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Fixing Mirage Hearts' Story System

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Fixing Mirage Hearts' Story System

Post by Baldamar Macgowan on Sat Nov 19, 2016 1:34 pm

One of my favorite questions has always been, "But does it blend?"

No, it doesn't. There are many issues with the current system, mostly in that it's inconsistent, as are the people who manage it. According to site staff, Mirage is making a transition to a "Story System", in which competitive aspects will be phased out. Problem is, they've come to a standstill for no reason other than "a lack of motivation," says Shirou. This has bothered me from the start, and it's been suggested that I make a post outlining how to fix it. In the following posts, I will do just that, by explaining, in as much detail as I can reasonably manage, how to convert the current system to focus on Story aspects without being overly confusing for new players, which was among my primary concerns.



ONE: THE CHARACTER APPLICATION PROCESS

I'll cut straight to the point with this one and say it's too lenient. This is the primary method of screening new players, and only the simplest parts of the Application are even touched upon by Application staff. Yes, it makes sense to not nitpick every little thing when a new player comes in, but some standard must be upheld.

The most prominent thing is in the application format itself. I find it rather lacking. There are sections for the character's History, Personality, Other Notes and even Species, but there is nowhere to outline their physical capabilities. Something so simple as adding sections for "Abilities" and "Equipment" would solve this issue immediately. It's not a competition-specific thing to worry about this. It's a matter of consistency.

There's another thing, right there: Consistency. Let me bring up our 'beloved' friend, CFriday, for this example. In his attempt to make a revised version of his character, Noko, he mentioned in his History that Noko's Heart was taken away. By all logic, this would create a Nobody if he survived the process, right? CFriday thought differently, and stated that Noko was "cursed into a Heartless", and wrote himself up as Pure-Blood Heartless. This is an error on two levels. The first is that he was already a Nobody once his Heart was gone, and the second is that, since he wasn't turned Heartless by a natural force, he wouldn't be Pure-Blood. He would be Artificial, or Emblem.

This was an easy detail to pick up, however the staff didn't mention it at all, meaning he was accepted as a Heartless who technically couldn't be Heartless. Sure, not everyone can achieve perfect continuity once in the game, but there should be limits to what is acceptable in one's Character Application.

The fact that this sort of blatant thing can go right through with no problem is an issue in and of itself, but there's another thing as well: Stats. I am in favor of keeping the Tier system in place, as it does well to say what a character can or can't do in their current state. However, character stats aren't regulated at all, regardless of their consistency with the character in question. I could max out Annabeth's stats at any time, and use it to powerplay my way through any thread I want, and the most I'd get is some social ridicule. People wouldn't like it, but this hasn't stopped people from doing so in the past.

I suggest that the approach to Stats be redone entirely. Whether Tier-based or otherwise, it should be made a part of the regulated character creation process, in the form of a "Starting Stats" section in the Character Application. This will serve as another way for staff to be assured that this character makes sense for its experiences. If their Stats, Abilities and/or Equipment, don't line up with the character, then the application staff can address the issue properly. If the player wants to change their base stats, then they can go about it the same way that things like Appearance or Personality can be changed: by making a post in their accepted profile asking staff to patch it in. Note that this particular action will be purely for documentational purposes, and there doesn't need to be a new review process for every single change after the character is accepted. If something important happens in a thread, the player won't have to wait for it to be patched into their profile for it to take effect in-game.

Technical staff are placed in the role of ensuring site mechanics are maintained, and they need to utilize their input here. The biggest reason this is important is that, once someone is "accepted" by staff, other players tend to hesitate in criticizing them. The only time I've seen something done is when one person finally speaks up publicly, after which other players with the same concerns flock into chat to talk trash about them. This is not a good thing, and preventing these kinds of feelings and behaviors are one of the potential benefits of these changed.

In short, add Abilities, Equipment and Starting Stats sections to the Character Application, and more strictly weed out issues with newcoming characters. Players don't have to go through application for every change in-game.


Last edited by Annabeth Lee-Clement on Sat Nov 19, 2016 11:01 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Re: Fixing Mirage Hearts' Story System

Post by Baldamar Macgowan on Sat Nov 19, 2016 2:14 pm

Section one, "Character Application Process" has been added.
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Re: Fixing Mirage Hearts' Story System

Post by Veara on Sat Nov 19, 2016 2:52 pm

Abilities and equipment are something we don't ask for in the character app, because of the recent character arsenal section and before that it was simply you would go down the list starting with the character app. Alota of the time adding abilities and equipment to the app simply leads to clutter. an places more of a burden on the one reviewing the app.There goal is to specifically look at the character not the characters capabilities.

Anna wrote:. I could max out Annabeth's stats at any time, and use it to powerplay my way through any thread I want, and the most I'd get is some social ridicule.

