Why is AFK more tolerated now? Why do people log in and just stay logged in if they aren't playing?

TullyTully Member Posts: 170 Capable
I really love this game, but I'm finding I come across more AFK players who seem to be sitting and not interacting with people.  This used to be against IRE rules, but it seems to be more and more common of late.

I'm not talking about someone taking a quick bathroom break or being awake but busy in one of the channels or tells or trying to organize their inventory, but people who sit in public for hours on end not doing anything, not even in a manse.I'm observing this--there's been one player today who's sat in the Aetherplex and doesn't acknowledge her surroundings.    I once shouted to one of these players last year because he was at the Aetherplex and starving to death.  

Why would people log in and do nothing?  I can't see it just being fear of missing events, because they get announced elsewhere.  (Estarra actually "tweets" events in the Facebook Lusternia group sometimes).  

The one thing MUDs do better than any others is deep RP and imagination, there are hundreds of battle games where you don't have to speak at all.  What are people doing.  Just using it for OOC clan chat?  Waiting for an event to happen?  


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Comments

  • RagniliffRagniliff Member Posts: 87 Adept
    Simply put, I blame Facebook.

    No, really.

    This recent age of the internet seems to see a lot of this sort of thing, and I think it has a lot to do with people logging into Facebook only to be logged in, and keep it in the background. They slowly, but steadily apply this to everything else, until they have so many things open that they are "active" in that they are actually doing a whole lot of nothing.

    Zero enforcement probably doesn't help either, but I can see how the argument there wouldn't stick, especially with the degrees of automation that allowed to pass these days too.
  • XenthosXenthos Shadow Lord Member Posts: 5,969 Transcendent
    I don't really mind AFK itself; what bothers me is, as you say, AFK in public places. Someone intentionally idling at the Ravenwood for hours on end day after day, for example, and you have to try for ages to get their attention.

    I too just do not get the point in this case. It would seem far more courteous to your fellow players to plop yourself in your manse if you are minimizing Lusternia & walking away. There's a fair bit of player understanding (at least in my opinion/experience) when someone in a manse is non-responsive.

    However, do keep in mind that not everyone who is AFK in public actually intended to do so. I have left for the night before without actually typing QQ (luckily, the times this has happened I had been in my manse). I also know some players play from work, and when a customer needs attention you are being paid to help, not put them off while you drop your character in a manse.

    Speaking for myself only, I would rather these latter individuals play as they can (adding to the game experience), and earn money with which to further support it.

    I would also prefer the first modify their behaviour a bit. Logging in and idling is fine, but please do so responsibly (ie in a manse).
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  • LavinyaLavinya Former Queen of Snark AustraliaMember Posts: 3,354 Transcendent
    Lusternia has a simple, easy-to-understand policy on being AFK: It's not
    allowed. AFK, which stands for Away From Keyboard also includes, to us, a
    player who may be at his or her keyboard, but who isn't doing anything, or
    a player who is at his keyboard, but just has an auto-response (also called
    a trigger) entering commands for himself regularly.
    Depending on how we view the situation, you may receive none, one, or multiple
    warnings before being punished for being afk. Punishments might include
    zapping, removal of lessons, and, in extreme cases, deletion.
    In some cases, if you lose or cut your connection to Lusternia, your character
    might stay on-line. Due to the vagaries of the internet, there is no way for
    Lusternia to always know that your internet connection is no longer up and
    going. This is, however, not a valid excuse, as the existence of the TIMEOUT
    command can prevent this from _ever_ happening to you.

    The above is from the in game help file.

    I forgot to log out once and was at the nexus. I got roledocked. I think it was entirely fair enough, especially given the above policy. So quite frankly it irks me a lot to see people who idle for lengthy periods, with no repercussions. I'm not talking about the people who duck away for a short period - that's what the timeout is for, for the off chance you can't get back. In my opinion, in a manse or not, these people are keeping up their vote weight by breaking the rules. Why should someone who sits and idles for hours have a greater voice in the game than someone who logs in for less time but does more in that time?

    Also, consistency would be awesome. If you're going to punish one, then punish all, or abolish the rule.



