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An open letter to the Administration

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  • IllarionIllarion Member Posts: 88 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    edited May 2017

    I almost deleted that bit as I knew it would be the only part people would focus on, and anyone who'd posted would assume it's about them.  Have no issue with the people who don't think the concerns raised in the letter are valid.  That's engaging with the concerns, and that's groovy. 

    Actually, you know what?  I went back and re-read it, and that part of my post was a gross over-reaction.  I sometimes think people do show that attitude, and maybe that point's been on my mind long enough that it popped out, but really it wasn't that bad.  Consider it retracted =).

    Ognog
  • DalinorDalinor Moderator Posts: 24 Moderator
    Illarion said:
    Dalinor said:
    It is correctly clarified that you can't concurrently play any mortal character while volunteering as a Celani (or beyond). Merely that once you have stepped down from the Garden you can, in most cases, return to your mortal life.


    This is, probably, a good thing but, on the other hand, I'm not sure it's a good thing to really emphasise.  I always thought it was really important that the need for character separation was driven home when applying to be Celani and, ultimately, a God.  Separating yourself from your IC biases/relationships/goals in exactly the way you need to if you want to be a good Divine is (I would imagine) by far the hardest part of the whole thing. (And if it's not done well, will inevitably lead to a host of unpleasant and corrosive problems).

    If what you do is emphasise that Godhood can be temporary and you can hop back in to your old character (unless you've done something super egregious) and at the same time you're also emphasizing that becoming a God can be super quick, then that seems like a bad combo to me.  You will inevitably get people dipping their toe in the water, and dipping back out which is bad on all levels.  You'll get imperfectly character separated people being promoted to full God status - sometimes even as the Divine for the faction they played for (which is almost always bad). 


    I'm not sure we at all promote that "becoming a God can be super quick". HELP PROMOTIONS pretty clearly outlines that if you are very focused, and clearly a good fit, the minimum for going through the two stages of training is 4-6 months. I guess "super quick" is a little bit subjective, but I wouldn't call it that. 

    The Garden is in a tough spot regarding how specifically we tend to talk about this. We want to avoid exactly what @Illarion suggests, people "dipping in their toes" and treating it as just a temporary thing to try out. As though Celani is just the next multi-class option and you can just switch back if it's not to your liking. On the other hand, it can discourage applicants if the belief is "the second you step into the Garden you can never ever ever go back so STAY OUT".

    Personally I'm not sure where that balance is, but as you can see, we've made some changes to at least reflect how the current Administration views things!

    Equally though, I hope that the admin (continue to) reflect on how they can improve retention which does seem to be low.  Is there enough support in place?  How is the Garden atmosphere?  Are the employed Gods too hands-on, too hands-off?  What is working, what is not working? 

    @Makarios previously noted we are definitely looking both within and without our process to see where improvements can be made. I guess there isn't a lot more to say here, though people do keep bringing it up. We are aware! But we do continue to welcome the feedback.
    OgnogCailinUtianima
  • LaedhaLaedha Member Posts: 180 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    Reyson said:
    I think you've rather impressively misinterpreted many people's motivation here. 

    For one, I've posted out of an instinct to point out that the first step to correcting most issues is modifying your own behaviour. If we're having problems retaining Gods, then isn't it entirely possible that, as a playerbase, we've not made Achaea a friendly place for the volunteers who take those roles? What does the faction each person currently play have to offer that would be appealing to a prospective volunteer? What are the unappealing parts? Do the appealing outweigh the unappealing? And so on. 

    Self-examination, in short. I'm not looking for approval. I'm hoping people post things that are well-thought out and cogent, perhaps get just one person to go 'oh, hey, maybe I can do more as a member of a faction to make this a good spot to play a God in.' Not looking for pats on the head, I'm afraid! 
    There's got to be balance though. Players can definitely do some things to help, but the player base shifts and people generally don't change their behavior much. I teach teenagers every day. Some days the kids are just being obnoxious and they need to shape up. But if the majority of my students are consistently on their phones, consistently not doing assignments, consistently not doing well on tests, the problem is probably me and/or structural and I need to change how I'm managing the classroom or give them different types of tasks.

    The admin are doing a lot of amazing things, but it seems like the problem of godrole retention is consistently bad enough that you can't just tell players to act differently and hope it works, there need to be structural changes. I don't know what the answer is, but maybe some combination of reducing their work load or expectations, protecting them from some of the worst player behavior, or rewarding them in some way (even if that can't be financial). 
    TorinnOgnogAereidhna
  • FeralFeral Member Posts: 56 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    I was briefly in the garden long long ago (though never a divine) and have had multiple real life friends who have played the role of divine in multiple IRE games.

