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Essays and House Requirements

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  • NellaundraNellaundra Member Posts: 1,556 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited November 2012
    Tvistor said:
    Naga have no essay requirements. Please form an orderly line when you all inevitably rush to join us.

    We also have no mandatory combat requirements and we don't steal anymore, so really free membership for everyone!
    That requires me to be a Serpent.

    <an image macro intended to convey the idea that the poster rejects the idea with both disgust and horror>

    Keep in mind that this is the RP forum, please, not the Sewers any longer.
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  • AlysseaAlyssea Member Posts: 417 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    Tvistor said:
    Naga have no essay requirements. Please form an orderly line when you all inevitably rush to join us.

    We can't fight and are unable to successfully steal anymore, so really a pointless House to join!
    Fix'd.
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    Tvistor
  • WysteriaWysteria Member Posts: 1,826 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    @Cooper: Some people here actually do like to write, read and assess them *raises hand*. From an RP perspective that's how Wyst is, and she will start a discussion/argument about what they wrote to see how their ideals developed to what they wrote in the first place. Some of the novices' essays (as well as my own) have brought about further discussions and even whole changes to the House that way. It's quite surprising how far some will go with the RP and being allowed to write whatever they want in a fantasy realm, if given the ability to do so. I especially love the ones who write whole ballads for their pieces, gives me a real kick to see that passion come through. There's also the other thing that people can express themselves through a piece of written work without getting a bop on the head if they had tried saying that out loud in a more open forum. It's good for the quiet ones we have.

    In conclusion, you don't really lose anything from Achaea for a few written works. There's the rituals and lectures you can do as well, it's just a part of what it means to be in a House like that. If I didn't like that, I wouldn't have had Wyst stay in that House for +50 years and counting now.
    "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."

    ExelethrilSylvanceCooperIdelisa
  • NellaundraNellaundra Member Posts: 1,556 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    To clarify on what I meant by all of this:

    I have several essays I need to write for my requirements.  This is fine.  I actually like writing essays quite a bit.  But, the big thing is that no one in Mojushai really READS the essays or takes them into consideration.  So, in essence, it's just busy work that my own personal pride will force me to do instead of just copying something off the internet.
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    Ayodele
  • WysteriaWysteria Member Posts: 1,826 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Now that's something else. If you have to write stuff for House reqs, the people higher up should very well be willing and happy to read and discuss them, otherwise they're wasting your time and effort. That would really kill the creativity.
    "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."

    ExelethrilIdelisaJhaeliAyodele
  • AzorAzor Member Posts: 145
    edited November 2012
    I haven't had the chance to read this whole thread, just wanted to give my perspective as current HL of Blood Congregation, since I saw someone worrying about it. 

    And it's this: activities that require writing are not just essays, for BC, but also sermonizing, doing rituals, etc. These are essential to the identity of the House as a clerical order. But I recognize that some people don't want to write at all, or hardly at all, and they shouldn't have to. Our novices (Malefics) don't write at all, and our HR3s (Drochs) have some flexible requirements that CAN be fulfilled by writing, or alternately by something else. The "paths" that follow full Clergy status allow people to focus on scholarship, ritual, combat, whatever's their preference.

    But on the other hand, it's just a fact that whoever is going to be leading a priestly House like BC is going to be someone who feels comfortable delivering a sermon or performing a pre-written ritual. You can be a combatant in BC, never write a word, and be a full member of the House, but you might never get to be an Apostle or the Archbishop.

    Addendum: it's also the case that the House leadership is flexible. It's not as though we have to process hundreds of applicants. Everyone gets the opportunity to customize their program, particularly after the more basic reqs are completed.
    MathonwyHalos
  • SylvanceSylvance Member Posts: 1,477 ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean
    I think it's entirely reasonable for Ty Beirdd to require -some- written work from its members.  That said, people should be able to specialise to other parts of the Arts pretty swiftly (i.e. move into dance etc). That said... even an Achaean dancer is 'writing'.  I think that somebody who 'hates writing and reading' should ask themselves why they're playing a text game, and certainly shouldn't join a House dedicated to the Arts.

