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Initiative: Battle Arena

a topic in Battle Arena, a part of the RPG forum.

A bloody repository for combat. Get your adrenaline fix here: start a fight, find a sparring partner, train, or just spend your time studying older matches. Don't forget to record the results of your fights in the Hall of Records!

Initiative: Battle Arena

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby MayContainPlagiarism on Sat Feb 20, 2016 4:39 pm

Battle Arena

Sometimes roleplaying isn't all drama and intrigue. Negotiation fails, tempers flare, and fists get thrown. Sometimes a writer just wants to textually beat something up.

Can we revitalize the battle arena? It used to be a free and fun forum that offered genuine competition and opportunities to practice one of the most difficult aspects of writing and roleplaying.

A new set of fair guidelines, rules, and scoring methods to help impartially decide winners in competitions and to encourage fair, cooperative posting, are needed.

If you have any suggestions, recommendations, issues, or you want to flex your textual muscles, consider posting in the Battle Arena forum and in this initiative.
Do you feel like you're a bad writer? PM me, and let's talk about it. :)

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Re: Initiative: Battle Arena

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Sara Whitley on Sun Mar 20, 2016 10:35 pm

I would support this, I took part in the "arena" of various RP places in the past and it was always a favorite past-time of mine. I was very active in this one, as well.

What seems more common now than in the past is a general rejection of the idea of random fighting in roleplay, to the point where it's essentially considered a taboo in a number of communities. It might help to sow the seeds of a culture that is more accepting towards niche areas of RP like "T1" PvPing. Fighting was my main niche for which my main character was designed for, but it just isn't as easy to find nowadays because so many people are not accepting of the idea.
Not quite sure how to rekindle all this, as much of that niche culture was driven by competition and out of character debates are a part of the "game" that so many don't understand, so building the conditions that cause people to want to randomly PvP could come with other issues as well.

I will still use this arena provided I can (I recently may have found a match so I'm hopeful), but there doesn't seem to be a lot of interest in it anymore.
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Re: Initiative: Battle Arena

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby MayContainPlagiarism on Mon Mar 21, 2016 7:09 pm

I like having the arena forum mostly for practice; it's nice to be able to work on skills related specifically to writing a combat sequence and roleplaying combat. I like it because it gives everyone a place to do it that isn't an actual, full-blown roleplay; there's already all these goddamned "storage" and private roleplays cluttering the feed that it's impossible for real writers and roleplayers to use the website for its intended purpose.

I don't design characters just for fighting, I also don't roleplay with the expectation of characters clobbering each other; I'm in it for all the grandiose geopolitics and forbidden romances. shrug

Anyway, Sara, if you want to help, there's a few things I suggest you do:

1. Contact old members with whom you used to write that might be interested, and direct them here
2. Garner interest with new members, and direct them here
3. Detail what you want to see, and what you do not want to see, so we can get a list going and discuss and debate and whatnot

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Re: Initiative: Battle Arena

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby LawOfTheLand on Tue Mar 22, 2016 2:20 pm

I used to prowl this forum a bit, and I think the original purpose of the forum was specifically to cater to the competitive crowd, the sort that fought to see who could wear down their opponent with brilliant moves and baffling bullshit. Sara was actually one of my opponents, and hoo boy, the salt was real.

Seeing as most of the big for-glory players seem of have moved on to other things, I could get behind reviving this forum as a place to practice the art of fighting for use in RPs. When one of those good old Gambit's Bar brawls breaks out, it's good to have a few pieces of tech in your back pocket to fall back on.
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Re: Initiative: Battle Arena

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby MayContainPlagiarism on Tue Mar 22, 2016 2:34 pm

I'm also much more supportive of the return of the Arena with the notable absence of win-oriented writers. Like I've said several times already, and will continue to say probably every single post: I started this initiative to have a communal practice and relaxation center for people that want to see some characters clobber each other around. Without a gigantic and pointless list of rules and regulations, there's no way to ensure any fights are fair, and therefor I don't see the point in trying to compete; there's always a bigger fish, as they say, and for every anti-matter cannon your character brings, there's an anti-anti-matter cannon in someone else's trunk.

Especially for new writers, who need somewhere simple and stress-free to practice basic roleplaying and writing skills, I see a revival of the Arena as being essential. Characters can banter, think about avenging their dead parents, hit on each other, hit each other, and a lot of the other, wonderful things that happens in stories while eschewing larger, plot-driven narrative stuff that takes much more time and practice to grasp or that might not interest all members of the community.