Someone just tried this recently, the guy who got banned. Although he did attempt to auto kill another member as well he flat out ignored his opponents stats and powerplayed himself.

If you were to pull something like this and staff is notified. Odds are your topic will end there, and you'll receive a warning followed by continuing to would mean a ban. We understand this is possible however that's flat out abuse of the system and it isn't going to be tolerated.

Once again stats being added to the profile seems like another i dont wanta make another post lemme put it all in here and have it done and outta the way. Plus consistently asking for a staff to upgrade your stats also seems a little redundant since its supposed to be based on your own story.


im not replying to everything on this simply things i felt stood out

these are my opinions and do not reflect the staff as an entirety




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Re: Fixing Mirage Hearts' Story System

Post by Baldamar Macgowan on Sat Nov 19, 2016 3:26 pm

Veara wrote:Abilities and equipment are something we don't ask for in the character app, because of the recent character arsenal section and before that it was simply you would go down the list starting with the character app.

I'll be addressing issues with the Arsenal when I address deletion/sorting of the subforums.

Alota of the time adding abilities and equipment to the app simply leads to clutter. an places more of a burden on the one reviewing the app.

In that case, the Abilities section can either be made optional or retained in the form of Skill Trees, which I do not recommend. In the matter of placing a burden on the reviewer... It's their responsibility to be thorough. It makes sense not to overwork them, but is it really asking so much to say, "If someone doesn't make sense tell them no"? As roleplayers, reading and writing should be nothing new. When reviewing an application, the ability to criticize and correct are essential.

There goal is to specifically look at the character not the characters capabilities.

If it's a part of the character at all, it's important. No, we don't need a medical history, but if someone can lift up a building without an explanation, why wait until they actually do it to step in?

Anna wrote:. I could max out Annabeth's stats at any time, and use it to powerplay my way through any thread I want, and the most I'd get is some social ridicule.

Someone just tried this recently, the guy who got banned. Although he did attempt to auto kill another member as well he flat out ignored his opponents stats and powerplayed himself.

If you were to pull something like this and staff is notified. Odds are your topic will end there, and you'll receive a warning followed by continuing to would mean a ban. We understand this is possible however that's flat out abuse of the system and it isn't going to be tolerated.

That's good. And now that we know it's something that can be done, we can take measures to prevent it in the future.

Once again stats being added to the profile seems like another i dont wanta make another post lemme put it all in here and have it done and outta the way.

Documentation is important for continuity. Similar to Abilities and Equipment, it's important to know someone's limits, and having an "Other Notes" section isn't enough. Otherwise, having a Stats mechanic at all is pointless.

Plus consistently asking for a staff to upgrade your stats also seems a little redundant since its supposed to be based on your own story.

It's not too difficult, in my eyes. Watch threads, receive requests, check continuity then either reject the change or copy-paste the new detail into the profile. If they won't do it, I would, but I'm not staff.

im not replying to everything on this simply things i felt stood out

these are my opinions and do not reflect the staff as an entirety

Your input is appreciated. I welcome valid criticism.
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Re: Fixing Mirage Hearts' Story System

Post by Lenneth on Sat Nov 19, 2016 7:42 pm

Things that stood out for me to speak about

There's another thing, right there: Consistency. Let me bring up our 'beloved' friend, CFriday, for this example. In his attempt to make a revised version of his character, Noko, he mentioned in his History that Noko's Heart was taken away. By all logic, this would create a Nobody if he survived the process, right? CFriday thought differently, and stated that Noko was "cursed into a Heartless", and wrote himself up as Pure-Blood Heartless. This is an error on two levels. The first is that one cannot become Heartless unless their Heart is still present, and the second is that, since he wasn't turned Heartless by a natural force, he wouldn't be Pure-Blood. He would be Artificial, or Emblem. This was an easy detail to pick up, given how little else there was to go through in his Application. However, the staff didn't mention it at all, meaning he was accepted as a Heartless who technically couldn't be Heartless. In addition, he had next to no traits of Heartless as a character, and functioned no differently than Kirito from Sword Art Online, which only added to my curiosity as to why the staff had no qualms with it. wrote:


I feel as though this is more of a personal preference to how logically the lore is taken. As with a story based theme we are going for I can assume that we all should hold the right to mess with the lore in some illogical inconsistencies as our own part of the multi hit fan fiction we are all creating based in the back drop of this medium“Kingdom hearts universe” if it makes sense for the writer. Granted I feel confident in the lore staff ability keep the MH lore well enough to weed out the larger things like a half human half heartless hybrid but hell we are suppose to make up things that don't make sense in a fantasy setting where logic can be subjective to an extent. Anything could happen honestly

