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Essays and House Requirements

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  • NizarisNizaris The Holy City of MhaldorMember Posts: 537 ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean
    @Carmain: Based on your direction, and collecting my own data on the topic (one particular mentor assigning -additional- tasks on top of the existing requirements that were chocked full of essays and producing only dormancy as a result), I did my best to remove essays from the house requirements, and replace them with substantive conversations with mentors instead. Or at the very least, have novices take notes/summarize a conversation in their journal. The only real difficulty was the ritual/sermon requirement, which yeah, pretty much has to be an essay. I hope that you weren't referring to my own initiatives in your post. If so, speak with me privately, and I would welcome the criticism. Nizaris, and myself, are interested in a results-oriented approach -- results being defined as active, contributing characters.
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    IdelisaWynedere
  • JonathinJonathin Grand Rapids, MIMember Posts: 3,323 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    I second @Delphinus here. /seconding

    I think it's ridiculous to tell someone that just because they joined a certain House, that they have to surrender some enjoyment that could be garnered from other avenues of learning because you want them to write an essay, regardless of whether it is 2 paragraphs or 50. Mosr has been in 2 Houses and has had a difficult time in 1 (Warlocks) because essays were mandatory and great fun in another (Crystalline) because the essays were optional. 

    There are many, many ways to learn what you would normally learn about a person from an essay without actually requiring that person to sit and write an essay. Using essays to correct ESL speakers is not your job and is not a valid reason to require essays in a House. It's a cool fringe benefit though, sure.

    Regarding single-player mode: Bashing -can- be done with more than one person. In fact, I rarely bash alone these days and people in the Crystalline go together quite often. Essays can only be written alone. Research can be done in teams, which would be cool, but the low number of newcomers does not really make it possible. 



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  • AlysseaAlyssea Member Posts: 417 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    @Delphinus Right, so, when I die 5 times to Tanris in a raid and don't get a single kill, the game has failed because I'm not having fun? 

    No. It provides a learning experience, I find out what I (or the raid leader) did wrong and hopefully it's changed and different the next raid. Accomplishing things is fun, yes, but does that mean that everything leading up to the accomplishment is fun? I enjoy playing piano, and it's great to be able to perform difficult pieces perfectly in front of audience, but that doesn't mean the repetitive practicing of a few measures again and again is fun.
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    JonathinWynedereMishgulTvistorRangor
  • IdelisaIdelisa Member Posts: 385 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    @Alyssea - when did playing the piano become a game?  

    Kidding! But you also aren't required to defend. I'm guessing it's kind of assumed that you are doing so because you enjoy the challenge of combat and of learning new things, no? So ultimately it's fun for you, right?
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  • JonathinJonathin Grand Rapids, MIMember Posts: 3,323 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited November 2012
    If you die 5 times to Tanris in a raid and are not having fun in some respect, you're doing something wrong. I don't mind dying and even usually enjoy it.

    Most people don't want to become a performance pianist. Most people don't want to practice for countless hours to become a performance pianist. That's why most people are not performance pianists. Another problem with your argument is that praying doesn't really take much and all you have to do is pray for salvation or wait for a resurrection. Essays on the other hand do not write themselves if you type 'pray for essay'.

    I've been in many situations where people have just taken a few people aside and they just had a debate or discussion in lieu of writing anything. It made the situation about 1000 times more enjoyable because not only are they learning, they are interacting with more people than just a pen and some paper.

