following my initial answer in this thread Quests? Or NO Quest? , i started thinking about what i said.
more specifically this part:
the only thing i'm concerned about is the fair gameplay part and it would be nice to have some supervision of player created quests (doesn't really matter how they do it but for example moderators who report to the GMs could be a possibility because GMs have better things to do than go around checking player content 24/7)
what i mean by it is essentially that if someone were to create anything that abuses the idea of making your own content, like unwinnable quests and such, there should be a way to get the content changed or removed from the game.
i am aware of the concept that was brought up about this, the voting on player created content by other players, but i don't think we've touched on this aspect yet on the forum so i wanted to take the chance to include it in a bigger thread about supervision in general.
hence this thread.
so getting to the point (yes, i'm going somewhere with this)
starting off with the specific idea of the votes:
i have a few concerns about this
- enforcing the vote: whenever you get someone trying to put unbeatable quests in the game (i mean the intentional ones here, not something the creator made impossible by accident like forgetting to connect a door to a key or stuff like that) you can assume they will not just change their content because people ask for it since this creator designed it to be that way. how will the staff deal with people like them?
- amount of votes: assuming that there is a solution for my first concern and that only bad votes need enforcing, how many votes will it take to get a staff member to enforce the vote. there will always be people that are not happy with something another player made, this could be because it doesn't fit their personal taste or someone could be having a really hard time clearing it while other players breeze through it. but also things like jealousy towards the creator because a number of possible reasons but if we take a broader approach to this last part and call it interpersonal relations we get to my third point wich is
- interpersonal relationships: a player with a lot of friends can try to have his friends compensate the bad ratings he's getting from the playerbase (for example by letting them share in the profits from his impossible quest) while a solo player who just doesn't fit in the community can have made something awesome and fair but (going back to point 2) if he gets a few bad votes, he has no way of compensating and if we add some hypothetical bullies that make bad votes just because of who made it. so this can go both ways, either we get impossible stuff that some people are abusing that doesn't get changed because the creator has too many friends, or the entire playerbase can miss out on some awesome content because the player can't compensate his bad votes OR both.
of course this also has the significant bright side that players can get a say in what happens to the content of their peers in stead of staff members arbitralily removing or changing it
i realise that putting it this way looks like it's a terrible idea but the reason i did is because i believe that there are solutions to my concerns and the players having their own voice in the fate of player created content beats the problems of the voting idea
now let's talk about reporting players:
we all know how reporting works. someone does something he shouldn't do and you report him so the staff knows about it.
first of all i shall voice my concerns again
- interpretation: in my experience there have been more reports because of a misunderstanding than there should be. i think this can be best explained with a simplified example: let's say there are 3 people on a flat area with absolutely nothing there except for a line that they are not alowed to cross by law. 2 of the people are standing next to the line talking while the third is standing in the background. suddenly 1 of the people at the line drops his wallet and he steps over the line to pick it up. the person next to him was there and knows what happened so he won't mind, however the person in the background only saw the first person step over the line but is completely unaware of the circumstances that drove him to step over the line (the dropped wallet). even though he doesn't bear ill will towards the first, he (assuming he cares enough to) sends a report that someone crossed the line that they were forbidden to cross by law. but this is a problem with any kind of reporting in any game so this isn't really that important but my point here is that truth does not always match a witness.
- gravity of a report: if we go back to the example of 1. let's say that after he is reported for crossing the line the first person kills the third for reporting him, the second person than reports him for killing someone. there are now 2 reports but obviously the second one is a lot worse than the first. there has to be some distinction between the two for this system to work properly
- balance and sanctions: let's say every report gets you -5 points (ignoring gravity here for the sake of a simple explanation) and you get sanctioned at -25 (these would have nothing to do with a karma system if any would be put in the game). this would allow a player to be reported 5 times before a sanction. if we add some sort of time balancing that gives +1 every year (i don't know how realistic this is, it just makes for easier numbers) there would be more flexibility when players get reported over periods of time but not very much. only this would be a bad balance for both the people that got reported while picking up their wallet (see before) if they are a bit clumsier than other people and drop it more and the people who started out "evil" like someone who kills 4 people on his first day but over time they became a better person but in the next 5 years he accidentally dropped his wallet twice over the line and getting -25 or less. but this is a problem that can easily be adressed by something that counteracts a report, for example a compliment that gives +2 or something like that.
i only added the third one for a complete argument but most games these days have a pretty decent balance and fair sanctions (there are exceptions of course but that's not what this thread is for)
the advantage of reporting over voting is that it has a higher chance of getting to a staff member and as such can be taken more seriously and if needed has a faster response from the staff.
again, this seems like there's nothing good about it and unlike the votes, this could be depending on how reports are handled. i really hope peria chronicles doesn't end up with an automated report program but instead having staff members confirming each and every report where there is any possibility of doubt (as i mentioned before: the truth does not always match the witness)
now we have the 2 most likely to be in the game ways of keeping things fair however, i feel like this would not be enough in a sandbox game since there will be so much more players than staff members that checking all reports and confirming the rating of every piece of players created content would be impossible.
so the idea i had was similar to that of game sages in aura kingdom. a group of players that sacrifice a part of their free time to act as moderators( or some sort of investigative unit) that are at the same time a sort of middle man between the regular playerbase and the game masters. to me it doesn't really matter if these players are hired staff members policing the in-game world or volunteers but i have my doubts when it comes to fairness without human involvement (people with some sort of authority, not necessarily in the same ways as staff members) to supervise player created content (mostly checking accuracy of reports and votes but possibly more) in peria .
did i forget anything?
do you agree or disagree?
does anyone have other ideas on how to "supervise" player created content or do you think it dhouldn't be supervised in any way?
i know it's a lot in 1 post but i hope at least some people can find some time to read it and respond .