A similar, yet totally different community...

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Egg
Posts: 20
Joined: August 23rd, 2013, 11:04 am

A similar, yet totally different community...

Post by Egg »

Has anyone ever heard of, or played a game called Kingdom of Loathing? It is a humorous text-based mock-but-not-RPG that's 10 years old at least. The hardcore fans are responsible for solving the quest chains, some obvious, some incredibly obscure your first run through, and then ultimately they add things to a VERY well-maintained wiki (http://kol.coldfront.net/thekolwiki/index.php/Main_Page). This creates an environment that, if you REALLY want to do everything by yourself, you can, but if you love the game for different reasons, you can find that information so long as it's been completed by the players. Staff some times rewards the players who spend time solving the harder puzzles with unique items, but for those really into being first, the reward is in the recognition and having solved it first. This is an incredibly rewarding and synergetic model that I feel makes SO much sense in THIS community. What do you guys think?

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Miragul
Posts: 49
Joined: August 13th, 2013, 9:38 pm
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Re: A similar, yet totally different community...

Post by Miragul »

KoL has something we don't have: thousands and thousands of active players. Have you heard of the 1-9-90 rule? Basically, in any community, 1% of the people create content, 9% of the people edit/moderate content, and 90% of the people view/consume content.

In a game that has, say, 10000 players, you'll have 100 creators who are willing to contribute to a community wiki. That number is reduced even further when you consider the fact that some of those creators are willing but unable to contribute due to technical inadequacy or whatever. So, really, when it comes to wiki development, you're looking at less than 1% of the population.

When you have a community like Cosrin where the active playerbase doesn't even breach 100, we're lucky to have even 1 creator. Thau used to be that guy when he first started the wiki but evidently he's moved on. Nowadays we have people who are knowledgeable but unwilling to contribute, willing but unable to contribute, or completely apathetic.

It should be noted that the 1% who are creators tend to be so due to internal motivation, which is why it's rare (or impossible) for someone who isn't already a creator to be convinced or converted into a creator. In other words, if a movement like this isn't already occurring, it's very unlikely that a "rally call" will be effective.

TLDR: Creators are a tiny portion of a community. More players = more creators. Less players = less creators. Our only hope is to improve the actual game and increase playerbase. Until then, community movements like a wiki are bound to stagnate.

Egg
Posts: 20
Joined: August 23rd, 2013, 11:04 am

Re: A similar, yet totally different community...

Post by Egg »

Miragul wrote:KoL has something we don't have: thousands and thousands of active players. Have you heard of the 1-9-90 rule? Basically, in any community, 1% of the people create content, 9% of the people edit/moderate content, and 90% of the people view/consume content.

In a game that has, say, 10000 players, you'll have 100 creators who are willing to contribute to a community wiki. That number is reduced even further when you consider the fact that some of those creators are willing but unable to contribute due to technical inadequacy or whatever. So, really, when it comes to wiki development, you're looking at less than 1% of the population.

When you have a community like Cosrin where the active playerbase doesn't even breach 100, we're lucky to have even 1 creator. Thau used to be that guy when he first started the wiki but evidently he's moved on. Nowadays we have people who are knowledgeable but unwilling to contribute, willing but unable to contribute, or completely apathetic.

It should be noted that the 1% who are creators tend to be so due to internal motivation, which is why it's rare (or impossible) for someone who isn't already a creator to be convinced or converted into a creator. In other words, if a movement like this isn't already occurring, it's very unlikely that a "rally call" will be effective.

TLDR: Creators are a tiny portion of a community. More players = more creators. Less players = less creators. Our only hope is to improve the actual game and increase playerbase. Until then, community movements like a wiki are bound to stagnate.
The population part is true, but things scale down better than up. Having a smaller community makes it easier to organize, and it makes it more significant when both the intrinsic rewards and gifted rewards are delivered, to boot. For what it's worth, if our top players focus their energy into projects like your webpage and the wiki, and staff focused on fixing idiosyncrasies and surface flaws, I think the sum would be a landscape fans of MUDding, puzzling, and fiction, would be proud of. If no one ever joins Cosrin, you tried and improved the game regardless. If they do, total victory.

Since they are in the process of finding a third staffer, or since they chose a third staffer (whichever is more true), I'm hoping they can really prioritize delegation in a way that makes assigning projects like this to the appropriate developer easier. With 6 hands on deck, I think players will feel the result of their work in a more rewarding way. 1% of Cosrin, well, so long as there's a smart person giving attention to things like the wiki, is enough to get it going. 1% of the game is responsible for many of the cheat-sheets that has existed since the 1990's, and this is great for the longevity of the game. One take away point to consider is the impact your work will have on the game AFTER you have moved on, considering the reality that we all will at some point.

That very indifference is WHY I think this is huge. There are guides floating around that need to go up on the wiki, but pretensions regarding the clandestine nature of these answers is killing any chance Cosrin has in reaching a new audience. I'm not solving most of this on my own. I have NO desire to. New players, statistically, are more likely to be like me, than, say, Murielle. I'm willing to help perfect the guides, and format them, so the appropriate people get credit for their work, and so that I can recommend the game to others without knowing in the back of my mind that it's a 40% complete game at best.

I do agree with the rally call. What would need to happen that could change that dynamic?

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Miragul
Posts: 49
Joined: August 13th, 2013, 9:38 pm
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Re: A similar, yet totally different community...

Post by Miragul »

Egg wrote:Having a smaller community makes it easier to organize, and it makes it more significant when both the intrinsic rewards and gifted rewards are delivered, to boot. For what it's worth, if our top players focus their energy into projects like your webpage and the wiki, and staff focused on fixing idiosyncrasies and surface flaws, I think the sum would be a landscape fans of MUDding, puzzling, and fiction, would be proud of. If no one ever joins Cosrin, you tried and improved the game regardless. If they do, total victory.

