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. \:\)
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