Steve Hutchison (foomf) wrote,
Steve Hutchison

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Yet again

More maundering about online RP. If you are here, you chose to read this, so do not complain to me if your feelings get hurt by the content.

I'm really wondering why I continue with the online RP. XMA, BNB, MU, and now MXT - there is so much vindictiveness and so many hypersensitive people.

Am I really so completely offensive that it's necessary to bitch me out for being on the channel for the sphere my character started on, given that it's also the sphere where the character will probably spend a lot of time? And how the hell do these geniuses know that my sphere was changed?

Simple answer. They have to be staffers.

Sunday night there was a major scene run by two emitters, and I watched it from the 'viewing room'.
It was an OK scene, neither good nor bad, but it wasn't stellar. It wasn't a substitute for me being out there making my own RP, and my character hadn't been approved yet. It's been almost three months since I've had a place where I could roleplay in realtime.

I asked someone, one of the other appers, what's new and exciting.
He responded, "the scene we're watching."
So, I didn't really like the scene that much. I set my standards fairly high for group scenes. I want the characters to be fairly represented and portrayed, sure, but I also want the story of why they are there to be a good one. I will digress below into the details of this.

I answered that it I didn't think it was that exciting - there were too many players, and some of the poses were rather flat. I had thought my statement was pretty neutral, but he declared that I was 'shitting on other people's RP'.
I countered that I gave my impression of the scene, that it was subjective, and what the hell?
So he went into a personal attack on my moral character. It appeared to me that this was out of nowhere, and then he stated that my own posing was none-too-great. So, fine, not only did I not know this person, but he knows who I am, and he's getting very personal. I tell him to fuck off and I disconnect.

It wasn't clear to me whether he was a staffer or a player who happened to know who I used to play because I had said something, or someone had told him. I asked a staffer if he had a staff alt, and eventually puzzled out who it was; the head of the Street sphere, the area I had applied for my character in. Lovely.
To add insult to injury, this particular staffer has a history of taking personal grudges and dragging them into RP scenes, and of disregarding any unfortunate facts that interfere with his prejudices.
He doesn't do this deliberately, and appears to recognize that it is a flaw, though he won't actually admit it, because when confronted with it, his behavior changes. Still, it was MY problem this time; I said something that was pretty unflattering, and got hostile when I was confronted on it.
I had, until then, managed to remain on his less evil side. From history, I couldn't predict whether or not he would remain objective, but the trend in the past said 'no.' At least initially.

I don't know for sure what was happening behind the scenes, but I do know that there was a vote taken and my character was moved to a different sphere. I was told that this was because the character I was applying for is one of those weird vaguely defined characters that Marvel likes to create, who aren't designed as roleplay gaming characters but rather as plot-mechanisms. He's got godawful power potential, and was better reviewed by the Avengers group who are used to those power levels. That was the reason I was given, even though there are hundreds of Marvel characters operating on the street level who have godawful plot-mechanism power levels.
However, knowing what a bunch of queen gossips the staff of any game will be, I also suspect there was a desire on the part of the head of Street sphere staff to not deal with me at all, and that attitude was communicated to the other staffers there.
I have a problem with that kind of cliquish nonsense. It's what killed MXT in the first place, and it's coming back, both in the X-Sphere and now, apparently, in Street.

Now, my possibly paranoid ramblings aside, I did go back to apologize to the guy for losing my temper. The first time, he didn't reply and idled off, which is happenstance. The second time, the same thing happened, which is coincidence; I haven't gone a third time.

As to what was wrong with the scene...

There were too many characters with highly mixed agendas and wildly varying power levels, and the apparent three different goals in the scene resulted in a very messy flow. To be fair, I missed the beginning so may have missed the setup for the threads, but a well-done narrative can be picked up almost anywhere and still be enjoyed.
If it's a big scene, there needs to be a clear story goal, because otherwise, things will appear to be happening at random, it will be noisy and chaotic and ultimately lack a clear narrative sense.
In the comics, they do this by editing and concensus, when more than one person is writing. In ad-hoc live roleplay, you're stuck with things, because undoing poses is widely detested, for good reason.

There was too much out-of-character chatter, so it was hard to tell what was going on, and much of it was complaining. That's a trait of some of the players in the scene.
There was also too LITTLE out-of-character consultation, negotiation.

There's also a mechanics problem with the scene that made it hard for me to enjoy it.
Most scenes play better with no more than five player characters and one emitter, for several reasons, the most important being that each character has to pose, and each pose is written by the person playing that character. It takes from three to five minutes for the average person to craft a simple pose, and for fancy poses, it takes up to twenty. Posing is done in strict round-robin style unless the emitter says otherwise. Therefore, it can take over an hour for a single round of actions to be resolved. A scene requiring five minutes in real life would take a day or so to run. This is NOT a good thing.

It only gets worse when people ignore each other's poses, having prewritten their own and not bothering to integrate them into the flow of what other people have done. That happened in at least two places in this scene.

Finally there was at least one pose where the results on another player were explicitly stated - this is bad form, unless the players agree to it ahead of time, and there wasn't any visible ooc communication to ensure it. So, it left a sort of virutal bad taste.

That's why I didn't like it so much.
And, apparently, it's not PC to find fault with things, or at least to admit to it.


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