What To do?

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Should we make more things available to do on the server?

  • no (we have enough to do already)

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    13

_Drayz_

Hardcore MCME-er
Dec 19, 2015
133
92
30
16
Languages
English
#1
After Most of the areas are built and building places has slowed (still a while yet)

what can there be to do?

At the moment there are plot builds (like trees or keeps), weekly theme builds and jobs, these are the interactive things to do on the sever at the moment. As always you can explore the vast world of MC ME but this gets a bit boring after a while (well for me at least.)

The reason why I started this thread was so we could come up with ideas to do maybe now or later on when there less to do.

Ideas:

- Make a warp tour or a walk tour (not with guides) and go through the places where the fellowship went.

This is all I could think of at the moment but comment your ideas as well please. Preferably things people are able to and are interactive.

p.s. Im not saying the server should become a big game where you play pvp in the castles ect ( thats for the pvp server)
 

barteldvn

Designer
Staff member
Designer
Media Team
Jul 9, 2014
174
466
32
Belgium
Languages
English, Dutch, French.
#2
I like the server as it is but I do know what you're talking about When I just joined the server I got bored of it after like a month or two but then a little later I got inspired and I got back and now I enjoy the server. I think that some of the things could be changed but we should focus on what we are now a build server.
 

SKy_the_Thunder

Builds Diagonally
Mar 18, 2014
65
142
14
25
Languages
German (native); English; bits of Latin, Quenya and Sindarin
#3
[...]
We have many small and unkown but extremely beautiful builds that people just don't know about. Those of the new players that don't leave after having seen Bagend, Isengard and Minas Tirith (and let's face it, that's only a few), would be keen to see and explore these smaller ones as well - if they knew about them... It is hard to apprechiate something if you don't know it exists.
That's why I think a "/warp random" command (or if something like that exists, the encouragement to use it) could help. Not only new players, but regulars as well. I've been on and off for years and I don't think I have seen half of what this server has to offer. Being able to teleport to a random warp point would partially fix that. You may end up in an "unimportent" place you'd usually just fly over, just to see how beautiful they actually are... I can also imagine it'd make it more interesting for Guides or unofficial guides/experts, because the question "Where is this and what's it do?" would be floating around - a chance to get some more community involvement...
Maybe combining it with some kind of "audio tour" for each place. A short spoken explanation about the place and what makes it interesting (triggered by command block/command and included in the res pack). This can be combined with chat messages linking to more, external material about it, in case people are courious.
I do however understand that the audio tour would mean a huge workload for very few people. The amount of information and writing style need to be consitent, suggesting a select team of writers or at least editors. Also the speaker(s) would need to have perfectly understandable articulation and a pleasant voice, recorded in good quality.
So all in all the audio tour may be a good side project for a few people to work on, but nothing for the general public. It may make the server way more interesting though.


Personally I still hope for SA Numenor and FA Beleriand. And if we ever finish those, there's always the Undying Lands...
 

DSESGH

Hardcore MCME-er
Mar 2, 2014
1,219
1,792
50
#4
After Most of the areas are built and building places has slowed (still a while yet)
If you hang around here for a while, you'll realize that the building will only stop once people stop wanting to help on the server;) In MCME's lifetime, the shire has been rebuilt 3-4 times, Bree has been rebuilt like 5-6 times, the rest of Eriador built at least 2 times, rohan built 2 times... Basically, after everything is built, we'll revamp everything once. By the time that's done, our building will have gotten better and we'll have to revamp everything again (you see where this is going).

Nevertheless, I agree that we need more stuff for people to do. In fact, we had a very grand and extensive discussion about this at a staff meeting a little while ago, but nothing came of it:(

- Make a warp tour or a walk tour (not with guides) and go through the places where the fellowship went.
There is kind of a tour of the fellowship's path already - starting at Bag End there are footprints showing where the fellowship went. It's just about as accurate as possible, thanks to @Finrod_Amandil. I wouldn't call it a tour, more of a guide, but it is still fun to walk through.

As for the audio tour @SKy_the_Thunder, it may be a lot of work to get set up, but would require little to no maintenance. Ideas like that are always good;)
 

TheSpeedy_

Hardcore MCME-er
Mar 17, 2014
575
1,425
34
118
Amazon Prime Racetrack
#5
TL:DR... This is his personal opinion. He doesn't know how to fix things. He suggests things.

This has been a discussion that has cropped up multiple times over the last few months, among the general population, among the guides, and among the staff. This is revealing of some problems in the current state of our operation. Now this is not to cast a negative light on our community or those in charge, for the issues stem from many factors (that I have observed) which are in and out of our control. So to begin, I will look at the general user.

