Admin Guide: Events

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Or: How To Not Overdo Everything

There are several categories of events based on ‘severity’:

Major events involve many players (potentially the entire station), or a department for a long time. They are often mechanics-heavy combat events, though not always. Some examples of major events include pirate attacks, lore-related events, and alien invasions. Major events:

  • Insist the participation of the majority of online players
  • OR, insist the participation of an entire department for more than half a shift

Moderate events involve several players, for a shorter time than major events, or are optional, non-threatening, and non-disruptive events. These may or may not include mechanical combat. Some examples of moderate events include ‘special character’ appearances (technomancers, shadekin), trader visits, and CentCom special requests/inspections. Moderate events:

  • Are optional, non-threatening, and non-disruptive
  • OR, involve only a few players at a time (‘roaming’ event, less than 1 hour)
  • OR, are very short in duration/easy to resolve for players (less than 20 minutes)

Minor events are events for specific players, or are just silly fun small things done for entertainment that are minimally disruptive. Some examples of minor events include spawning ‘surprise’ items, ‘haunting’ a particular player, or silly command report conversations. Minor events:

  • May be visible to but not involve the entire station (e.g. news, command report sillyness)
  • OR, involve a very few players (2-4)
  • OR, are just things left for players to discover on their own (additional loot, mobs in already hostile areas, or nice simple mobs in the station)

To prevent playerbase burnout on events, we have a limit on how many events of each type (and content, see below) can be done in any given time period.

  • No more than 1 major event every 4 days.
  • No more than 1 moderate event every day.
  • No more than 3 minor events per round (no more than 1 per hour).

To attempt to prevent players from getting sick of content, or wearing out content overly fast due to using it more than it should be used:

  • No more than 1 event with the same content (shadekin, blob, precursors, aliens, pirates, etc) every 2 days unless part of an ongoing well-known storyline.

Some guidelines for general goodness:

  • Don’t start major events after the shift is more than halfway over. People are in long scenes already, and there may not be enough time to finish it, anyway. Try to start them earlier in the shift.
  • Discuss your event ideas with other staff before carrying them out. This is not required for most minor events, but it would be good to mention moderate ones, and is required to mention major ones in advance.
  • There is a time for ‘sudden, major events’ such as unannounced pirate invasions you haven’t discussed with other admins: that time is never. Don’t do it.
  • Announce major events in advance, don’t spring them on players, so that players can opt not to play if they don’t want to be involved (as said above, major events will come close to 100% player involvement).
  • Don’t ‘spam’ events. It’s unfortunate that some players may miss events due to timezones or other things, but running the same event 3 shifts in a row is a good way to also annoy all the players who are playing 2-3 shifts in a row, of which there are a decent number.
  • Try to consider the implications of what you do during events. Are you destroying all of Virgo 4 with a blob? Okay, well I mean that’s the major inhabited planet in the system. Are you implying that we can hear all of the crew’s radios all the time? Okay, well I mean why do we ignore all the problems they have until they call for ERT or fax. Just make sure you aren’t creating enormous plotholes with your event.
  • Consider enlisting admin/GM helpers for your events. Trying to run and monitor an event at the same time can be daunting… it can help to ensure that some non-playing admins will be available during your event to keep an eye on things, especially to watch for details like people powergaming so they can be bwoinked.