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A New Forum and a New Rant [12 Feb 2006|10:47pm]

Well, this one is a nicer rant in any case.

I haven't used this lj community in a while so I figured it was time to brush off the dust and renew it, just like the forums.

I'm not suprised by our small membership at the new forums. Hell, the only people who have RPed have been me, Gaidin and Deirdre. Others have moved over their bios but the general silence on their behalfs just raises an eyebrow. I'm no one's mother. It's not my job to tell you to go roleplay, or to tell you to post in the threads talking about the story arch and what options there are. I don't create the plot myself. It's supposed to be a team thing.

I think it is ironic and certainly shows something about a person's character that in the two weeks before the move I got PMs from people asking to advertise (or bump their advertisement threads) at S&S and yet haven't even bothered to sign up at the new forums.

Loyalty FTW!

A few people who haven't moved over yet have surprised me. More than not I think it's a mix of busy RL and probably them contemplating if they have the energy to reinvest into the site. Whatever. The forums were fun but I wanted something more long-distance, so to say, which the forums at S&S weren't giving me, and if that meant I lost a lot of people, then I'll settle for that.

The decision to move had a lot of reasons and I felt that, even if no one reads this (:P), I should at least unload them.

1. Looking into the Future

At the old S&S forums, our user base will always be WOT RPers. In truth, there are a hell of a lot more RPers out there than that. S&S has always been about what I wanted to do, so I made a decision and went ahead with it, unfortunately without much feedback from anyone since no one was on IM. In any case, I don't want to be stuck RPing only WOT after the last battle with Sharans on the way. Neither do I want to have to hunt around for other sites to fulfill my need to be in another type of WOT rp, or non-WOT (always wanted to do a Dune RP, or maybe something based off of Stephen King's Dark Tower series). At the same time, there is NO WAY I am making extra forums to fill that need. Nope. I cannot handle more than one forum. And then I realized.... why would I have to?

So, while this hasn't been taken advantage of yet, I made the new forums with the thought of adding other RPGs to it as we grow and as interest increases. I know that Gaidin has always wanted to do a futuristic WOT rp, and once he gets the gruntwork done then the forums will have a second area to RP in. I'm tired of fighting for member loyalty along with countless more sites that spring up like weeds (refer to the older LJ rant that got me in trouble :rolleyes). Really, I don't have the time nor the inclination to bother with any of them anymore. I keep wondering why no one else does this and just accomdate people who want to try out a new WOT scenario without making a whole forum with all the admining that goes on with it.

So witht he future in mind, once the plot line of S&S finishes or everyone loses interest, the site doesn't end. It simply moves on to the next RP. That is the secret of immortality.

2. Our Membership Base

Which is better: having a new member a day who posts nonsense, or badly written bios, with no interest in major plotting, and leaves within a month of joining?
OR, having a small member base of people who actually contribute to the site and keep the level of RPing to a really high level?

I know where my priorities lie. It sounds elitist, and it is elitist, but I'd rather RP with people who genuinely want to RP and won't stall an RP or send multiple useless time wasting PMs. Or who IM me with utterly mundane things while I am trying to write a research paper just because they are bored or are too lazy to read the rules.

3. My sanity.

It's important to me at least :P
I always get flooded with PMs at S&S. The new system will be fewer members (at least at first), and with each RPG that gets added, someone else leads it and therefore a big brunt of the work get lifted off my shoulders.

With all that said, I am having a hard time figuring out how to advertise the site and get more members, besides just a link on the old forums. I hate stealth advertising or bomb advertising... sneaking adverts into a post on another forum, or signing up just to advertise and leave. I feel like a used car salesman when I do that :(
3 comments|post comment

Amathela's RP Etiquette Rant [11 Nov 2005|07:56am]

It's 8 in the morning and I haven't slept, bored, and incapable of writing anything else creative tonight.  So instead, I decided to rant.  This is mostly about members, not other communities and I'm not going to cover the really obvious stuff, like not plagiarising, 'cause we should already know that, shouldn't we?

Anyway, without further ado:

Things that piss Ama offCollapse )
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Kairos [10 Nov 2005|03:55pm]

Ok, I just have to rant. I've been getting steadily more frustrated with S&S. I love RPing, I love the ability to change the plots to what I want, and I love having everyone who is there to be active in plots, creating ideas, etc.

But something's been bugging me for about as long as I created S&S. In fact, after raising Fahima, I changed the raising requirements to try to suit this 'something' a bit more by half-heartedly meeting it halfway. But there's no luck. I am just simply losing fun in the way S&S is structured.