    For other Houses, I think there can certainly be a strong argument for not making people write anything.  As ever, for me this comes back to the question of 'Should organisations be able to require things of their members'.  Most reasonable people would agree that the answer is 'yes' with qualifications.
    Tvistor: If that was a troll, it was masterful.
    I take my hat off to you.
  • JonathinJonathin Grand Rapids, MIMember Posts: 3,323 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Text dancing is different than writing an essay. I normally dislike writing in Achaea, which is why most of my rituals or RP things are done on the spot without a crap ton of foresight. It's also why several of my rituals have been great successes and also why there have been a few flops.

    Writing essays removes the multiplayer aspect of Achaea, sure you might have to ask someone some questions, and afterward you might have a discussion about it, but during the process you're alone in the editor or sitting somewhere and writing. It's not fun for some people to spend time doing something that will have minimal impact on people.

    People play a multiplayer game to play with multiple people, and anything that detracts from that experience is a detriment to the game unless it is a conscious decision by the player to break from that.

    My site will remain up, but will not be maintained. The repository will continue to have scripts added to it if I decide to play another game. Maybe I'll see you around in Starmourn!
    Tutorials and scripts  The Repository

  • SylvanceSylvance Member Posts: 1,477 ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean
    edited November 2012
    Jonathin said:
    Text dancing is different than writing an essay. I normally dislike writing in Achaea, which is why most of my rituals or RP things are done on the spot without a crap ton of foresight. It's also why several of my rituals have been great successes and also why there have been a few flops.

    Writing essays removes the multiplayer aspect of Achaea, sure you might have to ask someone some questions, and afterward you might have a discussion about it, but during the process you're alone in the editor or sitting somewhere and writing. It's not fun for some people to spend time doing something that will have minimal impact on people.

    People play a multiplayer game to play with multiple people, and anything that detracts from that experience is a detriment to the game unless it is a conscious decision by the player to break from that.
    Yes, I agree. Which is why there should be Houses that require such (for people who want to do such), and Houses that don't. My point is that if you choose to 'read and write' there should be somewhere to do it (and indeed there is!), but that I have no sympathy who choose to be in such a House and then get POd when they're asked to write something.  In the same way that I'd have little sympathy for someone who joined a LETSFIGHT House in Shallam and then developed an itchy trigger finger on the ISSUE button when they draw the attention of PKers.
    Tvistor: If that was a troll, it was masterful.
    I take my hat off to you.
    Alyssea
  • SenaSena Member Posts: 3,954 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    For those who disagree with writing requirements because they're single-player activities, how do you feel about a bashing requirement, like reaching level 20? Or earning gold for basic equipment/curatives? Both of those are equally single-player, take far more time, and have even less RP involved.
  • MishgulMishgul ROTHERHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMMember Posts: 5,314 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    yus they are. Lead group hunt was my predecessors compromise on that

    -

    One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one's work is terribly important

    As drawn by Shayde
    hic locus est ubi mors gaudet succurrere vitae
  • WysteriaWysteria Member Posts: 1,826 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Last group hunt I led was back when I was level 30 and we just hunted out critters for reagents. That was a fun one though, went for three hours gathering everything possible on ab inkmilling
    :D
    "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
  • SenaSena Member Posts: 3,954 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Group hunts used to be a lot more common, years ago. My favourite was when Xtassy (I think) took a bunch of novices to hunt in the Underworld and other scary places.
    Prythe
  • RangorRangor Member Posts: 3,188 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    For scholary houses it makes sense to have essays, disscussions and all that comes with being a scholar.

    For other houses, it's a bad idea to have essays. Say a warrior house like the sentinels would be shooting itself in the foot if it had a lot of essays to do.
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    SylvanceAnatralLys
  • AlysseaAlyssea Member Posts: 417 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    Rangor said:
    For scholary houses it makes sense to have essays, disscussions and all that comes with being a scholar.

    For other houses, it's a bad idea to have essays. Say a warrior house like the sentinels would be shooting itself in the foot if it had a lot of essays to do.
    Yeah, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't have any. We still have (at least) two essays that people have to do between HR1 and HR5.
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    SylvanceWynedere
  • IdelisaIdelisa Member Posts: 385 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    edited November 2012
    Rangor said:
    For scholary houses it makes sense to have essays, disscussions and all that comes with being a scholar.

    For other houses, it's a bad idea to have essays. Say a warrior house like the sentinels would be shooting itself in the foot if it had a lot of essays to do.
    But again this is assuming that the player has any choice whatsoever in the house that he or she can be in?  Sylvans have one choice, and if the player is like me and is terrible at writing essays it becomes a serious chore.   For those that it's interesting for, that's great and all but it's a real challenge for some people.   

