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Essays and House Requirements

BabelBabel OblivionMember, Moderator Posts: 152 Immortal
edited November 2012 in The Scarlattan Theatre
We in the Garden were all very happy to see a lively discussion going on about the role of House requirements, including essays, in the life and times of the Achaean newbie. Especially welcome were points about how House requirements can contribute to the development and enrichment of both House and personal roleplay without becoming work for the player him or herself.

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Comments

  • MelodieMelodie Port Saint Lucie, FloridaMember Posts: 4,953 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    If I had the motivation, I'd come back, abolish all but one or two essays, require exiles, and also require "pilgrimages" (sorry Sentaari) of sorts.

    Then again, I'd also destroy the council and move to a different government type, but ehh...

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  • IocunIocun Member Posts: 3,506 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    And still, one wouldn't believe the kind of resistance one often gets when suggesting to strike some of those requirements. Some people are really attached to their tedious house reqs.
    Prythe
  • IdelisaIdelisa Member Posts: 385 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    House reqs should be entirely practical to your class and faction, things that you need to know.  Essays are just plain dumb, as are half the requirements most houses have.
    image
    MishgulIocunSylvanceBoosteya
  • JonathinJonathin Grand Rapids, MIMember Posts: 3,323 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    I don't mind writing essays, but they should always be a choice. Like in the Crystalline, I didn't have to write any until I chose the path that required them

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  • SenaSena Member Posts: 3,954 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    I don't mind essay requirements, when "essay" means "about two paragraphs". My essay for the Occultists guild took me about five minutes to write, and I tend to be extremely slow at writing.
    ZeonTvistor
  • MathonwyMathonwy Member Posts: 829 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    I've found that those sorts of requirements can actually be a really good way to develop (or, in the cases of speeches and such, demonstrate) character RP without drawing that sort of 'special snowflake' attention to your character. Nervousness, stage-fright, arrogance, all those little archetypal character flaws that add some spice to your roleplay are all fair game, and you've got a relatively captive audience right there in front of you to demonstrate them.
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  • CooperCooper IowaMember Posts: 4,869 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    You also enjoy reading 2000 year old philosophy for fun. (Which is fine, just shows that you are keen on writing and philosophy and all that jazz). Most of us aren't.

    IdelisaArilles
  • VeldrinVeldrin DenmarkMember Posts: 402 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    Jonathin said:
    I don't mind writing essays, but they should always be a choice. Like in the Crystalline, I didn't have to write any until I chose the path that required them
    I got it changed so that as a novice you can do the 'essay part' verbally, I hate writing essays and I'll be damned if I'm gonna force people to do stuff I don't like doing. Most still write it from what I see (Not that I pay much mind to novices, I'm trying to avoid doing everything myself so that people in the house will have -something- to do), but it's still an option to just talk instead of writing it. Besides it's more fun to do a discussion, could even theoretically get the rest of the house involved.

    The only one where you're 'forced', is as you say the Lorekeepers path but that's because.. that's what they do and you can easily just choose combat, novice aide, explorer/hunter or the mercantile path to gain full membership
    image
    IdelisaArilles
  • AitoxAitox South AfricaMember Posts: 247 @ - Epic Achaean
    I like writing essays (though they should not be forced), but that's only because I discover a new word each time I visit a dictionary or thesaurus website. It's how I, as a person who has English as a 2nd language, keeps on improving. Same with reading books, doing presentations, etc.
  • WysteriaWysteria Member Posts: 1,826 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    The problem with a House like the Sylvans is that so many people do whine about having to "write stuff" when it's right there in HELP HOUSE SYLVANS that it's a House of scholars. I understand it's mainly because Blademasters have no other option for forestal Houses and feel forced to write essays, but hey, consider the class types and how they would spend years analyzing and practicing their crafts and learning the finer points of their abilities  — with that I think some essays actually do work out.

    Then again my point could be completely moot, given how Wyst has already written two area Studies and did nearly all 36 essays of the House reqs for kicks...and then some.

    Also, I don't mind marking people's essays. If English isn't their primary language it's actually a brilliant way of teaching them how to fix their grammar and spelling, so from an OOC perspective there's actually quite a lot to benefit from the IC reqs. I just wish more of the novices would mail me the things instead of expecting me to read their journals in front of them
    :-<
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  • WynedereWynedere Member Posts: 305 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent

    Essays can be good when it is the player's choice. They should -never- be required. There are far more engaging, imaginative, and interactive ways to determine a character's knowledge of a subject.


