Welcome to the Achaea Forums! Please be sure to read the Forum Rules.

City Channel Standards

VayneVayne Rhode IslandMember Posts: 1,897 @@ - Legendary Achaean
An interesting conversation manifested in the Ashtan thread that I would like to explore. So as not to derail the equally interesting conversation going in that thread, I thought I would start another devoted to the topic of City Channels and the appropriate uses thereof. I am hoping this thread can be helpful and productive to creating more enjoyable communities within the game, and that the conversants can avoid forum RP and rationally address the issue.

1) What is the purpose of city channels? I think the root of the question comes to this: What is the purpose of having a sharing channel for citizens? If we do not objectively define this it will quite difficult, if not impossible to produce standards for it usage that are consistent and logical.

2) What is (in)appropriate to be communicated on a city channel? What things should we be promoting on the city channel? What should we be discouraging on the city channel?

3) How will these standards vary based on the cultures of the various city-states? Can a city-state with free speech rightfully deny people the right to use a channel? Does it make sense for a authoritarian city-state such as Mhaldor to heavily regulate it?

Please feel free to add more issues or points that may have eluded me.



image
Tagged:
Medi
«13

Comments

  • JukilianJukilian Member Posts: 1,577 @ - Epic Achaean
    1) The purpose is to provide a medium for citizens to communicate with each other. The specific usage per city is determined by the city itself.

    2) Depends on the City. Offensive language, horribly inappropriate language, insanity, etc can probably be agreed on being inappropriate for any City channel. As for appropriate - it is a per-city basis. For example, Mhaldor is quite strict, and Cyrene (reportedly) is not.

    3) In my opinion, I see nothing wrong with a city-state temporarily denying the use of the City channel if the leadership deems that their communication is wholly inappropriate. On a per-city, case-by-case basis.
  • RodhelRodhel Member Posts: 40
    edited March 2016
    Edit: wrong thread
  • KietKiet Member Posts: 1,792 @ - Epic Achaean
    edited March 2016
    "Silence, Slave" is all you need in M-town, which is nice because it means you don't have to worry at all about what's appropriate or not.

    I'm not sure it really hinders socializing at all to keep CT mostly off-limits, really, as long as people talk in person. Having been in cities that had unrestricted CT, I'm not sure I've ever seen an insightful discussion on CT, it's almost always just "snuggles!!!" type chat or bickering. This was true even back in like 2004 when CT channels were super active.
    Tahquil
  • JaceroJacero Member Posts: 37 ✭✭ - Stalwart
    edited March 2016
    The only time I remember someone being silenced on the city channel as Seifur in Targossas was when that someone was belligerent. It was a very rare thing and if it happened, the person deserved it.
  • KietKiet Member Posts: 1,792 @ - Epic Achaean
    Sarapis said:
    Kiet said:
    Having been in cities that had unrestricted CT, I'm not sure I've ever seen an insightful discussion on CT, it's almost always just "snuggles!!!" type chat or bickering. This was true even back in like 2004 when CT channels were super active.
    It's hard for me to see why that's a bad thing, particularly given that the year you cite - 2004 - was Achaea's peak player population. Most peoples' discussions are not insightful, whether public, private, or anywhere in between. Does that mean they should stop talking to each other entirely? Of course not. The value of communication vis a vis building community is often in the communication itself, not the specific message being sent. It's really frustrating to me to watch cities actively foster a culture that encourages people not to use a channel that is specifically there for community building.
    That's true, yeah. I think that outside of Mhaldor there's no reason to restrict CT to formal only exchanges, I was just saying that I personally don't feel like I'm missing much from a quiet CT. That said, I'm not every player, so I guess that doesn't matter.
  • SarapisSarapis Member, Administrator Posts: 3,383 Achaean staff
    Skarash said:

    didn't really understand it myself, soon as I got saddled with archon again - it was my number one initiative to return usage of the city-channel.  Somewhere down the line this mistaken, wrong-headed idea that a silent org channel was somehow good rp pervaded the echo chamber that the forums can be.  That a good roleplayer spoke little and emoted a lot.  My own take on any org channel is that it is the number one tool any organization has to build both community and culture.