*deep breath*

We are getting rid of forced ranks. In fact, most admins don't know this yet, let alone any members. No one's going to be forced to RP for months on end as a novice anymore. No one is going to be required to spend almost a year to get their character to the top rank. Its just ridiculous to spend that kind of time in grunt work when, really, most people have RL to deal with - work, family, classes, what have you - and then ALL their time ends up being spent in grunt work.

Some peope may be happy in RPing their novice having a spat in the kitchens or scrubbing pots for some random show of disrespect for an Aes Sedai.

Most novices in the books did this. They studied for years, they got in trouble, they scrubbed pots, repeat.

Fine. Lets have our NPCs do that. In the back of our minds, lets just let all of those fictional characters do all the grunt work. Let's face it: why do we have to have our characters go through inane things? Boredom? Who should be forced to rp something that isn't 100% exciting and unique? None of our characters should be used as filler. We should be somehting more... not ta'veren but at least shape major events.

Have our character's worth something.

Be involved in things like.. war? runaways? kidnappings? black ajah and raven shen and darkfriends? assassinations? political maneuverings?

We have some huge events set up at S&S, but since most of our active members are stuck as novices or soldiers or recruits, they can't yet be a part of it, at least, not until we bring the plot to them. It's so constricting. I feel like I am putting a noose around my Accepted charrie's throat everytime I try to RP with her. I am almost burnt out trying to think up imaginative things for her to do as Accepted: in my mind, if she were Aes Sedai, there'd be some interesting things for her to do. But as Accepted? Nope.

Not only that... but we lack PC top tier characters so bad... we need more Aes Sedai of the whatever Ajah. A plot Cursor has may fold because, simply, we cannot find an active Aes Sedai that will fit into a space in his plot. How sad? At least five really active novices, and none of them can fill that spot.

So I'm tired of having to juggle rules. RPing is fun. If you can prove that you can RP with a suitablely realistic character, why should you have to keep proving it steadily and slowly over the course of six-eight months to get them to the top rank? By which time you are burnt out and bored?

No more forced tiers. No more raising requirements. No more IC status *at all*

That doesn't mean I'll go easy on people - actually, I'll probably be harder on new characters. Actually, I'll be harder on a lot of things, stricter in roleplay guidelines such as plot development. But it'll still be freer in the sense that there won't be the same limitations. And everyone will be involved in the major sitewide plots, which are currently only open to SMs whose characters have the freedom to travel around and politicize.

I won't be surprised if I lose some people because of this. In fact, I once agreed that forced ranks were necessary to get and keep members. But now I've realized that if I don't keep rping, then there won't be an S&S, and I won't keep RPing if forced ranks stay. So adios to them in the very near future.

So for those lucky enough to bother checking the LJ rant... then you'll know that (should admins and mods all reply to my rough draft in a timely manner) a new set of rules will be in place. And with it will be a bigger change in the attitude at S&S: its all about the story.
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Pirates! [29 Sep 2005|06:09pm]

RANT!!!11 RAWR!!11one

People are diriving me CRAZY! Yes, PEOPLE! Everyone! People in RL, people on roleplaying sites. Everwhere!

Yea so.. where was I? A rant... well I promise I'll be better than I was last time. Last major rant I did... well, it speaks for itself with the number of comments, inept flames, and promises of balefire unto my person in the immediate future. All that aside, I really REALLY have something to actually rant about. A few somethings.

This rant is about Pirates!


Part I: OOC vs IC

I once wrote a definition of OOC vs IC ranking and what they meant. You knwo what? Someone at S&S mentioned an issue she had with people acting certain ways, ignoring her because of IC rank and not knowing her OOC rank. It pissed me off because I know it's happened to me before. I remember when, two days after someoen arrived at S&S, he PMed my Accepted (Fahima at the time) asking to RP and get to know each other for the interests of bonding. You know what? This leads me to my next rant (note: must rant about bonding). He was using the fact that he was an SM (newly appointed) to pressure a JM into bonding. (...little did he know I already did that with Aeron :look)

(looking for the pirates?... they're coming...)

So.. pressuring a JM? He wasnt the only one. Someone was trying to ICly blackmail a novice of mine while she was posting the city, and OOCly saying that he coudl arrive and give me punishment, or arrive and force me to be involved with some other threads with him. I said no: I want the punishment. Therefore he never posted. Mn did I want to tear off his head for trying to cut a deal because he thought IC punishment was as bad as OOC punishment, as if I posted in the city without the plans to get caught. Pfft!

