01/08/08 04:59 AM
Thoughts on why the low numbers?

Kinda curious...
Our numbers have dropped a lot recently.

Originally I put it off to the holidays, and others supported that idea.

Now though I'm not so sure. The only changes I see that are really negative was the reinstatement of looting and the thief skills.

Is there something thats really bothering folks?

01/08/08 09:26 AM
Re: Thoughts on why the low numbers?

I think its due to vacation/holidays, though also it could very well be people think a pwipe is coming and do not wish to put in as much time as it would be for not. its hard to really invest something knowing there could be a pwipe later or not. I don't think any of the changes thus far have been negative.

01/08/08 01:38 PM
Re: Thoughts on why the low numbers?

I agree with Muod. I am pretty sure that some people feel that pwipe is imminent and that there is no point in playing now. I myself was debating whether I should continue playing or maybe check out Darke again in a year or two.

Overall I think changes have been positive. It would be nice if admins posted a statement regarding timeframe for pwipe and roadmap for the mud.

01/08/08 07:46 PM
Re: Thoughts on why the low numbers?

Maybe people stopped multying now that they know you're active hehe.

01/09/08 10:03 AM
Re: Thoughts on why the low numbers?

I personally have a lot of work things to catch up on and so my free time has dropped considerably. Hopefully in the next week or so it'll pick back up (for me at least!).

01/11/08 01:38 PM
Re: Thoughts on why the low numbers?

Last night we hit 14 users, so things might be picking back up. I hope they are.

Does anyone think the glut of highmortals might have something to do with it? I've noticed a distinct lack of areas for 25-30+ combat leveling if there's two or more people hunting at the same time.

01/11/08 06:34 PM
Re: Thoughts on why the low numbers?

I don't think that's it. I remember when you could hunt in either Ash or Kuril and usage was easily 40-50 people...

01/11/08 10:34 PM
Re: Thoughts on why the low numbers?

I think this conversation is relevant, so I've posted the whole thing. To summarize (for those of us with neither the time nor interest to read logs), I think the lessons to be learned are:
  • News is important, even if all it does is say we are still actively interested in Darke.
  • It is important for immortals to make sure to keep the tone of announcements in line with intent
Please read the log and draw your own conclusions.

