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Garden Q&A!

NicolaNicola Administrator Posts: 807 Achaean staff
Hey hey, folks!

It's Q&A time again, with a focus on Celani, Volunteering, and the Garden if possible!

For the next few days we'll be doing our best to answer all of your questions on Garden life, Celani processes, transitioning from player to admin, and anything else that you think might relate to being part of the Garden team!

On the 29th of October we'll be opening a Celani call, so that any of you who are interested can apply!

The application period will be for those who want to train to be Gods, those who might consider a more freeform background role (with a creative lean, everything in the Garden is creative and we work as a team), and those who are interested in coding in Achaea.

If you have questions about any of these things now is your chance to ask!


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Comments

  • NylianNylian ✭✭✭ - Distinguished Member Posts: 124 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    How many hours a week is typical for a Celani/Immortal to invest in their duties?
  • NicolaNicola Administrator Posts: 807 Achaean staff
    edited October 2018
    Nylian said:
    How many hours a week is typical for a Celani/Immortal to invest in their duties?
    Depends on the person! We ask for a minimum of 12 hours a week, but I know some of the team go far beyond that out of sheer love for their factions and RP plans.

    Edit to add: the 12 is during training period of Celani and Demigod, we find that during this period less than 12 hours isn't enough to make any meaningful progress on training or engaging with the team. After this we get very flexible, everyone has lives and things going on.
  • VikaVika ✭✭✭ - Distinguished Member Posts: 116 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    Is there personal bias involved when the application makes it in? I can understand things like character involvement, credibility, and blatant insanity being detracting factors. But if you/Mak/Ict as a person do not like the person for the way they handled something, or simply know the person from another game or whatever reason, how much (if any) bias goes into the Celani hiring process?

    If you get into/are in a relationship with an Achaean is it something of concern or to bring up in your application for the fear of leaks?

    How seriously considered is the forming of new Gods with a solid plan behind it? Like if I wanted to make FurrySnuggles the God of Rajas and (if you for some reason accepted the name) wrote some detailed lore and the way they could come into existence. 

    Do you guys look for specific timezones?

    If you dont make it into the first Celani call, but keep trying, does it become annoying to the Garden because we don't take a hint, or shown as someone who has a strong and renewed interest in taking a leadership role?

    Most important question:
    Does the Garden keep up with Critical Role and the campaign? And if so, who is the best character? (It's okay, I know it's Nott)
    EhenePrytheAyani
  • VikaVika ✭✭✭ - Distinguished Member Posts: 116 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    Wow. Sorry, I'm moving back to Imperian :(

    -grumbles something about not Nott-

    Scanlan is a suitable replacement, since they're both played by the same VA. 

    Thank you for the answers!
    NicolaEheneAyani
  • EheneEhene ✭✭✭ - Distinguished Member Posts: 92 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    Larkin is obviously the correct answer.

    I've been interested in taking on a creative role behind the scenes, if you will, for a little while now. I was considered being a mortal builder for a while but life happened. What kind of creative processes would Celani be involved in? I suppose furthermore, how does the Garden work together to make things?

    I guess I'm really just interested in the "freeform background roles" with a creative lean. Also you guys are great. :)

    Aralaya
  • NicolaNicola Administrator Posts: 807 Achaean staff
    Ehene said:
    Larkin is obviously the correct answer.

    I've been interested in taking on a creative role behind the scenes, if you will, for a little while now. I was considered being a mortal builder for a while but life happened. What kind of creative processes would Celani be involved in? I suppose furthermore, how does the Garden work together to make things?

    I guess I'm really just interested in the "freeform background roles" with a creative lean. Also you guys are great. :)
    Celani is a rank name which denotes the first level of basic training that everyone goes through, just for general reference, Demigod is the next rank up, these both have a lot of oversight and training plans to complete before we're convinced that someone knows all they need to be let out into the world. Celani learn how to make creatures, how to build areas, how to handle basic administrative tasks, how to possess and animate denizens, how to plan events, pretty much all the basic processes of life in the Garden.

