Roleplay

There are 160 replies in this Thread. The last Post () by |TSH| ***Tribbs***.

  • Since my horoscope today said that Ill be very communicative and won't get any work done because of that I'll share a few opinions about certain aspects of CF multiplayer.


    Let's start with the situation we are in.

    CF needs active players and it needs funding to keep the server running (which can be considered a requirement to have active players).

    We used to have a more or less healthy clan population renting systems and funding the server that way.

    They earned the privilege to build a new space station and "govern" their clan system while also having a representative in the GR (Server Police).

    By itself I consider having clans to keep the server running a good concept and let's face it, it was working well for a very long time.

    The problems start with the activity of the clans... and how to keep clans and their members active.

    The construction of clan bases is one way... but lets face it... once the station is build the clan needs different motivations.


    No player really wants to do the same stuff over and over again. The day will come when a player has the best ship, more money than can be spent and every system of the game has been visited and explored.

    Beyond that players and clans need different motivations to play.


    We have Events that are held on the server but lets face it... Events only work if there are people willing to host them... and if there are people willing to regulary participate. Eventmanagers did a good job so far and those that endured even in times of low participation deserve deepest respect.

    The problem with events is that they are limited in time. A few hours a week.

    CF needs long term activities for players and clans specificaly.

    There is a word fitting exactly for that. That word is called Roleplay.


    Servers with active roleplay also have active players and active clans. That is a matter of fact.

    It does also not matter how good or bad the roleplay is. I know that people complain about the RP on other servers... but fact is that messed up RP is better than no RP at all.

    To be honest I am not sure why people on CF do not realize the potential behind RP.

    Maybe I am not good that explaining it.


    Maybe we just should take a step back and start with the basics.

    What Id like to see is RP that would be beneficial to clans... because in the end we would need clans to keep the server running. You can consider this the goal of this discussion.

    RP in itself is just a decision. The decision to play a role.

    It does not mean to have a RP licence on your ship. The licenses are just tools for us to let RP happen in certain boundaries. They prevent that people complain about unfair treatment or start crying while RP happens.

    But in itself they are not RP and buying a licence is not yet the decision required to do RP.

    The way I see it the server will die without active RP, so lets try to find a way how to get RP going again.


    This community exists now for meanwhile ~18 years and we had times with very active RP. The problem back then was that we did not have the tools (licenses) to prevent that people let RP escalate.

    But nonetheless history of this community proved that RP can work if people want it to work. We are currently in a situation that every player has to help us to make it work again.


    From my limited perspective of once being the leader of one of the Police/Military clans (long time ago) I can say that such a clan needs a clear task.

    Back then for us it was the task to police the shortest passage between the vanilla systems to the new CF systems.

    With other words we controlled the Custodian system. We allowed new players to travel through the system while we ensure that other clans (especially smugglers, mercs and pirates) were not able to pass through the system.

    That task in itself kept this Police clan active (while we of course also did other police duty outside the system).

    To have such a task and follow it consequently can be a foundation for RP to happen. Especially when you also have other clans with very different motives on the server.

    e.g. a pirate clan who gives a fuck about what the police wants.

    Roleplay lives by its conflicts. You have to have conflicts on the server because they make everything much more interesting.


    The 2nd pirate clan that joined the CF server (loooooonnng time ago) was LP.

    Its leader "privy" approached me one day and asked me if it was ok for me when he and some of his members invade Custodian whenever they see a chance and steal some of the Whisky there.

    Despite not wanting pirates to roam in our territory I agreed because it was a perfect roleplay opportunity.

    The pirates had something to do (stealing our whisky) and the cops were busy preventing the theft.

    If we project this into our current situation this kind of agreed roleplay would perfectly fit into the current environment. The server rules and RP rules would allow this to happen. The licenses could serve as the tool they were meant to be. It also would give clans a purpose and clan members a reason to be active.

    I am not saying that the same constellation has to happen. It is just an example of how it can work and how it used to work.

