Official Distro Shard?

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Would you like to see an official POL distro shard?

Poll ended at Thu Jun 05, 2008 7:24 pm

Yes
21
88%
No
3
13%
 
Total votes: 24

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Austin
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Official Distro Shard?

Post by Austin » Tue May 06, 2008 7:24 pm

Poll speaks for its self.

It would run in addition to the current tech-demo server.
The tech demo server sets every user to the highest command level on login and resets its data files every week...

An official distro shard wouldn't do that ;)

I plan to work on http://poldistro.polserver.com in a few .... spare times.

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Post by Yukiko » Wed May 07, 2008 8:09 pm

I'm getting a an almost blank page on that link you posted Austin. Is it my browser or are the "?!" significant or are you still looking for spare time to put something there?

*grins*

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Austin
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Post by Austin » Wed May 07, 2008 8:11 pm

The second and third

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ncrsn
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Post by ncrsn » Thu May 08, 2008 1:19 pm

Nice idea, but could it work?

I mean, if this is about to be one more OSI-like (and thus RunUO-like) shard but with all the fancy POL features (like, um, script updates without restart, and..?), do you think it will interest the potential players whom are now playing on some other shards? Don't get me wrong, I'm no-one to say it wouldn't; just thinking aloud.

I'd like to know more of this before I cast my precious vote.

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*Edwards
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Post by *Edwards » Thu May 08, 2008 1:47 pm

I would definitively prefer an official distro completed.

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Austin
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Post by Austin » Fri May 09, 2008 7:46 am

Having a real one would provide some more motivation to move towards completion, bug checking etc.

There are no plans for this to be a large scale shard or anything - but it would be a real one in that there would not be resets of the data files every week.

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Post by Luth » Fri May 09, 2008 11:09 am

I think its a fantastic idea.

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ncrsn
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Post by ncrsn » Sun May 11, 2008 1:21 am

Then, why not?

At least it's worth a try.

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MontuZ
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Post by MontuZ » Sun May 11, 2008 2:36 am

I say we slaughter the two people that voted no.

This WILL get the distro completed at a much faster rate(Even if poor Austin is left with doing it all. Sorry man, lol.), there's no doubt about that. Players are high motivation for shards, everyone who hosts/hosted one knows that.

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Post by coltain » Sun May 11, 2008 6:49 am

i voted for no because there shoud be some "no" to level up the "yes" :)

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Post by Xpatriat » Mon May 12, 2008 11:08 am

I voted no because I've seen this before, and it will not at all have the effect you all think it will. It will just add more work for Austin. It won't make people work on the distro. Anyone who has actually RUN a shard knows that running it takes time away from developing it.

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ncrsn
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Post by ncrsn » Mon May 12, 2008 11:30 am

Maybe so, but don't you think that it's better to do something than nothing at all? I know I do.

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*Edwards
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Post by *Edwards » Mon May 12, 2008 6:15 pm

"I voted no because I've seen this before, and it will not at all have the effect you all think it will. It will just add more work for Austin. It won't make people work on the distro. Anyone who has actually RUN a shard knows that running it takes time away from developing it."

Typically, this is why I voted no. I really appreciate the main idea of your suggestion Austin, but I really think that it shouldn't occur before the completed release of distro pol097. There is a lot of unfinished things yet and before starting something else the previous has to be completed.

Sun Tse says:
If you own the moon, you own the World.
And if you own the World, You are my Lord,
My Lord of Darkness!

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Post by Yukiko » Wed May 14, 2008 6:18 pm

I voted yes because I know how hard it is to get useful debug info when no one is playing a shard that is under development, being hopeful that having an official shard might get players and thereby get debug info. That having been said, I don't want Austin to have any more work added to his plate than what he has already but I don't think this would be a major investment of time on his part. If I understand him correctly he was just going to host the server and add updated Distro files while keeping player data persistent rather than wiping it weekly. I didn't get the impression he would be actively involved in running the the thing. That's the way I understood it anyway.

Ofcourse this begs the question of who would be given the privilege of staffing it. There'd need to be staff just in case of problems like stuck players etc.

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Austin
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Post by Austin » Wed May 14, 2008 6:25 pm

Yukiko wrote:I voted yes because I know how hard it is to get useful debug info when no one is playing a shard that is under development, being hopeful that having an official shard might get players and thereby get debug info. That having been said, I don't want Austin to have any more work added to his plate than what he has already but I don't think this would be a major investment of time on his part. If I understand him correctly he was just going to host the server and add updated Distro files while keeping player data persistent rather than wiping it weekly. I didn't get the impression he would be actively involved in running the the thing. That's the way I understood it anyway.

Ofcourse this begs the question of who would be given the privilege of staffing it. There'd need to be staff just in case of problems like stuck players etc.
Correct.

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Post by Luth » Wed May 14, 2008 10:00 pm

Stuck players are rectified a stuck-script. Really, what staff would the shard need? Things run rather smoothly, at least in my experience. What are your most frequent staff-requirement experiences?

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Post by melanius » Thu May 15, 2008 4:10 am

Like back in the day, when POL chose a flagship shard to be it's "representative", Mytharria, and then TSSE if I remember correct?

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Post by Yukiko » Thu May 15, 2008 10:09 pm

Wow!
I finally got something right!

*marks the date on the calendar*

The shard will need to have some staff but how many is the question and can you find enough to people to staff it.

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Post by Luth » Tue May 20, 2008 12:13 pm

I don't run a UO shard; I use POL for other games. So maybe I'm just ignorant, but what problems are so common that the shard requires full time staff to manage it?

