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How to meet new people to RP with?


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47 minutes ago, _Kai_ said:

We have a Roleplaying category on the Homecoming forums, @Sarakitteh was referencing a completely other set of forums somewhere that had a specific topic called Making Connections that had a purpose of putting out information to connect with other people for and asking about something like that for Homecoming in this topic.

 

On 8/28/2021 at 4:25 PM, Sarakitteh said:

I played was that the forums had a 'Making Connections' thread, so people could post what they were looking for and others could respond either to that post or by messaging them privately. It would be nice if we had something like that here

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13 hours ago, UltraAlt said:

It's a very difficult thing.

 

 

Props to you for putting in all that thought and effort. I'm sure your thread will see immense success based on your polite and respectful behavior in this thread.

 

To actually address @Sarakitteh's original question, though, I've personally had struggles with social anxiety that make it hard to really get started RPing with new people, and past experiences with guilds/SGs/etc. have made me highly hesitant to really commit to one. One thing that helped me was something the City of Roleplay Discord was doing a while back, namely Community Story Arcs. The idea was that one (or more) person organized a storyline, and offered a variety of plot hooks for people and their different characters to join in through (such as mystical shenanigans requiring a learned sorcerer, or a trail of murders getting the attention of a street-level hero). Doing this helped me make friends in the CoHRP community and organically develop a new circle of folks to do things with. While there's a recent lull in CoRP's Community Story Arcs as of my writing this (which is not helped by the many stressors of current RL events), the basic principle should still help you get what you're looking for. 

 

Alternatively, the Hero Corps Founder's Falls SG puts on a monthly event on the first Sunday of each month (one of which is actually coming up on Sunday the 5th, the date on the actual event posting there is inaccurate) where players from across the community can group up and do IC runs of AE story arcs that people have put out there (some of the Dev's Choice arcs, for instance, have gotten some spotlight there).

 

Hoping this is helpful, and best of luck to you!

 

 

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14 hours ago, Greycat said:

 

... assuming I remember... and can decide on a character... though I'm not sure what the heck I'd be doing there...

 

I don't tend to fill out what my character is, what they're looking for, motivations, etc. I try to put something up - formerly on virtueverse (though what I had there and what's there now is... interestingly scrambled,) and on FBSA (which is ... mostly names, now,) but I'm horrible at keeping anything relevant updated, and I don't want anyone to think what I mention about a character *there* is somehow locked in stone.

 

My characters are like my builds - they tend to come around fairly organically, and can go from very generic with a sudden bit of inspiration to detailed before I log in, so...

Just show up and wing it. You know what they say, you don't RP 100% of the times you don't try. 

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Does it need to be said that there is a way to label your character as a Roleplayer, which might raise your chances of connecting with similar souls?

 

Menu: Help: My Status: Roleplaying

 

It's a way to be visible on everyone's RP-dar.*

 

 

* It also helps if you play nicely with others. Just sayin'.

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Disclaimer: Not a medical doctor. Do not take medical advice from Doctor Ditko.

Also, not a physicist. Do not take advice on consensus reality from Doctor Ditko.

But games? He used to pay his bills with games. (He's recovering well, thanks for asking!)

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So, there seems to be some contention on what the problem is that we're trying to solve for here, so I'll give it a go.
 

We're a small community spread across many timezones, often playing this game in addition to other games, so our common online time is pretty low, and our interests vary greatly.

The in-game options have limitations that may work well for larger communities or a certain critical mass of participants.   

  • Yes, we can pop online, hop through common areas and look for people with the RP flag.   They may be already engaged in conversation with someone else, they may be doing something other than RP, or they just might not be interested in the type of RP you're into.   All these filter down the odds of a successful encounter, and our time online is limited.   
  • We have an RP and OOC global.  We have a "looking for roleplay" global.  These don't seem to have much traffic when I'm on and seem to be used by a VERY small set of the overall RP population.
  • Most of the common "social RP" locations are in spaces that cater to the nightclub/partier that may not reflect the character you want to portray or the environment you'd want to be i

Some of us have social anxiety challenges that makes it particularly hard to frequently reach out, only to have to deal with rejection, ignoring, or just the discovery that we're not going to fit in.
 

A sort of offline want-ads MIGHT help with that, as it lets you reach people who weren't online when you were and establish up front what your preferences and interests are, and lets you.   It broadens your pool of potential candidates, extends the time that you're visible to other people, and allows filters to common interest groups.