    But it also means that players have to make the decision... the decision to do RP and to stick to that RP even if it is sometimes a bit harder.

    Just having a license installed on your ship is not enough.

    If you are a cop you have to act like a cop.

    If you are a pirate you have to act like a pirate.

    You have to play the role... no matter what. Your role creates the activities on the server, it creates a purpose for your clan, it might even cause conflicts but those are part of the fun.

    I know that the situation today is a bit different... it is going to be harder to get started because less people are online. It certainly would not be bad to start at a smaller scale. A bunch of people willing to do RP on a limited scale... but doing it regulary. Having at least two contrary groups with conflicting goals.


    Also worth to mention is that RP needs to be visible to the public. It does not help if you are a pirate and tax 3 people... everyone needs to know that you taxed 3 people. RP needs to be visible to others to motivate them to join it.

    Back in the day when privy did the Whisky thefts in custodian every theft was published as a small RP story here on the forum. The pirates were bragging about how they fooled the police and the police published their stories about how they caught thiefs.

    This motivates others to join the action. This keeps conflicts fueling and RP running.


    RP is a decision... sometimes even an agreement to cause conflicts.

    I am sure that RP could return and stay on CF if people make that decision.

    That could be a foundation for the future of the server and the community.


    Maybe we just should return to what used to be normal on the server and in this community.

    People that identified with RP and a RP faction... characters with a biography and purpose... and also accepting that conflicts are part of the fun.

    RP also does not stop because you had a bad day or are not in the mood for it today. It has to be persistent in order to work.

    We can discuss structural changes if you want... I see room for improvements in various areas but most important is that people make the decision to get stuff started. You can discuss it with others... you can work out your own version of RP events (like the one in my example), you can make agreements with other players/clans to get engaged in some action.

    And, yes I want you (you all) to work on that. You can not expect me to play the game for you. My job is a different one.


    PS.: I know that recently there was a suggestion to expand RP beyond Sirius. Personaly I dont think that there ever was a limitation and there should never be such one. However I think that if people decice for an agreed RP as in the example above it should be focused (but not limited) on a specific region in order to let conflicts and RP events happen more frequently. Expanding when more people get involved always will be possible. But you have to get it started somewhere.

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    Only dead fish swim with the stream.
    Don't discuss with idiots. They only drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience there.


    This is ten percent luck,
    Twenty percent skill,
    Fifteen percent concentrated power of will,
    Five percent pleasure,
    Fifty percent pain,
    And a hundred percent reason to remember the name!

  • I do believe that we have everything we need to do RP, the tools (like licenses), systems... everything.

    However, something is truly lacking due to the low number of people without accounting for the fact that this game is pretty old by now.

    What is it? I've tried thinking upon things that can be improved (in that Roleplay thread that I created not long ago), but even if they are improved, how can we actually keep people in? Because that's the core issue here -> to keep a community going, you must somehow keep the people in, otherwise they get bored and eventually leave, not all people... but most.

    There are always things that can be improved (in every community), but the most important role always remains the same -> How to keep the people in?

    The Social Networks invented the system of "Likes", "Comments" and not long ago "Reactions" that hits the human brain which causes it to release dopamine for every like/comment/reaction of your photo... among other things that they are able to keep them constantly engaged. We have the system developed for the Roleplay, but what can we do to actually be able to keep the people in? I think that's the big question that we must ask ourselves in my humble opinion.

  • I know a few games older than Freelancer and their servers still inhabited.The age have nothing to do...not the game nore the player.

    Their main strategy is reseting the server.Have been a witness how a 16 players in server...after general reset hit above 70...and keep it that wy above year.

    If here is possible this might be the hit.

  • The biggest issue I have seen on the server is that most of the older players that are left want a peaceful server and try to avoid any conflict. With no conflict there will be no RP.

    The police clan will not chase any pirates or smugglers or even a bounty collecting merc.

    Not many pirates are taxing.

