spaceshipit: (eye is upon you)
The Mod Journal ([personal profile] spaceshipit) wrote in [community profile] driftfleet_ooc2017-02-03 04:57 pm
Entry tags:

IMPORTANT: Regarding Crew Number Sizes

Hey guys! Mod Team here to talk about an issue that we know many players have noticed. That issue is low crew numbers. This doesn't apply to every ship, but I know that even though our character count is still 100+, there are many crews that have been regularly dealing with crews that are 4 or less people. We know this issue can frankly cause an assortment of problems, so we wanted to address the issue with you guys, and throw out some possible solutions.

What's the problem?
The problem that's been going on for many ships is the inability to get or keep a decent number of crewmates (about 5 or more characters). This can cause problems in that it's harder for players to get CR, it's harder to upgrade a ship, and it can lead to even more drops and/or ship transfers - which can make the problem worse. When we do the shuffle we do what we can to replenish the crew numbers, but we can only do so much.

Where did this problem come from?
Essentially, it's an unintended consequence from some fixes we did last year to address another problem.

In early 2016, we had a giant surge of new characters, due in part of our old invite rule (which was 2 invites per player per month) causing us problems. We had nearly twice as many characters as we do now, a huge portion of them were brand new, and it was hard for players and mods to keep up with the constant influx of new characters.

So the mod team did a couple things to fix the problem:
1. Reduced the invites per player from 2 to 1 per month.
2. Added a bunch of news ships to accommodate all the characters in the game at the time.

This solution worked great for managing the problem. Since then, our game numbers have more or less stabilized and over time our game population went back down to managable levels as the drop numbers caught up with the app numbers.

But while the invite system change worked as intended, we now have more ships than is actually needed to house our current game population- leaving us with the problem we have now!

What can we do to fix the problem?
There's a couple ways we could address this problem that the mods have talked over. However, we also agreed that more than anything, we wanted input from you guys over what you would prefer see happen since this directly affects you.

The proposed solutions are as followed:

I. Leave it as it is.
We wouldn't do anything about the current ship arrangements and hope everything works out. While having a super small crew can cause problems, there may be players who do really like having a super small crew. So basically, we leave the ships alone and the crews remain exactly as they are.

II. Retire Ships with very low numbers, and shuffle the remaining crew to other ships.
If there was a ship that had three or less characters, we'd shuffle the characters to other ships with open slots and then send the ship back to the Marsiva. This is a relatively easy fix that can be done pretty quickly, and if the game numbers pick up again we can easily bring those ships out of retirement. But there's also the problem that you'd lose your ship upgrades and there's no guarantee the whole crew will be transferred to the same ship.

III. Ship Fusion.
Basically if there's two ships that have low numbers, we would have the two ships literally fuse together and become one combined ship with a new name. For example, if the Red Fish and Blue Fish merged together- their new ship would become the Purple Fish and they would all be one crew. This option would take the most time and work to implement (and admittedly not all the details have been hammered out), but at the same time it might have the most IC reaction potential- plus you'd get to keep some form of your ship and the crew will be able to stay together.

So that's the ideas we came up with! We ask that you please vote and tell us which option you like best, so we can get a sense of what to do from there.

Poll #17962 Ship Solutions for Drift Fleet
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: Just the Poll Creator, participants: 40

Which Ships Do You Have Characters On?

Which Option(s) Do You Prefer To Help Solve the Ship Problem?

I. Leave it as it is. (aka change nothing)
11 (27.5%)

II. Retire Ships with very low numbers, and shuffle the remaining crew to other ships.
9 (22.5%)

III. Fuse two ships with low numbers together.
31 (77.5%)

IV. Other (state in the comments)
2 (5.0%)

This poll is going to be open through Friday February 10th, and we'll decide from there what to do. Chances are the solution is going to be a mix of the solutions, but it depends on how strongly the playerbase feels.

If you have ANOTHER suggestion to help with the problem that's not in the poll, please feel free to leave a comment! We'd love to hear your thoughts!

Thank you guys!
child_of_bhaal: (Default)

[personal profile] child_of_bhaal 2017-02-03 11:29 pm (UTC)(link)
I've been on the Red Fish for almost two years. It's a home to my character. It's gone through a lot of ups and downs and interesting changes. I'd rather not see all that wiped out by fusing it to another ship or having it retired.
stefanged: (that's rough buddy)

[personal profile] stefanged 2017-02-03 11:34 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm admittedly stuck on “But there's also the problem that you'd lose your ship upgrades and there's no guarantee the whole crew will be transferred to the same ship," with regards to placing ships in retirement. IC, those crews have worked for over two years to upgrade their ships and customize it bit by bit.