  • XenthosXenthos Shadow Lord Member Posts: 5,969 Transcendent
    They have talked about changing that file because it is no longer relevant to today's IRE. When that file was created players got lessons after certain periods of time online (hence the discussion about removal of lessons). I am pretty sure that was ditched pre-Lusternia, but the helpfile carried over.

    An update has not happened yet, unfortunately, but the basic gist of it seems to be:
    AFK in a manse is "acceptable".
    AFK on Prime, especially at a nexus, is not... but they only catch you and roledock you if they try to speak with you while you are AFK there. If you are not in an order and have not submitted an issue / bug report that causes an admin to seek you out, you probably won't get caught (and thus punished).

    Unfortunately such would be the case even with updated rules. They can't punish something they do not know about, and how many players want to issue / report their friends?
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  • LavinyaLavinya Former Queen of Snark AustraliaMember Posts: 3,354 Transcendent
    I'm not disagreeing, persay. But I'm a big fan of consistency. It should be clearly defined what is and isn't ok, instead of having a generally accepted presumption. Also, it doesn't address the issue of vote weight.

    Back to Tully's original post. I don't understand it either, especially being completely unresponsive. I  know a lot of people chat on clans from their manse, but I don't understand the people that log in and walk away for hours. And as far as elections are concerned, it shouldn't be encouraged in my opinion.



  • EventruEventru Member, Gods Posts: 719 Divine
    Really, I (and every other admin) have infinitely better things to do than to check everyone in the game to see if they're doing something, talking on clans, etc, or just idling. If I come across it, and it's in public (particularly at the Pool or something, if I'm running through) I roledock and drop their connection.

    But I doubt anyone really wants us to be spending our time actively seeking these people out, when there's minimal effect from them doing such.
  • SvoraiSvorai Member Posts: 321 Fabled
    It's a really hard thing to police, as Eventru said. To make it fair, the timeout line should be randomised somehow so that no one could trigger it -- again, not something that can be easily done, and wouldn't prevent afk aether/bashers.

    I was roledocked once because our ship had an Admin checking whether we were present or not, and my connection decided to drop out the moment I tried to enter my response. Thankfully, whoever was checking gave me the benefit of the doubt (or noticed how frantic I was on an OOC clan when I managed to reconnect).

    If I'm at work and I'm interrupted, I disappear to the orgbix room (quickest option) or my manse and turn tells off.

    In a magical world, I'd love it if you could enter an 'afk' command which put you out of the game, the time you spent in that state not counted towards your vote weight or playing time (and subsequent 'log in' bonuses). Couldn't be turned on within 10 mins of being attacked (to prevent people from escaping by normal means in combat) or logging in. Importantly: allowed you to keep your defenses, and allowed you to see clan chatter. Prevented people from seeing/talking to you directly.

    But that's me, coming from someone who was desperately bored in her old job (and so had lots of time for Lusternia), but may not have this issue in her new one! Also, I don't think it's entirely feasible/necessary, as it really is only a handful of people who afk at the nexus/aetherplex, and we should be policing our own, as it were. Glom has a few upright pilots who will land a ship with non-responsive people. It works well, imo. Frown enough and people get the idea / aren't invited anymore.
  • SaranSaran Member Posts: 1,718 Mythical
    edited November 2012

    I wouldn't mind too much, if it weren't for it inflating measurable activity. The hartstone had like... 20 people log in within the last week from memory, not sure if even half of them are active.

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  • CyndarinCyndarin used Flamethrower! It was super effective. Member Posts: 4,508 Transcendent
    I think it's a little ridiculous to complain about afk people unless they are gaining some obvious benefit like autobashing or aether hunting. The rules have become more reflective of the reality of the game. People get bored, start paying attention to other things or wander off to do RL stuff and it's okay. Who cares if they are idle at the nexus. Takes about 3 minutes to figure it out and it doesn't negatively impact anyone or abuse any system. A lot of times, their systems keep them logged on, an auto pipe relighter or keeping lowmagic yellow and kirigami or something else entirely pointless.

