a guest Jul 17th, 2019 58 Never
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- Nessie's icon Nessie
- First, I'm gonna apologize: there are a lot of words here, but they're important ones, I think. Please take a few minutes to read them all.
- Second, a huge thank you to everyone who filled out our survey giving us feedback. We had really great turnout, and you all gave us a lot to think about, both in terms of things to change and things you love.
- Third, we'd like to hold a game meeting for as many people as can attend as a follow-up. Our goal here is to focus largely on where we're going from here - plots folks would like to see, the 'feel' of the game and setting, and probably some brainstorming.
- Please fill out this very long WiG with times you'd be able to attend, if you'd like to participate: http://whenisgood.net/q8jsiq8
- Finally, we wanted to let you know about some changes we'll be making going forward, based on both your feedback and our experience of the game's first six months.
- Selkie has joined the ST team! You probably already know this, but we wanted to highlight it. It's awesome to have a new point of view and new energy on the team.
- Plot requests will no longer cost Luck. We're keeping the 2 week cooldown for now, but you won't need to spend luck to request things such as research, NPC scenes, and other plot actions. You can still spend Luck on a plot break, wherein something insanely lucky happens to fall into your lap to make your plot progress easier - but these will likely cost substantially more Luck, since they will be significant breakthroughs outside of what a circumstance or NPC would typically offer.
- We are retiring secrets. In theory, they offered a fun way to give everyone a spotlight moment in a plot. In practice, they seem to have led to a lot of unpleasant feelings between players, a fragmentation of the grid and story, and a LOT of work for STs. We are super sorry if you've been anxiously awaiting your moment in the sun. It was a difficult decision, but we believe that it will, in the long-run, result in a better, more cohesive, more carefully-run game that is fun for more people.
- Secrets that are currently 'in play' for active characters will not be dropped wholesale. We are going to work to make them more inclusive, game-wide plots that are easier to become involved in whenever you want, and that feature less intense focus on a single character. You'll see this rolling out soon - in fact, we've already started.
- Secrets that were in play for retired characters will be dealt with on a case by case basis. Most will, at minimum, be put on pause for the moment. If there is a secret you were heavily involved in and feel like you need some resolution on, please drop us a line and let us know.
- We are replacing secrets with Lore Hooks. These are probably what secrets always should have been - small things that give you something fun to play with, without being as consuming as secrets. Every player will get to choose one of the following: Magical Creature Ancestry, Magical Item, or Magical Creature Pet.
- We're working on a document that outlines the various ways these might manifest, to help us keep balance and to let you know what you might get. Each option will come with some sort of system advantage - spells, mods, etc - as well as a brief lore write-up about your ancestry, creature, or item.
- Characters who already have secrets will still get a Lore Hook, but they will be at the end of the line to receive them. In some cases, secrets already fit this system, and in those cases we will flesh out the lore to match the guide.
- We are working to re-focus on game-wide plot. This does mean metaplot, yes, but also just fun side adventures that characters can get involved with as they choose. We also heard a lot about enjoying the way the early mystery of the game drew various characters together, and about common goals, and those are things we're thinking and talking about as we wrap up current stories and think about new ones. We'll also be running less - a LOT less - as time goes on. It is our goal to have AT LEAST two STs on every plot, both for workload reasons, and to help us catch things we might otherwise miss.
- We are thinking more carefully about our use of NPCs. You'll see a lot of NPCs moving off-camera shortly - something that has been in the works for a long time, but has been slowed down for various reasons. Beyond that, just know that we're thinking about the things people have liked and haven't liked in this area moving forward.
- We're working to better match the challenge level to the PC level. We've realized that some of our problems have sprung from a mismatch between the level of NPCs and/or challenges PCs face, and the PCs themselves. We haven't been careful enough about being sure that PCs feel capable of taking control of their own lives, and we're working on that. It's contributed to a lot of situations where players haven't felt a clear path forward, which is frustrating and something we're going to try to correct. Give us some time here - it make take a bit to clean up the problems we've already loosed on the grid.
- We're working to be more careful about how we use myths. Several people have brought up the way we've used some Native American mythology as something that needs to be handled better. We've always had in mind the thin line we walk between 'inspired by' and appropriation or otherwise mishandling other peoples' culture, history, and religion - but we clearly missed the mark here. We're sorry about that, and we're talking about ways to be better in the future - including following our own advice about using multiple sources as inspiration whenever available. It's something we'd also like to hear from you about, if you have thoughts.
- Whew. Okay. That was a lot! There are a lot of changes going down now, but know that we are still having fun running Spirit Lake for you, and we want you to have fun playing it.
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