MCME is first and foremost a build server, which means those that like to build will be at home, and have many opportunities to hone their skills and move into a role where they have an abundance of opportunity and engagement. Thus the server give them (those who like to build) a definate edge over the general population. But not everyone is geared, wired, or interested in building. You might be saying, but minecraft is a building game! Which is true, it is, but the beauty of minecraft is that has expanded beyond that. Take for example, PVP servers or survival servers or hunger game servers. It's not quite what one might call an esport, but it is a different avenue for players who prefer different things from building. So apart from themed builds, there isn't much for the average player to do. It is this lack of engaging options that have led to (in what I have observed) a lack of player retention. In my random, spontaneous schedule I have seen that typically the most number of players are on in European time zones, when the American time zones overlap. To the later evening hours, the most players I see are typically 8 and fewer. And I can only correlate this with the lack of things occurring at any given point on the server. This drop of in the number of new and returning players have affected other areas too. The lack of tours is partly correlated to the lack of new players. The more seasoned players of the community have noted the lack of tours, and have made their concerns known. However, tours are not the solution either. Tours are fun! And they are some of the most memorable things players talk about when looking back on their time on the server, but it's not going to cause player to continually return either. And so, we reach the impass which is what players can do on the server. What can they do? Explore? There is only so long you can explore before you've seen everything twice. Tour? Eventually, you've seen every tour four times, sat through six history lessons, and been lectured on server operations. Jobs? For the most part, the serious jobs have been handed off to the select people who have proven their building skill, which I agree with as it have tremendously improved the quality of our builds. Yet, it alienates a large portion of players! We as a server have failed to evolve with the changing tides, and we're seeing the consequences of it. So what can be done about it? What can be done?

As @DSEGSH said both the staff and guides have discussed this topic extensively. One thing the Guides came up with is the scheduled tours. Those Guides who want to hold a tour can schedule it if they wish and announce it to the community, but as I have already said, it will not cause players to stay. We have also discussed the creation of a sort of mini-game plugin which would allow Guides to host short games like hide and seek. I have already, for the few people who have taken part, been using the existing tour plugin to host games of hide and seek with players who choose to join the game. We created a PVP server to host special events, but adding more servers is not going to solve our problem either. As we've seen, our servers have been consolidated and made more efficient as server operation is not cheap (which can been seen first hand in the expense reports q220 records). So adding more servers with different purposes (PVP, Survival, etc) isn't the answer. q220 pays for the server out of pocket, where donations don't surpass the cost of operation. And so, with fewer and fewer players, it is only inevitable that donations will be fewer as well. To conclude, I do not have the answer to this problem, but I can only suggest that we expand the scope of things players can do on the server. The artist, meaning those that build, are a specialized group which gets a lot of attention and opportunity which leaves the rest to fall in a case which separates people. So I can only suggest that we shift the focus somewhat from exclusively building, to housing a more well rounded community in which those who like to build have that avenue, and we have other avenues for players to enjoy without compromising the goal of building Middle Earth.
 

DSESGH

Hardcore MCME-er
Mar 2, 2014
1,219
1,792
50
#6
TL:DR... This is his personal opinion. He doesn't know how to fix things. He suggests things.

This has been a discussion that has cropped up multiple times over the last few months, among the general population, among the guides, and among the staff. This is revealing of some problems in the current state of our operation. Now this is not to cast a negative light on our community or those in charge, for the issues stem from many factors (that I have observed) which are in and out of our control. So to begin, I will look at the general user.

MCME is first and foremost a build server, which means those that like to build will be at home, and have many opportunities to hone their skills and move into a role where they have an abundance of opportunity and engagement. Thus the server give them (those who like to build) a definate edge over the general population. But not everyone is geared, wired, or interested in building. You might be saying, but minecraft is a building game! Which is true, it is, but the beauty of minecraft is that has expanded beyond that. Take for example, PVP servers or survival servers or hunger game servers. It's not quite what one might call an esport, but it is a different avenue for players who prefer different things from building. So apart from themed builds, there isn't much for the average player to do. It is this lack of engaging options that have led to (in what I have observed) a lack of player retention. In my random, spontaneous schedule I have seen that typically the most number of players are on in European time zones, when the American time zones overlap. To the later evening hours, the most players I see are typically 8 and fewer. And I can only correlate this with the lack of things occurring at any given point on the server. This drop of in the number of new and returning players have affected other areas too. The lack of tours is partly correlated to the lack of new players. The more seasoned players of the community have noted the lack of tours, and have made their concerns known. However, tours are not the solution either. Tours are fun! And they are some of the most memorable things players talk about when looking back on their time on the server, but it's not going to cause player to continually return either. And so, we reach the impass which is what players can do on the server. What can they do? Explore? There is only so long you can explore before you've seen everything twice. Tour? Eventually, you've seen every tour four times, sat through six history lessons, and been lectured on server operations. Jobs? For the most part, the serious jobs have been handed off to the select people who have proven their building skill, which I agree with as it have tremendously improved the quality of our builds. Yet, it alienates a large portion of players! We as a server have failed to evolve with the changing tides, and we're seeing the consequences of it. So what can be done about it? What can be done?