    +1000.
    Taeltwo
  • AhmetAhmet Wherever I wanna beMember Posts: 3,140 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Sobriquet said:
    Mhaldor's silence on CT is one of the reasons I never felt comfortable there. Mhaldor feels very much like a clique and if you don't fit in, you don't do anything. It's not the case in reality, although I think it is is much harder to integrate there, but a quiet CT doesn't encourage any comradeship at all and left me to leave my Char to flounder. Also. Why take all combat talk off CT into a combat clan? The clans can help RE help files etc, but city wide discussion on that can aid everyone. Edit :- That's a comment in general btw, not about Mhaldor.
    Tbh I felt a lot better about Mhaldor back when they dumped everyone into their ooc clan (dont remember what it was called) and that was pretty chill. Mhaldor's IC culture doesn't promote much chatting, but as long as there was the OOC conversation that kept me involved I was content in relative silence IC. 
    Huh. Neat.
    JeslynTrillianaKiskan
  • ValkynValkyn Member Posts: 733 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    Combat talk is often taken off CT just because it tends to need to go OOC. I think that's about all there is to that one?

    It's when it descends from innuendo into blatant dick jokes I tend to ask them to take it somewhere else.

  • KietKiet Member Posts: 1,792 @ - Epic Achaean
    edited March 2016
    Sobriquet said:
    Mhaldor's silence on CT is one of the reasons I never felt comfortable there. Mhaldor feels very much like a clique and if you don't fit in, you don't do anything. It's not the case in reality, although I think it is is much harder to integrate there, but a quiet CT doesn't encourage any comradeship at all and left me to leave my Char to flounder. Also. Why take all combat talk off CT into a combat clan? The clans can help RE help files etc, but city wide discussion on that can aid everyone. Edit :- That's a comment in general btw, not about Mhaldor.
    I understand where you're coming from, but in reality all cities have this clique component to them, I think. Just because people chat to you on CT doesn't mean you're anymore included, but I guess that depends on what you want to get out of a city.

    Personally I feel much more of a community feel when I'm interacting directly with people, like in says or sometimes tells--that signals to me that the person is actually choosing to focus on this engagement, instead of sorta kinda chipping in between bashing or whatever else. Of course, that does take more to break into. It's also not mutually exclusive from CT being chatty, really, it's just why I don't put too much personal value into CT. It is probably a good idea for non-Mhaldor cities to encourage chattiness.

    This issue is also why both the Mhaldor houses encourage heavy mentor/protege interaction, I'd assume, and that's a pretty good way to make people feel included, too.
    Mami
  • GoryllinGoryllin Member Posts: 79 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished

    Cyrene is often mentioned as a chatty city. But it does have its ebbs and flows. Sometimes there are periods where the city is actively chatty. There was a period a few years ago when the city was indeed about very silly things. The attitude that we aren't a fighting city so we have to hit the very opposite spectrum and be about frilly things and pastries and eating cookies and the like. That did get to be a bit much, but then the reaction to that became an over-reaction where people were silencing CT conversations often and early. We tend to go back and forth. Though having a very forceful person in charge of the city for the past few decades has ensured that his version of CT expectations is the standard and so its more uniform.

    I will say that in my personal opinion, CT needs to be utilized though there are cases where conversations should be drawn off of CT. Sadly we seem to jump at any conversation that turns towards argument, though that is not always a good thing. The problem is that it is difficult to maintain decorum and a flow of things when you can't see when someone else is speaking and a myriad other voices chime in and lead to chaos.

    I enjoy the casual banter of Cyrene. The friendly jokes and teasing. Cyrene's is generally informative and helps people when they have questions, or to start a running commentary on world events, or just because an old timer like me makes a pun mocking myself and then the resultant laughter and spin off jokes. That helps keep the levity, builds a sense of community and makes me laugh and enjoy life. I don't like it when its pure silence all of the time, and I also don't like it when it is pure inane chatter or people who are hopelessly wrong are railing against the misunderstood system.

    I like my CT medium, with a side of fries.