However

  1. This cannot be "build it and they will come."  If it just appears without curating and active participation by a core group of people, it will wither and die.  The first-posters will find that they posted, got no response, and never EVER check back.   Why would they keep trying?    I think that's one reason why GraspingVileTerror tagged so many here- if there isn't a consensus that this makes sense, is wanted, and is used, it's not going to be worth the investment.  Community tools, like communities, need some curating as they develop.   We should have people ready to engage and build confidence in the tool.
  2. This may just split the community.   if it's already being done effectively elsewhere, are we just splitting the effort?  
  3. The platform is important.   Different online technologies have different community thresholds for success.   if you're running a chat service and I post "hello", it doesn't matter much to me if I don't get a response in minutes, but in a forum, I could come back days later to have a conversation.   The same goes for other things in perhaps more subtle ways.   Two forums- one with a good search and tagging capability and one with none- will require different levels of participation to make a real community.  Using an official forum probably gets us access to the largest audience, but is that the biggest need?
     
  4. There needs to be some structure.   This is particularly true of you're repurposing something like a forum, rather than making something designed for this purpose.   I've browsed "seeking connections" forums before just to find out that someone that posted HAD found someone and isn't seeking that anymore.   I've heard complaints that threads get too large and people back on page 6 of a 12 page thread just never get noticed.   Do you re-post? Should you edit old posts? Do you suggest using one of the "like" emotes to denote it's been acknowledged and you're no longer seeking or do you edit it away.  Do you plan this as a quarterly thread that gets archived? Monthly?


So, the topics I see as relevant to that discussion.

do we have sufficient interest in pursuing this?
Is it better for us to reinforce something that's already there?
Is this the best way to meet most of our expressed concerns?

If we are going to do this,
  where do we do this and what do we use?
  who will help curate it into a self-sustaining community resource?
 

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Thank you for the diligence in breaking this all down, @chase!   Much appreciated.

 

Honestly, similar to the List of Character Lists ( https://forums.homecomingservers.com/topic/18342-list-of-character-lists/ ), I was thinking of potentially curating a living Thread; editing the original post with a table of content as users populate the thread with their personal ads, and linking to the specific posts with each edit.

This would probably be updated whenever someone posts an ad, or at worst weekly if I get overwhelmed (assuming my real life doesn't take a dramatic turn).  That provides the sort of checks and balances that will help with ease of searching, let visitors see what's new, and even let existing users ping me in private to update their listing periodically.

The obvious downside to this is there's a single point of failure:  Me.  (Although, I would expressly give permission / request that the GMs also pitch in if I ever fail to uphold the thread curation). 

I wanted to get some more community involvement here in ascertaining the details on our needs and wants before committing to it, though.  Rather than going off half-cocked, I wanted to build something meaningfully and purposefully by gauging community interest and catering to specifics.

 

An obvious alternative would be the forums' Clubs feature (not to be confused with the in-game nightclubs), BUT that thing's been around for over a year now, and it's not terribly visible.  People have to be directed to the Clubs feature, and then it also fails to remain visible even after users sign up for various Clubs.  If @Number Six or @Cipher or one of the other forum-savvy members of the Homecoming Team could add an option to allow individual users to make Clubs more prominent in their UX, that would probably improve the usefulness of that feature substantially.

 

The dream, of course, would be full integration with the game itself, but I don't anticipate something like that any time soon.  Still, having the community work up a design document collectively could be a great first step.  A long-term dream, but the more planning that happens in advance, the more legwork is pre-emptively complete.

 

So  . . . yeah.  With those other options shelved presently, I put to the community:

Do we want a curated Personals list, in a vein similar to the List of Character Lists?

If Yes, what recommendations do folks have to circumvent potential pitfalls or shortcomings?

If Not, do we have a workable counterproposal that meets the same needs?

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7 hours ago, Psychopithicus said:

 

Props to you for putting in all that thought and effort. I'm sure your thread will see immense success based on your polite and respectful behavior in this thread.

 

To actually address @Sarakitteh's original question, though, I've personally had struggles with social anxiety that make it hard to really get started RPing with new people, and past experiences with guilds/SGs/etc. have made me highly hesitant to really commit to one. One thing that helped me was something the City of Roleplay Discord was doing a while back, namely Community Story Arcs. The idea was that one (or more) person organized a storyline, and offered a variety of plot hooks for people and their different characters to join in through (such as mystical shenanigans requiring a learned sorcerer, or a trail of murders getting the attention of a street-level hero). Doing this helped me make friends in the CoHRP community and organically develop a new circle of folks to do things with. While there's a recent lull in CoRP's Community Story Arcs as of my writing this (which is not helped by the many stressors of current RL events), the basic principle should still help you get what you're looking for. 