    How many members have houses lost due to the stringent requirements?   People should be rewarded for advancing, not given chores and threatened if they don't.   Essays are the reason why my alt is rogue, I certainly wasn't going to go through the annoyance of writing more.  IRE already gets all my money, it doesn't need all my brain cells too.

    And, more to the point, how many PLAYERS has the game lost because of things like that?  My husband decided not to play because he didn't want to play a game where homework was required, and he's a WRITER and he reads 5 books a week, so studying/writing for him is nothing at all.

    In the end, this is a game, and nobody should be "forced"  to do something that he or she doesn't want to, just to have the full game experience of being in a house.  

    ESPECIALLY considering people have enough real life challenges as it is.  When I was in the middle of my HR5 requirements my husband and I had just lost our foster son, whom we were supposed to adopt (since he'd been with us for over a year), less than a month later we lost the house we were renting because we had a complete and total slumlord. Logging in to write essays was the last thing in the world I wanted to do, and sure I could ask for an extension and ended up needing to, but how do you think that makes people feel when they can't keep up?  I came seriously close to quitting the house just to take that pressure off of me.

    Marv, one of Idelisa's proteges, got overwhelmed with figuring out the world, struggling with English being his second language AND trying to keep up with house requirements.  So of course, he quit.  

    In a game with so much human interaction, different personalities should be fostered and encouraged, not extinguished for the sake of tradition.  I love the Sylvans dearly, but had I had a choice to be in a different house, I probably would have been.  @Anatral was lucky because when the druids weren't working for him, he was able to join the Sents without having to jump class, but I certainly didn't have that luxury. 


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  • VayneVayne Rhode IslandMember Posts: 1,897 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited November 2012
    @Those who don't like to read/grade the essays - Welcome to the world of a teacher.

    I think both sides have quite reasonable arguments. There are definitely pros and cons on each side to the overall benefits of writing essays to RP and House growth.

    Essays, if done correctly, do stimulate interaction between housemates. This of course requires the writer to do his research as is necessary with any real writing project and the reader to carefully read it and provide feedback that can potentially bolster both players and ultimately the Houses roleplay. This takes an effort from both sides and I feel that weighing a player down with a lot of busy work just to check off boxes on their requirements lists is counter productive indeed. There are those who are just not scholarly. Like I mention before(but did not have the energy to make a contributing post), the Serpentlords do not have an writing assignments necessary to become a full member. We reserve that for the "scholarly" path which can take after you become HR5. This works well for us because we are not especially known for being scholars, but for other houses I do not see an issue in writing essays at an earlier point in advancement as long as they are fundamental things pertaining to the House's RP and not anything too high or theoretical. That allows for people who are more combat minded to be able to advance to a significant position within a house, though I agree with Azor in a more intellectual house there should be a certain ceiling a pure combatant should hit.

    Edit: Forgot to mention, essays are only one of the tools in the box, variety is good! Think outside the box!
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    SylvanceIdelisaJhaeli
  • RangorRangor Member Posts: 3,188 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    @antonius Sentinels have different styled tests to have the members demonstrate their understanding of nature.

    @idelisa If you want to make it somewhere in a house, you'll have to prove yourself somehow. Some houses that's through scholary pursuits such as essays, some houses that's through designing and performing sermons, rituals and preaching and in other houses it's through combat prowess.

    Then there are those houses that don't require anything of their members.... what's the point with those houses again?
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  • AntoniusAntonius Member Posts: 4,771 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Idelisa said:
    Logging in to write essays was the last thing in the world I wanted to do, and sure I could ask for an extension and ended up needing to, but how do you think that makes people feel when they can't keep up?  I came seriously close to quitting the house just to take that pressure off of me.

    In all honesty it sounds as though that's less a problem with the requirements themselves and more a problem with having a specific time period in which you have to complete said requirements, which I will agree is completely ridiculous. People should be able to work on things at their own pace, with the condition that they won't progress within the House until they have completed them, and not face any real consequences for being slower than others.

    And, while I agree with you that different playstyles and tastes should be catered for, what alternatives would you provide in place of writing an essay if you had the power to do so?
    Jhaeli
  • IdelisaIdelisa Member Posts: 385 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    edited November 2012
    @Rangor, I'm not in any way saying that houses should have no requirements at all, but there are other ways of doing things. Just because a person isn't so inclined to write, doesn't mean that it should be hell for them to become a full house member.  I think that @Vayne 's house has the right idea, offering different paths for after a person becomes a full house member by, as you say, proving themselves in various ways (which, considering the point of a house should mean INVOLVEMENT, not having your head stuck in a virtual book/journal.  