    We do a lot of work as a team, so some folks might be running events but need some help writing an events post, or have some creatures needing created, we also brainstorm storylines and event plans together. We also aim to have everything proofread by at least one other person before players get eyes on, so these all require other people. Everyone has their strengths and we all work together.

    We've never really offered a freeform background role before, but this might be someone who wants to help with daily running, creating beasties and helping with area builds, maybe designing their own, running non-org related events, pitching in with big world events, writing detailed lore, running bazaars, organising event schedules, maybe they love administrative nonsense and want to help with bugs or answering issues, there's a place for them too. It's a much more freeform role!
    EheneAdrik
  • AralayaAralaya Member Posts: 1,224 @ - Epic Achaean
    Dangit Ehene you stole my questions :(

    I was curious about possessing denizens. Is it something that a Celani can do if they aren't particularly busy or is it a thing that needs approval from someone higher up the godly foodchain?


    Tecton-Today at 6:17 PM

    teehee b.u.t.t. pirates
    Ehene
  • NicolaNicola Administrator Posts: 807 Achaean staff
    Aralaya said:
    Dangit Ehene you stole my questions :(

    I was curious about possessing denizens. Is it something that a Celani can do if they aren't particularly busy or is it a thing that needs approval from someone higher up the godly foodchain?
    Celani can and are encouraged to work with the denizens, but due to their lack of experience we make sure they have supervision so that we can help get them out of any corners, or pick up with commands that they might forget on the fly.
    Aralaya
  • VikaVika ✭✭✭ - Distinguished Member Posts: 116 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    Since my internet is down I can sit here and contemplate questions.

    Is Lupus, Talalalalaid, Lorielan open with the Garden being fuller than it has been in awhile?

    If you guys plan to kill off a God (ie Thoth) does the Celani just get told they're off the books or do they play out until the eventual demise?

    How much power do Gods have? Can Twilight cause another Eternal Night and have a beast plague sapience? Can Neraros plan an event that may unlock Tritons as a race to replace icky Grooks? Can they create new bashing areas or forays? 

    Oh, also, playing off Ara's question... As a God can you possess whenever you want? Just throw yourself into an Order denizen or city guard respective to your faction and brighten someone's day? Or does the possession have to meet a purpose? 

    ALSO ALSO (sorry) can you be a more... Hrm... Focused on possessions and events rather than God interactions? More specifically if I choose Pandora or Ourania for example, can I focus on building Hashan with many interactions a day, small events, and giving the City life. Compared to making Divine appearances, order denizens, and more God centric stuff. I'm not sure if this fully makes sense and I'm hoping what I'm saying comes across in the right way.

    I think that's it for now!
  • NicolaNicola Administrator Posts: 807 Achaean staff
    1 - Lorielan is available. Lupus is an option for the right person. Tlalaiad isn't a godrole option as he's a bit different.

    2- The person who is currently playing a God we're killing off would be as involved as much as they'd want to be. It should be noted that this isn't a decision we just make out of the blue one day, if someone was playing a God that needed to be removed, they'd be well aware that the role was proving problematic long before it happened. We'd then work with the volunteer to see if there was another aspect or place in the Garden that would work for them if they wanted.

    3- Gods have quite a lot of power, but we're also constantly aware of large scale game balance and allocation of coder specific dev time, so these kind of undertakings need to be worth it for the game as a whole, and not requiring all of Makarios' coding time for an event that would make 3 people happy.

    4- In theory Neraeos could plan that event, but we'd have a top level discussion about the worthiness and roleplay fitting nature of tritons as a player race. Grooks are awesome. Gods definitely can, are welcome to, and do help with large and small scale area builds and events and can all submit area, event, and foray proposals of their own for approval before creation.

    5- Outside of our rule that says don't step on other Gods' toes (so stay within your factions and story arcs or go open world) Gods can possess their denizens as and whenever they like.

    6- Yep! Some God characters are much more animating the world from behind the scenes rather than up front and personal with players. Babel and Twilight comes to mind, and to a lesser extent Deucalion. It's all down to the God's personality. (Some view mortals as very much a noisy but occasionally useful nuisance.)

