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Major Change Notifications

It would be great to have a communications strategy for notifying the player base of major changes to the game.

The strategy should include posts to BgBB prior to the change. I think a minimum of a week's heads up is likely enough time to give the majority of the active player base time to plan accordingly.

An MOTD would be good too if the MOO supports MOTD. I think it's pretty standard functionality?

By major change, I mean changes that impact player's ability to play the game.

For example, combat was offline earlier today in order to upgrade the combat code.

Players can check the MOO side 'Message of the Day' via the news line that scrolls by when you connect (if there is an unread news article). It's only used for things that absolutely everyone should see. This event did not warrant such a news article.

I disagree with a strategy that gives players the opportunity to plan out how to take advantage of a feature like combat being offline. We'll keep the combat disabling to a minimum, but we will likely have more of these short outages throughout 2021 with combat and likely other systems too.

When we think y'all need to be ready ahead of time for an upcoming change, we'll let you know ahead of time, but most of the time, we're going to announce changes after they have been released and are available in some capacity.

(Edited by Johnny at 10:10 am on 12/30/2020)

@Johnny

I understand what you mean when you say..

I disagree with a strategy that gives players the opportunity to plan out how to take advantage of a feature like combat being offline.

At the same time, that runs counter to the suggestions that we are all given to assume everyone is playing with the best intentions and not seeking to exploit the game.

If giving players heads up is going to lead to too many headaches for the staff due to bad apples ruining the bunch, do you have any suggestions for things like;

Character uses a bunch of disposable items (combat drugs, etc.) only to find out 5 minutes later that they cannot combat?

Group of characters coordinate schedules across multiple time zones to do (Thing) only to find out they cannot because (Planned event that staff knew about but decided to spring on the players without warning)

While I get your concern, it seems a bit overblown and runs contrary to what is otherwise a great change management program that is being run. You guys have a code repository. You have a dev environment. You probably do source code review and maybe even pull requests.

Change notification is just a basic part of change management.

It makes me a bit sad that there seems to be such a deeply rooted distrust of the player base that the initial response is... "If we do that, players are going to take advantage of it by breaking the rules and acting irresponsibly."

Good Morning!

What if there was a flashing message on login much like the following;

"[* SYS-MSG *] WARNING! Discussing the in character world with other players via Out of Character communication methods (Skype, IM, Facebook, etc) is strictly against the rules, even if you don't plan to act on the information you give or receive. Intent is irrelevant when dealing with natural human instinct to defend oneself from harm, this applies to roleplay as well. Sharing IC info is unfair. It has disastrous effects on the game. Report all incidents that you are aware of via xhelp or to [email protected] and do NOT engage in it yourself. It carries a one year ban from the game. WARNING!"

This one, that was turned on if a major system was disabled so that people are at least aware if they log in to the middle of the changes.

I think this is to cover for the people who are absent on OOC channels and who missed those shouted OOC messages by staff.

I personally do not think that an ahead of schedule notification is necessary, I can just see a reasonable compromise that cannot be exploited more than the shouts that were already made by staff instructing players to not to exploit the lack of combat.

On a side note, I've been gaming a very long time as I am sure most of us in this community have been, but I personally have never met or heard of a community that holistically could be described as always having the best interest of the developers and other the players in mind, 100% across all members of that community, and 100% of the time.

People are human and that means we're all subject to the same flaws, all likely to have feelings, make mistakes, and bad decisions, some small and small big.

I think that we can all agree that no group of people is perfect and that we should be able to respectfully acknowledge this, and understand the need to take precautions against our weakness potential moments.

Thank you for taking the time to read this!

I have seen that giving players a heads up will be more problematic than the disruptions the 30 minute warning approach brings, yes. :)
@Johnny

Thanks for your perspective and taking the time to hear me out.

I totally believe you when you imply that it is easier to deal with a few disruptions as they occur, instead of opening up a potentially big can of worms by giving some players heads up about an opportunity that they might be able to exploit.

I have said it before and I will say it again, Sindome is hands down the best run M* I played on since I started playing M* games in the 1990s. That includes the quality of the code, the stability of the MOO and all of the administrative work that goes on behind the scenes.