And then of course there are other instances. I DO IM otehr people at the site. I talk to a lot of SMs and even more JMs. A lot of new members get my IM and start talkign to me. Often they will mention something to me that just makes my eyes go wide. "He said what? Well of COURSE you don't have to roleplay with him in that thread." Or, "He shouldn't be trying to get you to bond before you are an SM"

BLAH! #@%&!
How dare someone make that presumption? The funny thing is... none of the admins or those on the moderation team (which includes, in case people forget, myself, Orfeo, Amathela, Deirdre, Aeron, Foryest, and Kiana) would ever do that. Ever. And they actually HAVE the power to make demands and tell people what to do but none of them use it. (Except me... I think someone called me overpoweringly controlling once.. mwhaha.. but no, I only do it when it needs to be done).

So, after some major thought, and major jetlag after RL weddings rocked the family and school stopped me from RPing, I redid the site to seperate OOC and IC ranks. It's soemthign I've wanted to do for a long time. Just cause someone is a Sitter or Justice doesn't mean s/he can boss people around. Some people are just so ICKY in joining new sites just for positions. "I want to be Head of the Green Ajah!" Yea yea. I know. And a domani blademaster with four warders. I've heard it all. And then when they post in the "who are you?" threads, they get to list all their many ranks. Not that all those sites are active anymore. Or even that they are active at those sites. You know why there is no "WHo am I?" thread at S&S anymore? It's because, "frankly my dear, I don't give a damn" about who you are at other sites. I just care about who you are here, and what you do to make S&S better. Other sites are a dime a dozen - and don't flame me for that comment. If you want to flame me, join the others in the past and scroll down a few lj rants.

(almost there.. the pirates are coming...)

HMPH! So now that we have OOC and IC divisions, I'm getting work done. But for some reason, people are STILL trying to tell newbies rules that may or may not be in place, most often garbling them in the telling. If I want someone to take care of new members, I will assign a Welcome Committee. You can help if asked, but if you want to just randomly offer help, teh best help you can do is give them a link to the Moderation Team topic and let them choose who to talk to.


Part II

Oh dear god (pardon the blasphemy) but I get SO upset about this one. Most people I talk to and respect for their rping recognize it as a plague on wheel of time RP sites. [b]Bonding[/b] is not something that some adolescents should set up for their characters because in real life they want to feel warm and fuzzy that they have a bondmate. There are no pairings in our roleplay site. If you want to bond for the sake of saying you have a bondmate, bond yourself, or bond an NPC. I gnash my teeth and pull at my hair when I start seeing inner 'fluff' romances at work, people flirting OOCly to each other, or making threads that involve completely unrealistic romance. BLAH! I hate it. It, luckily, doesn't happen often at S&S. I bring the wrath of God (tm) down on certain people who even imply it, such as new members who make bios and say they are going to be a green, with a weakness for men and happen to be beautifully alluring. I don't want any Myrelles! If I want one, I'll read the books again, thank you.

Now back to IC vs OOC in this regard. Character romances NO EQUAL personal romances. </cavewoman> You know, I dont believe this has happened at S&S. It's happened at other sites. And I know a handful of people whose names will not be mentioned (mostly because they don't know I know.. yea, I'm that good at being sly) who get too personally emotional over little IC romance things. BLAH! This is not the fourth grade. If a character holds your hand and flirts with you, it doesn't mean that person actually

Now, this isnt to say I'm against IC romances. I'd be a hypocrit then :P I'm just saying.. too many people take things too far. Too many people do the flirty things and I jsut want to hit the "DELETE POST" button... except it doesn't happen at S&S. It happens at other places and I stomp it out like Godzilla when it starts appearing with new members at Secrets & Shadows. I can't abide by immaturity. Obviously.

(PIRATES... get ready... )


Part III: Let's talk about pirates

One-Eyed Pirate: I've got meself a new RP site. Wanna check it out?
Me: Oh! Shiny! Let me see...
One-Eyed Pirate: Can I plug it at S&S? Arr?
Me: Yes yes of cou... hey.. wait a minute... what is my Talent's list doing there?
One-Eyed Pirate: Arr! 'Tis my loot! Mine I say! *shifty eyes*
Me: THIEF! DIE!!!!111
One-Eyed Pirate: ...ok


So that is a general summary of a conversation I have with someone I find who has stolen from S&S. GRRRRRRRRR!