    TrillianaBoral
  • MamiMami Member Posts: 81 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    At least when houses are new, founders/leaders in Mhaldor were supposed to create events for the citizens in a regular basis, which should take care of interactions even if CT was quiet. 
  • OmorOmor Member Posts: 756 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    I was Mhaldorian for most of my ingame time, and I have something to add to that discussion.
    (Let it be known I left for IC reasons and have no ill will towards the city. :P)
    As a slave, I would have had to agree with @Jemaine. Due to the rules about CT in Mdor, it was a shitty feeling knowing that something was going on but having to tell everyone on CWHO to figure out what it was, because CT was dead silent all the time. That inner circle feeling, so to speak.
    On the other hand, though, I have no issue with it being quiet most of the time. My heart would race when someone would CT "All slaves come to Stygian now", thinking man, who is going to get it now? (Turns out it was me. :P) CT being restricted the way it was, you knew it was generally rather important if something DID pop on CT, but when the important things weren't shared, it was annoying.
    Just my two cents.
    Omor Ceberek - Targossas

    got gud
    ShirszaeJeslynMediSalek
  • DaironDairon Member Posts: 217 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    I remember when I was playing my first character in ancient Shallam and received city favours for something along the lines of.. 'having a positive attitude on the city channel'

    I'm not saying it was a perfect era (lots of fights and bullying on CT) but compared to Ashtan, the channel was a lot more chattier. 

    I can't put my finger on what the reasons are behind the radio silence but I think having one or two CFs handed out for good examples of CT usage would definitely boost morale and attitude. 
  • AodfionnAodfionn Seattle, WAMember Posts: 1,194 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    This all just makes me miss vicious on targ ct

    Aurora says, "Are you drunk, Aodfionn?" 

    (The Targossian Academy): Halos says, "Go on! I need to feel the wind in my hair!"


  • LereasLereas Member Posts: 5
    When I was a Vizier a very long time ago, I cracked down on CT a little bit because it had been a constant chatter of talking about pancakes and other pretty inane, borderline OOC stuff. Lots of emoting in city channel, which at the time the gods of the city had said that you shouldn't do because it was a telepathic communication so "*NOD*" didn't make sense. Now we have emotion city tells, so that seems to take care of the problem. 

    I think there's sort of a level of fun community that can be balanced with a edge of serious RP. I imagine that the campfires of expansive armies had silly jokes and inane conversation that happened around them, but when it was battle time, they were SRS BSNS. 
    Mathonwy
  • TaeltwoTaeltwo Member Posts: 55 ✭✭ - Stalwart
    edited March 2016
    I commented in the Ashtan thread already, but I just want to try laying out my thoughts about this in a slightly more organised way.

    First, I think Mhaldor is/was a special case. The type of community Mhaldor has is a lot different from, say, Hashan or Ashtan. People already feel more unified in purpose and in general I think the city feels smaller and more tight-knit even without a lot of CT chatter. There's a lot to be said for the amount of effort Mhaldorian players put into creating a sense that there's a strong community and that the job of newbies is to earn their way into it. And the amount of effort that's historically gone into regular gatherings and discussions in the city probably helps too (especially since every event is relevant to the ideology of the entire city's population). Reserving the city channel for important things and military announcements also makes a lot more sense for Mhaldor's hierarchical, authoritarian RP. It doesn't feel quiet, it feels purposefully silent. On top of that, it was mostly a self-fulfilling rule - in literal years of playing in Mhaldor, I can think of maybe two times people were actually scolded for speaking on CT. But probably most importantly, the houses of Mhaldor were often even more tight-knit. The fact that CT was quiet was never an issue when the Naga channels tended to provide that more chatty feeling of community.

    And I'm not really sure the new houses are managing that - I'm not really sure they can, since they're not really intended to be their own communities in the same way that the old houses were. Mhaldor has thematic and cultural ways to soften that blow, but I'm not sure other cities have the same tools and I think that might be why the CT quietude is becoming more apparent. For a long time in many places in the game, guild/house membership was a way bigger deal, socially speaking, than city membership. The fact that the new houses are reversing that might go some way to explaining why CT's barrenness is being felt more acutely even if the actual usage is about the same as it was, say, a year ago.