    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!
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  • AlysseaAlyssea Member Posts: 417 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    @Idelisa Okay, sure. I enjoy combat whether I die or not. What about bashing to dragon, though? I sincerely doubt many, if any, people actually enjoyed the repetitive pressing of a macro to attack denizen after denizen until they finally got to level 99. I certainly don't enjoy bashing, but I still do it. It was worth it to bash to 80 to not have to worry about sleeping or eating, but that doesn't mean it was fun. It's worth it for some people to spend the time bashing to dragon because of all the perks you get for accomplishing it, but was the repetitive motion of killing denizens really fun?
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    JonathinWynedereTvistorRangor
  • JonathinJonathin Grand Rapids, MIMember Posts: 3,323 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited November 2012
    @Alyssea: You don't seem to be getting the underlying point in all of these posts. Bashing to dragon was a choice. Choice is what makes a game fun. The choice to overcome certain challenges or to ignore others. I didn't choose to bash to dragon because the F1 smashing doesn't sound like fun. I chose the path that required essays because I decided that it was something that I need to work on and that needed to be done.

    Edit: It keeps eating my bold stuff.

    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

  • NellaundraNellaundra Member Posts: 1,556 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Alyssea said:
    @Idelisa Okay, sure. I enjoy combat whether I die or not. What about bashing to dragon, though? I sincerely doubt many, if any, people actually enjoyed the repetitive pressing of a macro to attack denizen after denizen until they finally got to level 99. I certainly don't enjoy bashing, but I still do it. It was worth it to bash to 80 to not have to worry about sleeping or eating, but that doesn't mean it was fun. It's worth it for some people to spend the time bashing to dragon because of all the perks you get for accomplishing it, but was the repetitive motion of killing denizens really fun?
    Actually yes, I get all excited when I watch my numbers go up.
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    ChryenthKyrra
  • IdelisaIdelisa Member Posts: 385 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    @Alyssea I actually really enjoy bashing, personally I find it therapeutic in way, and when I don't enjoy it, I stop.  But again, it's not something you're "required" to do to get enjoy the full interactive experience of Achaea. And usually people bash when they feel like it, and don't when they don't.  Some people take over 100 years to get dragon, some do it in less than 50, so they do it at their own pace... as they feel like it and if they feel like.

    Really semantics though, these are all optional things.

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  • AlysseaAlyssea Member Posts: 417 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    edited November 2012
    @Jonathin People have the choice to be in a House. Rogue may not be as interesting for most people, but there is no requirement for people to have to be in a House and write essays.

    Edit: Really, everything in life is a choice. You don't have to play Achaea. You don't have to be in a House. You can choose to be in a House and just ignore an essay-writing assignment. You can choose to not write an essay for school irl and just get an F. No one is forcing your hand and making you write essays for Achaea.
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    JonathinWynedereTvistor
  • JonathinJonathin Grand Rapids, MIMember Posts: 3,323 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited November 2012
    @Alyssea: Houses are an integral part of the game and deepen the experience into a rich and fulfilling time. Sure, it's a choice to be in a House, but it shouldn't be YOUR choice whether someone else wants to join a House or not because you feel like requiring something that they hate. 

    If their character morals and ideals match up with the House and it would enrich their experience, it should be the House's responsibility to cater to more than 1 walk of life.

    I just don't understand why you're so hard-set on having essays in requirements. Requirements are intended to teach someone about the game and there are multiple ways to do it without forcing someone to do something they dislike doing. Essays are not the only way to help someone gain knowledge and the game shouldn't be treated as if they are.

    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

    IdelisaWynedereTvistor
  • IdelisaIdelisa Member Posts: 385 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    edited November 2012
    Jonathin said:
    @Alyssea: Houses are an integral part of the game and deepen the experience into a rich and fulfilling time. Sure, it's a choice to be in a House, but it shouldn't be YOUR choice whether someone else wants to join a House or not because you feel like requiring something that they hate. 

    If their character morals and ideals match up with the House and it would enrich their experience, it should be the House's responsibility to cater to more than 1 walk of life.
    ... especially if there are no other choices for houses based on a class. :P

    I understand that everything is a choice which is why I've put forced and required in quotation marks, to emphasize the fact that I understand that being in a house is not a requirement, but as Jonathin points out, it really is a huge part to the player experience and is especially frustrating when you literally have no where else to go other than rogue if you do not complete the required-to-make-it-to-HR5-and-thereby-be-allowed-to-stay-in-the-house tasks.
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  • ChryenthChryenth Member Posts: 1,323 @ - Epic Achaean
    I find it amusing that the thread in which the primary opinion seems to be 'Less essay requirements' has some of the longest posts I've seen on the forums, and the largest quantity of such posts. Anyway.