I hate people who plagiarize. Even more, I could probably deal with it better if I could tell who was doing it with the intention of not getting caught, and who was doing it withotu realizing that it was PLAGIARISM!

Expect a nice official information post and update to the rules on this subject at the forums when I compose myself and the administration makes a decision on what to do about it.

So... why do people take things from S&S and post them on their own site without acknowledging to themselves that what they are doing is plagiarism? That can contact their web service and get them banned? That I can contact invisionfree/forumer/IPB/etc and get their board deleted for ToS violations? Do people, in the day of pirating music and stealing images from online, REALLY not know what PIRACY is?

Do you download a song from The Wall and then bring it to Pink Floyd and ask them what they think of your music? Uhh... I should think not. IDIOTS!

No, no. I'm not that harsh. People who plagiarize aren't idiots. They just act extremely stupid all at once and someone like me happens to find them. I hate stupidity. It needs to be stamped out from the face of the earth. People need to think more logically, more cause and effect. If-then people! "What will happen if I take Gwendylyn's bonding rules/Talent's list/Hall of Trials/Darkfriend rules/roleplay guideline/etc and post it on my own new shiny roleplay site?" Answer: "She will find you and make you regret being born!!!"

UGH! Ok, maybe not that much. The moment I see something stolen, I get FURIOUSly angry. Today I had to deal with someone and was late to class, with no printed copy of my paper to hand in because I was answering plagiarism.

Ironically enough, even after I put a plagiarism reminder on my most plagiarized page, it is STILL stolen from. Most recently, those very lines telling people not to plagiarize were taken by another site. I mean.. read what you are plagiarizing at least. Otherwise you are just... inept.

And you know what? NO ONE TELLS ME WHEN THEY SEE IT! (except Ama). People will join new sites from S&S, play along, but not even mention to me that the site is using my words. I mean... what? No notice of the fact that their Talent's list is the same exact one as mine? Nooo... it seems S&S means next to nothing to people. We're just some site run by peers, some girl who you joke with on IM. Nothing fancy. Nothing specifically formal. Therefore, steal anything and everything you want: copy and paste is your best friend.

Except I get ANGRY and I get EVEN. HMPH! At least, in the first PM I do. I can rant and rave and tear someone apart... somehow I always manage to make people really REALLY regret what they did and with the most polite formal language imaginable.

Then the reply usually goes along the lines of, "I'm soooo sorry, I'll never do it again, I didnt realize what I was doing, Don't hurt me please, Let me give you my first born, etc."

They apologize like crazy, and make ME feel guilty for blowing up on them. But you know what.. even if I am overreacting, don't I have a right to be angry? I am no longer surprised when someone plagiarizes. That's a BAD feeling. It's bad to have to go to every single new RP site and first hting I do is check their rules and talents to see if anything is pirated. I HATE PLAGIARISM and I hate the time it takes away from to to deal with it! I don't know why I hate it so much... probably because I'm an artist who puts her artwork online and am ever wary of people who steal my images as their own, like this one here, and get so indignant about anything creative of mine being stolen. Maybe its paranoia... but maybe it's just because they KEEP on DOING it OVER and OVER again!

The only things I can do anything about are word-for-word thefts. Beyond that I can't do a damn thing about people who steal other things, mostly ideas. I can't copyright ideas. I can't say to people, "You can't have a Hall of Trials or a series of rules that involve trying anyone suspected of being a darkfriend." I can't say, "Don't make a huge Shara roleplay plot: no one did it before I did!" I can't say, "Only S&S has anonymous drkfriend accounts!" because it's too late: I didn't catch the sites that started doing it after me. That and everyone points out another site that used anonymous DF charries... as if they got the idea from 'that site'. That site that no one ever heard of but you. That site that no longer exists and supposedly hasn't existed for 2 years. Cause I obviously stole from it at a time when I had never roleplayed before in my life. Yea... And I am supposed to take your word for it, to trust you, AFTER lies and/or other obvious plagiarism?

Makes perfect sense...

Of course, I'm a bit more laid back on this point for a few reasons. At least 3 times Amathela and I have shared plots we were making for our respective sites just to find out how similar they were... yet so different because we are such individual people. If it had been anyone else, and if they had put through their plot without talking to me about it, I would have assumed idea theft. That's what makes me back off. I can't prove it, and there are things where instinct would tell me a lie. The other thing that backs me off is something that is really irking me right now. I'm planning a 1 year anniversary for S&S. I've been planning it for a while, thought it was unique and cool. Then, I decide for the first time in months to RP site surf. Guess what? THe idea I wanted to use, on teh surface, looks exactly like one already been used at another site. On the surface, of course, because what I plan is QUITE different in full. It's just... I wouldn't steal, and it's irking me that someone might look at my stuff and think idea theft, though its really unique. I just thought it up a bit too late when it comes to putting it into action.

