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TOPIC: Staying logged in while AFK

Staying logged in while AFK 8 months 13 hours ago #15740

  • Extractum11
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Raviollius wrote:
On the other hand, this should allow them to grasp more accurately how many players are actually playing the game at any given moment. The number was inflated somehow by the people being afk for hours - I remember one occasion where I played 12 hours straight and our guild leader was AFK in the Serbule well the entire time.

You can see how many people are online/AFK with /who all.
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Staying logged in while AFK 7 months 3 weeks ago #15751

  • Roekai
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i personally prefer a short timer, because it forces you to do things you wouldn't otherwise do.

for example, instead of going afk and playing at the well for 10 hours, you would have to go to the newb island and play for newbies (like i did) to get your music skill up, building community in the process. just make sure you bring a bunch of extra guitars, because the noobs will be fascinated.
Heroes get remembered, but Legends never die.
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Staying logged in while AFK 7 months 3 weeks ago #15757

  • Greyfyn
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While talking about the druid event timer with a friend, it occurred to me that the afk timer could be about population checks for the druid events. This is a supposition, and if I'm wrong, I'd like to know that. If the druid events are why we have an afk timer, why not just tell us?

Meanwhile, since this thread began, here are the concrete ways in which the afk timer has changed how I personally play:
  • I ask people in my house to jiggle my mouse.
  • I constantly check to see who is online, wondering if starting a group activity or conversation can happen with the people currently logged in.
  • I run around trying to get things done in real life so I won't logged out.
  • I sat online watching videos while poking the mouse to stay logged in so I could visit animal town in three hours.
  • I told a friend I was gonna attach a vibrator to my mouse.
  • I tried to talk my non-voice chat friends into coming to discord.
  • I discovered a quick shower takes longer than 15 minutes.
  • I added a bunch of people to my friends list so I could see when they came on to quick chat them before they got logged out again.
  • I gazed longingly at an empty town square wondering if any musician would come play for a cow.
  • I looked at playing the new steam game Starborn because if mmos aren't group-oriented, then I can just play a single player game.

Some of this is tongue in cheek, but all of it happened and it affects how I think about Gorgon. While I love most all aspects of the game, the social piece is why I'm here. Cooperative-style sand box games with a strong community are yummy! That happy cow in Pallai's Animal Jenga pile picture is me. I'm a herd animal--what can I say!??!!

PS: I got logged out just as I finished writing this post, even though I was sitting here with the game open the whole time. MOOOOO!
Last Edit: 7 months 3 weeks ago by Greyfyn.
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Staying logged in while AFK 7 months 3 weeks ago #15759

  • phalaeo
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Greyfyn wrote:
MOOOOO!

That's ok, I got logged out while editing the wiki. :(
OMG, BEES!!!!!!!!!
~ Pallai ~
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Staying logged in while AFK 7 months 3 weeks ago #15763

  • srand
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Egad, there a lot of comments I want to respond to! This is going to be long! (And on that note, if you quote this post, will you do me a favor and not quote the whole thing, just the bits you are responding to? I'm long-winded enough as it is. :))

---

First off, I want to say right up front that disconnecting a player after they have been inactive for a certain period of time - henceforth 'the AFK timer' for the sake of brevity - changes the way that some players have been playing the game, and changes it in a way that takes something away from current players. In that sense, it's a nerf. And some players are rightly quite annoyed about this nerf because it's not obvious why you were nerfed. Alpha is all about changes - nerfs and buffs and experimental new systems that don't always work the way they should - but when you get nerfed, it can feel really malicious if you don't at least have some idea what the hell the devs were thinking.

Aside: I had mentioned in Global chat just after the update that I hadn't spent much time thinking about the AFK timer. That was me personally, by the way, not the dev team! But the fact is that I hadn't thought about it much personally because I'm used to playing games that log you off after a period of inactivity. I knew it was on the to-do list and would happen eventually, and I didn't consider it a big deal. Again, that was me personally. Reading all the comments here, I can see that I was missing a lot of the finer points about how players were using a limitless AFK. I apologize for that. I have a much better idea now why some folks are feeling attacked by the change. Since the update I've talked to Citan extensively about the AFK timer and his design goals - and it became very clear to me that he had done a lot more thinking than I had, especially in the context of performance skills and other game systems. (I'll get to that in a second.)