So who's with me? Law, I formally challenge you to another Pokemon battle, but this time in the Arena. I actually have a trainer character that was barely used with a Litwick, Garchomp, and a Vaporeon. You ready?

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Re: Initiative: Battle Arena

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby FullMetalBoy on Wed Mar 23, 2016 6:45 pm

First off- MayContainPlagiarism I hate your display picture. The swirling thing grossly irritates me.

Secondly, if you revitalize the battle arena you're never going to get rid of the competitive scene. The instant this place gets active again, it'll be like moths to the flame. So instead of writing it off with no competition what-so-ever, I would suggest working out a fair, comprehensible ruleset that a select group of people agree upon.

Thirdly, I would potentially look into making a few trusted members of the community 'community judges'

Fourthly, I hate lamps.
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Re: Initiative: Battle Arena

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby MayContainPlagiarism on Wed Mar 23, 2016 6:50 pm

1: I think establishing a judge system, as a staff position, is out of the scope of this initiative.

2: I'm not saying it should be open season. I just don't believe in silly, codified, numerical scoring systems. This is a subjective past-time and therefor cannot be rated like a physical competition.

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Re: Initiative: Battle Arena

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby FullMetalBoy on Wed Mar 23, 2016 7:46 pm

But other things that could be considered a past-time have ratings. I don't see an issue with applying a ranking system, that's why you have two separate things. Social and Ranked. Think Halo, just with less infectious organic dickwaffles.

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Re: Initiative: Battle Arena

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby MayContainPlagiarism on Wed Mar 23, 2016 8:19 pm

No.

No no no.

No. >.>

If you want to win as a writer, then scoring your writing is fine. Whatever. That's your prerogative. But if you want your character to win a fight, a scoring system is not only unnecessary, it's needless oversight, obnoxiously overbearing, constrictive, and makes your writing and the community win-oriented instead of goal-oriented.

I believe in rules for the Arena. No forced outcomes, godmodding, and those kinds of things that keep writing civil, roleplaying fun, and competition fair, but I do not believe in a rating system whatsoever and will not until such a system has been proposed as justifies my concerns for the integrity of roleplaying.

I'm the Jefferson. Give me a bill of Arena rights, and we can discuss from there.

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Re: Initiative: Battle Arena

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby FullMetalBoy on Thu Mar 24, 2016 3:22 pm

You seem to be misunderstanding my point. I said have two divisions of the arena, one for those who prefer the ranked combat, and others who prefer... whatever name you'd give it.

By excluding one, you turn potential activity way from the arena as a whole.

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Re: Initiative: Battle Arena

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Edorekt on Sun Mar 27, 2016 2:10 pm

Hi Ran, you're cute. You need to add me on skype since you disappeared from IRC - or at least seek me out on IRC so I can add you on skype. It's Seed.

Anyway - Mr Spinny Image - while I believe your heart is in the right place, your logic is not.

"If you want to win as a writer, then scoring your writing is fine. Whatever. That's your prerogative. But if you want your character to win a fight, a scoring system is not only unnecessary, it's needless oversight, obnoxiously overbearing, constrictive, and makes your writing and the community win-oriented instead of goal-oriented."

Let me quickly rip this apart. For as long as...well, at least I can remember is that there has always been a win-oriented mindset built into the FIGHTING aspect of RP in pretty much every community I've been apart of. The only thing that has differed is HOW that win was obtainable. In older times wins weren't just based on the competence of the characters involved and whether they had slain the opponent or not. It was writing driven as well - points were given by Judges based on the writing ability, the clarity the person could create as well as other factors such as logic, grammar, punctuation and pretty much anything and everything that had to do with writing.

As time moved on it became more combat oriented and less about the writing skill / ability. It became more about killing the opponent / crippling them to where they can not come back through said fight.

But, even with this degrading path of combat - it's always been competitively oriented. The amount of people who would fight to...not aim to win? Were and are such a minority, even in these desperate times, that the idea of making a non-competitive fighting scene is absurd and....flat out boring.

For myself, and many others but I shall speak just for myself, I grew up falling in love with writing and story telling through my discovery of IRC and the combat ORIENTED Role Players that lurked there. They inspired me and pushed my creativity and my writing capabilities. But, with that being said, I also gained the thirst to win because...in the end it is a fight. It doesn't matter how you look at it or anyone else, when you fight that is you standing up for your side to over come your opponent in whatever it may be. Arguments. Fist fighting. Guns. Nukes. Politics. Who has the bigger dick.

It's all competitive due to the very nature of it being a fight.