As @DSEGSH said both the staff and guides have discussed this topic extensively. One thing the Guides came up with is the scheduled tours. Those Guides who want to hold a tour can schedule it if they wish and announce it to the community, but as I have already said, it will not cause players to stay. We have also discussed the creation of a sort of mini-game plugin which would allow Guides to host short games like hide and seek. I have already, for the few people who have taken part, been using the existing tour plugin to host games of hide and seek with players who choose to join the game. We created a PVP server to host special events, but adding more servers is not going to solve our problem either. As we've seen, our servers have been consolidated and made more efficient as server operation is not cheap (which can been seen first hand in the expense reports q220 records). So adding more servers with different purposes (PVP, Survival, etc) isn't the answer. q220 pays for the server out of pocket, where donations don't surpass the cost of operation. And so, with fewer and fewer players, it is only inevitable that donations will be fewer as well. To conclude, I do not have the answer to this problem, but I can only suggest that we expand the scope of things players can do on the server. The artist, meaning those that build, are a specialized group which gets a lot of attention and opportunity which leaves the rest to fall in a case which separates people. So I can only suggest that we shift the focus somewhat from exclusively building, to housing a more well rounded community in which those who like to build have that avenue, and we have other avenues for players to enjoy without compromising the goal of building Middle Earth.
In my opinion, the most significant cause for our lack of members is an age shift in Minecraft players. Previously, when the game first came out, pretty much all ages played it. However, it has now shifted towards younger ages, who do not mesh with our server in two ways. First, they likely aren't interested in building; they only want to play fun minigames. Second, LotR doesn't interest them. If you look at a certain other server based around Harry Potter, there are consistently 500 people online at a time. The server is quite boring as well; perhaps more non-building stuff to do than on MCME, but not by much. I think that's because Harry Potter is meant for younger people, those who are now playing Minecraft.

I can't dispute that it would be good to have more people. However, the people who don't want to build aren't of much use;) Since our main goal is building Middle-earth, those people who don't want to contribute to that are of course still welcome, but I don't think it's worth going out of our way to get them to stay here. Someone once made the analogy of building a swimming pool, and while it's in progress building a soccer field next to it. That would bring more people to your pool, but they'd only want to play soccer - not much help for building the pool.

That said, we do need to put more effort into retaining our members. The simplest way to do that is just more building opportunities. There are currently some plans to fix this issue;)
 

Will_em

Hardcore MCME-er
Mar 1, 2014
730
1,290
52
27
#8
I love a walking tour you can follow!

1 question: who's gonna make it?

This inherently falls on staff and results in the lower ranks to wait. But why not just make it yourself?

Organise a freebuild contest for the best this or that. Or do games like hide-and-seek or tag in famous builds on the server. Do a foot race. Make an easy written tour on the forums with links for info that you can walk on the main server. Organise an audiobook session where you walk along the famous builds whilst listening to the books on teamspeak. Do a lore quiz on teamspeak.
Lot's of ideas, but in the end you just have to do it. These are all things you can do without bothering staff and having a fun time. But most of the times people make a post about it and then seem to forget it or get discouraged. Don't! Just do it! Get on teamspeak! Get to know like-minded people who would love to help you! Get busy!

If you want more jobs, staff are working on that problem, but it's difficult topic to fix.
 

DSESGH

Hardcore MCME-er
Mar 2, 2014
1,219
1,792
50
#9
There should also be an abundance of jobs after we start Moria again. I think we are planning on doing lots of contests (like the 2nd hall ones), public project halls and corridors, and just regular jobs.
 

_Drayz_

Hardcore MCME-er
Dec 19, 2015
133
92
30
16
Languages
English
#10
In my opinion, the most significant cause for our lack of members is an age shift in Minecraft players. Previously, when the game first came out, pretty much all ages played it. However, it has now shifted towards younger ages, who do not mesh with our server in two ways. First, they likely aren't interested in building; they only want to play fun minigames. Second, LotR doesn't interest them. If you look at a certain other server based around Harry Potter, there are consistently 500 people online at a time. The server is quite boring as well; perhaps more non-building stuff to do than on MCME, but not by much. I think that's because Harry Potter is meant for younger people, those who are now playing Minecraft.

I can't dispute that it would be good to have more people. However, the people who don't want to build aren't of much use;) Since our main goal is building Middle-earth, those people who don't want to contribute to that are of course still welcome, but I don't think it's worth going out of our way to get them to stay here. Someone once made the analogy of building a swimming pool, and while it's in progress building a soccer field next to it. That would bring more people to your pool, but they'd only want to play soccer - not much help for building the pool.