So let's start by talking a bit about why we implemented an AFK timer, as well as why we didn't:
  • The AFK timer and the druid events are entirely unrelated.
  • The AFK timer is not directly related to the implementation of the new dance skill. That is, we didn't add an AFK timer in order to force you to level dance the 'right' way. The timer is indirectly related to the larger goals of the performance skills - again, I'll get to that in a second.
  • The AFK timer isn't specifically intended to help with server lag. As Silvonis said, it can help with crowd control - that is, how many people gather where doing what - and that can help a lot with client lag. That's not the only reason that this change happened now, but it is a common reason that most games log you off after some period of inactivity, and a big part of the reason that the timer was on our eventual to-do list from the beginning.

Okay, so what about the AFK timer and performance skills? Isn't it kind of mean that we made a system that encourages you to stay online AFK and then nerfed your ability to do just that?

I touched on this briefly in another thread, but basically the goal for the performance skills was to be a fun social activity. More than that, gathering a bunch of folks to be social, play music, and dance was supposed to be an event. Not a druid-event kind of event, but a weekly-poker-night kind of event. A social event. We really didn't intend that you feel obligated to have a full-power music buffs in place every time you went out hunting. But as many of you have pointed out in this thread, that's exactly what is happening right now. You need people playing in town, even if they are AFK, so you can get your buffs and be as effective as possible in combat. (Or gardening!)

The current system isn't what we were trying to achieve, and in a lot of ways it's just not fun. In fact, a lot of the feedback in this thread is really about the weaknesses in the current performance system, and why those weaknesses make limitless AFKing the logical way to play.

So given the current state of performance skills, there are three tacks we can take:
  1. Nerf the effectiveness of the performance buffs so they don't feel obligatory. (Of course, then they'd be worthless.)
  2. Accept the fact that performance buffs are obligatory and nerf XP across the board, so that the planned leveling curves aren't thrown all out of whack by the buffs. (Ouch.)
  3. Change the performance skills to move them closer to the original goal of a fun, voluntary social event.

In case it's not obvious, we're aiming for #3. :)

Okay, you may be saying, but given all that - why did we implement the AFK timer now instead of waiting until we had a better performance system ready to go? There were logistical benefits to adding the AFK timer now, but much more importantly: it's really hard to judge the success of a change when that change is overshadowed by the existing system. Iteration is the heart of our development process; every system goes through many iterations as we try things out, find out what works and what doesn't, and decide what needs to go back to the drawing board. There are almost certainly going to be many more iterations on the performance skills before we're satisfied. But if everyone is doing their normal obligatory-AFK-music-buff thing, then any changes we make as we iterate are going to be so overshadowed by players' existing behaviors and assumptions that we won't know if we're getting closer to fun or not.

I hope that helps explain why we implemented an AFK timer in this last update. I've actually really enjoyed reading through all your comments and suggestions and I learned quite a bit, not only about how you play the game but also how you think about it. And that's really valuable. We can tweak the timer a bit if necessary. What's going to be harder - and what's going to take a lot of testing, feedback, and patience from you - is getting the performance skills right.
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Staying logged in while AFK 7 months 3 weeks ago #15764

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Hearing what's going on--works. Thanks so much for this clarification. We can work on initiating some "poker night" music activities. And create some new social habits and communication strategies.
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Staying logged in while AFK 7 months 3 weeks ago #15765

  • bluster
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srand wrote:
I touched on this briefly in another thread, but basically the goal for the performance skills was to be a fun social activity. More than that, gathering a bunch of folks to be social, play music, and dance was supposed to be an event.
  1. Nerf the effectiveness of the performance buffs so they don't feel obligatory. (Of course, then they'd be worthless.)
  2. Accept the fact that performance buffs are obligatory and nerf XP across the board, so that the planned leveling curves aren't thrown all out of whack by the buffs. (Ouch.)
  3. Change the performance skills to move them closer to the original goal of a fun, voluntary social event.

In case it's not obvious, we're aiming for #3. :)

Now going to be bit direct, I will never get to see play/dancing as a fun social event, when I play thats for me fun/good.

