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Are you satisfied with the Elven RP Community? Why/why not?
To a great extent I am, however improvements can always be made. As Daelith pointed out in his summation of this server's history, strife and grudges were commonplace and often prevented events from fulfilling their potential due to ego based grievances. I am sure some may remain guarded due to what they experienced during those times, however the state of the elven community on Laurelin today is very different from back then. Any perceived "split" in the elven kinships is purely down to geographical location and separate agendas. Compared to back then we currently ARE "unified".
Many players perhaps, are unaware that it takes a MASSIVE amount of time and energy to run a kin. As it grows, it demands an ever greater amount until it can become a victim of its own success, where you spend most of your time planning kin activities to keep everyone interested. If you fail in this you may inevitably lose members who have little patience or understanding, so a lot of focus is by default directed within the kin - not through choice but necessity.
Just because the current kins may appear to be disinterested in "unifying" doesn't mean that is the case, they are just getting on with doing what every kinship does - focusing on the affairs of their own day-to-day running. However, should our different paths meet, roleplay still spontaneously occurs, and on the best of terms.
Running community events (of which we have done one or two) adds a huge amount of extra work and pressure to the ever present responsibility of keeping a kinship running smoothly. Thus it is no surprise that those of us in the larger elven kinships only rarely run such wider events because we are all too aware of the enormous workload involved, particularly when also balancing real life responsibilities. Again...this should not be interpreted as disinterest from the groups involved. Many expressed hopes and plans have fallen through between the groups purely because of poor timing, absences etc. Just because something looks broken, doesn't mean it is. Indeed "unity" isn't the issue. It appears integrating new players into the elven roleplay community is the core problem.
What changes do you think would improve the Elven RP community?
Server activity tends to fluctuate throughout the year and so second guessing server interest and support for a particular large event can be tricky. I agree wholeheartedly with Khalis that having a means to communicate with each other in a cohesive manner in one place is needed as it would serve to improve this somewhat. At the moment there are a number of channels in-game that can be used and attendance seems to change depending on how interesting the discussion is. Sometimes it is hard to advertise a spontaneous roleplay opportunity because there is too much discussion and it soon moves off the window.
As far as organized events go, advertising on Laurelin Archives is the most common method but there are still many roleplayers (especially new ones) who have no idea it exists, so it is not an infallible resource for those new to laurelin roleplay.
Personally, I believe the biggest change required to improve the elven rp community is one of personal initiative. If you do not find something you like, then create it and do it. This is how LiL (and I assume many other kins) got off the ground. We had been around for a couple of years but never really got heavily involved with the rp scene because of the constant strife. As Daelith mentioned...it wasn't pretty. We were also not that interested in what the established kins of the day were doing. This was not a critical judgement of them; they were all enjoying what they were doing with their own interpretation of the lore - it just didn't appeal to our tastes. Instead of be-moaning the server or unfairly criticising others for their approach, we just started to do our own thing and strove to weave our own particular thread into the tapestry of the wider rp community. This took the humble form of escorting parties to and from the Grey Havens as a martial troop. We soon attracted like minded players that shared that particular vision of elven activity.
At the time, I know there was an attitude of "Why create another elf kin when you can just join an established one?" This was a result of a perceived contest for a finite number of roleplayers on the server. Diversity however is always a healthier option in any system. I view the differences we all have as a strength (if kept in balance) not a weakness, because our community then provides choices. Different kins provide a range of elements and flavours that cater to the tastes of every roleplayer. Respect is the key in not standing on any toes. Players need to do their homework to see what sort of activities and playstyles each kin provides in case they mimic too closely what has been established through lots of blood, sweat and tears. Each kin is rightly proud of it's members and what it has achieved.
If you can't find any rp, make it! Patience is also required however. It is very rare that massive change happens overnight.
What would make Elven RP more immersive to you?
As a heavy roleplay kin, nothing that we are not currently doing. Eglaniel, most of what you wrote in your example of this section is incorporated within our kin activities. If nothing is "doing it for you" then do it for yourself.
What kind of events would you like to see?
Again your suggestions are already common activities we -and other kins- do each week.
We do what we do because we want to be part of a living, breathing, loreful Middle Earth, therefore in a sense I would like to see more of the same throughout the different regions. Seeing a troupe of Dwarves wandering along some lonely road with their hoods up in foul weather even for a brief flashing instant evokes this very notion. And for a time I actually feel I am in that world that we all love and are inspired by. This is unified roleplay in my book. Each doing what their characters should be doing. The boring tasks as well as the exciting. High drama events being run constantly would detract from the sense of reality and should be held sparingly - that is the main reason we have refrained from holding another campaign event.
