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An Editorial
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ctown28
ctown28
Tireless Tiger

Jun-28-2008 08:39

There have been some recent events on this game that warrant some concern. It’s no secret that there has been a lack of interest. Much of this may be attributed to the release of Shades of Mystery. If that is what people want to play, far be it from me to tell them not to play it.

That being said. I am still a paying customer of Sleuth Noir. As a paying customer there are some things that I expect. Ben has done a decent job at keeping the server up and running. We had a slight issue earlier in the week with not being able to travel and Ben did a great job of addressing the issue and getting it corrected. He always has done a great job of taking care of things. He has not however kept the game fresh and interesting. We recently had the expansion of the USS Sleuthetania. There was a buzz before the initial launch of it and we couldn’t wait to see what was in store for us.

Well what did we get? The opportunity to pay $20,000 to get on board of a ship and do nothing more than play cases. Sure there are some new characters and new items along with 2 new “coming soon” links. That’s it! I can’t help but to feel disappointed in the way this has played out. Two weeks later, the links are still coming soon and the interest of the boat has already gone away. I know I have no plans or reason to get on the boat and be cut off from my agency completely. I don’t know this for a fact, but I think a lot of people are disappointed with the boat as well and some may even be irritated and feel cheated by the whole development.

Maybe I’m being a bit harsh and we are missing some secret that still needs to be unlocked on the boat, but if people aren’t playing, the secret will not be unlocked. I know that Ben is just one person and can only do so much. He has a lot on his plate right now with running both SOM and Noir. I’m sorry, but SOM means absolutely nothing to me as I don’t play over there.

Replies

ctown28
ctown28
Tireless Tiger

Jun-28-2008 08:39

I’m not saying that he needs to abandon SOM and just focus on Noir, but perhaps he needs to hire some help to keep both games going. It wouldn’t be fair to his customers in SOM to abandon them either.

I hope I am wrong here, but it seems like Noir is slowly dying off as less and less people seem to play. We used to sometimes see treasure hunts completed within a couple of hours, now it seems like they take days. My co-director and me tried putting together a Villain Hunt tournament to renew interest, that lasted for a little bit abut as soon as it was over, dies off again. We will be doing another tournament in the near future, but that’s another topic.

I found this game almost 4 years ago and have left twice. On my third stint back, I’ve had more fun then ever before. I created my own agency, a website along with it and have made many new friends. For me the community is what makes the game, but in order to keep the community going, the game needs to keep going. The only way to keep the game going is to keep people interested and it seems like that is what is missing. VS posted awhile back that he was bored with the game and for the most part got some good suggestions for ways to stay interested. That wasn’t enough to keep him. Players are leaving more and more frequently now as some of the people I used to chat with via sleuthmail aren’t on as much.

I’d like to know what everyone else thinks about this so please post your thoughts and try to keep them constructive. I’ll get off my soapbox now!


topkebab
topkebab
Lucky Stiff

Jun-28-2008 09:11

Unfortunately I have to agree with you Ctown. Luckily I am not yet at the stage that poor VS is at, but Noir IS getting a little routine. The ship was a let down. We were titillated with "new characters to meet and secrets to unravel"... perhaps the secrets are to figure out if there is anything else on board to do? :P

Currently I am relying on player-initiated things like contests and AVH tournaments, to keep my interest up. But as the number of active players here dwindles, so do these activities.

Rosamund Clifford
Rosamund Clifford
Tale Spinner

Jun-28-2008 13:04

I agree with both of you. There are many things that could be done to make Noir more interesting for both old and new players without, or at least I hope so, too much work for Ben. For instance:

1. include Cairo in AV hunts
2. include Cairo in treasure hunts
3. create single-player or agency Egyptian-themed hunts in Cairo, or both
4. add apartments to Cairo

But above all, I hope we get the "coming soon" areas of the ship ... soon.

Breitkat
Breitkat
Pinball Amateur

Jun-28-2008 14:01

I know that Ben has a great deal to deal with, both here, with SOM, and with the rest of his life. I can't help but wonder if there isn't more that we can do to lighten the load, so to speak, off of Admin's shoulders. I do realize that the programming stuff is prob'ly a job better left to them, but I'm wondering if some sort of 'development team' or some such could be implemented to assist Admin. I would think coming up with new names, charater sayings, pictures, twists, etc., would be things that people who are NOT admin could help out on (like was done in the Cairo project). I'd think this might take a significant load off of Admin's plates, and allow selected people to represent the community.

Again, whaddo I know. Just a wild thought outta left field. ;-)

Sophie4
Sophie4
Gopher to the Sleuth Gods

Jun-28-2008 15:46

I'd like to play more scripted mysteries. If I could write one I would but thats best left to more talented people. It would be cool if in a scripted mystery you had to travel. Perhaps the victim is in London but you had to go to Delhi to interview his wife or employer. Its been a while since we've had any new mysteries to solve, I hear the one on on the ship is active now but don't know for sure.

Jesse Hunter
Jesse Hunter
Nomad

Jun-28-2008 15:48

Maybe an organized development team might help. However, there have been loads of suggestions posted on the boards, and it seems as though most of them have been greeted with wave after wave of "why do we need that?" and "this has been brought up before, it's not going to happen." Sleuth has an extremely pleasant and well mannered community, but that communtity tends to resist change.