  • WysteriaWysteria Member Posts: 1,826 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    We've got reqs that are more than essays, there's a few options to go with so it's not like you need to fill a whole journal just to get HR5. I did the reqs that had the least number of essays overall and was combat based at the time. I think the ye olde goal was to try to fill up the Library but I don't think that's happening at this point in time; well, it is, just very very slowly. I'm usually around when there's like 2 people about, so a lecture or however many rituals I always wanted to do is a bit redundant…Unless talking to a humgii counts as an audience.
    "Faded away like the stars in the morning,
     Losing their light in the glorious sun,
     Thus would we pass from this earth and its toiling,
     Only remembered for what we have done."

    Exelethril
  • JarrodJarrod Member, Seafaring Liason Posts: 3,060 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Zeon said:
    Remember that these 'essays' are usually shorter than most people's descriptions. If you can write a description, you can write a newbie House essay. Not to say there aren't other more innovative ways of teaching the same things, just bringing to light the fact that these 'essays' aren't as horrible as a lot of people make them out to be.

    The argument that if something isn't fun for you, you shouldn't have to do it is a stupid one. Often times in games (especially Achaea) you do need to do something you don't find fun, in order to reap benefits for it at a later point. Examples of this can be anything from bashing Tenwat to afford house credits, giving newbies intros, emoting a handjob for a cityfavour, participating in raid defense, etc, etc. Not to say you should be doing these things all the time, but it's expected that everyone does a little bit of things they don't like in order to better the realms as a whole. (Imagine an achaea where only that one person in your House that actually likes newbies does introes? Or only your city's online marks and lupine serpents participated in raid defense?)

    That being said, sometimes even those things really just aren't fun (hell I haven't had a description since i bought a gem of transmutation, which I traded in like 10 months ago?). Though I'd argue that the biggest reason for problems like these is due to the one unique class per House per city rule. It forces players to join Houses that aren't necessarily fitting their play style, simply because they wanted to be apart of a major faction and be a particular class. I'm sure this is also a bigger problem for small cities like Eleusis.
    I'm not sure about your list of 'things you do for later benefits', I never give newbie intros and it's never hurt me.
    image
    Cascades of quicksilver light streak across the firmament as the celestial voice of Ourania intones, "Oh Jarrod..."

  • ZeonZeon Member Posts: 757 @ - Epic Achaean
    The benefit of that is keeping newbies interested in your House and the game. Whether or not an individual cares about that is up to the individual. Obviously all of those things don't apply to everyone. A non-dragon has never experienced the tedium of pressing f11 for a month straight, a person that has been the same class for rl years hasn't experienced the tedium of relearning three skills, a non-forger will not have experienced forging, etc, etc.

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  • AlysseaAlyssea Member Posts: 417 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    Essays on Achaea really aren't that bad. I would have much rather written an essay or two to rejoin the Sentinels than made ASCII maps. I think that a House requiring one is fine. All Houses have long, interesting historical things related to them, and it's good for newbies to at least briefly be exposed to them. It may not be the most fun thing to do, but it's not like they're even asking for a whole word doc page (which would only be maybe half the length of a short rl essay) and Achaea is a roleplaying environment where it makes sense for an essay relevant to a House someone wants to be a full member of to be required.
    image
    JhaeliOceana
  • WysteriaWysteria Member Posts: 1,826 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Zeon said:
    Remember that these 'essays' are usually shorter than most people's descriptions. If you can write a description, you can write a newbie House essay. Not to say there aren't other more innovative ways of teaching the same things, just bringing to light the fact that these 'essays' aren't as horrible as a lot of people make them out to be.

    The argument that if something isn't fun for you, you shouldn't have to do it is a stupid one. Often times in games (especially Achaea) you do need to do something you don't find fun, in order to reap benefits for it at a later point. Examples of this can be anything from bashing Tenwat to afford house credits, giving newbies intros, emoting a handjob for a cityfavour, participating in raid defense, etc, etc. Not to say you should be doing these things all the time, but it's expected that everyone does a little bit of things they don't like in order to better the realms as a whole. (Imagine an achaea where only that one person in your House that actually likes newbies does introes? Or only your city's online marks and lupine serpents participated in raid defense?)
    D: JUST WHAT DID YOU DO TO GET LEATH-RI?!!

    I understand your point, though. I just don't think it's that bad really to have to do those reqs as it's part and parcel of what a certain House needs done. Either way, once they get HR5 it's pretty smooth sailing from there. Just do your best to help the newbies, promote the House ideals (be it combat, scholarly duties yadda yadda yadda) and you'll make life a lot easier for people who aren't comfortable with things until they settle in. People play for different reasons, I get that. I just don't get why people would have to complain so much on it (I had a newbie literally rant for 3 rl hours at me about needing to write two paragraphs on something. Seriously his rant would've made up for 12).