However, the only thing I Will say is the extremity of to which people will go to for the win is a big thing. It is because of this that Ran's idea would not be a bad idea. A casual sparring section with a sister section for the more competitive, hard hitting people to truly do some damage on each other. Of course, there would be a transparent barrier between the two sections so that RolePlayers may pass through back and forth depending on their interest and level of hunger that feeds their swords.

Judges...perhaps not set aside players who would always be called upon for judging for the sole purpose of judging, but volunteers - if they are required at least - or people who are well known enough around the world of RP Combat that they will not be bias and understand the construct of competitive play and what SHOULD be judged.

As the last piece of my thoughts I will throw this out there: I want at least some form of flame to ignite the fight within peoples hearts once again. Whether the casual fighters become the majority and we competitive fighters become the minority, so long as there is combat. So long as there remains community, I will stand behind any decision the community makes and the direction it takes. Even if you completely ignore what I said of the casual vs competitive, I will stand behind any movement that at least brings light upon these dark times.

I miss it. I miss how fun it was. To strive to improve, to climb the ladder of fallen foes. I miss the amazing fights, the inspiration to improve oneself through both writing and combat logistics while making things explode and doing the impossible! All things I miss so much.

So let us take steps forwards. I know of a few other websites / communities that I am apart of that if things pick up a little here, we could try and make this a central hub - like what it was with the GT League - for combat fighters from other communities to partake, spar and conquer.

Here, here!

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Re: Initiative: Battle Arena

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby MayContainPlagiarism on Sun Mar 27, 2016 6:46 pm

Edorekt wrote:Whether the casual fighters become the majority and we competitive fighters become the minority, so long as there is combat. So long as there remains community, I will stand behind any decision the community makes and the direction it takes.


I'm of a similar mindset. I believe it is always better to do something than nothing. You know the old saying about how a little apathy lets evil win?

I've actually spent a lot of time thinking about this, why I started the initiative and what I want to get out of it since I talked to Law in the public chat, and Cloasse. I was hoping I'd get back to this thread before someone kindly tore my rhetoric apart. C'est la vie, I guess.

I understand the desire, and the utility, of a scoring system. I do not believe in the philosophy of one, but I'd rather have my voice in heard defense of a losing candidate than not at all (did you know Bill Murray is running for president?). To that end I am content to have discussion opened to a new system, heavily debated and analyzed by all parties (interested or just passing by on their way to other, exciting sections of the website). Not to say that I wasn't before; I certainly have no intentions of barring discussion of anything as long as it's on-topic and civil.

I have absolutely no idea what any of those other communities are that you mentioned whatsoever, but I don't see the harm in inviting them to visit once things have taken off. There is already a stickied and de-facto official scoring system from 10 years ago that's gathering dust, and if you scroll down a bit I think Ylane has one of her own, that we can use for reference, but I have serious issues with both and they are the examples I use to explain why I would rather see the systems eschewed. To that end, do these other communities of which you speak have official, or community-approved, systems of their own that you can either link us to or summarize for our edification? Because I have little-to-no experience of my own, I'd like to have as many examples as possible (good and bad) for us to review, find common and enjoyed attributes, modify, steal, and use.

I started this initiative because I've had too many bad experiences with the Arena, fighting RPs, and fighting in RPs, and I want to help develop an environment that welcomes and fosters both casual and competitive writing (as silly as I might find the latter to be). I don't do this out of any love for what the Arena once was; I am driven by the glorious image of what I think it can become. As I said in an earlier response, I see myself as the anti-federalist of this congregation. Allusions to the Bill of Rights aside, I say we should look to the allegorical French philosophers, Roman republics, Renaissance writers and whatnot for examples and cautionary tales to help achieve that goal. We are leaving the Commonwealth, gentle(wo?)men. The roads ahead are rough, and dangerous, and while old and disparate not flowered; we are on an expedition through previously charted but abandoned lands and I see no point in doing it without the maps of the previous endeavors as guidance.

As you can probably see by my cliched and probably flat attempt at metaphorical reverence, I'm much more into the sides of roleplaying that aren't killing stuff. But I take this very seriously, and will continue to take it unnecessarily serious until June. And then I probably won't be able to use the Internet for 8-10 weeks. But after that? I will return with a vengeance. Hopefully things are sorted out by then.

So, the tl;dr: Fine you can have a gosh-darned scoring system. But we should be slow to adopt one, and there should be genuine and furious debate behind it.

Edit

So if one character is a clear winner (the other has been crippled, immobilized, surrenders, runs out of ammo, whatever), but the opposite writer had a vastly superior span of posts, a better-written character, a more logical sequence of events and was more subjectively enjoyable or easy to read (and therefor scored higher), who won?