 

Alternatively, the Hero Corps Founder's Falls SG puts on a monthly event on the first Sunday of each month (one of which is actually coming up on Sunday the 5th, the date on the actual event posting there is inaccurate) where players from across the community can group up and do IC runs of AE story arcs that people have put out there (some of the Dev's Choice arcs, for instance, have gotten some spotlight there).

 

Hoping this is helpful, and best of luck to you!

 

 

Thank you!! I really appreciate the suggestions. I'll see if I can make it to check out that event on Sunday.

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There is an existing #seeking-connections channel on the City of Roleplay Discord, but I think as far as I know that is the only existing resource, and several people in this thread in particular seem to be Discord adverse so I don't think having something here would be a duplication of effort, really.  I don't know as it would need curation so much as just stickying as everyone can always go back and edit their own posts, much like advertising super groups.

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I honestly like the idea of having a club to join for roleplayers seeking to make new friends, @GraspingVileTerror

I noticed the club features don't get enough attention, much less use to be considered a first thought of option, so maybe that might be a viable solution?

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15 hours ago, DoctorDitko said:

Menu: Help: My Status: Roleplaying

 

Or I guess the DEVS could add a search status for Role-playing versus the other status for seeking teams.

Doesn't seem that that many really care what status you are in, so you could just put "looking for roleplaying" in there and see who bites the bait.

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12 hours ago, _Kai_ said:

There is an existing #seeking-connections channel on the City of Roleplay Discord, but I think as far as I know that is the only existing resource, and several people in this thread in particular seem to be Discord adverse so I don't think having something here would be a duplication of effort, really.  I don't know as it would need curation so much as just stickying as everyone can always go back and edit their own posts, much like advertising super groups.


Playing devil's advocate:
Would people know that there was an edit?   You may be on page 2 of the thread and edit it to show you're still interested.  I may assume that the first page is all old stuff, so I never scroll through to notice the change.

On the other hand- re-posting in the forum, while showing that you're active, would create a lot of duplication over time and make it more difficult for a browser to sift through what's there....

That's why I was wondering if some curating or a  periodically archived-and-cleaned thread might make it more useful.   I don't know.   I've struggled as a user with some of these befroe, but never as a planner.  

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Oh it shows when a message was last edited which is why I thought it would be fine 🙂

 

A 'curated' list has the same issue of 'is it valid' though on a forum, as literally what would have to happen is
1 - make a thread to get info from people
2 - Post a second topic with a list
3 - Periodically message every single person in the second topic and go 'is this still good?' and then make a call on what happens if there is no response, plus check the first topic for more responses

4 - Make a new post in the second topic and edit the previous post to be empty

(Edit for the sake of seeing the timestamp)Oh, and only one person can do this so if they get bored/sick/leave etc the whole thing is useless

Edited by _Kai_
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It could all be contained in a single thread, at least with how I envision it.

And I might have a workaround regarding the single-point-of-failure issue, but it then becomes a new issue:  A dedicated-to-purpose shared account.

 

So . . . that would involve a number of users agreeing to adhere to certain standards together, sharing responsibility, and actively recruiting stable and community-minded individuals.  Having been the Op for a variety of channels . . . that's not easy.  Finding other people who are A)  Willing to be responsible,  B)  Actually capable of being responsible,  C)  Having the patience to allow community members to flail around a little without snap judgements, and  D) Having the temperament not to throw in the towel after being beleaguered by community members with very different levels of understanding and acceptance . . . 

It's a dire prospect, even in a larger population than what Homecoming's roleplay community with forum habits currently has.

 

That being said, I do not want to be a pessimist, so I eagerly extend an invitation to everyone to nominate other folks who you feel would fit that bill.

Regrettably, I can't really promise any sort of payment or reimbursement.  At best, I could contribute some Inf or ATOs or the like, but I know that what I have to offer is probably quite paltry compared to what others are able to get on their own terms.

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What is lacking is anyone that wants to take responsibility for pushing rp stories. This is not an accusation, I fall into that category. I have been far too flaky with my play to actually develop and promote something. I know when this was live years ago I would make AE stories for rp that people could join, but I never went too far beyond that. I don't know a better solution outside of people committing their time and rp'ers following the rp provided. I think maybe I would be willing to develop rp story lines as long as some with more time than I have would be willing to spear head this. I work 12 hour shifts at night, so I don't even have afternoons free unless I am off.  I do have every other weekend off, so that is something. 