    I just wish I could do something more artisanal related though. I really want to do something like wood engravings and stuff IC but it's a bit weird just writing a description on a letter or parchment. ASCII art doesn't quite cut it to a certain degree.
    "Faded away like the stars in the morning,
     Losing their light in the glorious sun,
     Thus would we pass from this earth and its toiling,
     Only remembered for what we have done."

    Alyssea
  • JacenJacen Member Posts: 2,304 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    I've never had a problem with essay requirements, even though writing isn't really my forte. They're just a hurdle to jump, and honestly, if you put even just the minimal amount of effort into it, it can add so much depth to your character. I've written a few essays, on topics ranging from House philosophies to historical objects to room descriptions, and I can say that every one of those essays gave me a deeper insight into the character that Jacen was, and the organizations that he was a member of.

    None of the essays our House requires are particularly lengthy (2 paragraphs, 4-5 sentences each is the longest I've written so far, and I've progressed on the scholar path quite a bit ) so unless you have an atypical block when it comes to writing, (which isn't very likely, since we're playing a text game), then there is no reason you can't put a bit of effort into the game. The reason you're writing an essay is to advance in the House. Along with the privileges of rank, come responsibilities. Higher ranked House members are expected to know about the history and philosophy of their House. 
    image
  • VayneVayne Rhode IslandMember Posts: 1,897 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Serpentlords : No essays required.
    image
    Aitox
  • HayteHayte Member Posts: 565 @ - Epic Achaean
    Zeon said:
    Often times in games (especially Achaea) you do need to do something you don't find fun, in order to reap benefits for it at a later point. Examples of this can be anything from bashing Tenwat to afford house credits, giving newbies intros, emoting a handjob for a cityfavour, participating in raid defense, etc, etc. Not to say you should be doing these things all the time, but it's expected that everyone does a little bit of things they don't like in order to better the realms as a whole. (Imagine an achaea where only that one person in your House that actually likes newbies does introes? Or only your city's online marks and lupine serpents participated in raid defense?)
    Lucky guy...only had to emote it :/ @Mishgul still hasn't given me that CF he promised :'(
    XerTuroiPrythe
  • CooperCooper IowaMember Posts: 4,869 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Wysteria said:
    The problem with a House like the Sylvans is that so many people do whine about having to "write stuff" when it's right there in HELP HOUSE SYLVANS that it's a House of scholars. I understand it's mainly because Blademasters have no other option for forestal Houses and feel forced to write essays, but hey, consider the class types and how they would spend years analyzing and practicing their crafts and learning the finer points of their abilities  — with that I think some essays actually do work out.

    Then again my point could be completely moot, given how Wyst has already written two area Studies and did nearly all 36 essays of the House reqs for kicks...and then some.

    Also, I don't mind marking people's essays. If English isn't their primary language it's actually a brilliant way of teaching them how to fix their grammar and spelling, so from an OOC perspective there's actually quite a lot to benefit from the IC reqs. I just wish more of the novices would mail me the things instead of expecting me to read their journals in front of them
    :-<
    The problem is that this is a game people play for fun. If I want to play a Sylvan in Eleusis, I shouldn't be cut off from a very large portion of the game because I don't want to do school work on Achaea by writing boring, dull, repetitive and unread essays. It is pointless and not fun, and detracts from the great experience that is generally Achaea.

    If I wanted to write an essay, I'd relive high school or college.

    TuroiJiraishinArilles
  • AlysseaAlyssea Member Posts: 417 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    edited November 2012
    I think you guys are reading too much into the word "essay." Nothing in Achaea requires the horrible 5 page (or more) essays you have to write in school. An Achaean "essay" is like five sentences. Maybe 15-20 at the very most (as a normal maximum, people of course can go off on a two-page long essay if they like to write).
    Post edited by Alyssea on
    image
    ZeonWynedere
  • SherazadSherazad Planef UrthMember Posts: 956 @ - Epic Achaean
    edited November 2012
    I think we have maybe 3 essays at most for our requirements, maybe less. Our bare expectations is just 2 paragraphs at most, with coherent thought. Some people has written more and exceeded our expectations. Not really a rant but it's amazing how some people like it.  

    I like focusing more on grilling people with surprise questions though. It gives you an idea of what they think about Evil without preparing for anything.
    Bleh, work ate my gaming life.
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