Mentalities of Hosting and Host Selection

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Mentalities of Hosting and Host Selection

Post by Psychoreality on Thu Dec 15, 2016 5:50 am

I like to think that since I've been here for two years I'm somewhat experienced in how this should work by now. There's of course better hosting guides for you to follow if you're new, this is more of a "what is becoming popular but is not something particularly good or healthy" piece.

Hosting Mentality: Randomness is Quality
Okay, real talk? Random events and random qualities in a roleplay are more often than not shoehorned in for "variation" and "unique qualities". SOME variation is good. Changing small things about your setting are fine. Having success chances on some actions are fine. I think Dungeons and Dragons has one of the best randomness elements of any game ever made. Everything is random, but it feels fair because of that, and player actions still make a much larger difference than rolls do. However, D&D is built for long-form campaigns, while RPs on Showdown are limited to four hours. Because of that, having as little randomness as possible is WAY better than having as much as possible. This includes having "lol random" events in Cruise, Kingdom, etc, as well as heavy RNG unless it is plot-important. Randomness will infuriate players far more than it excites them, unless you have a good "delta of randomness" like games such as Hearthstone or D&D. Generally RPs do NOT have a good delta of randomness, and it shows, because the less RNG-dependent RPs like CQ, MM, Trainer and Freeroam are the ones that become popular.

Hosting Mentality: Roleplayer Pandering
This is probably a little biased, since I personally hate pandering to the audience, and think it's like the banned Steam practice of giving Greenlight backers free games. Constructive criticism is not the same as pandering, by the way. You can change your RP based on fan feedback without pandering to their every whim. Roleplays that do not have a direct creative through-line and instead try and fulfill the desires of as many people as possible are VERY obvious to see, especially in customs or Trainers. Kingdom and Cruise are so broad that it's tough to see pandering unless they give credit to every suggested part of the RP in which case you may see 20-30 suggested roles or about 15 suggested events. It can be quite a mess. Long story short, getting votes by removing control over your own roleplay's content is never a good idea. Just let people experience what you have crafted, without giving them the tools to directly shape it.

Selecting Mentality: Name Branding
I hate this so much. If there were a better way to select hosts, I would remove names from polls. It's just infeasible right now, though. People who see a name or see a doc and immediately click their vote need to realise that there can be new hosts with promising concepts, or old hosts trying to get back in the groove with tried-and-tested ideas. Voting for friends is fine, but if you are only voting so you can get your friend to host, or so you can cohost, or even voting so others can have an unenjoyable experience and the RP will get endpolled faster, you need to think twice about that. Everybody I've seen trying to host for the last two years, who has lost simply because someone was more popular, has probably gotten salty about this, gotten big, and shrugged it off. I remember trying to host MM for the first time. My ideas were terrible, and I admit it. I lost over and over to better, more known hosts. Eventually I refined my ideas and got a chance to host. I did well, and improved more and more as I grew. People who lost to me would complain that my name won me the poll. I agree, but I worked for the name recognition. Now when I look at host polls, I feel like a few hosts (who I will not name, because there's no reason to) have managed to get that name recognition incredibly quickly, and so their ideas haven't needed to grow. It honestly scares me that someday, unreadable or obviously illegal RPs may end up getting name recognition incredibly quickly before a moderator steps in to mediate the RP's content, getting a lot of people mad. I've seen it happen before, and if it becomes common it could really change how RPs are created, and eventually quality will become a less important factor than getting your name out there.

Sorry if I ranted and was a little brash. I'm just getting a little bit bemused at the amount of hosts that are unable to do basic things but still win host polls. I hope people who feel this may apply to them can understand my point of view and take this information on board, to improve the quality of hosted roleplays in the room.
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