[chat : Cerberus] Does anyone read the forums anymore?
[chat : Ganelon@DarkeMUD] I do.. but then they seem to be dead
[chat : Cerberus] I know. I wish people would use it more - it's all the mud I can get at work :P
[chat] Miki@DarkeMUD reads them. It would be quite nice if this mud didn't have this "Nobody knows what's happening or what is going to happen or what the plans are." feeling
[chat : Cerberus] I'm still waiting to hear back from everyone else on when we can have an immortal meeting. Once that meeting happens, we'll have a solid idea of what the plans are, and what is going to happen. Why is there no idea of what's happening?
[chat : Nimdae@DarkeMUD] No announcements?
[chat] Yuka@DarkeMUD doesn't really care what's happening to be honest.
[chat : Cerberus] Announcements like?
[chat : Miki@DarkeMUD] "OK, we'll pwipe. Oh, people no like? Then we wont. Then let's get rid of tinkers and enchanters! Or maybe not? Maybe"
[chat : Ganelon@DarkeMUD] Immortail might have an idea but mortals surely ondt
[chat : Cerberus] So too many ideas tossed out at once then, basically?
[chat : Nimdae@DarkeMUD] announcement like 'we haven't forgotten about you. We're just waiting to schedule an imm meeting.'
[chat : Yuka@DarkeMUD] No, they weren't tossed around, they were made to seem like they were absolutely going to happen.
[chat : Nimdae@DarkeMUD] then three days later... 'still waiting on the meeting. looks like sunday'
[chat : Nimdae@DarkeMUD] then on sunday 'meeting cancelled, be patient. next week we'll try.
[chat : Miki@DarkeMUD] As Yuka said. Not tossed around. Stated as "This is what will happen!" and then.. uncertainity.
[chat : Nimdae@DarkeMUD] I don't remember anyone saying with certainty that there would be a pwipe or that enchanters/tinkers would be removed
[chat : Cerberus] So a poor job was done in making it clear that some things were only ideas, other things were being shopped to players for feedback, other things were certainties without time lines?
[chat : Miki@DarkeMUD] Very poor job.
[chat : Ganelon@DarkeMUD] It sounded pretty certain
[chat : Miki@DarkeMUD] It sounded very like "This is what will be done."
[chat : Nimdae@DarkeMUD] It only sounded certain when SW wrote something like 'no one's said they don't want a pwipe'
[chat : Yuka@DarkeMUD] Well, in my opinion, the votes for the pwipe were higher in favor of one. I was kind of expecting one.
[chat : Cerberus] nod. I'll look back over the forums, but I believe everything involving a pwipe was presented as a request for feedback
[chat : Yuka@DarkeMUD] The impression I got after a while on the forum was "there will be a pwipe, at some point, because X changes need to be done that require a pwipe, so we're just looking at WHEN it will happen"
[chat : Miki@DarkeMUD] "In preparation for a coming World Wipe" (from the news)
 Originally Posted By: Shadowraith(mud news 13 Dec)
In preparation for a coming World Wipe (see the forums for the discussion), changes will be going in that will affect the world. We apologize in advance if this disrupts your current play style, but we need to implement these with players around so we can spot bugs prior to the wipe. We will of course keep you posted with news items as changes occur. Thanks for your patience and support as we all work together to make the world a better place.
[chat : Cerberus] Ok, I was not for a pwipe originally, but lots of people seemed ok with it and it would make life easier from a balance perspective. Now I have a number of people saying no pwipe.
[chat : Cerberus] So please vote on the options below. This is NOT binding, the admin staff (not just me) will make the final call, but we really do care what you guys think.

RE:This post.

[chat : Nimdae@DarkeMUD] That was eventually the attitude, but it was after the vote.
[chat : Nimdae@DarkeMUD] the idea wasn't launched as 'this will happen'
[chat : Miki@DarkeMUD] read through the news SW posted for the last few months
[chat : Yuka@DarkeMUD] There was something said about the tinker/chanter thing that made it seem like it was set in stone. And, that polymath guild thing.
[chat : Yuka@DarkeMUD] That polymath guild was at one point an eventuality.
[chat : Cerberus] The only thing I found that looks like an eventuality is in fact the "World Wipe" news posted by SW 13 Dec
[chat : Yuka@DarkeMUD] It may have even been on chat.
[chat : Miki@DarkeMUD] Well. he posted about removing tinkers/and
enchanters. I can't find the post. removed?
[chat : Miki@DarkeMUD] made a news item even.
[chat : Yuka@DarkeMUD] Nod, does it not say "will no longer..." which means that at one point he was planning on doing it?
[chat : Cerberus] I don't know if news can be deleted, but I don't think it's done if it can be - retractions are what's done, right?
[chat : Miki@DarkeMUD] News can be deleted I'm quite sure, I've noticed it a few times.
[chat : Cerberus] As far as I can tell, if news is deleted it has to be done by hand (there's not a command to do it)
[chat : Yuka@DarkeMUD] I've always said that if news was posted regularly, even if it's to let people know that there is a delay on something, or whatever, it makes people feel involved and like things are being done.
[chat : Cerberus] But it is obviously possible. I just don't think it's what's done
[chat : Yuka@DarkeMUD] Maybe we could have a newletter or something.
[chat : Cerberus] Thanks. I plan on posting parts of this conversation in the "thoughts on why the low numbers?" forum
[chat : Cerberus] A newsletter would be nice, but who's going to write it? \:\)
[chat : Yuka@DarkeMUD] A newsletter once a month, something that just gives an outline of what's happening.
[chat : Yuka@DarkeMUD] You, you're the only one who'd do it ;\)
[chat : Cerberus] Yeah, heh. Thanks. That's just what I want to do. :P
[chat : Miki@DarkeMUD] "One of the major changes that is about to start to go in is the creation of Crafting Guild."
[chat : Cerberus] Awesome, that in news or forum?
[chat : Miki@DarkeMUD] That was in forums. But I'm almost sure there was a news post about it too, directing to that thread.
[chat : Cerberus] I'm getting the feeling that the certainty of change followed by no indicators of the status of that change is causing people to feel disaffected
[chat] Miki@DarkeMUD doesn't think that sunded like tossing out an idea. \:\)