    Vika
  • TaryiusTaryius Member Posts: 738 @ - Epic Achaean
    Sure, I'll ask a few questions!

    1. During the Celani application and approval process do you ever take the number of applications into consideration? IE, if there are too many people applying you only approve the top ones, or do you simply accept all who meet the standards expected? Can there ever be too many Celani/Gods around?

    2. Kinda a weird question, but occasionally in events we see a Demigod IG, Lyrudo for example in Mhaldor. Are these just another denizen/lore character that can be piloted by any Divine or are they specifically someone going through the Demigod phase of their training. And if it is the latter, do Demigods need extensive approval to do any IG interactions as their Demigod?

    3. I keep hearing about how little god-banter we hear in this age Achaea compared to back in the day, I don't know if this is true, but are there any restrictions put onto our Divine players when they shout? Or is this just the decisions of the players being less up-front and shouty?

    4. I feel like this is a question that has been asked before, but I'll ask again anyway. Do you guys take a persons current IC roles and obligations into consideration? If someone applied as a city leader, or any other position, do you force them to find a replacement before they can become a Celani?

    5. If a God leaves either by stopping playing, or resuming a player character, are they banned from being a Divine again? Or do they go through a "re-certification" before they can come back as a Divine? Would they have to wait for another Celani call?

    Just some curiosities I have. Ty guys for hosting these kind of things! I love how close the admin of Achaea are to their playerbase.


    Nicola
  • NicolaNicola Administrator Posts: 807 Achaean staff
    1- After about 4 straight days of Celani intake and pet/room proofreading I have said on occasion that we have too many Celani, but it's not something we take into account or care about during application phase. If someone is suitable, we'll bring them up.

    2- These are Demigods going through some training, part of their work is an assistant to an existing patron god, most commonly they are in the background watching how the God interacts with their Order and patron orgs, and helping to run events or goings on, occasionally they get a chance to be visible, these are all planned with the God with whom they're assisting.

    3- I think the average age of Achaea's playerbase and volunteers has gone up by quite a bit, we also have some slightly stricter standards, so we think that Gods shouting insults should lead to something meaningful for the players in terms of repercussions or calls to arms, rather than just being verbose bags of wind who'll kill you if you dare to call them on it.

    4- We would definitely ask about the candidate's reasons for first becoming a leader and then for applying for Celani if they're overlapping or are particularly close. We don't give much of a headsup for Celani calls so we do understand that someone might have had other plans, but we consider all of this is worth exploring during an interview phase.

    5- This depends on the who and why and how as each volunteer and their status is individual to them. In general a previous volunteer could apply during an open call, or they could get in contact with myself or Makarios and we'd discuss the case and advise from there.
    Taryius
  • LaedhaLaedha ✭✭✭ - Distinguished Member Posts: 159 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    Would the freeform background role be available for somebody currently playing a mortal or is this similar to a celani in that you'd have to give up your mortal for the duration of volunteering? 
  • NicolaNicola Administrator Posts: 807 Achaean staff
    Laedha said:
    Would the freeform background role be available for somebody currently playing a mortal or is this similar to a celani in that you'd have to give up your mortal for the duration of volunteering? 
    It would be an alternative option post Celani training instead of going into a godrole, so the usual transition away from playing a character applies.
  • DevranDevran ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent Member Posts: 619 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    Nicola said:


    5- Outside of our rule that says don't step on other Gods' toes (so stay within your factions and story arcs or go open world) Gods can possess their denizens as and whenever they like.



    Curious. Say you have a god that is amazing at giving their Faction events and awesome things to do, to the point where other factions might notice and go "Hey, City A is getting so much more divine attention/events/cool stuff than Cities B C and D. What gives?"  Have you ever had that problem and how would you handle it (Or have handled it) if you did?
  • VikaVika ✭✭✭ - Distinguished Member Posts: 116 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    You stated an interview part of things.

    Is this in game through your character, a live call, or video chat?