    So to any people out there reading this who have ever taken the time to play such a role you have my deepest condolences and gratitude <3

    NicolaShimiUtianima
  • OgnogOgnog Member Posts: 284 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    Tecton said:
    We do try to be as flexible as possible to accommodate these circumstances, but after so many real life months, we have to draw the line.
    So ... if a God player is unable to sustain some minimum level of activity they get removed? I can certainly understand this if others are waiting in the wings to take over, but I can't help but wonder if a casual hour a week presence would be preferable to a vacant role.

  • TectonTecton The Garden of the GodsAdministrator Posts: 2,507 Admin
    Ognog said:
    Tecton said:
    We do try to be as flexible as possible to accommodate these circumstances, but after so many real life months, we have to draw the line.
    So ... if a God player is unable to sustain some minimum level of activity they get removed? I can certainly understand this if others are waiting in the wings to take over, but I can't help but wonder if a casual hour a week presence would be preferable to a vacant role.
    Oh, I'm talking not logging on for several real life months.
    OgnogUtianima
  • AileaAilea Member Posts: 134 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    Firstly, I think it's a good thing that there is OOC separation for those who are selected as Celani, whether they grow to become a God or not.

    Not having the influences of "insanity" in a game really can make your play time vastly different. Such as not having ooc clans, or be tempted to try to settle things in an out of character way. As someone behind the scenes, you wouldn't want temptation to give away information to those who are not in the Garden. At least in my opinion. I've had several times where out of character experiences has flat out ruined the roleplay atmosphere for me, therefore I got rid of the clans. 

    I think it goes to show all of us that those behind the scenes, most of the time, are sincerely doing a thankless job. They are doing the job though because they love Achaea and want to provide experiences for us, the players. 

    I can understand the frustration of not having a God (Seriously be in a city that is extremely reliant on a God such as Targossas and Mhaldor), but it also comes back to it really is unwise to judge the god or goddess role, without having done it yourself. 

    Remember, if you want something done in Achaea, there is nothing stopping you from drafting up an event or plan to put in a divine request, or trying different communication methods. Furthermore, there is nothing stopping you from applying to become a Celani (so long as you are 18 and above). If it's not your cup of tea, then it's not. 


    ShimiUtianima
  • JacenJacen Member Posts: 2,307 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Ailea said:

    Remember, if you want something done in Achaea, there is nothing stopping you from drafting up an event or plan to put in a divine request, or trying different communication methods.

    I'm not sure this is, under normal circumstances, possible without a patron god. 
    Sarapis said:

    In the words of another immortal, "I don't think they realise that even something like 'give us an enchantment room' is an expansion that requires knowledge of the orgs lore and history, it's not just 6 random desc sentences tacked onto the end."

    The suggestion doesn't incorporate an understanding of how Achaea works behind-the-scenes, which isn't your fault of course.

    If a non-patron admin can't put 6 descriptive sentences together (they don't even have to write the sentences! Usually Houses had contests for these sort of things), I don't know how they can set up an org event, unless it was super vanilla. 

    (Sarapis quote from my Patronage System thread)
    image
  • KietKiet Member Posts: 3,263 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    ? We managed just fine without a patron, do you think Mhaldor had no events/additions to stuff for years?
  • CooperCooper Member Posts: 5,526 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    If by "just fine" you mean not fine at all and we were in serious trouble before Sartan came back, sure.

  • KietKiet Member Posts: 3,263 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    We still got requests completed, even if they took longer, which is what the point of the post was. I didn't say we were doing fine overall.
  • JacenJacen Member Posts: 2,307 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Kiet said:
    ? We managed just fine without a patron, do you think Mhaldor had no events/additions to stuff for years?
    That's literally what Sarapis said in that thread, and my personal experience in leadership fully supports the statement that patronless = nothing gets done. Maybe things have changed or maybe the more factional cities get special attention.
    image
  • KietKiet Member Posts: 3,263 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Stuff definitely goes a lot slower and you have to be way more insistent, but it's not impossible to get things done is my point.
  • SaevaSaeva Member Posts: 1,944 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited May 2017
    I had some help from admin as HL with no patron, thanks to a few other divine who stepped in when needed. It was absolutely slower, way slower, and not every little thing got responses. But the things that really mattered were handled. It really sucked to not have a patron because somewhere as harsh as Mdor needs a non-player to give hard orders or to keep things in an unbiased line. Some choices really do go over better coming from a divine you can't argue with versus a player, who really doesn't need to be making or stuck with certain calls. Other than that, it doesn't stop you from playing and progressing, it just takes patience and adjustments.


    ReysonAccipiterShimiUtianima
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