Our new season is now open: Spring 1677 !
Definition: You feel your plotlines are not moving forward. Perhaps you are involved in a large event thread and are getting bored for lack of anything to do. Or your fellow players have stopped playing. Perhaps you find a more intimate setting growing somewhat tedious, or you find the boards over all lack lustre.
What We Think Doesn't Work
Here is what is not working in AoI based on previous experience
Not doing anything either
We can keep waiting for each other to post or to refind bounce. We might find ourselves waiting for a long time, finding that the boards slow down even more. It may be polite to wait in some cases, but overall passivity will only stimulate the downward spiral.
Non specific grumbling
The key term here is specificness. We want to know what and/or who is bothering you, when and what we can do to solve it etc. If you have some clear ideas of what is not working for the game, or your PC in particular, please do tell us. Chances are we can solve it fairly easy and honestly. However, being non specific means we can't solve it and all that remains is a negative attitude that pulls all of us down. Also, if you want to voice a complaint, do it somewhere we can see, either in PM to someone on the mod team you trust or (preferred method) in your compendium. Our clairvoyance is sadly lacking so if you don't mention it, we probably figure it is not there.
Sending reminder PM's to moderators who are under real life stress
Send us a PM any time of the week if we are posting all over but have overlooked your thread. We'll probably thank you. We are human. We can forget things. However if a mod is down with the flu and has already told you of such limits, please don't remind us of that very sad fact. Trust us, we know. It is just getting both of us down.
We try and be as open as possible about our limitations just so you realize that we too are simply human volunteers instead of superpowers and a bit of sympathy goes a long way.
Stopping New Players from coming in
At first this seems like a very logical step (You have x number of players per mod and so less mods necessitates less players) and we have done so in the past from time to time. Usually we only allow in new players when others leave or seem to drop in posting. However the amount of mods vs the amount of players is not linear and so we try and have a regular flow of new characters. The reasons are multifold but the main is this: We don't want to miss out on very enthusiastic flexible people who might contribute bounce, inspiration and interest as a player and maybe even in a far future as mod.
What We Think Does Work
Here are some strategies that might work for you
Tell us which of your storylines are stuck and how you would solve it, or ask advice
We do this periodically in the compendiums and I have recently posted up a new request for this. It is very helpful to have this OOC frank exchange. It helps moderators identify blind spots in our moderating, or remove miscommunication. So help us help and share your thoughts with us!
In fact, don't wait for us to post such a thread. You can do the same at any time, reminding us you are still waiting for such and such. Trust me, mod characters have to do so all the time. We are just less shy in asking. This is a big game and keeping oversight with so many stories and so many PC's can be an overwhelming task. So, we will always consider your reminders in your compendium helpful Smile
Replot how you are going to accomplish goals, developing initiative
Would you be surprised to learn that even moderators-as-players sometimes despair of their characters and the insurmountable mountain of troubles they face? We have learned that it helps to list the accomplishments (however small) of our PCs and to cut our big goals into very small baby steps to see a way forward, or a new path into an old problem. Sometimes you need our help, but often, with our advice, you yourself can take steps forward immediately and delight yourself. Remember that you are never defeated. There is always a way around a problem and initiative will likely see an IC reward.
Go post with the players that are currently active in new threads, moving forward in time.
See Also Slow Poster for alternatives.
It is always difficult: involve yourself with other players but get stuck when they disappear, or focus on NPC's, but get stuck when the moderator is on hiatus. There is no perfect way. We advice a nice balance and a focus upon players when moderators find themselves understaffed.
You can leave threads that you still want resolved for a later date and simply focus on something new/unrelated for a while. Making sure your character has a wide spread of issues/subjects to be involved in is always a good idea. It requires a little flexibility, but it does help keeping the bounce. The more players are posting, the more other players and moderators are inspired. You may sometimes see moderators trying to attempt this with their own PCs. This is not their attempt to "take the central stage" but an invite to others to do the same. Weekends are perfect for hyperposting. Do join us.
Ask for help on threads that are stuck either through a lacking mod or a lacking player
See Also OOC PC to PC Prenup
We can archive inactive threads for now if you prefer, or we can let (another) mod take over and summarize. Your choice. Ultimately, if you wait longer than a week without notice from people involved in the thread you have a right to ask the mod team to intervene and we will (while trying to maintain tact on all sides).