    No bounties are being posted.

    Maybe we need to get a good conflict going and make it seen to all, use the forums and even the GR's and EM's could use universal chat to inform others online that there is a battle going on. That would hopefully get others joining in and keeping players busy which means they will stick around.

    I have read the stories on this forum about some of the big battles that used to happen and was envious that I was not on this game when those happened, and I bet quite a few others feel the same way.

    I would love to see some cops chasing pirates and pirates taxing and some work being offered for a merc on the server again.

    Dosn't matter if some players are good or bad at PvP, what have they got to lose ? Just hit the reload button and try again, the fun is in the participation not in winning or losing.

  • Not that I like it, but you got 4 replies on the roleplay topic, so base of interest seems very low and I don't see a future for the server without different measures.
    Let's have a look at most MMOG's and how they work (nowadays). The majority of players doesn't pay, just some pay to get extras, that's still enough to keep the games running and even make profit.
    CF let players play for free, but only if they don't join a clan (who make donations obligatory) which would make them start Roleplay.

    I was looking forward to join a smugglers clan, but when I saw the obligatory donation, I stayed away.
    Not that I don't want to donate, but this obligation threw me away.

  • it is difficult to find a solution but it is not impossible. Given the age of those who lived beautiful moments on this server, the requirements of the players are diverse in many ways .. From my point of view ..one of them that I have more ... one failure of this server is the multitude of GRs . At one time there were more GRs than players. Of course with the approval of the higher forums. I do not dispute their existence ... but it seems that too many fools at a level of exercising superiority that such authority has never had in real life. really? Can't I really commit suicide in a minefield or a planet because I immediately get banned or kicked? The rules are there to be followed but we can't stand in the hands of any adult who at almost 50 starts to feel macho. Agree with OP that RP must be used within the limits of common sense because otherwise the universe expands until dark matter makes BUM..in Sirius ... because elsewhere the universe is dead. As I thought ... there are solutions but it takes time and pilots who must be convinced to return. And believe me there are enough who want to give this server a chance but are hindered by some stupidities that cut off the pleasure of wasting time here

  • one failure of this server is the multitude of GRs

    Hello Anatta ,

    I have been playing CF since 2010-11, and if any GR-tagged characters were online, there was mostly 1-2 at a time. With years even one GR became a rare sight, and today, due to clans' low activity, one can hardly ever meet serverpolice at all.


    Here is the list of current GRs: Server Police - SWAT Portal

    Only 3 of them are more or less active now, as far as I know.


    I am saying all this just to inform you that the problem you are describing has long been solved or disappeared on its own.


    Can't I really commit suicide in a minefield or a planet because I immediately get banned or kicked?

    You can, unless you do that intentionally to respawn at a far located base and have benefit from it (e.g. to trade faster or to escape from RP). Server rules are mostly just common sense. Also, nobody will kick or ban you unless you are continuously harming other players.


    And believe me there are enough who want to give this server a chance but are hindered by some stupidities that cut off the pleasure of wasting time here

    You could try to describe those stupidities here, and maybe a solution will be found.

  • I was looking forward to join a smugglers clan, but when I saw the obligatory donation, I stayed away.
    Not that I don't want to donate, but this obligation threw me away.

    Hi guenni7.

    Assuming you were talking about the "strongly encouraged" donation in IOC Member Program (link), it never was obligatory. I personally would have removed that line entirely because it always causes questions from new members. But this is clan leader's decision and, maybe, the line was kept for historic value. The clan info was written by our respected founder Centaurian and remains mostly unchanged since then.


    Just like Tomigang, I have never heard of obligatory donations in CF.


    Hope this comforts you a bit :)

  • 3rd post in a row today, I will try to finally reply on topic. :ssorry:


    I think the server is currently caught in a vicious circle:

    low population => rare opportunity for traditional MP activities (i.e. helping newbies, co-op trading, co-op NPC hunting, hanging out with clanmates, joining RP battles) => no reason to stay online => more people become inactive.