    As someone who has written some fairly beefy essays for my House, I agree that doing so through novicehood is silly. Doing them for a Lore-focused branch of the House is not.

    Whilst I'm here, thank you @Jonathin. I recall rather well you cut Ingronian's essay requirements down to practically nothing, and everything had a 'Talk to someone' option as well. :D
    JonathinSylvanceWysteriaAyodele
  • AlysseaAlyssea Member Posts: 417 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    @Jonathin I agree. Just writing is not a walk of life, though. Writing is going to be involved in everything, whether people like it or not. And this is a text game. If someone really hates writing so much that they would quit a House because it requires you to write five sentences, they should not be playing Achaea. As far as I know, no House requires real essays. No House says that you must write a 5-paragraph essay, each paragraph with 5-8 sentences. If there were a House that required something like that, then yes, there should be multiple options, but requiring that every novice state a few sentences about what it means to be a Sentinel or similar things is not that big of a deal.
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    Wynedere
  • JonathinJonathin Grand Rapids, MIMember Posts: 3,323 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    If it's so short, why can't you just talk to the novice in person? Why force them to type out an blip of an essay at all? You can achieve the exact same thing plus some with real-time interaction. If it's so short, what is the point of having someone form a view that could be wrong while in real-time talks, you could correct it on the spot and guide their decision making processes into an informed viewpoint?

    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!
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    XerTvistorArillesSherazad
  • XerXer LangleyMember Posts: 804
    edited November 2012
    The main problem is the assumption that you think an "essay" is what, five sentences? If an essay requires but five sentences, then it's not worth writing at all in my opinion. To most, an "essay" brings to mind something substantial, and of actual worth. If it weren't, why bother with it when you can just tell someone your entire essay more quickly than they could read it?

    EDIT: If something of that length is all that you require, I would recommend you call it something else. Most will associate essays to what they've experienced in school, or in other parts of their life, and it's a natural thing to do. As an established requirement, they shouldn't need to change their immediate identification of the word "essay" to what the House thinks an essay should be. Rather, it should be the House to make clear what they expect, or perhaps call it something else than an "essay".

    EDIT2: Mosr beat me to it D:


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    JonathinChryenthArilles
  • WynedereWynedere Member Posts: 305 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent

    Frankly, it looks like you'd -want- to offer alternatives to your members if for no other reason than to foster an environment that new players will enjoy. Why are you defending essay requirements so fiercely? Yes, this is a text game. Some level of writing will be involved. But, do you really want to add to what is already necessary?

    Achaea is a well-rounded mud, for the most part, offering numerous avenues for various player interests. Houses, however, tend to have the same requirements no matter where you go (with a few exceptions). Achaea strongly emphasizes house membership. While it may not be required, it is central to a game that is built around interaction. In light of that, house leadership should be more flexible with regard to requirements. Always offer alternatives.


  • IdelisaIdelisa Member Posts: 385 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    edited November 2012
    @Alyssea, clearly I have no problem writing and I'm one of the people that has a dreadful time writing essays, even though our essays are only 3 paragraphs long.  But I have no problem with debate, or discussion.  It's just how my brain works. Are you saying that I shouldn't play Achaea, since I'm one of the ones that almost quit a house because of it?  :P 

    You've played a game I wrote... AND I could communicate an idea "face to face", but tell me to write something out and I instantly revert to perfectionist mode from college and I panic. It's dumb, and it's my own problem, but clearly I'm not the only one... just like some people freeze up at exams or interviews and I have no problem with those.