Since they are in the process of finding a third staffer, or since they chose a third staffer (whichever is more true), I'm hoping they can really prioritize delegation in a way that makes assigning projects like this to the appropriate developer easier. With 6 hands on deck, I think players will feel the result of their work in a more rewarding way.
True, though those top players you refer to are the ones I said were either "knowledgeable and unwilling" (such as Halren who has tons of knowledge but not enough time to work on a wiki) or "willing but unable" (someone who would update the wiki but they aren't very knowledgeable).

I agree that the work of a few will have a profound impact later down the road. The difficulty is spurring a dormant playerbase to action. Right now, I don't blame anyone for not wanting to contribute or do anything Cosrin-related because it FEELS like a sleeping game and there's no guarantee that any work put in will have any real results.

I do what I do because I love the game but that won't be true for most creator types. Hopefully the new staffer(s) have what it takes.
Egg wrote:There are guides floating around that need to go up on the wiki, but pretensions regarding the clandestine nature of these answers is killing any chance Cosrin has in reaching a new audience. I'm not solving most of this on my own. I have NO desire to. New players, statistically, are more likely to be like me, than, say, Murielle. I'm willing to help perfect the guides, and format them, so the appropriate people get credit for their work, and so that I can recommend the game to others without knowing in the back of my mind that it's a 40% complete game at best.
Since you're willing, perhaps the best course of action right now would be to run a 2-phase project: 1) scour every corner of the 'net for every Cosrin cheat sheet still in existence, even if it means contacting ex-players who may know stuff, and then 2) formatting it all for the wiki.

Unfortunately, I can't really help with either phase (I don't know any secrets, I don't know any ex-players, and I have a huge aversion to working on wikis).
I do agree with the rally call. What would need to happen that could change that dynamic?
Not sure if there's anything we CAN do. I think we can only hope for future Cosrin changes that address new player retention (still lots of tweaks to be made in the Level 1 - 30 phase, current player retention (content balance and content additions 150+ including guild portals), and entice old players to return (mostly roleplay, but content too).

Egg
Posts: 20
Joined: August 23rd, 2013, 11:04 am

Re: A similar, yet totally different community...

Post by Egg »

Miragul wrote:
Egg wrote:Having a smaller community makes it easier to organize, and it makes it more significant when both the intrinsic rewards and gifted rewards are delivered, to boot. For what it's worth, if our top players focus their energy into projects like your webpage and the wiki, and staff focused on fixing idiosyncrasies and surface flaws, I think the sum would be a landscape fans of MUDding, puzzling, and fiction, would be proud of. If no one ever joins Cosrin, you tried and improved the game regardless. If they do, total victory.

Since they are in the process of finding a third staffer, or since they chose a third staffer (whichever is more true), I'm hoping they can really prioritize delegation in a way that makes assigning projects like this to the appropriate developer easier. With 6 hands on deck, I think players will feel the result of their work in a more rewarding way.
True, though those top players you refer to are the ones I said were either "knowledgeable and unwilling" (such as Halren who has tons of knowledge but not enough time to work on a wiki) or "willing but unable" (someone who would update the wiki but they aren't very knowledgeable).

I agree that the work of a few will have a profound impact later down the road. The difficulty is spurring a dormant playerbase to action. Right now, I don't blame anyone for not wanting to contribute or do anything Cosrin-related because it FEELS like a sleeping game and there's no guarantee that any work put in will have any real results.

I do what I do because I love the game but that won't be true for most creator types. Hopefully the new staffer(s) have what it takes.
Egg wrote:There are guides floating around that need to go up on the wiki, but pretensions regarding the clandestine nature of these answers is killing any chance Cosrin has in reaching a new audience. I'm not solving most of this on my own. I have NO desire to. New players, statistically, are more likely to be like me, than, say, Murielle. I'm willing to help perfect the guides, and format them, so the appropriate people get credit for their work, and so that I can recommend the game to others without knowing in the back of my mind that it's a 40% complete game at best.
Since you're willing, perhaps the best course of action right now would be to run a 2-phase project: 1) scour every corner of the 'net for every Cosrin cheat sheet still in existence, even if it means contacting ex-players who may know stuff, and then 2) formatting it all for the wiki.

Unfortunately, I can't really help with either phase (I don't know any secrets, I don't know any ex-players, and I have a huge aversion to working on wikis).
I do agree with the rally call. What would need to happen that could change that dynamic?
Not sure if there's anything we CAN do. I think we can only hope for future Cosrin changes that address new player retention (still lots of tweaks to be made in the Level 1 - 30 phase, current player retention (content balance and content additions 150+ including guild portals), and entice old players to return (mostly roleplay, but content too).
Yeah. Maybe if staff laid out some kind of incentive for contributing? Or perhaps if some of us presented the community with impressive displays of information, others may see more reason to contribute? I'm looking for ways, I assure you. After all, I want everything done to be worth its effort. I, too, am anti-wiki, and I am particularly dissatisfied with the process to contribute. I do want the new staffers, and everyone who cares, to have a solid grasp of what the community is willing to contribute, so that they in turn can continue being transparent about plans and what they can accomplish within reason. Lastly, I feel like a turd having to go around asking for people's cheat-sheets and found with the Coven guide that some of this stuff requires SERIOUS experience.

That said, Halren and others are working on a Coven guide that I hope will be good for public viewing soon, but that's up to those who spent hours and hours and hours on it. Daeron and I are working on a Shadows one, too. I'm hoping to get access to many others so I can keep myself busy, but, again, it sucks being like, "PLZ SHARE UR SECRETS."

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