If we do place ships in retirement, I'd be a lot more comfortable with those retired ships retaining the upgrades (and character-based customizations!) they had been given. Whether or not the crew remains together could be handwaved as Atroma being Atroma, but the ships losing their charm? That seems a little needless.
Edited 2017-02-03 23:35 (UTC)
stefanged: (Default)

[personal profile] stefanged 2017-02-09 09:30 pm (UTC)(link)
This is a super belated reply, but yeah, I was concerned more about the latter! If ships could keep those upgrades/customizations, then I would be alright with the idea of them going into retirement since it's not as if they'd start from scratch.

As it is, I'm leaning more on either the idea of a ship fusion, where it's not strictly cohesive and can be modular OR whatever would work best for each crew. Thanks for addressing those concerns!
dontthinkaboutelephants: (ease)

[personal profile] dontthinkaboutelephants 2017-02-04 12:07 am (UTC)(link)
Ah okay. I voted 'Leave it as it is', but it seems the option to leave crews that are working as is, and fuse or shuffle others that are struggling is open, according to the mods on plurk!

So! I'm revising my answer. I'd love to leave the crews that are doing well alone, and other ships that are struggling that want to change, go for it! I think that's a great option.
dontthinkaboutelephants: (hall)

[personal profile] dontthinkaboutelephants 2017-02-04 01:36 am (UTC)(link)
Yeah, thank you for the clarification! And it does, thank you!
spacebro: (Default)

[personal profile] spacebro 2017-02-04 12:21 am (UTC)(link)
I like II because it has a built in solution in case game numbers surge again. I'd even think it would be good at 4 crew members or less, since it really limits your CR options especially as we have more events (or maybe it just happens to be two in a row and then it will even out again) where you really have to depend on your crew for game play. So, even something as simple as a couple people being on hiatus or a very different timezone could leave you virtually alone.

But III has some fun aspects. I think the trickiest part would be a player ending up with two characters on the same ship potentially, but I haven't gone over the rosters to see if that's likely to be an issue and I suppose the player can always deal with that by transferring one elsewhere or the Atroma could randomly shuffle one character elsewhere. Like you said, it isn't all ironed out.

So, what I'm saying is, I like II but I wouldn't kick III out of bed.
throwsdown: (Default)

[personal profile] throwsdown 2017-02-04 03:31 am (UTC)(link)
Definitely all for fusing ships together, so long as the crews are content with the choice! I definitely recommend that upgrades remain intact, too -- it'll make for some super-duper ships, but none of it will feel like cheating, because all of those upgrades were still earned regardless over the years. A+!
nugqueen: (31)

[personal profile] nugqueen 2017-02-04 06:46 am (UTC)(link)
I am all for fusing and or retiring ships (like the Caprine for example is one that comes to mind) that consistently have had low numbers/great numbers of crew members leaving. I am seconding another comment saying that it would be a good idea to keep the upgrades those ships have so that if the game surges again and those ships are needed, those crews won't have to go through any trouble getting the customizations they want. I am also for Crews who are fine leaving things well enough alone if they are happy with a smaller crew. Basically - we trust you mods to do what's right for the game and I do agree having so many small ships becoming sitting ducks like in this last event is hard to plot out. At the same time it also made things interesting too (like the Blue Fish getting heavy damage when I've always seen Blue Fish as this booming crew of activity and presence in the game when really they're without essential things like a Pilot.)
bi_otic: (Default)

[personal profile] bi_otic 2017-02-04 10:48 pm (UTC)(link)
I voted for III and IV just to state that the caveat is that I think it matters very much in how the ships are fused. While I'm not as attached to my ships as some, I would prefer that any fusions be modular. I'd be against an actual fusion into one cohesive ship and more for sticking the affected ships together. I think this would be the easiest the implement because the individual upgrades would still be individual upgrades and the ships could be separated again as needed if the crews grew larger again. I think it retains the character of the ships and makes for interesting RP.
shockjock: (Finger wag)

[personal profile] shockjock 2017-02-05 04:37 am (UTC)(link)
I haven't exactly been here too long, but I voted III because while it might be the harder option to implement, it does provide lots of possibilities.

I mean, let's say that as with most things, the ship fusion isn't exactly executed without a hitch, so instead of the legendary Super Ship, you instead have a bigger ship that looks like one just rear-ended the other at speed. The bridge for one ship could turn into a stand-alone communications suite while the bridge for the other expands to fit the size of the new ship, rooms could be repurposed and readjusted to fit the new configuration, one cargo bay could end up re-purposed to just a shuttle hangar, and more importantly, none of it goes smoothly and everything's buggy as hell. At least for a while.
imfine1111one: (Grk..!)

[personal profile] imfine1111one 2017-02-10 12:53 am (UTC)(link)
I HAVE NO IDEA WHATS GOING ON and have been scarce but will roll with whatever 8|d