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  • AlysseaAlyssea Member Posts: 417 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    edited November 2012
    I consider an Achaean essay to be one to two paragraphs. A lot of people manage to turn that into five sentences, which is fine. It'd probably be 15-20 sentences for me. I'm not sure what more having a discussion would bring when it's a fairly simple topic. "What does it mean to you to be a Sentinel" -novice gives a text wall in a say that they have pre-prepared- "Would you elaborate a bit on <x>?" -novice says another sentence or two- -you nod your head-. If it's Mhaldor with some philosophical thing that can be interpreted multiple ways, then talking would most likely be better than an essay, but short essays are good for simple topics.

    Edit: @Idelisa 3 paragraphs =/= 5 sentences. If your House requires that, then yes, other options should be implemented. 

    And yeah, everyone seems to be equating Achaean essays to essays they had to write for college or high school. From what I've experienced, Achaean essays are really nothing like that.
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  • JonathinJonathin Grand Rapids, MIMember Posts: 3,323 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Wynedere said:

     While it may not be required, it is central to a game that is built around interaction. In light of that, house leadership should be more flexible with regard to requirements. Always offer alternatives.

    This, this this this. QFT, qft. This is the truth. 

    You can't just say "they have the choice to be in a House" when the game is built around Houses and cities and the interaction therein. This game would be nothing if there were no Houses or cities. There would be loose axes of conflict in which the lines would be blurred and very few would actually have fun.

    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

    IdelisaArillesSherazad
  • XerXer LangleyMember Posts: 804
    edited November 2012
    @Alyssea How are novices supposed to know that Achaean essays aren't like the essays that they're used to? When I read the word essay, I'm going to equate it to the concept that I associate to most strongly given the context. For most people, that would mean college/high school essays. Unless you call it something else, I don't really think you can argue that "Oh, this is called an essay, but it's not like the essays you've written before" without making it explicitly clear via examples or instructions.
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  • AlysseaAlyssea Member Posts: 417 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    @Xer For one of the tests novices have to pass in the Sentinels, it is explicitly stated that it should be two paragraphs. They don't give a number of sentences, characters, or some kind of paragraph structure you have to follow, though. In school, you're often given all of these things, except it's even more, like a minimum of 3 pages, a minimum of 5 pages, a minimum of 5 paragraphs with at least 8 sentences in each paragraph, etc. Since none of these things are specified for Achaean essays, they leave it up to you to decide the length, and it typically doesn't end up being long at all.
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  • ChryenthChryenth Member Posts: 1,323 @ - Epic Achaean
    I was never told that in school, that I recall.
  • NellaundraNellaundra Member Posts: 1,556 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    >.>

    I write eight paragraph essays minimum.  College length.

    If I'm doing something, I'm doing it god damn right.
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  • IdelisaIdelisa Member Posts: 385 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    @Nellaundra that's actually kind of my own problem with it.  It's not so much the length though, as the quality, to me - though I'm sure you do mean that as well.  Which is why discussion works so much better for me, I don't feel the pressure of an introduction paragraph, body and conclusion.  Plus, most people learn more from discussion, and may have something to add in ... you know, an actual conversation.
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    Nellaundra
  • DelphinusDelphinus Member Posts: 896 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited November 2012
  • XerXer LangleyMember Posts: 804
    If it's explicitly written, then that's good at least. But I'm of the same mindset of @Nellaundra, if I'm going to do something, I'm doing to do it to the best of my ability (even if it's cross-dressing >.> if you recall from Player Pics). That is of course, a personal thing, but I think the major point of the arguments "against" essays isn't that there shouldn't be no essays, especially if it's explicitly stated that they don't need to be long, but rather, that there should be alternatives for people whose quirks and personalities just don't allow them to conform to writing short essays or the like.
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  • NellaundraNellaundra Member Posts: 1,556 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Of course I mean quality as well :P
    When I say doing it right, I don't mean bashing on my keyboard for six straight minutes and then going through and adding occasional punctuation and breaking it into eight separate chunks.
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    Idelisa
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