    At the end of the day, the admin have better things to do than dock people for wandering away from their computer and harming no one, and not gaining any benefit. Hell, for me it actually sucks up my karma blessings to afk and I hate bashing just to get it back up.

    So what, occasionally people will bow or kissfoot me (actually happened) when I forget to pay attention at the nexus. It's never, ever turned into an issue. So I don't know why people would want to make an issue of it now.
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  • CyndarinCyndarin used Flamethrower! It was super effective. Member Posts: 4,508 Transcendent
    Honestly, my belief is that any sort of admin punishment should be a result of malicious intent, abusing the rules for personal benefit, or harming another player. AFK does none of these. The game is freaking dull right now, pk is non existant. People will wander away because they simply have nothing better to do. Punishing them for it seems spiteful and little else.
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  • TullyTully Member Posts: 170 Capable
    edited November 2012
    In this case I am speaking of more egrageous issues, I was inspired to see this when seeing, Krin who's was at the aetherplex idle and unresponsive for about 6 hours, and ignored 3 separate hellos and wasn't doing anything you could observe.
    Celina said:
    I think it's a little ridiculous to complain about afk people unless they are gaining some obvious benefit like autobashing or aether hunting. The rules have become more reflective of the reality of the game. People get bored, start paying attention to other things or wander off to do RL stuff and it's okay. Who cares if they are idle at the nexus. Takes about 3 minutes to figure it out and it doesn't negatively impact anyone or abuse any system. A lot of times, their systems keep them logged on, an auto pipe relighter or keeping lowmagic yellow and kirigami or something else entirely pointless.
    The problem is that it has an effect on the culture of the game, which is a negative impact.  A novice coming in will think it's okay to just be logged in an idle, and the more the behavior is tolerated the more it has an effect on the game.  The more a behavior is tolerated the more people do it.  People will occasionally bash Acheae, IRE's first MUD, and the reason they do that is that several behaviors once verboten (like acting OOC) become tolerated and thus have a negative impact on the game.  This is why peer pressure or peer review is so important in these games.  You don't want to have leaders who have responsibilities and then don't deal with novices, for instance.

    Note I'm not blaming the admin for not taking a hard stance, but I'm just trying to understand why players would do this.  And maybe there are things the admin can do regarding messaging and stuff so people don't feel obligated to log on and be a "zombie player".

    If people are bored, there's really no reason to be logged in.  Log out and do something fun, or do something in the game to have fun.  I was encouraged to write this because I spent more time in the game on Friday (I had the day off), and it's great to just chat and have conversation in character, then you run into folk who don't respond (and like I said, I'm not counting the people who take a minute or two to respond) and it can ruin the mood.

    I guess people want to multi-task, but I don't.  I give the game my full attention and don't log in when I don't.  (I don't think anybody should use work hours to log in, but that's a whole other ball of wax when it comes to ethics and I'm not going to touch it for the purposes of this conversation).  I hear of people playing this game and WoW at the same time and I wonder how they can have a good experience doing so.
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  • AlacardaelAlacardael Member Posts: 197 Capable
    Vote Weight
    If it's broken, break it some more.
  • XenthosXenthos Shadow Lord Member Posts: 5,969 Transcendent
    edited November 2012
    People standing AFK at the nexus for hours at a time, day after day, are indeed a problem to me. You are portraying your organization as one of mindless zombies. If a newblet comes by and says, "ooh, someone to talk to!"(or "omg it's my GM/GA/someone who can help me with advancement"), to find that individual is there but not actually present... well.

    Like I said, if something comes up, it is understandable that you need to run and take care of it. If on the other hand you are "just bored"... it really is not that difficult to drop yourself in a manse!
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  • XenthosXenthos Shadow Lord Member Posts: 5,969 Transcendent
    Also, to brush on the "ethics" of playing from work: it should be understood that not all jobs are created equal! Some jobs do not mind if you have other things going on when things are slow. Many (most, probably) do mind. I cannot log in from work myself, but that doesn't mean that I have a right to cast aspersions upon or question the morality of those who work in a different environment than myself.
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  • TullyTully Member Posts: 170 Capable
    edited November 2012
    I wasn't trying to say you're an "evil person" if you play at work, and obviously there are exceptions, but I'm just kind of going by how employee handbooks and other things go--most office workplaces would definitely frown on playing games during business hours, and discipline you for it, and I used the term ethics thinking about the social contract--if you're getting paid to work, you should be working.
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  • XenthosXenthos Shadow Lord Member Posts: 5,969 Transcendent
    Some do, but not all. It depends completely on your environment. For instance, I have seen motels where the overnight desk clerk not only has authorization to do other things during the quiet hours of the shift, but a back room with quite comfy accoutrements (including a large-screen television) to help them stay awake and active in case someone calls or rings the bell at the desk.