That is my largest reservation with a scoring system: I feel like it's an incentive for unsportsmanlike conduct, and I feel like younger writers with better ideas that can't quite describe or explain their actions as well are shortchanged. I've seen fights arbitrated before where, by all logic, a character has irrefutably won, but-despite this-his writer lost because the other had higher marks. Which brings me back to my writing vs roleplaying vs two characters beating the hells out of each other dilemma. What, ultimately, defines a character victory? A writer victory? Which of the two is more important?

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Re: Initiative: Battle Arena

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Edorekt on Sun Mar 27, 2016 7:36 pm

Alright, so I guess I never really stated where I stood specifically. I assume I was rather vague. I have no cares for the scoring system itself. I was merely presenting that this is how things were done for the most part. At least in these parts because RP Combat used to be not just about the combat, but the execution of the writers. Like a writing competition. Which, in most ways that is exactly what it is.

As someone who has been fighting for about 10 years now, going into my 11th, I know what it is that I like and don't like about the fighting communities. Myself, and a majority of the people, didn't care much for the scoring system as it went on. As I stated in my post that it became more about killing each other rather than the actual writing itself. You would be praised for having excellent writing and a beautiful flow, but it did not equate to points. I care more about the combat aspect and the relations that develop through fighting.

By this, I mean for myself and my generation that grew up together fighting was a way we dealt with our issues with each other and was also a way of communication. We talked to each other intimately through our fights because we poured ourselves into our characters - so they were not just characters, but parts of ourselves. I realize how cheesy this sounds, but that is what happens when you become passionate about something. You have to put yourself into the project.

Now, if we want to encourage newer and younger folk to join and participate and to grow into better writers - then implementing the scoring system would be the best bet. This pushes people to open up a thesaurus, read a book and genuinely try and put together a master piece per post. This creates the amazing writers that we've seen in the past - is because of this scoring system, because you could lose an entire fight simply because you did not write nearly as well as the other person.

However, if we wish to create a purely combat-esque atmosphere, then go simply based on who actually is able to walk away. This, however, becomes more difficult to judge and have clear winners unless it's an open-shut case of who was defeated. This is where RP fights turn into OOC arguments, debates, real emotions being put in and a bad taste being left in everyones mouth.

I despise this part of the fighting scene were the OOC arguments. I'd rather get an experienced and unbias judge to simply walk in and judge the posts and the outcome. With that being said, many of us, if not all of us, wish to grow as writers - or I highly doubt any one of us would even be doing this - so as writers, we must face criticism. We must face that maybe our writing style is not as effective or as good as someone elses. This does not make them bad writers, but when brought into a competitive form - it must be judged on a more critical nature.

I bring this up because when you mention "and I feel like younger writers with better ideas that can't quite describe or explain their actions as well are shortchanged." Well, a majority of us got the shit kicked out of us for years because we were not as good as other people - either through fighting or writing. This is where goals and aspiration, idols and legends are born and forged. I never would have pushed myself as hard as I did if I did not have an ideal goal or someone far stronger than me that I wanted to beat.

This, is the competitive...fighting spirit. This is what fuels a lot of us - and this fire has been nothing more than smoldering coals for a few years now with the decline in the combat communities.

With that being said - I would stick to the preset plan of a Victor is only a victor if the opponent either a) can not attack b) walks away from the fight or c) dead.

I would set this as the ideal regulation for considered victory while such things as tournaments and what not could have more refined regulations and rules.

I am a fighter that loves to write, so I am fine with having my writing getting chewed up by a judge if it means that I am improving as a writer. But I also don't want all the fighting I've done to be completely over looked simply because my opponent had better punctuation than me. Crossed his T's and dotted his I's more than I did.

It is, of course entirely up to debate. But for the rules and regulations I would simply book mark it for now - a primary goal should be set in place on bringing this place back to life. Because what use are the refined rules if there are only 4-5 people using them?

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Re: Initiative: Battle Arena

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby MayContainPlagiarism on Sun Mar 27, 2016 7:52 pm

You're right that fights arbitrated poorly or without any, established system have a tendency to divulge into juvenile and petty argument. Everyone wants to win, and be right. And it's my concern over that tendency that is why I'm here, doing this, and not just opening a fight at random and hoping the Arena takes off from there (speaking of which, though, Law, if you're reading this, I'm serious about our fight).

But hoboy I see a lot of problems, Edo. It's late and I need to go take care of things, so I'll go point-by-point tomorrow probably. For now I ask that you read the addendum I made to my previous post, and respond to those questions: When and why is it appropriate to arbitrate a winner, and by what criteria?