 

If we can get rp SG leaders to have a meeting or something then maybe we can get volunteers to develop and push rp, which can even be based off of the ingame storylines, using AE when needed, and just regular missions when not. We can have leaders play as "the mayor" or "police chief". Or even someone in need of help that leads to a bigger story in an AE arc. You can have toons that stay at certain levels so that if the story is about The Warriors then you have someone that can lead rp groups dealing with The Warriors wherever they are found. 

I use to develop story lines for an Ultima Online private shard that had hundreds of committed rp'ers on it. The thing is you have to have committed rp'ers. It does not mean everyone has to be committed, but you have to have a core group that pushes the rp, and keeps people in touch with it (via the boards here so others can see what is happening or word of mouth in game). 

Anyway, I wish I could be of more help on this. I see so much potential, especially since this is private. I think we have a great group of people that leads groups, with potential to really make a difference in this. 

 

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1 hour ago, Paragon Vanguard said:

What is lacking is anyone that wants to take responsibility for pushing rp stories. This is not an accusation, I fall into that category. I have been far too flaky with my play to actually develop and promote something. I know when this was live years ago I would make AE stories for rp that people could join, but I never went too far beyond that. I don't know a better solution outside of people committing their time and rp'ers following the rp provided. I think maybe I would be willing to develop rp story lines as long as some with more time than I have would be willing to spear head this. I work 12 hour shifts at night, so I don't even have afternoons free unless I am off.  I do have every other weekend off, so that is something. 

 

If we can get rp SG leaders to have a meeting or something then maybe we can get volunteers to develop and push rp, which can even be based off of the ingame storylines, using AE when needed, and just regular missions when not. We can have leaders play as "the mayor" or "police chief". Or even someone in need of help that leads to a bigger story in an AE arc. You can have toons that stay at certain levels so that if the story is about The Warriors then you have someone that can lead rp groups dealing with The Warriors wherever they are found. 

I use to develop story lines for an Ultima Online private shard that had hundreds of committed rp'ers on it. The thing is you have to have committed rp'ers. It does not mean everyone has to be committed, but you have to have a core group that pushes the rp, and keeps people in touch with it (via the boards here so others can see what is happening or word of mouth in game). 

Anyway, I wish I could be of more help on this. I see so much potential, especially since this is private. I think we have a great group of people that leads groups, with potential to really make a difference in this. 

 

OH very much the same in regards to seeing the potential. It can be a daunting task to do when no one else seems to take interest or are unaware of it. 

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We have these in an SG I'm part of, and with less than 10 active participants, it takes, on average 5-8 months to go through a plot.  I cannot imagine trying to scale that up to anything bigger personally, because you wouldn't be able to give people options for meaningful contributions by their character.  I am in the process of getting one of those plots written up in a way that someone can pick it up and run it for a group, though, hopefully be done this month? We'll see.

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1 hour ago, _Kai_ said:

We have these in an SG I'm part of, and with less than 10 active participants, it takes, on average 5-8 months to go through a plot.  I cannot imagine trying to scale that up to anything bigger personally, because you wouldn't be able to give people options for meaningful contributions by their character.  I am in the process of getting one of those plots written up in a way that someone can pick it up and run it for a group, though, hopefully be done this month? We'll see.

 

I understand what you mean, and I fault myself for not being clearer. The thing is you do not have to control the plot with others, you simply have to put the rp out there. An example, as I was talking about the Warriors, is that you develop a story about The Warriors causing mayhem, and then let people run on how they are dealing with it. Encourage short board stories, or just info, so others know what is going on. If someone wants to offer an AE storyline then all the better. Let people know that there will be rp happening in whatever zone the antagonists are from.  RP'ers should have no problem freezing toons to different levels so they can run missions with others, I would think. I personally have some that do not gain level, so I can keep them to a zone. 
Using the boards would be extremely important in these situations, but it would not take one person trying to corral all others. With the boards you want to make it clear that being a good writer is not necessary for rp. It is simply a means to let others know what you are doing. People get worried about their writing skills, but rp is not based on your ability to make a story, it is your ability to play your character. 

With any luck you can catch the attention of the ever so busy developers (not sure what they are called) and see if they can provide some assistance, without demanding or expecting it.  

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There have been attempts by players, with various levels of success and support from Game Moderators, to organize and run structured roleplay narratives.

One of the major challenges is also one of the best parts of City of Heroes:  There's no one correct way to play it.