    Now, the pay probably isn't very high either, but even so! There clearly is not an employee handbook here saying to not do the things they have provided for you to do. There is probably something saying "You better drop everything when a customer rings," though!
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  • KiradaweaKiradawea Member Posts: 1,750 Transcendent
    It's true. I've had quite a few jobs where I've worked night shifts and have been given express permission to do schoolwork during down hours. As long as all tasks are done as they should, they did not require me to spend the remaining time sitting with my hands on my lap, waiting for some crisis to strike.

    The discussion is sort of a red herring dragging away from the actual matter at hand. Personally, so long as you're hiding yourself, I don't mind. But don't lead other players to believe you're around and then not be around. It gets lonely fast. This goes doubly true for those in positions of power.
    Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.
  • CyndarinCyndarin used Flamethrower! It was super effective. Member Posts: 4,508 Transcendent
    Sounds like we're making a mountain out of a molehill, and it sounds like we are starting to stick our noses in business that isn't ours. If someone plays from work, who cares. It's not your work.
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  • TullyTully Member Posts: 170 Capable
    edited November 2012

    Kiradawea  says, it's an aside, I only responded to Ragniliff had a possible explanation for it, and I appreciated Xenthos' perspective on the people who are working when playing.  (I'm more on Xenthos' wavelength--try at best to make sure you're in a very private place when you do it.)

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  • CyndarinCyndarin used Flamethrower! It was super effective. Member Posts: 4,508 Transcendent
    I would have to see some indication that people being afk is somehow negatively impacts the game in some measurable way, more so than afking in a manse, before I would even be willing to consider it an issue. 

    As it is, no one has any. Just anecdotes about Achaea or sad novices. 
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  • PhoebusPhoebus tu fui, ego eris. CircumstancesMember Posts: 1,920 Transcendent
    If I ever need to run from my computer for more than a minute or so, I plop myself in my manse to stare at my commodity farms because I don't want to quit and lose my defenses if I'm just coming back in like ten minutes. 

    People who afk on Prime for extended periods of time bug me. I've actually gotten so frustrated on alts before that I stopped attempting to advance in my guild altogether, after every attempt was met with a guild leader who was just afk on Prime for hours. It's annoying. If you're going to be afk, sit in a manse where people won't see your name and assume you're available. 
  • RiviusRivius Your resident wolf puppy Member Posts: 1,623 Transcendent
    It always annoys me when I need someone urgently and they're at the nexus afking for ages. They're just sort of there and you don't know if you should wait or not. For the very least, when you're in a manse, there's an understanding that you're not really available for a while.
  • CyndarinCyndarin used Flamethrower! It was super effective. Member Posts: 4,508 Transcendent
    But if they were not advancing or attending to urgent matters afk on prime, they wouldn't be doing any of that afk in a manse either.
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  • XenthosXenthos Shadow Lord Member Posts: 5,969 Transcendent
    I am not sure how people talking about their experiences / frustrations with people AFKing on Prime equates to "nobody has any". That's pretty much the only available evidence to us as players on this matter: what we have seen, and what we have heard. I know that I personally have received complaints from littlefolks about non-responsive guildmates (both in Glom and outside of it); we've even had transfers who cite such things as a reason.
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  • PhoebusPhoebus tu fui, ego eris. CircumstancesMember Posts: 1,920 Transcendent
    edited November 2012
    Celina said:
    But if they were not advancing or attending to urgent matters afk on prime, they wouldn't be doing any of that afk in a manse either.
    (argh stupid quote thing) Yes, but at least they don't show up on CWHO and GWHO there, and they aren't in a public place, which is what would lead people to think they were available to do so.
  • XenthosXenthos Shadow Lord Member Posts: 5,969 Transcendent
    Celina said:

    But if they were not advancing or attending to urgent matters afk on prime, they wouldn't be doing any of that afk in a manse either.