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Re: Initiative: Battle Arena

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Edorekt on Sun Mar 27, 2016 8:44 pm

I already did.

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Re: Initiative: Battle Arena

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby MayContainPlagiarism on Mon Mar 28, 2016 4:45 pm

"Now, if we want to encourage newer and younger folk to join and participate and to grow into better writers - then implementing the scoring system would be the best bet. This pushes people to open up a thesaurus, read a book and genuinely try and put together a master piece per post. This creates the amazing writers that we've seen in the past - is because of this scoring system, because you could lose an entire fight simply because you did not write nearly as well as the other person."

Is that real motivation? For myself, personally, I was inspired by better writers because they were better writers, not because I wanted to be better than them. I see my education the same way: I study not because I want to be smart, but because I don't want to be stupid, and somehow through that I've become the person I am today.

I don't like turning anything roleplay related into a game unless it's an RPG, but that fateful "G" is absent from RP, is it not? If your goal in a written fight is to win, just play Superman sans kryptonite weakness. If Batman gets his ass kicked, he shouldn't win because he had some clever one-liners and a well-described batarang toss. That is ludicrous.

If your reason to be a better writer is so that you can win more, we roleplay for very, very different reasons. For the sake of conversation I ask, do you enjoy the more "conventional" roleplaying experience?

"I am a fighter that loves to write, so I am fine with having my writing getting chewed up by a judge if it means that I am improving as a writer. But I also don't want all the fighting I've done to be completely over looked simply because my opponent had better punctuation than me. Crossed his T's and dotted his I's more than I did."

That is my point exactly. And aren't you being hypocritical? You seem to desire a scenario in which the possibility of losing due to writing quality inspires you to write better, where-in this same scenario-you cannot lose because someone wrote better than you.

And that's the conundrum, isn't it? Anything you can be scored by, you can try to win with. Which is why we need to settle a scoring system that fairly weighs all aspects (the fight itself, the quality of the narration, whatever else) and adjudicates victory in a manner agreeable to as large an audience as possible.

"...a primary goal should be set in place on bringing this place back to life. Because what use are the refined rules if there are only 4-5 people using them?"

1: My goal is to resuscitate the Arena first and foremost.

2: What are the use of laws if everyone breaks them? Have you ever littered, Edo? I assume so, but just because you and I and everyone else litters doesn't mean the laws concerning it should be repealed; they exist and are enforced so that when BigBusiness Incorporated tries to dump 20 gallons of toxic waste in the kitty pool they can be held accountable to established, if unequally applied, law. Regardless of the utility of the rules, they must exist! We must start now, so that we do not see a year from now that the Arena is bedlam, and OOC fights and bitching and moaning constantly being broken up by tired Moderators. We must start now so that when Rem organizes a new team for the Arena, or finds volunteers or makes staff positions or whatever will be done to maintain the integrity and civility of the Arena, we as a community have already, collectively selected what rules, regulations, guidelines, and whatnot that we want to see be enforced.

Can you imagine hiring a sheriff in a town with no laws, Edo?

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Re: Initiative: Battle Arena

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby FullMetalBoy on Mon Mar 28, 2016 5:14 pm

Losing because someone is a better writer really devalues the face of fighting. It's the mental clash, the positioning of characters and using them.

Just because you write better doesn't mean you're the better fighter. That mentality was battle tested at AnimeLeague, and that was a harsh toxic environment.

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Re: Initiative: Battle Arena

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Edorekt on Mon Mar 28, 2016 5:23 pm

Generally I would have reposted with an elongated dispute...but I feel you completely over looked the points I Was making. Nothing I said was hypocritical. I defined two different scenarios, one that took on the approach of helping create better writers and the other of better fighters.

Instead you took it as me being a hypocrite.

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Re: Initiative: Battle Arena

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Edorekt on Mon Mar 28, 2016 5:26 pm

Also, could you imagine hiring a sherrif in a peopleless town? ;x

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Re: Initiative: Battle Arena

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby MayContainPlagiarism on Tue Mar 29, 2016 5:21 pm

You didn't define two different scenarios, and discuss each objectively; you made one point in support of your opinion, and then a different, contradictory one.

And I'd rather have a sheriff ready at the homestead ahead of the population than the other way around, any day.

And thank you, FMB; I also don't see the connection between better writing and winning, and I don't see encouraging people to write fancy instead of constructively as doing anything conducive to developing a fun, fair, or attractive Arena.

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