01/12/08 08:19 AM
Re: Thoughts on why the low numbers?

My intent at the start was to not wipe, the people said it was ok (including HM's) so my intent changed because a wipe would make rebalance much much easier.

Then a bunch of people said they didnt want it so we did the vote to get general feelings. The vote had all of about 24 votes, but was in favor of wipe.

We have been gathering charts so we can see what balance needs to be done.

I know for a fact people would rather have people who are flexible and willing to change than someone who says, this will happen and then does it regardless of later facts or information.

01/12/08 12:07 PM
Re: Thoughts on why the low numbers?

"I know for a fact people would rather have people who are flexible and willing to change than someone who says, this will happen and then does it regardless of later facts or information."

Well, even better would be have somebody who *doesn't* say "this will happen" or "this won't happen" until after having looked at the facts. "X will be done" is a bad starting point for a discussion, since some people strangely see that as a statement of fact, and not a starting point for a discussion.

01/25/08 02:49 PM
Re: Thoughts on why the low numbers?

Pursuant to the posts above, I will be posting my project updates as monthly news. The first of these can be found here. Comments are welcome, and suggestions are appreciated.

Was there enough information provided? Too much?
Is this useful for players to see? Useless?
Should there be news more often? Less?
Have we missed the point entirely? Nailed it?

We're hoping to get more players back, and new players too, so please voice your opinions (we really do want and need to hear them), start a dialogue (otherwise the programmers lose touch with the game's state), and otherwise get involved (everyday you don't, a kitten will die. Not just any kitten either. A cute kitten. With lucky wiskers. Dead!)

01/25/08 07:09 PM
Re: Thoughts on why the low numbers?

It would be nice if news were posted/lined off darkes main page so people see the mud admins are active. And the main page needs a facelift. Boasting about it running on PII is a bit old.

01/25/08 08:43 PM
Re: Thoughts on why the low numbers?

Here's what I think about the post you did, and I'll answer the questions you asked 1 by 1.

- Was there enough information provided? Too much?

I thought it was fine. There was a good amount of information provided, much more than I really would have expected. I don't know if giving ETA for project completion is a good idea, because things do happen to slow down projects...

- Is this useful for players to see? Useless?

Well, useful in what way? Was it useful in making people feel like their involved and informing the playerbase that things are going on from the other side of the game. Yes.

- Should there be news more often? Less?

Well, this is really the first news post of this size and with this much detail. It's definitely nice to see, maybe once a month, or every 2 months would be fine? Just an update to say "Here's the progression on this project... Undertaking this project... etc." The old news posts of bug fixes etc are good for day to day, but an update summary was appreciated by me at least.

- Have we missed the point entirely? Nailed it?

I think this was a great start, and in a way, it keeps on the players on level ground. It's not going to be only the people who talk to wizards or admin that will know what's happening, everyone can feel involved in some way, and if there are any concerns, it will help to let people know that things are progressing well or aren't progressing well at all. Either way, I think people like to know what's happening in a game they devote much time to playing, and something of this sort every so often is a great way to keep players interested and make them feel anticipation for the new projects etc...

01/26/08 01:03 PM
Re: Thoughts on why the low numbers?

What if we just had a page with the current status of projects?