    The apparent solution is to somehow make the game interesting even with low number of people, then the circle will be broken and the population will start to grow again.


    Role play is just one way out, and I am not sure it is applicable in forms described in the starting post. It is indeed exciting to make RP announcements when the server is full of pilots of all sorts and you can't predict what happens next. But today most active players are good friends or at least familiar with each other, which leaves little place for surprise and makes RP actions feel somewhat fake, unnatural and causing no true emotion (besides fun, when done with proper humor and creativity).


    Existing alternative activities are clanbase construction (for a limited period), Galaxy Tour and events, but they seem not enough to keep players online. Therefore, to my mind, the CF mod desperately needs new unique MP mechanics or improvements that would ensure varied gameplay at all times. Examples can be:

    - more events;

    - more automatic events, like Galaxy Tour, with higher and maybe unique rewards (like items that cannot be obtained in any other way) and competition between players;

    - more types of random daily changes in the universe (some of which would bring not only limitations but also benefits);

    - the conquest system (hope it will be launched some day);

    - new types of massive missions against NPCs to be done in teams only (there are some harder missions now, but still not hardcore/rewarding enough);

    - more detailed public server stats and new types of trophies/achievements connected with MP activities.


    Some suggestions are theoretical at this point, because they require huge work from the devteam which has no motivation when the server can die out at any moment. Other ways depend more on the community - such as events, ideas for portal trophies, or role play as proposed initially.


    By the way, as far as standard RP actions are concerned, smugglers have been doing their part all the time, and recent events show that pirates are back in action too. So there is still hope!

  • I think that rp is the only way out of this messed up situation. The only way that works longer than just a few weeks.


    And I don't think that u need a large amount of players for it. You just need players which get stuff started and promoted.

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    Only dead fish swim with the stream.
    Don't discuss with idiots. They only drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience there.


    This is ten percent luck,
    Twenty percent skill,
    Fifteen percent concentrated power of will,
    Five percent pleasure,
    Fifty percent pain,
    And a hundred percent reason to remember the name!

  • Well, I don't think it's right to ignore a clan rule just on your first day after joining :) So, for me it is like obligatory.
    To encourage donations is sure a good intention, but I think it can be counterproductive in some cases.

  • I think the server is currently caught in a vicious circle:

    low population => rare opportunity for traditional MP activities (i.e. helping newbies, co-op trading, co-op NPC hunting, hanging out with clanmates, joining RP battles) => no reason to stay online => more people become inactive.


    I think that rp is the only way out of this messed up situation. The only way that works longer than just a few weeks.


    And I don't think that u need a large amount of players for it. You just need players which get stuff started and promoted.


    I think Wanderer is right on this one.

    The limited RP as we have it can't work with only a hand full of players.
    Why do I write limited? Because basically it's just this: Pirates tax, Police fines, Smugglers smuggle and Mercs take contracts. That's it.
    Except for the role as smuggler, you need other players to do something, without other players there's just nothing for you to do.

    But even with a strong user base I think you would loose players over time, because it's all very repeating and with few options.

    IMHO CF has the Roles, but misses the Play. There're no stories to be played, which would be neccessary for Roleplay.

    The Whiskey-war is a good story (Never heart of it before OP mentioned it), sure people would like to join that war for some time, but someone would have to come up with several stories like this over time for the people to not loose interest (as they obviously did after some time doing the same think).

    Sorry, the comment sounds so negative. But I hope it triggers the more creative people to come up with something positive ;)




  • Quote

    IMHO CF has the Roles, but misses the Play. There're no stories to be played, which would be neccessary for Roleplay.