That said, we do need to put more effort into retaining our members. The simplest way to do that is just more building opportunities. There are currently some plans to fix this issue;)
I like LOTR though and I'm not as old as a lot of people on the server
 

DSESGH

Hardcore MCME-er
Mar 2, 2014
1,219
1,792
50
#11
I like LOTR though and I'm not as old as a lot of people on the server
Of course there are some younger people, like you, who like LOTR, but the percentage is much lower than with older people.
 

Finrod_Amandil

hon. Head Designer
Mar 2, 2014
2,755
5,765
109
24
Switzerland
www.elbisch.ch
Languages
German (native), English, French
#12
An age shift seems like a plausible reasoning to some extent; the hype for LotR was biggest when the LotR movies came out and that's quite some time ago already and not many that were young then are now still interested or have time to play Minecraft. I think we failed a bit when the Hobbit movies would have initiated another such period, I remember lots of people coming on asking for Hobbit locations, which of course we could not offer. And the regions we're working on now are so far away from Hobbit locations that those people may not be interested in tuning into it.

The problem of people being bored is indeed one of the most often discussed topics among staff. But I need to ask myself: We invested so incredibly much time into organising events like the summer events, or creating plugins like the job plugin or setting up PVP again, and still the activity is dwindling. Some years ago though I think there was by far not that much thought and work put into keeping people busy, but back then by far not as many people did complain about there's not enough to do. The reason for this I feel is, that the generation that is in the "perfect" age of playing MC and joining MCME are just having a different mindset, whether you wanna call it lazy, shy or just not bold enough to kick off something to do without that a plugin or an event hosted by a staff or guide kinda "forces" people to do something, it just seems that things as mentioned by Will above don't get to happen anymore simply because the players don't do it anymore; I don't think this bases on something that went wrong in the history of MCME.

We as a server have failed to evolve with the changing tides, and we're seeing the consequences of it
I think this is a good statement that we need to realise, things, especially people, have changed, but server has not changed enough.

I have seen the decline of "community quality" since quite some time, but not yet have I found a good solution. 2016 this will be the topic I will focus on and which I, together with staff, guides and actually everyone on the server. So please feel free to tune into the discussion once they arise ;-)
 

DSESGH

Hardcore MCME-er
Mar 2, 2014
1,219
1,792
50
#13
Thinking back to the time when the new map was being worldpainted, there was literally nothing to do. In my first month or so, the only opportunity I got for helping build the main world was the Osgiliath house build, and one job. Aside from that, I, along with everyone else on the server, was content to explore the existing world and play on the freebuild server. Of course, I was a thrall/commoner at that time, but I don't remember much of anything done differently than right now, and yet nobody was ever asking for something to do.

With this, along with an age shift in mind, I think the main issue we see now is a lack of patience. Younger Minecraft players can't, or don't want to, focus on one region for a very long time. This issue is facing us, as designers, as well - it is why we have a lot of projects outside Gondor at the moment. People simply don't want to focus on Gondor any more, after nearly 2 years working on it. (No offense intended) It happens many times where a new player will ask me "How long will it be until <project> is done?" And I respond "Pretty soon, maybe 2 or 3 months," which is shocking to them.

Maybe, then, the most obvious solution to our problems is to get Gondor finished up, and move on to Moria and Mordor.
 

_Drayz_

Hardcore MCME-er
Dec 19, 2015
133
92
30
16
Languages
English
#14
Thinking back to the time when the new map was being worldpainted, there was literally nothing to do. In my first month or so, the only opportunity I got for helping build the main world was the Osgiliath house build, and one job. Aside from that, I, along with everyone else on the server, was content to explore the existing world and play on the freebuild server. Of course, I was a thrall/commoner at that time, but I don't remember much of anything done differently than right now, and yet nobody was ever asking for something to do.

With this, along with an age shift in mind, I think the main issue we see now is a lack of patience. Younger Minecraft players can't, or don't want to, focus on one region for a very long time. This issue is facing us, as designers, as well - it is why we have a lot of projects outside Gondor at the moment. People simply don't want to focus on Gondor any more, after nearly 2 years working on it. (No offense intended) It happens many times where a new player will ask me "How long will it be until <project> is done?" And I respond "Pretty soon, maybe 2 or 3 months," which is shocking to them.

Maybe, then, the most obvious solution to our problems is to get Gondor finished up, and move on to Moria and Mordor.
I do get what you are saying about patience. However from the time I have been on the server I have not seen a job for adventurers on gondor. There has been the tree build for anfalas but that's all which I have experienced doing a job for gondor. I have not been on the server for long which may mean there have been jobs previously or that I have missed them.