    They would also not be presenting themselves as being available to at least ask a question of (you know, by being right there in the room).

    If you are in a manse with tells off, you've basically marked yourself as being away. Novices are not going to see you on GWHO, either. You've at least taken a few moments of your time to tell your fellow players that you are not around and that no amount of saying / shouting things at you is going to get your attention because the screen is minimized whilst you do something else, or are out eating, or whatever else might draw one away.
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  • LavinyaLavinya Former Queen of Snark AustraliaMember Posts: 3,354 Transcendent
    Vote Weight.



  • XenthosXenthos Shadow Lord Member Posts: 5,969 Transcendent
    I feel like Alacardael already posted that (admittedly with less punctuation).
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  • XenthosXenthos Shadow Lord Member Posts: 5,969 Transcendent
    To me vote weight is not a huge issue. It doesn't take a lot of played time for it to stay high. However, it can feel like it does because it is a rolling average of your play time over the last four weeks.

    There is thus some minor benefit to idling instead of quitting in that regard. However, anyone who is actually playing will see their vote weight rise to respectable levels as well. It is capped at ten, so even if you stay logged on for days straight your "edge" will never grow.

    The biggest reason for not QQing to me is the defenses issue. Losing them if you're stepping away for a bit, even for an hour, really irks me.
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  • KabinaKabina Member Posts: 54 Novice
    From a young mouth, I will try to offer my experience with AFK, as well as possible solutions to the problem, which will hopefully also address the issue of combat. Firstly then my experience, I am sad to say I have and do occasionally AFK on prime, usually in Ebongloms lung and I put my character to sleep for anyone who comes looking for him to see... oh he won't respond. My reason for doing this is because I don't want to sit and stare at the screen whilst I sleep my endurance back up which can take from half an hour to an hour. (And if my character is awake to rp, then it can take even longer.) Now please don't assume I want this changed, in fact endurance is a good mechanic to stop people just bashing for forever and a day.  Another reason I tend to afk if I am having a bath, or checking on dinner is I don't want to lose my enchantment defenses, as it means I then have to go and buy them continuously. But in these circumstances again I will sit and sleep in Ebongloms lung, to also benefit from Endurance regeneration, to save me doing it, ten minutes after I return or what have you.

    Solution


    Now as for the issue of AFK at the nexus, the solution is simple, bring an in game mechanic that allows raiding on the prime plane. Not only does this make it more dangerous to sit there for six hours whilst you play COD4 or watch the complete fourth series of Red Dwarf for the sixtieth time. It solves the issue of it being impossible to harm your commune/city opponents, so this is my suggestion for it: -

    Make Enemy Status mean something.

    The way I suggest doing this is that, if you have been labelled an "Enemy" of an org, then that org territory loses the protection of Avechna whilst you are in their territory, but also, you lose the protection to Avechna in all places bar your own commune/city to anyone in that organization, unless they are likewise enemies. This will encourage players to think twice before pulling stupid actions which their character would likewise not do if there was realistic repercussions.

    So for example: -

    Player A is an enemy of Magnagora
    Player A can raid Magnagora Prime without repercussion of Avechna.
    Player A is at risk from Magnagoran citizens in all places except their commune.
    Magnagoran who is an enemy to Player A Organization can attack Player A anywhere.

    Possible Abuse

    The problem arises that the organization suddenly removes enemy status from all players in the raiding party, to counteract this, do not allow them to unenemy a player within 1 hour of being inside their territory. The second issue is that everyone just enemies everyone, for this I would trust in the playerbase to be reasonable, and continue using the enemy status as they have been, without using it to just kill people without revenge, as such would be bad RP. Or put in serious punishments in place for anyone found doing this.

    Hope this helps!
    Kabina

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