I fully acknowledge that not all ideas are good ideas and not all change is progress, but it may be a good starting point to dig through the old threads and reconsider partially developed concepts that have been passed over or shot down. Perhaps now that so many sleuths are in the doldrums something may stand out in a new light. It seems a tad bit more constructive than waiting around for a rather ambiguous 'something more' to boost interest.

Granted, the Sleuthetania is a bit of a letdown at this stage, but it does stand out as the shining example of a user posted idea that actually gained community support and was implemented by the admin. If we, the consumers, get OUR ducks in a row I have faith that the admin will attempt to work toward improvement, expansion, growth, or whatever you wish to call it. If it takes a development team or a special committee or a sleuth player's union so be it... but we must be willing to risk disappointments and even possible upsets to the balance of the game as we know it.

Breitkat
Breitkat
Pinball Amateur

Jun-28-2008 16:49

There have been a lot of great ideas that have been brought up by people, some interesting ones, some truly weird ones, and some horrendously bad ones. Most, at one point or another, have been repeated over the years in some way. (This isn't necessarily a bad thing; it simply implies that people are reviewing what may be truly good things to implement.) To my mind, a 'development team', or what have you, can cull through some/most/all of these ideas, decide which are truly workable and would fly with the majority of the Sleuth population, and then go on and do everything they can to get them to the programming stage, ie-ready for Ben to input into the server. This whole process would involve an organized team, and a systematic approach. Just a thought....;-)

A second thing which crosses my mind (and which was suggested a while ago, I forget by whom ;-), is the idea of doing smaller updates more frequently. We seem to have a grand update to Noir about every six months, with very little new stuff in between. It may be an idea to try updating things on a monthly or bimonthly basis, and doing the uploads in smaller shifts. Again, just another wild shot outta left field. ;-)

Huglover
Huglover
Old Shoe

Jun-29-2008 09:23

As being a computer programmer sole, I would have loved to participate, and bring something to the community. And, I know that I would have been able to do much preparations on ideas to make them even easier to implement. I see myself skilled when it comes to programming, but I am awful when it comes to making the stories...
If Ben allowed me to do so, I would even offer to be developing small updates like Breitkat suggests. Perhaps it would help me learn how sleuth is built up, making me able to assist on the bigger updates as well?
I liked the suggestion of a 'development team' that collects the ideas, and analyze them and find what are good ideas, and what are not. And, come with a short-list of the best suggestions to Ben. If the community wanted, I could assist in preparing such ideas to clearify what programming needed to get the job done.

As a suggestion I would like to have the possibility to stretch the mail window in the vertical direction, so that I can see more of my friends, and find if they happen to get online without having to scroll my list...
Some more features when it comes to the PM system, as the check boxes as someone suggested earlier?

Huglover
Huglover
Old Shoe

Jun-29-2008 09:41

The special-twist that I suggested one time before?

And, I have been thinking of a new kind of single-city keyed treasure hunts.
The new quirk with this kind of hunts are that once an agency get a key, they will have to leave it for safe keeping with one of the townies in the city, while they continue hunting for the next keys. When the next agency does the "first" favor, they will learn where the next key are, but they will not get the first key, but learn where the first key are (who they will need to do a favor for). So, agency 2 now have 2 favors to start trying to get.
If agency 2 happens to do the favor for the one where agency 1 left key 1 for safe keeping, they get key 1, and agency 1 will be informed about key 1 being lost, and where agency 2 choose to leave the key for safe keeping.
I think that in this type of TH there must be a limit to how many agencies are allowed to participate, and also, there must not bee too many keys to get. As a suggestion I would say you need 4 keys + safe cracking to get the treasure, and there is a limit of 5 agencies to be in the hunt, and then there is a total of 16(=5*3+1) keys availiable in the hunt. - so that it would be possible for someone to win the hunt. Oh, and if you are working on a favor, and both key 1 and key 3 are with that townie, you will only get key 1 for the first favor done, and you need to do another one to get key 3.

I am not sure if this is a good suggestion, or not, as I don't really see if it will just be destructive, or if snatching the key from the leading agency, reducing their advancement in the hunt will equalize the different agencies luck in getting the treasure. Perhaps if 5 agencies are allowed into the hunt, the maximum number of keys need to be much less? Perhaps only 5 keys??? Goal must anyway be that it would be fun doing the TH... :-)

ctown28
ctown28
Tireless Tiger

Jun-29-2008 21:22

I like that idea for TH's huglover. There are a variety of ways it could go down. One that comes to mind is something like a 4 key hunt where the plan is to get keys from the barber, waiter, bartender and fortune teller. But instead of giving you the keys, they tell you they will hold them until you can locate the others.

Agency 1 completes the barber and the waiter. While they are looking for the bartender along comes agency 2 and gets the barber. Well we all know how fickle the townies can be. So now the barber is holding that key for agency 2. This means agency 1 can still get the next key from the waiter, but sometime during teh hunt tehy need to get the key back from teh barber as well.

Basically, all 4 of the townies have to be holding the key for you to win, or if someone has safecracking, you would only need 3. This could also make safecracking a more valuable skill to learn!

Anybody else have some thoughts on this. There are num,erous ways it can play out.

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