a time, Companions could have a potentially unlimited number of characters active at once.

Today, we're changing this. Effective immediately, all players may now maintain and play two active characters without being a subscriber to the Circle of Companions.

All of the usual rules on avoiding interaction and interference between different characters of the same player remain in place.

Factions & Guilds Forum Revamped

The Guilds subforum (found under the Characters forum) has been changed. Previously it was a section housing entire subforums for individual factions, something that required a fair amount of administrator intervention to maintain properly.

Going forward, the Guilds subforum will be used to instead house single threads for each Guild or Faction, which can be created and maintained at their founder's leisure. The specific rules for that section are included in the header there.

As always, feedback and discussion on these changes can be discussed by replying here. I'll have some additional insight into these changes posted in reply shortly.

Thanks!
--Jacob
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Old February 8, 2017, 06:39 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Working my way backwards on rationales here:

The Guilds/Factions Changes

The changes to the Guilds section happened after many years of virtual disuse of the section, along with certain administrative headaches associated with the section. In particular, every time a new guild or faction wanted a playspace, they would need to get together enough people, petition in the Help Desk, and wait for admin to handle the request. Then, if something needed changing, it would again require admin intervention. This could end up annoying for everybody involved.

While giving folks entire subforums to play in is neat in concept, in execution it didn't generally see frequent use outside a single main thread in each subforum anyway. The most common additional use for Guilds subforums was for individuals to have what we would now classify as Personal Offices; since those have been implemented, the need to use Guilds for that has vanished.

Multiple Characters

This is something we've wanted to do for a long time. It's a quality of life thing to help out players, as there are simply times when writing for your one character stalls out for whatever reason. Having an additional character to play allows you to not find yourself stuck in a rut when these situations crop up.

Until now, this has been exclusively something donators could enjoy. We wanted to change that because donations shouldn't feel mandatory to feel comfortable playing the game. While further additional characters and custom avatars are still associated with donation to the site, we could at least help this far.

Other Stuff

Moranor has brought up two things I wanted to address at the same time as these changes, but didn't because I wanted the multiple character thing to not be held up any further. These are having forums for handling in-character newsletters/pamphlets/etc., and for handling in-character correspondence without needing to go on a forum-hunt for where to properly post it.

For IC news, the big thing I'm spinning wheels on is that in the wake of the destruction of the Herald presses in Medonia, I was looking to see if any player characters would be stepping into the news gap, justifying needing to do something about it. I'm not sure this niche has really been filled enough for me to take immediate action, but I could be wrong (please correct me), and I'd rather not have a fallow forum sitting there awaiting the day someone could finally use it.

On the correspondence front, I am looking for more feedback on how we should handle it. Should it be a sub-forum of its own? (Probably.) Is each individual letter then a thread, or so people set up IC "mailbox" threads where the correspondence rolls in? I'd like some additional feedback on this before going ahead with something, so feel free to reply here with it if you have some.

That's it for now, folks. Enjoy!

Thanks,
--Jacob
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Old February 9, 2017, 03:24 AM   #3 (permalink)
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It all sounds good to me!

For the mail, I'd have a single forum where people can post a letter as a new thread, and replies can be posted to it. Although it would also work if people made a 'mailbox' thread for their character and then linked it in their signature. *Is being indecisive*.

The former means that trails of letters and replies are kept together, the latter makes it easier to track all the mail sent to one PC. The former makes for more complete storytelling, the latter for better organisation. I'm leaning towards the former, but either would work.

I am all for everyone being allowed more than one character. Anything that increases the richness of the game. Can I ask though, for Companions, is it possible to have custom avatars on our Secondary Characters as well please?

*Goes to make Andares plottingness thread in the Guild section.*
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Old February 9, 2017, 10:20 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moranor Andares View Post
Can I ask though, for Companions, is it possible to have custom avatars on our Secondary Characters as well please?
This is something I can't implement in a way that's compatible with the Companions subscription itself. The forum software itself is ultimately too "dumb" to properly handle the permissions because it handles subscription functions in something of a vacuum. This kind of thing has its advantages -- we're severely limited on what personal information we have that isn't voluntarily shared, for example -- but it also has disadvantages, like if you have a recurring subscription set up you have to cancel it on the PayPal end and not through our site.

There's a technical plan for when we get to our future updates on how to address this in the future (short version: everybody will have a central "master account" with "sub-accounts" and, actually being associated together, we can do this sort of thing), but there's no timetable for implementation I can offer right now.

Keep the feedback coming, folks. =)

Thanks,
--Jacob
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Old February 9, 2017, 12:07 PM   #5 (permalink)

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I always enjoyed reading letter threads at physical locations. I don't think every PC would have a location to deliver a letter to. So not sure if a "mail" forum idea would work. As for the printing presses, I actually didn't realize they were obliterated. That's something the character might look more into, I will see how a thread goes! I liked the idea of a national print where players could spread rumors, etc. It have regularly driven plotlines and stories.
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Old February 9, 2017, 01:28 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Is there a formal set of rules for non-interaction between multiples somewhere? I can common sense most of it but I can also see places where over the long term characters "must" get pretty close to each other in some way, like that Xet war finale where there were multiple threads covering a single major event.
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Old February 9, 2017, 04:32 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Yes. The rule is zero interaction between your own characters (we recently called someone out on that one and they had a bit of a tantrum over basically self moderating themselves and inanely trying to play the hand of 'oh but I thought everyone knew I was doing that! Dumbass).

Zero benefits to your own characters transferred across.

It used to be a rule that you couldn't have your PC's within the same Province, but that was relaxed to City level. Then relaxed again to FT/Season. Now, it's mostly just a case of don't be a dumbass and we won't forcibly retire your alt.

Repeated dumbassery will result in your account being retired, and I'll change your avatar to something silly as a permanent legacy of the persons trying to screw with the honour system.

Cheers, Maddyn
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Old February 9, 2017, 11:04 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maddyn View Post

Repeated dumbassery will result in your account being retired, and I'll change your avatar to something silly as a permanent legacy of the persons trying to screw with the honour system.

Cheers, Maddyn
This makes my heart soar. <3

I have nothing else to contribute. Just that.

And yay for two characters for everyone!
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Old February 10, 2017, 12:04 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Very cool! I really like this. Now I won't have to rely on companionship to write with an alt! (Not that I have time at the moment to do so).

Thanks for the info Jacob and appreciate you and the management team's hard work

Cheers,
Vel
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Old February 11, 2017, 12:53 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I'll note more clearly than Matty on one thing: if you are caught out moderating yourself with a secondary account, you'll be told that your threads will be invalidated, go find a new moderator and start again. If you argue the point, you'll likely be banned. This SHOULD be common sense, considering you can't interact with yourself on another account and you can't self-moderate yourself any more...and yet this was recently a problem that resulted in someone being rewarded with a permanent ban.

So! Be smart! Use common sense! Keep the basic rules in mind:

- Do not interact with your other characters
- Your other characters cannot benefit from your actions

Other than those things, we're pretty lax about how people go about their daily lives. Feel free to interact with the same PCs on different accounts (just keep in mind that you can't have your Primary Account give another PC something that they end up handing over to your Secondary Account).

Have fun. Go forth and conquer. Yada yada.
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