    If we did the interview well, how quickly are we informed we'll be brought in? Do you guys sometimes hire on the spot, or usually sit on it for awhile?

    If a God dropped out then returned would they still go through training? 

    Similarly, has anyone been so good they can go straight from a Celani to Godhood? Or is the things you learn at each tier very important?

    As a God do you pick the Divine that's needed to help Sapience? Ie Eleusis hasn't had their Matrons in awhile. Or do you prefer someone picks a God they would enjoy the most?

    If two Celani want the same God how is it dealt with in concerns to who gets to take the role?

    After the Tsol'teth invasion I've been curious how much PK a God can do. I think with the Dwarf at NoT practicing we saw a glimpse of it recently, but to my knowledge was a denizen and not an actual 'Adventure' like the roaming Tsol'teth was.

    To add onto this if the answer is "little to none" I can definitely say IRE combat is the best in any MUD because of the balance system which is why is as combatants find combat addicting. Is the best way to deal with the withdrawals/urges to simply play other IRE games? Or is there PK-ish things to do up in the Garden with Mak and other ex-combatant Gods
  • TahquilTahquil Member Posts: 4,374 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    I'd like to hear a bit more of the behind-the-scenes role if possible. Would they have the exact same powers/duties/privileges as a God role, but without the  IC Order of worshippers? Would this be the role you slip into if, say, you wanted to focus on NPC faction RP (something akin to the current Tsol'teth faction dynamic)? 
  • JiraishinJiraishin skulkingMember Posts: 2,121 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Hi Nicola :) 

    I clicked this thread thinking it was going to be about the kind of gardens people apparently have now in their subdivision houses. Huh.

    I'm really interested in helping create storylines and new areas and items and denizens, but realistically how much of the background role will be this and how much will be other things? Other than being involved with storylines, what would I gain from this that I can't do by working as a player to get things made through an org?

    Also, speaking of proofreading, does the bedraggled raven denizen that was in Targ last month still exist somewhere? Because if so I need to typo something from the description, I didn't at the time and it's been bothering me.
    ________________________
    The soul of Ashmond says, "Always with the sniping."
  • BabelBabel OblivionMember, Moderator Posts: 164 Immortal
    To highlight on previous responses, lots and lots and LOTS of cooperative writing, design and development goes into Garden work, and designing living fixtures with other accomplished and engaged writers that share the same love you do for Achaea is a uniquely gratifying experience and probably my favorite thing about taking the leap to "come up". 

    Some of my favorite times have been the brainstorming sessions we have, and the ridiculous jaunts into obscure lore and imaginings that underpin it all. Everyone has their own little unique focus, and I think we all learn heaps about the world from each other in the process.

    That being said, don't get too intimidated about all the talk of 'processes' when it comes to Celani stuff - it all exists for a very good reason, and you have pretty much the entire team to help you along with the stuff as well.

    JiraishinNicola
  • NicolaNicola Administrator Posts: 807 Achaean staff
    Devran said:
    Curious. Say you have a god that is amazing at giving their Faction events and awesome things to do, to the point where other factions might notice and go "Hey, City A is getting so much more divine attention/events/cool stuff than Cities B C and D. What gives?"  Have you ever had that problem and how would you handle it (Or have handled it) if you did?
    It's never been a problem that's come up, every volunteer brings their own brand of special to the organisations they work with, and each faction should be a different experience. I would point out that our patrons are all volunteers and doing their best with the time they have to give to Achaea.
  • NicolaNicola Administrator Posts: 807 Achaean staff
    @Vika
    1- We've transitioned to a live call for the interview process, we get a much better feel for the person that way.

    2- Intake is pretty time consuming so we usually schedule, on occasion we've been known to let someone know that they were successful at the end of the interview, but usually we've made a decision within a week.

    3- Depends on the person, why they dropped out and how long they were gone for.

    4- The training at each stage is important and Demigod is a time where a volunteer gets to exercise a bit more freedom and learn a new set of skills, we don't skip this.

    5- We insist that volunteers pick a Godrole that they're going to love, game needs irrespective. Being a patron can be stressful at times, it's massively important that the volunteer really wants to be the role that they take up.