This will serve as another way for staff to be assured that this character makes sense for its experiences. If their Stats, Abilities and/or Equipment, don't line up with the character The fact that this sort of blatant thing can go right through with no problem is an issue in and of itself, but there's another thing as well: Stats. I am in favor of keeping the Tier system in place, as it does well to say what a character can or can't do in their current state. However, character stats aren't regulated at all, regardless of their consistency with the character in question. I could max out Annabeth's stats at any time, and use it to power play my way through any thread I want, and the most I'd get is some social ridicule. wrote:



yes you could do that if its your choice though the idea for role playing in the open environments means a lot of people might not enjoy rping with a person abused this. Outside the staff able to take actions if the abuse of free power idea goes crazy no one would want to rp the the writer that would choice to power play unfairly in the topic. Its a media based on mutual respect and fairness to other people also participating, if it make sense for the story (Like a god or something blessing a chosen or something raising his power in a topic) and the other writers agreeing to the idea then it would be fine but if no one likes it they don't have to interact anymore.  Anything can happen in a story based on its writer and the people also writing it so inconsistency can occur if they are having fun doing it together which is also based on what they consider as “inconsistent”  as well. Best not to either abuse the freedom and lash at people's other stories as well basically.

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Re: Fixing Mirage Hearts' Story System

Post by Baldamar Macgowan on Sat Nov 19, 2016 11:02 pm

Thank you for your concerns. Some edits have been made to the section, "Character Application Process".
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Re: Fixing Mirage Hearts' Story System

Post by Marigold Darkson on Sun Nov 20, 2016 12:02 am

I agree that we should get rid of the competitive side completely and clean up the directory, which is something that staff has unanimously agreed upon. Character applications can have a section that'd explain their stats, feats of strengths, whatever it is they'd like but ultimately people ARE allowed to edit their templates however they want. They are not subjected to some form of "objective" perfection that you seem so intent on creating.

Stats will not change at all, that much I'll tell you now. When this system was first in place I was worried about people attempting to powerplay but what you seem to forget, is that we have Technical staff in place who will regulate those forms of actions. "Why do you wait until its actually done to do anything about it?" Do you shoot down a theory before it's put into practice? Do you disqualify a person as being unable to do their job, before giving them a 90 day probational period to see what they're made of? The answer is no. Lore and Technical staff do their utmost to give players a chance to NOT abuse the privilege we give them. If and when it happens, we have actual physical proof that we can use to discipline them appropriately.

"The only time I've seen something done is when one person finally speaks up publicly, after which other players with the same concerns flock into chat to talk trash about them. This is not a good thing." You're guilty of this too, unfortunately, no matter how eloquent you attempted to make yourself sound. Anyways, I will not sit here and pretend that our staff is perfect, it's not. We are NOT going to monitor every single topic to weed out bad behavior and the like. We do not hold peoples' hands throughout their topics to make sure everyone is, "playing nice." What we do, is set up a system where everyone can have fun.

This is a story system not meant to be taken so seriously and in a fashion where only elitists flock. This everyone's break away from whatever real life situation their in, to write, pass the time, and have fun. Will there be changes to how things are more organized? Absolutely, we will try our best to clarify everything as succinctly as possible. Will we change the entirety of a system to fit only one or two people's style of role-playing? Absolutely not.

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Re: Fixing Mirage Hearts' Story System

Post by Ricky? on Sun Nov 20, 2016 11:42 am

To summarize my views:
We should remove the competitive system, we've finally grown past it.

We should clean up the directory. A lot of the competitive aspects do make it difficult to read and add clutter. We should emphasize the story system, having the rules of the universe dictate what is possible, e.g., Heartless cannot wield Keyblades.

We should remove Skill Trees, because they are convoluted and confuse newer members. The format and abilities can still be used by whomever wants to, but it should no longer be the standard.

We should revise tiers. The original tier system was wonky. T3 was canon endgame, T4 was hidden boss-level, and T5 was ???

Additionally, T1 and T2 seem so marginal in difference compared to the rest.
So we could redefine them as,
T1- Novice
T2- Veteran 
T3- Endgame
T4- Hidden Boss

These tiers define the cap and may express anything less; T1 may express disabilities. You can express the difference between the final tiers as say KH2 Sora (T3) vs Sephiroth (T4). This does not change the current power scale, just a streamlined expression of, what I feel is, a clunky system.
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Re: Fixing Mirage Hearts' Story System

Post by Changeling on Sun Nov 20, 2016 9:15 pm

To be perfectly honest, and these are just me 2 cents, but I like the skill trees, and they really aren't a standard right now, I mean people can go out and get their characters approved then just make up abilities as they go. It's one of those things that you can either make one or not.

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Re: Fixing Mirage Hearts' Story System

Post by Mobutt on Mon Nov 21, 2016 1:10 am

Ricky? wrote:To summarize my views:
We should remove the competitive system, we've finally grown past it.