New areas #1:
- backend : barely started
- descriptions: about half done
- mobs: barely begun
- concept: completed

And then just update that page.

Monk Guild:
- Review completed
- Bug fixes: halfway completed
- New spells: conceptualized.

Then if people would like to see what is up and coming in the nearish future they can see it.

01/26/08 06:48 PM
Re: Thoughts on why the low numbers?

Nod, I don't think the original idea here was to present the exact nature of each project, and then tell us who's assigned to it and how long they have to complete it or anything at all like that. I was more expecting something like what Charon wrote.

That's not to say that what Harold wrote was too long or inapropriate or any of those things. I think it's more akin to one parent buying their child a bicycle for their birthday and the other buying them a motorcycle. They're both great, but a motorcycle is just better, not needed, but better :P

01/28/08 01:27 PM
Re: Thoughts on why the low numbers?

This seemed like a logical extension of this thread. My apologies if it isn't.

We all know that muds have been in decline for years, MMORPGs are surging in popularity and the old vanguard has moved on to children and other venues for their fun. What we don't know is how we can gain a larger share of those who do still mud.

Obviously we will be keeping Darke's distinct flavor, but we'd like to get the word out to old Darke players, or even gather new steam somewhere. What can we do to help this?

Ideas I've gathered to this point include:
  • Periodical newsletters - sent out to all the emails we've had registered to players at some point during Darke's history
  • Social networking site groups - facebook is probably more likely to have our sort of people than myspace
  • Mudconnector reviews - We used to do this, but I have no information on its viability
  • Word of Mouth - Tell your friends!
Do any of these sound like they're worth pursuing? Is there anything you would add to this list? How did you get involved on Darke, and have you turned anyone on to the place yourself?

I think our numbers have picked up to pre-holiday levels again, but I'd like to see them pick up well beyond that. Wouldn't you?

01/28/08 04:23 PM
Re: Thoughts on why the low numbers?

Here's how I got started.

Zeav got Shags started, then Shags got me started, so it was entirely word of mouth. A couple of the questions I had at the time though were "How do you find out about a game like this?" and "How am I supposed to know what to do?" because it was my very first time on a MUD and my very first time playing a textbased game of the sort.

I've gotten a couple of people to start playing, but they quickly lost interest at the time and found it too hard and too time consuming to play. I'm not saying the idea here is to make the MUD easier, I'm just explaining their reasons.

Darke is a game that requires a lot of time and energy, it's also a game with a pretty steep learning curve, especially when you're new to MUDs. If we are going to be recriuting new players, easing their transition into the MUD would be a good start. I'm not saying once again, that we coddle them or anything like that, but just something where they walk through and learn the basic commands. Maybe have something at creation that asks if you're a true newbie, and clean up creation so that it's actually readable. If you're a true newbie, you could have messages come up randomly, like after the newbie area, something that could direct you to a list of guilds and their locations, or where to find armour, weapons, basic things a newbie player needs.

I think if we're gonna start advertising places, it might not be a bad idea to be ready for new people first, any 1 person who starts, once again, can use word of mouth to get more people. If we lose even 1 person, we could be losing many more potential players.

01/28/08 05:51 PM
Re: Thoughts on why the low numbers?

I think I found Darke through mudconnector while looking for a PK mud. The one I played before had limited number of lives and once dead you lost ability to max out certain skills so everyone was very much afraid to die there. I showed it to 2 other people, but that happened couple months before the equipment loss event and they did not come back after Darke was restored. At least that's how I remember it all happened ;\)

I think that a refreshed newbie guide and a list of currently "problematic" guilds would help to gain some players. And better reviews on mudconnector. The last one that we have there is not favorable at all.

01/28/08 05:53 PM
Re: Thoughts on why the low numbers?

 Originally Posted By: Charon
What if we just had a page with the current status of projects?

Too dry and tends to not get updated. What I like about Harolds format that there is soul in the post, you get some flavor, just a hint that admins care \:\)