    6- Whoever gets through training and approved to begin their Godrole preparation first.

    7- Gods don't get to PK at all really.

    8- Having other hobbies to enjoy and games to play is pretty key to success in the Garden, volunteering isn't playing another game and it can be a source of stress at times, so is important that everyone have alternative outlets.
  • VastarVastar Member, Moderator, Seafaring Liason, Secret Squirrel Posts: 71 Immortal
    edited October 2018
    Vika said:
    As a God do you pick the Divine that's needed to help Sapience? Ie Eleusis hasn't had their Matrons in awhile. Or do you prefer someone picks a God they would enjoy the most?
    To add further detail to this, I have never seen nor heard of a volunteer ever being required to choose a particular Divine.

    Which cities do and do not have an active God does not and should not need to factor into any choice you make. Seek out the role that you would want to play because you genuinely love it, love the lore of it, love what it represents (and what you can do in it or where you can take it), and enjoy interacting with and through that lens when RPing (either via Order denizens, directly with players, or any other means). We have all seen what happens when somebody takes a role that they don't really want just because it's "needed" and then disappear shortly afterwards when they burn out from not enjoying it.

    VikaNicola
  • NicolaNicola Administrator Posts: 807 Achaean staff
    Tahquil said:
    I'd like to hear a bit more of the behind-the-scenes role if possible. Would they have the exact same powers/duties/privileges as a God role, but without the  IC Order of worshippers? Would this be the role you slip into if, say, you wanted to focus on NPC faction RP (something akin to the current Tsol'teth faction dynamic)? 
    They'd have the same powers as our God-playing volunteers, yes, but duties is a bit broad, we're very freeform. This role is pretty open just without the God aspect to play. I doubt we'd take someone who just wants to focus on Tsol'teth forever, as a denizen faction isn't really big enough to warrant 1 person spending all their time all year long on, but a volunteer who has an interest in fleshing out the lore, working on Underrealm, creating Tsol'teth-related content or other aspects of Achaea would definitely be welcome to apply.

  • NicolaNicola Administrator Posts: 807 Achaean staff
    Jiraishin said:
    Hi Nicola :) 

    I clicked this thread thinking it was going to be about the kind of gardens people apparently have now in their subdivision houses. Huh.

    I'm really interested in helping create storylines and new areas and items and denizens, but realistically how much of the background role will be this and how much will be other things? Other than being involved with storylines, what would I gain from this that I can't do by working as a player to get things made through an org?

    Also, speaking of proofreading, does the bedraggled raven denizen that was in Targ last month still exist somewhere? Because if so I need to typo something from the description, I didn't at the time and it's been bothering me.
    That's fairly hard to quantify, but I think the key difference outside of actually being able to make things come alive and expand the world is that at the Garden level we define (and often expand) the boundaries of the world everyone plays in, whereas players are relegated to working within those confines.

    How much creating storylines and areas the role would be depends entirely on how much the volunteer wants to do, they create their own schedule and choose release dates as and when works best for them. This only time that this isn't the case is if someone pitches in with a project that Mak, Ronwe, Icti, and I are heading up as we work to a release schedule for the game at large.

    Go ahead and typo the raven... if you dare.
    AralayaJiraishin
  • JiraishinJiraishin skulkingMember Posts: 2,121 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    I not only dared... I submitted -two- typos and added one for Eko the Agean squire to boot.


    Now please bring the raven back, kthx.
    ________________________
    The soul of Ashmond says, "Always with the sniping."
  • JiraishinJiraishin skulkingMember Posts: 2,121 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Aegis said:
    Jiraishin said:
    I not only dared... I submitted -two- typos and added one for Eko the Agean squire to boot.


    Now please bring the raven back, kthx.
    *prepares a modified catapult for firing*

    It's Aegean, you heretic!
    Hoist by my own typo petard!
    ________________________
    The soul of Ashmond says, "Always with the sniping."
  • AntoniusAntonius Member Posts: 4,925 @@ - Legendary Achaean
This discussion has been closed.