    There are 2 ways to solve this from the top of my head


    1: go the way discovery goes and disallow docking on stations you are not a member of the corresponding faction. Enforce strict RP like discovery. Choose one faction and go live like that. Remove ways for easy RP manipulation. Basically crossfire: discovery


    2: VERY RISKY: reset the entire progress in the server for all players. This way all players have something to do but with a twist: They can choose their starting base and start with the factions they want to be affiliated with from the get-go. Nothing else changes. Their starting ship and equipment is what the standard is in the current system they spawn from that faction

  • Let me tell you my reasons as to why I don't play anymore and no, it's not because that I am no longer a gamer (even playing a sports game for about 2-3 hours a few times a week to blow off some steam still doesn't qualify for 'gamer' status), I just... don't feel like it anymore, but that still doesn't prevent me to login in CF for a few hours a week too, anyway... to the point:

    Why don't I? -> Because it's frustrating seeing between 2-4 players online every time that I've logged in. Players who doesn't even want to fight, because ever since 2005/6 (when I joined) up until now I'd spent my time fighting in PvP because that's the real joy I find in Freelancer. That's what I want to do, sure... going for some trips to the alien territory is also fun, but my description of "fun" in Freelancer is and always has been - PvP. And when I saw the low number of players every time that I logged in, I got frustrated. And I am not even alone in this, other people that I know also feel this way.

    Do I blame anyone? No. OP has made this mod for free, he pays the bills for the server and everything else, even from that point of view alone, he gets my respect. Yeah, we may have argued about silly things over the years, but... there isn't a perfect relationship, not in this life, it gets build over time.

    Could he (and the Staff) have done anything to point CF into a different direction which could have brought more people in the server? Sure.
    Could we have also supported him and this community in general? Sure.
    Could that have changed the situation that we are currently in, i.e. made the CF server populated as it deserves? No idea.

    People get bored doing the same thing over and over again, maybe that slowly in time drove the people away, except for the fact that this game is already too old and people just... moved on. Also, some people who may have acted like jerks might have also drove people away even though they were doing their RP, which is awesome, yeah... but don't be a jerk about it (I am not pointing people out, it could have been anyone, could have been me too in the past).

    Those who has stopped contributing may be due to the fact that this server is dying out and that could have also frustrated them (seeing no result in return), there are just too many factors to it.


    What can we do about it? Well... start implementing something new that would be dynamic which would keep people in, not drive them out, start advertising the mod to as many places as possible afterwards to bring people here. Even when all of that sounds great on paper, it's not even sure if it'd work at all. Yeah, the mod and the server could be improved a lot, new mechanics could be implemented that could have the greatest RP ever, but it's still a long shot.

    The other question is this: Is it worth it? But that's only a question of OP and the Staff to ask themselves.

  • I give up.

    It does not matter what I say or do.

    You guys just don't want.. you spend your times with excuses and justifications instead of making the situation better.


    No matter what I do, no matter what I suggestions I make, no matter how many more options and mechanics I provide you will find your excuse.


    You think stuff got boring but still you avoid every opportunity to start some action. You keep saying "no, does not work" while nobody of you even bothered trying. The slightest engagement in rp leads to public outcry while the opportunity to counter act totally gets wasted. Apparently you only want to get involved if it serves you... and if it doesn't serve you you expect the whole world around you to stop. That is not how it works.


    I did my job by providing everything you would need and in fact there is solid evidence from the past that the stuff I proposed can work if people want it to work. But you guys don't want to.


    I accept that and everyone will have to accept the consequences.

    I won't bother you anymore.

    Was nice knowing you.... bye.

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    Only dead fish swim with the stream.
    Don't discuss with idiots. They only drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience there.


    This is ten percent luck,
    Twenty percent skill,
    Fifteen percent concentrated power of will,
    Five percent pleasure,
    Fifty percent pain,
    And a hundred percent reason to remember the name!

  • I wouldn't go as far as "making up excuses", a place that keeps people in must always be dynamic in some way, providing protection for players (if they are getting abused in any way) and just have a reason to stay.