Well.. away from self-pity and remorse and back to angry ranting about pirates.

And then of coruse you have the hot shots trying to impress me and get more brownie points by saying "I made myself an old tongue dictionary..." or "I have all these character sketches already done.." and others. "Let me give them to S&S... don't you love me? can I be raised now plzthx"

One of those sites where this supposedly unique information was stolen from I sent an email to apologizing because the information was up on the S&S website long enough without me even checking if it was unique that I felt guilty. Was it my fault? Eh.. I should have double checked the person. I feel I shouldnt have to though. I want to trust people. But now I have to put into the word search in google to find out if something's been stolen every time I get something from someone. I hate liars. Dont they realize that they ruin it for everyone?

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WOT Dreams [07 Jul 2005|08:41pm]

I blame Dierdre.

In fact, that is exactly how this rant will begin. It's all Dierdre's fault. She just HAD to tell me the other day about her having a WOT Dreams with my characters in it, among others. Then, next thing I know, I have 2 nights in a row filled with her menacing presence, among others. Some of you already know about some of my weird random dreams (Grunge Treefolk of Mars...?) and I have even had WOT related dreams, the coolest of which I fought with Sammael over what to order at the chinese food restaurant. he was an uncaring kidnapper trying to feed me eggrolls and I wanted low mein.

Ahem. Back on topic now. I don't suspect the whole myth of "stay on topic" to rule a rant journal, as it rarely even works in plotting sessions or long PMs. But, where was I...

I had two nights of dreams filled with characters from our own lovely S&S. not eveyrone was there of course. Certain people were just randomly there for no reason. Some of you I've forgotten. But enough of you were there to just creep me out. Get out of my head!

First night:

I dreamt Deirdre, Shaelindra, Kiana, and a bunch of others (faces blurred) were in a circle. You were all evil Black Ajah people. As was I. And I was Fahima. We were going around the circle with big smiles deciding how to to something evil (eradticate the world or poison all chocolate, something evil liek that) and it was so much fun. Deirdre was the evilest and I remember her face best. There was also a alter dimensional gateway. Azrael went through it but his name was something strange like Bob. When he came back through he tuck his sword int he ground and looked all mighty and said somethign like "From hanceforth I will be called Azarael!" And yes, he pronounced and spelled his own name wrong. Aeron was also there, though what he wasdoing was beyond me. He was the Gunslinger from the Dark Tower series (probably a compliment :P). Too much Stephen King for me.

Second Night:

It was all Ama's fault. no, it was Deirdre's fault again. She's the one that smiled and laughed at me evilly. Ama simply pointed to the graveyard in my backyard and thought we should opent he sarcophogus. Some mummy lady with her pet owl was in there. She got angry and opened her eyes and decide to go off killing. She disappeared and that when Deirdre started laughing at me all haughty like. i swear,, Fahima's character is getting too much control over my subconcious.

There was more, but I forget. I'll probably have another dream tonight and have to add more. I just thought I'd let everyone know that even when I am in Spain on vacation, I can't seem to get rid of you!
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Weeds... they sprout up everywhere! [07 Jun 2005|11:21pm]

No, this is not about gardening. This is another rant from mother, with the careful aid of an IM conversation with Amathela that really started to get ranty. Do you want t read it? Are you sure? It's a LOT longer than the last one, but I was bored and fuming. But on to the subject at hand.

Wheel of Time in Review Part VIII
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S&S First Rant [03 Jun 2005|02:05pm]

[ mood | plotty ]

GRRRR! Remember, this is a rant. This is *NOT* S&S policy. If I have a real problem with a member, they get a PM. This is just Mother's way to unwind without always having to rant in IRC to whoever is there.

This rant will be about the elusive subject of PLOTTING and CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT.

Read more...Collapse )

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[29 Apr 2005|12:39pm]

[ mood | GRR.. I mean, Howdy! ]

Secrets & Shadows Community Blog is now formally OPEN!

Gwendylyn, for anyone who IMs me, is Coreia Corathalon, the Amyrlin Seat at Secrets & Shadows. I created this community as a place to fawn on me.


Really, I did. I need it. I'm getting a bit worn out by any number of things I'll probably be ranting about in this journal.

I do so love to rant :P

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