For me the dancing/instruments is a mean to en end, which is to get faster xp in crafting/fighting. Thats what I see it. Also, when I do get the max xp in the Things I am interested in, then I will completely ignore the dancing/instruments, which i btw do 9 out of 10 times already.

But when that is said, I only go AFK for:

1) Have to do something important in RL(which might take 1-30 min) (washing up/go put clothes into washing machine/go drop a dough/talking a bath/make food).
2) Go AFK because I have to wait 3 hours online to be able to do stuff in animal town, something that could be solved that it would be 3 real hours where I could be logged off.
3) Go afk in some time, because you have stacked the dance/play on top, so I cannot do anything else than being afk, and I really dont wanna sit in front of the keyboard doing nothing, except a bit of talking, that is for me complete Waste of my RL time.
Last Edit: 7 months 3 weeks ago by bluster.
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Staying logged in while AFK 7 months 3 weeks ago #15766

  • Khaylara
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I understand the reason behind this and thanks srand for taking the time to detail it.

The reality is though that in this stage of the game, with max 70 people online..Serbule looks just sad without the music and dance and the social aspect of it. My honest opinion would be that the feature is tested, it works, but maybe revert to the old system till closer to launch.

Depends how important the data from it is but imo it kills the casual and fun feel a bit.
*you eat what you kill* (Riddick booming voice)
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Staying logged in while AFK 7 months 3 weeks ago #15770

  • Raviollius
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srand wrote:
I touched on this briefly in another thread, but basically the goal for the performance skills was to be a fun social activity. More than that, gathering a bunch of folks to be social, play music, and dance was supposed to be an event. Not a druid-event kind of event, but a weekly-poker-night kind of event. A social event.
One year ago when my guild was active, we used to have these meetings 3/4 times a week(man, I miss our tavern shows). From what I understand, the bonus crafting XP was there to give people some incentive to attend to said gatherings, while the combat XP would be useful once everyone decided to leave and do some dungeons. It was a nice idea, and I can kinda guess the reasoning behind having the buff take a while to buildup(to avoid having players play for a minute to max the buff then forgetting it), while having a very long max duration(so the party could actually reach/cleanup the dungeon before the buff ends).
srand wrote:
In that sense, it's a nerf.
Yes, it's a nerf, if an indirect one. People are used to having access to this bonus without ever participating of said gatherings, simply by doing their stuff in Serbule while other people AFK-played on the well. Go to labs, clean it up, go back to Serbule to sell/store stuff, leave again immediately afterwards with a full music buff, repeat - that's how it worked before the update. I approve any change in the performance skills that intend on making them more interesting to actively use.
Hearing what's going on--works. Thanks so much for this clarification. We can work on initiating some "poker night" music activities. And create some new social habits and communication strategies.
Hopefully I'll get to see these again. They were fun as heck.
Serbule looks just sad without the music(...)
I agree, because I'm so used to having a music band 24/7 on top of well. On the other hand, not listening to it 24/7 will make it more special when people gather for it.
and the social aspect of it. My honest opinion would be that the feature is tested, it works, but maybe revert to the old system till closer to launch.
I see no social aspect to having people AFK playing music constantly - they are glorified jukeboxes. On the other hand, they are glorified jukeboxes that give decent buffs, which is what people actually care about right now, as seen in this very thread.

On the main topic of AFK-kicking, maybe the timer could be changed to 20-25 min if so many people are being disconnected because they spent ~16-18 minutes doing something else. However, I have no love for these using it to go around game mechanics(like the 3 hour animal timer or getting "permanent" max song buffs).

By the way, I never knew garderners could be so spiteful before. It's been an enlightening read. :P
Last Edit: 7 months 3 weeks ago by Raviollius.
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Staying logged in while AFK 7 months 3 weeks ago #15771

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I have to admit sometimes I'd go to bed and leave afk knowing my computer will shut down in 2 hours but not for any buffs. Just to help newbies get a small buff while they were selling their stuff in town. Most times though I'd play there and contribute to naked dancing, pyramids of animals or gathering of pets (see screenshots thread xD). That's the part I miss :)
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