    Just because someone can write essays doesn't mean that they are going to be a contributing house member, and just because they're not good at writing essays/rituals/sermons doesn't mean that they aren't going to be amazing members.  
    As @Mishgul / Carmain said, I'm a strong proponent for mentor / protege interaction, and feel that this does more for people than any essay (or the like) ever will.   I think that people just tend to consider requirements one dimensionally.  In my opinion, and I'm sure in my others, a lot of the requirements that I've seen really stress solo activities, whereas I personally believe that someone that does a bunch of intro's and helps a bunch of novices has proven themselves way more than someone that wrote a bunch of essays, and is a lot more telling about the individual.

    That being said, there are situations that clearly warrant those types of things, as with @Acrolo or @Wysteria who aren't online when most other people are, writing might be more appropriate to them, who knows, but certainly we have enough incredibly intelligent people that we can come up with better ways of doing things so that the GAME is fun for everyone. 

    People should be encouraged to be involved.
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    Wynedere
  • IdelisaIdelisa Member Posts: 385 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    @Vasool this I can agree with.  More vivisecting, please.
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    Vasool
  • NellaundraNellaundra Member Posts: 1,556 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    @Vasool I am all for this, but can I replace it with a Brokenstar instead?
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    Vasool
  • IdelisaIdelisa Member Posts: 385 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    edited November 2012
    @Iocun, I agree with the point of some people wanting a challenge, because believe it or not I do want that, otherwise I would have long sense quit the house, but I think that early requirements should be more finding their place and learning to be contributing house members rather than focusing on writing and whatnot.  

    I think there should be more pressure on Mentors/mentoring and less on novices.  After they've learned how they can play a part within the house, THEN they should be allowed to choose a path, as @Vayne mentioned, that fits their style, whether they are artistic, or wish to become combatants, or are more interested in writing/scholastic pursuits, it should be up to them.  After all if that's the reason why the person is here, they will rise to the challenge and choose to follow a path for themselves.

    @Antonius, I admit you may be partially right about the time limit, but it really is more than just that.  Other than our four required tasks, I've never heard anyone say, "Man I sure did learn a lot by completing this task," it's more like, "Well this is pointless and stupid, what the hell am I supposed to do with this?"    

    Of course I argue all this as someone that is rising in the house ranks, so it's kind of ironic.  I really love mentoring and I love helping, I couldn't wait to get HR5 so that I could do my part to make some sort of difference, but I do rather regret feeling like I don't have anything else to challenge myself with to move forward more, and I dislike how stressful it was to get there and that I now have to push my proteges to do things I hated doing myself.   

    To answer your question, I have dozens of practical suggestions, most of which I've made so I won't bother with them here, cause it really makes no difference in the end, but each one of them requires interacting with other people, and focuses on learning how to be contributing members.

    I feel like tl;dr-ing my darn own posts.  I'm just a little passionate about the topic. :P
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  • VayneVayne Rhode IslandMember Posts: 1,897 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    I don't think anyone disagrees that essays/writing projects are helpful for developing characters. The question, I think, is where is it most effectively applied. I think the answer to that depends on the particular organization in question and what methods work best within its framework. Essays seem pretty universal while other types of projects seem more specialized like oral tradition(Spiritwalkers), performances(CIJ, Ty Beirdd), Sermons(BC, Assembly) etc etc.  I am just saying there are options.
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  • AlysseaAlyssea Member Posts: 417 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    edited November 2012
    @Idelisa Not everything in games is fun. Sure, the whole reason most people game is to have fun, but that doesn't mean every moment is going to just be doing what's most interesting for you. You train to get better at things, you die repeatedly to bosses before you learn their weaknesses. In Achaea, you learn and have to write about the House you're in. Sure, you may not be a historian/scholar, but it's perfectly fine for a House to require their novices to learn some about it. You certainly don't use all the random tidbits of information you learn throughout school once you're done with it, but that doesn't mean you should have only have learned about math if you decided you were going to be a math teacher after high school and you just get to skip English, or vice versa. It's important to be exposed to a variety of things.
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    DelphinusJonathinJacenJhaeliWynedere
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