We should clean up the directory. A lot of the competitive aspects do make it difficult to read and add clutter. We should emphasize the story system, having the rules of the universe dictate what is possible, e.g., Heartless cannot wield Keyblades.

We should remove Skill Trees, because they are convoluted and confuse newer members. The format and abilities can still be used by whomever wants to, but it should no longer be the standard.

We should revise tiers. The original tier system was wonky. T3 was canon endgame, T4 was hidden boss-level, and T5 was ???

Additionally, T1 and T2 seem so marginal in difference compared to the rest.
So we could redefine them as,
T1- Novice
T2- Veteran 
T3- Endgame
T4- Hidden Boss

These tiers define the cap and may express anything less; T1 may express disabilities. You can express the difference between the final tiers as say KH2 Sora (T3) vs Sephiroth (T4). This does not change the current power scale, just a streamlined expression of, what I feel is, a clunky system.

I think Tier Zero would show disabilities better, that'sounds one. I agree Skill Trees shouldn'the be standard-like Drive-but should be recommended as you progress?
AlsI, we should outright just do away with Drive forms, it'seems even more confusing. Hey, why not just sub with Ultimate Attacks.

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Re: Fixing Mirage Hearts' Story System

Post by Changeling on Mon Nov 21, 2016 2:35 am

Ultimate attacks?

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Re: Fixing Mirage Hearts' Story System

Post by Lenneth on Mon Nov 21, 2016 3:34 am

I believe he is suggesting that for our system you can use the format of the trees as you want  for progress if you like it but since progression is entirely based you're story/pace of how you want to go about it your since it wouldn't be awarded out.

Also I believed T5 was intended to be above the hidden boss levels shown in the KH games, going into more other forms of power caps in other medias. My examples were thought more into the realms of like the Marvel comics movies now a days for their raw stronger characters (Just my option of the scaling). Or I guess the same gap change distance from t3 to t4 being the change from t4 to t5.  Correct me as well if I have interrupted your post incorrectly. I do believe your last paragraph's statement about the scale not changing but the title and names used there are confusing me just based on past information using those same examples.

The above statement is also reinforcing my own preference of the cap not being lowered to what I believed the be one "Level" lower then what I thought was the ceiling cap.

Power doesn't not play a big role in the story system anymore but I would just like the still have a general idea what is the least amount of craziness and the highest amount of craziness we can all do for consistently.

also aesthetically wise the 5 looks better then the 4 part honestly (I'm a guy that hated seeing level 99 on kh2 when it should have been level 100 like in kh1 gahh you even numbers)  

Hoping never to see any user casually flying across and blowing up worlds to pieces cause he was going to fast or anything cosmically ridiculous like that.

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Re: Fixing Mirage Hearts' Story System

Post by Ricky? on Mon Nov 21, 2016 4:41 am

Ricky? wrote:This does not change the current power scale, just a streamlined expression of, what I feel is, a clunky system.

Lenny, there isn't a nerf in power. This is a change in expression. I don't really care about the aesthetic, I'm not dead set on 4, but T1 vs 2 seemed arbitrary compared to the differences in the later tiers. Maybe it's just my current misunderstanding of the power between them.

Mobutt wrote:I think Tier Zero would show disabilities better, that'sounds one.
I find it weird having every tier representing a range of power, excluding T0, which would just be a representation disability.

Hm. Honestly, with further thought, using tiers to express disabilities seems counterintuitive. If someone loses an arm, but has the highest tier in strength otherwise, how do you express that in the tier system? The distinction would be better made with words.

Mobutt wrote:AlsI, we should outright just do away with Drive forms, it'seems even more confusing. Hey, why not just sub with Ultimate Attacks.

Drives are a part of the series. They don't have to work how they do now, in competitive, since that is confusing, but I don't see why they should be removed entirely.

Changeling wrote:To be perfectly honest, and these are just me 2 cents, but I like the skill trees, and they really aren't a standard right now, I mean people can go out and get their characters approved then just make up abilities as they go. It's one of those things that you can either make one or not.

New members tend to use the templates given to them. As I said, there is nothing stopping you or anyone from using skill trees, but the template we provide should be easier to understand.
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Re: Fixing Mirage Hearts' Story System

Post by Lenneth on Mon Nov 21, 2016 4:50 am

Lenny, there isn't a nerf in power. This is a change in expression. I don't really care about the aesthetic, I'm not dead set on 4, but T1 vs 2 seemed arbitrary compared to the differences in the later tiers. Maybe it's just my current misunderstanding of the power between them. wrote:

Ya just making sure. Just cause I like the current most and least scale we got right now

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Re: Fixing Mirage Hearts' Story System

Post by Ricky? on Mon Nov 21, 2016 6:13 am

No worries~

I understand the concern.
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