    It's true that you have provided everything, but maybe there are things that still needs to be done so that could keep the people in. It's also true that it'd depend on them (players) as well, to engage in RP but since that ain't happening, something must be lacking. I remember back in my old "Raptor" days, when I was a troublemaker (because I was a 11-12 y.o. kid), the server was so strict back then that 3 Server Police parked right in front of me in Alaska and were disputing whether or not to get rid of me for good or not; except for the fact that I also made the entire server KoS (Kill On Sight) me.

    For what I've noticed, the server got softer and softer throughout the years that many people can do almost anything they want without getting a proper punishment for their insubordination. I get it though, we ALL love freedom, but that freedom has a price (i.e. Proper Justice). I don't want to mention other servers due to the fact that you probably got tired of hearing it, but I'll anyway. What I've noticed in Discovery in January was the fact that they were pretty serious on RP, that people must do what the rules say or - goodbye for good. For crying out loud, you can't even pass with a Liberty military vessel through Kusari space without proper permission, otherwise you would probably cause war between the two fractions. I'm not saying that we should implement a rule like that right away, but... they are imitating RL as closely as possible and that seem to be working and be enjoyable to people. They are also doing that in a GTA V server as well (called FiveM), people seem to want to imitate RL as closely as possible by having their roles.

    On the other hand, it shouldn't be too tough too. And they got all of that working with only 1 Sector (Sirius), in CF we have many sectors not usable at all, you go there, get what you want and get back to Sirius. I know, Sirius is the main focus of the Freelancer storyline, but... since we have so many sectors, why isn't any RP there? -> Because you go and get your equipment and then get back to Sirius, nothing else to do there.


    The Roleplay is the main focus for why the server isn't populated and others (such as Discovery) is. I am not saying that Crossfire must be the only server that has to be populated, no... every community has to have its members, but maybe this community still needs to think what they can do regarding RP so that we can restore the CF server to its former glory.


    However, you are also in your full right to pull the plug whenever you want and if CF has come to an end, then for what it's worth... it's truly been a pleasure.

  • You keep saying "no, does not work" while nobody of you even bothered trying.

    I decided to try something RP-related when back in game, just didn't mention it in the post. Probably the case is similar for others.


    I am sure your message reached everyone and was fully understood. (Also by people who read the topic but didn't reply, which is the majority.)


    Anyway, results will only be seen in time. We just need to wait and not give up too early.

  • Ilyian I wont do anything, I wont change anything because everything the players need is there.


    For +17 years I listened to the players and everytime they wanted or needed something I did my job and gave it to them.

    I solved every fucking problem they ever encountered... we worked on features supporting the gameplay.

    We allowed the community to work on clear rules and a roleplay system that satisfied all the faction while Huor and I created the environment where such a RP can happen.

    We supported clans with free hosting, free forums, clan bases to construct as a long term purpose and a away to build their RP around it.

    We (actually the EMs) hosted events for other players.

    The players on CF literally had everything they needed... and as far I can tell almost wasted all opportunities they had.

    And in the end all falls back to RP... or the lack of because people think there is a switch to turn RP on and off whenever they are in the mood for it.

    But RP means to lose credits, lose weapons, etc. on a day... but RP also means to start all over the next day with a different strategy... or going for revenge if necessary.

    And unlike some beliefs RP is not limited to certain areas... RP is server wide... on all sectors... but it happens exactly where players are. It is totally pointless to forcefully spread RP into distant regions... that even harms RP because there will be much less chances for RP interactions to happen. That's why I am against this idea. That's why I even proposed a different kind of RP which starts smaller.

    There are a few fundamental truths that you can not ignore.

    - A low player base can not spread out even more for RP to work.

    - RP is the only long term activity that can bring back action to the server.

    - Every non-RP server is either long gone or pretty much dead.


    The options are limited and time is running out.

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    Only dead fish swim with the stream.
    Don't discuss with idiots. They only drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience there.


    This is ten percent luck,
    Twenty percent skill,
    Fifteen percent concentrated power of will,
    Five percent pleasure,
    Fifty percent pain,
    And a hundred percent reason to remember the name!