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Post by Yukiko » Fri May 23, 2008 10:15 pm

Well, I was thinking that if we want to attract players it might be a good idea to have staff to actively plan InGame events such as oh maybe quests or "holiday" or seasonal events. It's just my opinion ofcourse but I think that sort of thing attracts people. I guess we could just have a typical "RunUO" type shard where newbie players get slaughtered right and left because people just log in to see how high they can get their murder count.

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Post by Luth » Fri May 23, 2008 11:48 pm

Would staff be on hand to protect said newbies against said murderers? If thats the case, why not just throw up a Trammel-only shard and save yourself having to find adequate staff? :cool:

I see how staff would be useful (planning quests, running events) but are they necessary to just run a shard?

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ncrsn
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Post by ncrsn » Fri May 23, 2008 11:58 pm

Luth wrote:I see how staff would be useful (planning quests, running events) but are they necessary to just run a shard?
We'll know after this experiment.

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Post by Yukiko » Mon May 26, 2008 9:34 pm

Luth wrote:
I see how staff would be useful (planning quests, running events) but are they necessary to just run a shard?

I'm sorry but I thought that WAS running a shard.

Maybe I missed the point. I thought that the official POL shard was supposed to be a flagship for POL. A flagship is supposed to be the showpiece vessel for a new design. When preparing it for its debut all the brass and chrome is polished and the paint is fresh so as to make an awe-inspiring presentation to those who will see her for the first time. It would be ludicrous for a shipwright to bring out his new vessel and have the decks be bare and unpainted, the brass dull and drab and the sails be some old tattered worn out left-overs. No. He wants to disaplay his new ship with pride and so he takes great care in making sure she shines!

I guess the question is, "Do we want to just plop a bare, unstaffed, automated server out there and say "come and see our server" or do we want to make it appealing and inviting for players?" Hell, what's so impressive about an automated server? Whereas if it has staff that care about making a quality environment for people to become immersed in then we truly have something to show off.

Is it just a test server that people will maybe log into to fiddle around on or is it supposed to be a viable shard? If it's just a test server then why create a new one? We already have the one that gets wiped every week.

My point is that in order to attract players you need to create an attractive environment. A staffless shard is BORING. All you have with such a shard is players running around with no "purpose".

I guess my thoughts are if we just have a shard such as Luth is proposing then why should players come to it? To a player it makes no difference whether it's a RunUO shard or a POL shard. We need a way to attract players that differs from the typical hack and slash type of servers that exist. Give them substance, storyline, a world where they can escape from "real life" into a world of fantasy. That is what originally attracted me to UO. Once the scene is set and the shard has a core set of players and a responsive involved staff then the story should take on a life of its own and develop with little guidance from the staff but it starts with a staff that cares about creating a place conducive to Role Play.

Yes, Melanius, you have the right idea. I played on Journey's End when it was an active shard, back when Sigismund was running it. I came in too late to have been a part of the Mytharria versus Journey's End "wars" but I know how it used to be. THAT's the kind of thing I am referring to.

Or we can just turn on an automated self-running shard, if there is such a thing, and hope for a miracle.

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Post by ncrsn » Tue May 27, 2008 5:12 am

Nice point you have there, Yukiko. Just one question: if the server would be staffed, whom would master the game? Most of us (idlers @ polserver.com) already have something of "our own" in a form of shard, I think most would like to stick in, so how could the good, active staff be gathered? How'd you do it?

Yup, there's really more than just one question.

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Post by Yukiko » Thu May 29, 2008 1:13 am

ncrsn wrote
Just one question: if the server would be staffed, whom would master the game? Most of us (idlers @ polserver.com) already have something of "our own" in a form of shard, I think most would like to stick in, so how could the good, active staff be gathered? How'd you do it?
Those are valid questions. It's the same problem the developers are having getting Distro work from us. The fact is that a lot of us are busy with our own shards. In my case I have been in a "dry spell" as far as scripting is concerned. But your points are good ones.

I don't have any quick answers but I have a few thoughts.

We use the word community alot around here. I know I do and I think of us as one but when it comes to acting like I am a part of a community I fall short. If POL is going to have a flagship shard then we all must feel we bear some responsibility in getting her "ship-shape."

So with this in mind, here are a few proposals for consideration:

1. There are a few of us that have shards that are either barren or have very few players. Maybe we, the barren shard owners, need to humble ourselves and let go of our dream of having the "uberest" shard around, atleast for now, and hop aboard the POL flagship. I will be the first to say I'll consider it. We could still give time to our shards as well. There's no law saying we can't work on two projects at once. Ofcourse it is up to the POLitburo to decide on who will be on staff.

Let me say first before I state item 2 that I have not looked at the Distro lately so if I am mistaken on its feature content then feel free to correct me. Even so, the message of item 2 is still a valid one I think.

2. The typical Distros of the past have been fairly barren of features and for this reason most of us cringe when we think of running a shard with just the Distro scripts. I propose that we, the independent shard developers, donate atleast one script or package from our repertoire of custom scripts to the official shard. The submitted scripts would be given for use on the flagship shard and would not be released with the Distro unless permission is given by the contributing developer. In this way the contributing developer can prevent her or his work from being hijacked by someone else if they so desire. Ofcourse we should make every effort to integrate it into the Distro prior to submission. We don't want the developers to have to debug our scripts along with the other work they have to do.

3. The shard should have its own webpage. I don't know if the current POL site is able to handle the additional bandwidth and space but if not then someone could donate space. I can definitely do that. I have a paid host and 1.5 gigs of bandwidth a month that I barely use and would gladly make it available. I can host domains as well so no need to worry about a funky URL. I am a crappy web designer so someone else would have to step up to the plate for that.

I think there are other ways to support the shard but I am drawing a blank right now.

Anyway, just some ideas to ponder.

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