So these events end up being quite exclusive by no other reason but they focus on a stylistic choice that is a turn-off for various players.

But that would not inherently be a problem if we had a larger population to fill in the gaps and give all walks of life in the roleplay community consistent access.  

 

Now, if a new Dev could come along with some know-how to implement better roleplay tools; content that operates in a modular fashion but is quicker than AE, or Game Mastering tools particularly for Bases, or bringing AE stories out in to the world, or more robust and interactive emotes, or a bloody danged dice roll command (not the puny diceroll emote or the cumbersome Snowball roll trick) ,... any combination of these.  That could really help increase the number of those players who step up and lead these roleplay events, or save time for those who already do and allow them to reach wider audiences. 

But ultimately, it would still be on the shoulders of the players to step up to take on that role.  It would be nice to have Roleplay Community Representatives, like how PvP has some.  However, we still fall in to the issue that there are far more ways to roleplay than there are to PvP, and to get solid representation we would need a LOT of Roleplay CRs.

 

And more than anything, there needs to be a consistent and internal way to connect the roleplayers with one another and these Roleplay Leaders or theoretical CRs.

As stated by others in this thread, third-party stuff like discord isn't good.  It creates exclusion and even elitism in some cases, and it can't be monitored to meet the Code of Conduct.  Additionally, the owners of the third-party software could pull any amount of fuckery to interfere with or shut down such external spaces (see the recent scare with discord planning to sell to microsoft.  Don't expect that to be the last you hear of something of that nature).  

The ideal would definitely be in-game tools, like a more comprehensive LFG system or an agreed shorthand by the community which allows players looking for similar things to rapidly identify one another and form up.  The former requires some Dev(s) to actively step up for the roleplay community, while the latter requires serious efforts by the community to unify, at least long enough to work things out.

Since these forums are a required step in every players' registration to play the game, it's a good place to make a concerted effort.  While not truly internal to the game itself, it still operates on the same server hardware and under the same rules as the game itself.  We just need to make it as simple and accessible as possible to cast that net wide.  And, of course, a -little- help from the Homecoming Team to nudge people here with some kind of in-game direction or hotlinking would be very encouraging.

 

But looping back around to the creation of a Roleplay Personals / Connections thread . . . I'll be going on vacation next week, and hopefully that means finding myself with some free time (really depends on the spouse and if I'm going to get dragged out for "vacationy stuff" every day).

I should be able to get a draft written up for the community to weigh in on, and hopefully have something solid done by the middle of September.

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15 hours ago, Paragon Vanguard said:

What is lacking is anyone that wants to take responsibility for pushing rp stories. This is not an accusation, I fall into that category.
 

 

And the flipside of that is that ... oy, it can burn the people who DO try to out.

 

Used to co-lead an SG, kind of felt responsible for doing some writing. Turned it into another job, basically, and then a few people (who, despite offers, never really did *provide* anything or offer their own plots) insisting the leaders were "doing it wrong."

 

Surefire way to make people not want to push stories.

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I tried to combine Circle and DE, but all I got were garden variety evil mages.

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A flipside to that flipside is that it can be incredibly difficult for someone new to step up without an old leader making room for it.

It's incredibly self-destructive of a burnout leader doesn't provide support to those who are looking to alleviate that stress by providing relief.  It happens with startling frequency.

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13 hours ago, Paragon Vanguard said:

 

An example, as I was talking about the Warriors, is that you develop a story about The Warriors causing mayhem, and then let people run on how they are dealing with it.

 

And if the second person says 'I called the PPD, and together we arrested them all and saved the city!' then everyone who wanted to participate is left going 'well I guess that's over' or forced to contradict that other person, which, is very uncomfortable for a lot of people, and now that story is dead.  That's why generally someone or ones has to be 'in charge' of the story to keep it open and fun for everyone 🙂

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1 hour ago, GraspingVileTerror said:

A flipside to that flipside is that it can be incredibly difficult for someone new to step up without an old leader making room for it.

It's incredibly self-destructive of a burnout leader doesn't provide support to those who are looking to alleviate that stress by providing relief.  It happens with startling frequency.

 

Well, given in said group we *regularly* asked if people had things they wanted to run, offered to help learn (or even just flat out write) AE to create those missions... that wasn't the case.

 

I agree room needs to be made. But when the offer's out there, standing... it's really discouraging to have people gripe but not offer anything even as basic as an "Eh, I think I'd like to see..." idea.

Edited by Greycat
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I tried to combine Circle and DE, but all I got were garden variety evil mages.

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