    But most of all, I think this is a case of a sort of bikeshedding that happens constantly in Achaea. I don't think any of it is malicious. And I disagree with other people who talk about it and think it's the result of people desperate to wield their in-game authority to satisfy their ego. I think there's just a general trend to try to worry about things and fix them before the arrival of some hypothetical problem.

    Problems are dealt with not when they get out of hand, but before they get out of hand.

    And there's usually just no reason for that. Just about everything in the game is very swiftly fixable. Many perceived problems are far easier to repair than to prevent. And if you succeed, what you buy is boredom - every problem is prevented before it even arises. And certainly trying to prevent all problems entails more work than just fixing the problems that actually arise. And yet leaders constantly burn out spending inordinate amounts of time trying to head problems off from every direction. People end up doing everything themselves not because they're egomaniacs, but because they worry about giving anyone a modicum of authority or discretion lest that person abuse their power - they worry about that instead of just fixing the problems when someone does abuse the power. And what you end up with in a lot of cases is this sort of well-meaning paranoid organisational fascism that burns out leaders and preempts a lot of interesting development and conflict.

    That digression aside, it would be really nice to see a liberalisation of CT use again, even if it means occasionally having to ignore someone talking about pancakes or whatever. Because regardless of what people think the problem is or where it's coming from, it's just an inescapable fact that CT channels have gotten quieter. Something is going on.

    I thought I'd also post a similar thing as I did in the last thread. Here's a summary of Hashan's current CT HISTORY stripped of greetings and goodbyes:

    1 message (question asked, no answer)
    26 minutes pass
    2 messages, 2 participants, over 17 seconds (someone died, someone got the corpse)
    51 minutes pass
    5 messages, 2 participants, over 4 minutes (general offer of assistance with anything, two people decide to go hunting together)
    1 hour and 3 minutes pass
    2 messages, 1 participant, over 2 minutes (question asked, no answer)
    47 minutes pass
    11 messages, 4 participants, over 36 seconds (joking around after someone greets the city - something resembling actual camaraderie!)
    1 hour and 30 minutes pass
    1 message (light-hearted joke, no responses)
    31 minutes pass
    3 messages, 2 participants, over 1 minute (someone didn't notice their birthday, someone said happy birthday, they said thanks)
    1 hour and 10 minutes pass
    3 messages, 2 participants, over 1 minute (someone asks someone to teach them a skill, someone responds saying they can do it in a little while)
    10 minutes pass
    2 messages, 2 participants, over 36 seconds (basic question about recommended skills, response)

    That's obviously a log from off-hours. But more than 20 people said hello and goodbye during that same period. And I've looked at the logs after primetime too, and they're honestly not that much different. Insofar as more people are talking during primetime, it's mostly just more of these same things - more people asking basic questions, more people getting citymate corpses, etc. There's not much more actual discussion - the kind that builds community like Sarapis was talking about. I don't think there's any getting around that things are pretty quiet on CT.
    JeslynKyriella
  • TaeltwoTaeltwo Member Posts: 55 ✭✭ - Stalwart
    edited March 2016
    To add one last (characteristically longwinded) thing, I think this is the most important part of the OP and the biggest source of most of the problems being brought up here:

    If we do not objectively define this it will quite difficult, if not impossible to produce standards for it usage that are consistent and logical.

    I don't think that's true at all. Not even a little bit.

    I don't think CT usage needs clear standards and I don't think it needs to be consistent and logical.

    Why does it? What's wrong with saying "be mature - use your judgement in using and policing the channel"? Does that even really need to be said? Isn't that always implicit? (I know at least one person will object that some people need to be told to act maturely - but if they need to be told to act maturely, do you really think telling them to is going to suddenly make them more mature?) And rules against OOC stuff, harassment, and spamming are already in place across the game as a whole.

    Policing the channel is easy. If you're not sure whether something is okay, don't worry about it. If you see something and you immediately think to yourself "that's not okay", then deal with it. If you see something and think "This might lead to something that's not okay", then leave it alone and deal with it when it becomes something that's not okay.

    TL;DR: If you see a clear problem, solve it. Don't go looking for problems to solve.