Large events like The Gathering Storm worked so well because the community wanted it to work. (This more than anything proved to me that the community wasn't broken and such events could be held again in the future.) It is unrealistic however to unify in saving Middle Earth every couple of months, but other options are available. Subtle, low-key interventions fit best within the lore of Elves in the Third Age.
In addition to what kind of events we would like to see, it is equally important to consider how an event is designed and run. This has enormous implications on how an rp event is received by the player base.
For instance, central to LiL's events is the ethos of participation by all who attend them, rather than being passive spectators, and that is perhaps key to their memorable success: community participation is the crucial element. All players who invest something of themselves in an event, share in the fulfillment of the experience.
Where would you like the Elven RP hub(s) to be? Why there?
I would love the elven hubs to be located in Ered Luin and Rivendell. Rivendell is an iconic location and has a natural lure. Much work has been done by the kins that dwell there to bring life to it and this should be maintained.
Ered Luin is where the other hub should be if for no other reason than it is the starter area. Unlike all the other race starter areas Ered Luin is woefully underdeveloped. There is nothing there to keep players hanging around. Most new arrivals can't wait to get out of the place and loitering in Celondim for hours looking for rp can be frustrating with so few facilities around to occupy yourself - not to mention the NPCs on the dockside spamming every minute or two about no fish or ships today...
There are some limited crafting options but no study and no Auction Hall to buy more resources. Dwarves, Hobbits and Men all have AH's and crafting facilities in their respective areas but not elves. The racial starter areas should be vibrant places full of life to greet new players to the game, not a ghost town. No wonder so many elves end up in Bree. And while it is indeed pretty, it is looking dated.
Until Turbine show a little love and open up some buildings and update the graphics in and around Celondim and Duillond like they did for Bree (and to a certain extent the Thorin's Hall area) and add facilities that will keep higher level characters around, then there is frankly very little reason to remain there. Which is a shame as new players to the game who roll an elf may not be that impressed when they first emerge from the tutorial, into ageing terrain that is a poor reflection on the newer landscape design of places such as Rohan.
Being based in Falathlorn, we have undertaken many initiatives to provide a feeling of everyday life. Some worked for a while, others less so. In the end there is only so much that can be done with the time we spend online. This is true of the other kins. No kin can be visible all the time so it can be hit or miss when rp can be found, nevertheless it is an ongoing endeavour that we have not given up on.
These two hubs would provide natural spring boards for roleplay within the elven community and let's face it, we all need a change of scenery every now and again. Rivendell has some nice buildings to wander through but could still do with more, Ered Luin has one small building you can enter. This tends to make kins rp within the Homesteads which serves no function to the wider community.
I agree it would be ideal to have a hub in each major location such as Lorien and Mirkwood. Every location has its advantages and disadvantages but there is no reason why kins cannot form and build a "protohub" in that region. It just takes the effort of willing hearts and minds to share a vision and craft it into existence. None of the established kins were fully formed overnight. It takes years of hard work, patience and often many compromises to achieve your ultimate goal.
My apologies for the long post...this is a subject I (like others) feel very strongly about. While I do not believe the community to be broken, the fact that there are so many roleplayers out there who are expressing frustration at how things stand in finding roleplay...it is obvious improvements need to be made.
Perhaps we have indeed reached a turning point in the roleplaying community in general where there is greater desire to mix things up a bit and try something new. Perhaps it is down to ever greater numbers of roleplayers on the server? If so then a communication framework does indeed need to be put in place to support everyone's efforts in making this the best server to find roleplay - whether that means the 'Hidden Channel', the Eventchannel (or a new incarnation of it) or indeed an open server channel, such as the new /world channel? I guess it depends how selective, or open and all-embracing of the player population you want to be.
Last edited by Aearandir; Jun 28 2014 at 12:37 PM.
[/COLOR][COLOR=#99ccff][FONT=trebuchet ms][B][SIZE=3]Aearandir[/SIZE][/B] -Warden of the Havens, Commander in the Mithdirith of the Loth-i-Lonnath[/FONT][/COLOR][/URL][/FONT][/SIZE][FONT=Verdana][SIZE=3]