    If you've been put in a position that wields authority over the channel, hopefully you have the basic ability to apply judgement and discretion appropriately without following a checklist of discrete rules about what can and can't be said. If you can't, that means you shouldn't have that authority, not that you should have that checklist.

    Let the communities of players that have access to CT be the ones to organically figure out what it's used for rather than passing down some statement from on high about what the city channel is supposed to be used for.

    If you want to build a community, all you have to do is get a bunch of people together and get out of the way and let them build it. You can create the initial group of people via regulation, but you can't regulate the actual sense of community into existence.

    Put another way: Why aren't we having a conversation about what "says" are to be used for within the city too? Do we need to develop objective, codified standards for "says" so their usage is "consistent and logical"?
    Kiskan
  • JeslynJeslyn United StatesMember Posts: 482 @ - Epic Achaean
    Vayne said:
    An interesting conversation manifested in the Ashtan thread that I would like to explore. So as not to derail the equally interesting conversation going in that thread, I thought I would start another devoted to the topic of City Channels and the appropriate uses thereof. I am hoping this thread can be helpful and productive to creating more enjoyable communities within the game, and that the conversants can avoid forum RP and rationally address the issue.

    1) What is the purpose of city channels? I think the root of the question comes to this: What is the purpose of having a sharing channel for citizens? If we do not objectively define this it will quite difficult, if not impossible to produce standards for it usage that are consistent and logical.

    2) What is (in)appropriate to be communicated on a city channel? What things should we be promoting on the city channel? What should we be discouraging on the city channel?

    3) How will these standards vary based on the cultures of the various city-states? Can a city-state with free speech rightfully deny people the right to use a channel? Does it make sense for a authoritarian city-state such as Mhaldor to heavily regulate it?

    Please feel free to add more issues or points that may have eluded me.



    OK, seeing as I've alted or played most of the cities besides Ashtan, it is interesting to see the differences in ct culture between the cities. Hopefully I can answer.

    1) I think the purpose of city channels is to build community and reiterate culture as stated before. However, mostly what I see is CT becoming the hi&bye channel. Which is OK, because who does not like to make their presence known? But it would be nice if CT would be used more to rally people together and please to GOD let it be something other than shrine essence collection every five minutes. XD Depending on the city, and not saying cities don't do this already, Ct should feel like the open forum for questions even if they're basic. It should also be a mode of invitation to get people out of their holes. It does not even need to be an elaborate event. Are you feeling like bashing, but don't want to hunt alone... Organize a group. Are you feeling like an excursion to some island to check out history, place a call out. I love when ct is used as almost like a notice board because you can almost pick and choose what activity you want to be apart of. 

    2) Phallic topics. People's new love interest. Flirting. Politics are fine as long as they do not errupt into a fighting match (or do so I can get popcorn).

    3) How do these standards vary? I feel like Cyrene is the most lax and open to share in community topics and events. I never had a problem with Cyrenians not voicing their opinions or not wanting to go to an event. They're more than happy to and they'll gladly bring all the food in the world. Cyrene also felt the most novice friendly. All questions are usually answered in a timely manner and even with humor. There were people that would gladly come to you and help you find things in the city. I think novices appreciate that.

    Targossas, was a bit more quieter or maybe it was the time I was there. I did appreciate when questions relating to religious topics were posed for anyone to input on. I feel like with more zealot cities these sort of questions and topics help drive the atmosphere.

    Eleusis was a mixture of annoying and interesting topics. It felt like it was also much more political than any of the other cities and more often than not you could witness a shouting match. I enjoy politics and feel that cities should be open with their methods, but snipes at each other don't really build community and should be taken to tells so the rest of us aren't giving you the 0_0 face. Eleusis was very good at putting on events even if they were small, I loved that.

    Mhaldor is an acquired taste, and I really wish I started there first so I didn't have much of a culture shock. Ct is off limits for slaves and they're to speak on the clan channel for slaves/novices pretty much. I think this good, but I find novices are intimidated? mostly and will use newbie channel which then directs them to speak to their city and the circle continues. I've really no idea how to make the clan more welcoming to novices. It just feels like it is just there. I'm not really a novice but I feel like when i did ask questions on the clan I more often than not got a response in a tell back. I love that the answers are timely and helpful, but if we're to promote the clan as newb friendly answers should be given on the clan. Side note, I do really appreciate how newb friendly @medi and @Kitiara are. They deserve a lot of kudos for being willing to include slaves in things without them having to ask. And Medi's random newb excursion to the island is top on my list as favorite Mhaldor moment.

    Hashan was too quiet during my playing hours for me to gauge what their ct is like, but I think the other person's description above is a good representation.
    MediShirszaeJemaineKitiara
  • JukilianJukilian Member Posts: 1,577 @ - Epic Achaean
    Hashan's CT is barely regulated by the leadership at all. If people aren't talking, it's because they don't feel like talking.
  • SilvarienSilvarien Member Posts: 570 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    I think there's a pretty blurred line that separates acceptable stuff from unacceptable stuff. If all people talk about is fluffy cookie eating and truffle annihilation, yeah, that's probably not good if done too much. You definitely don't want the only thing the city talks about to be fluffy cookie monsters, but at the same time, destroying any and all humor and informal talk as "inappropriate" is not really good either.
  • AerekAerek East Tennessee, USAMember Posts: 1,813 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    @Taeltwo is pretty on-point. Cyrene's CT is friendly and "open", but is also kept overtly saccharine. Serious conversations are discouraged because they spawn debates, and debates aren't respectful. I rarely talk there because my preference for meaningful discussion isn't often satisfied, and my minority opinions cause me more trouble than it's worth to voice them.
    -- Grounded in but one perspective, what we perceive is an exaggeration of the truth.
    ShirszaeAziikShimi
  • SkarashSkarash Member Posts: 76 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    Whatever works for the individual org is fine - Im not sure why I detect a general air of sheepish defensiveness in many of the posts here - maybe Im mistreading them - but I feel my point still stands - your org channel is still the best tool available to build a sense of community.  I dont see the point in creating a work-around like clans but if your org likes it that way and it works for you - more to the good. My only point is that a deathly quiet ct is not by any means a sign of good rp - unless I suppose, youre rp is some sort of surly, uncommunicative sunnofagun - in which case that rp is on point (but you're still rp'ing a surly, uncommunicative sunnofagun!)
    ShirszaeKayeilTaeltwo
  • TaeltwoTaeltwo Member Posts: 55 ✭✭ - Stalwart
    Silvarien said:
    I think there's a pretty blurred line that separates acceptable stuff from unacceptable stuff. If all people talk about is fluffy cookie eating and truffle annihilation, yeah, that's probably not good if done too much. You definitely don't want the only thing the city talks about to be fluffy cookie monsters, but at the same time, destroying any and all humor and informal talk as "inappropriate" is not really good either.
    If all people talk about is fluffy cookie eating and truffle annihilation, I think that's substantially better than absolute silence.

    If something is blatantly not okay, then put a stop to it. If you're not sure whether something is okay, leave it alone. Don't go looking for problems. Don't solve "potential problems" before they arise. Worry about things when they become too much, not in case they become too much.

    Overly saccharine is better than nonexistent. If it's crowding out more desirable conversation, deal with it. If it's the only thing that's there, for heaven's sake don't kill it.

    The same goes for sexual jokes or whatever - which people in Hashan seem to be really concerned with for some reason (as you can see from some of the comments about it in this very thread). I've seen a lot of stuff that was ultimately pretty tame being squelched on Hashan's CT. If it's targeting someone, especially if they seem uncomfortable and especially if they express that on the channel or in a tell, then obviously step in. See HELP HARASSMENT. That's already covered. But I'm not sure what this imposition of some arbitrary level of "propriety" on the channel is buying anyone other than silence.

    On a less adversarial note, thinking back on it to less-silent times, I think one of the things that helped in the past was people actively trying to drum up CT discussions - asking questions, discussing recent events and politics - that sort of thing. I mean more than just contests or quizzes: discussions where people are speaking up to be part of a conversation rather than to attempt to give a predetermined, correct answer. Maybe the silent CTs just need a little active jumpstarting?
«13
Sign In to Comment.