I. Topic of the Newsletter
It's about time I put up another newsletter, and this one will double as being a recap of all the topics discussed in the memberbase meeting, as well as topics went over by staff in their subsequent private meeting--though many of the topics in the staff meeting were about answering the memberbase meetings. Nevertheless, there are a lot of topics to cover, so let's just jump straight into it. By the way, if you want the logs on the discord memberbase meeting textchannel, we have that too.https://www.mediafire.com/file/i31oo7j6kk5sv5q/Bleach_Platinum_Hearts_Server_-_memberbase_meeting_text.html/file
II. Intrapersonal RecapCurrent Staff: The first topic brought up during the memberbase meeting, and a real important one to assess how the current roster matches up to the members from their viewpoint. There was some good stuff gone over, some stuff we could work on, but for the most part the reception seemed positive. I'll recap what was said for each person mentioned and general things staff have done well on or can improve.General Opinions:
MWD said he wanted Xat back, but thankfully since it's MWD we can just outright invalidate what he said (Kappa). That aside, it seems like most of the members who commented are at a consensus that we've been doing well so far, with some minor logistics and improved interaction with the memberbase to pick up.Frost:
Someone said they'd like to see him interact with the members more. This is something Frost has been working on for a while now, and in spurts he gets engaged, though a lot of the time IRL loads have him preoccupied, which is understandable. IRL will always take precedence over RP. Hopefully this summer he can get some time to interact with the member base more.S_E:
People mainly said I do well with application checking, and that I thoroughly look through the apps without outright denying portions, and instead working to get these abilities at an approvable status as well. That said, I still feel like I can work on getting people's apps to meet the standard at which they wish to be able to RP at, despite it being a larger workload for both of us. Other than that, I feel like I need to work on my IC activity a lot more.Chi:
People just flamed Chi, smh.What can we improve on?:
It's been said there's quite a bit of clutter on the board, specifically in the character creation section in terms of racial specs being split apart more than necessary, or the organisations being all over the place with their information. In response, Frost and I have worked on condensing the boards and threads, over all cleaning up navigation on the site.
Outside of that, the Mass Archival situation is still there. To answer that, we moved the board into the normal archives board, and I personally went through a large amount of MA apps, as well as coordinated the Activity Check to know which apps needed to be archived as the people who owned them would no longer be active on PH.
Another subject was a disconnect after joining, mostly referring to not knowing what to do once the first character has been approved. In response, we've been working on a FAQ guide, some synopses guides, as well as information guides to just generally make it easier for newer members or those with lesser understanding on the site more better consume the information and integrate into the community.
Someone commented on staff members not being as expansively involved with the orgs, which is something harder to fix. Especially since we've taken the staff members and had them put more focus individually on the organisations they have characters in, so it makes it easier from both an OOC and IC standpoint to get involved and spark activity. Hopefully in the coming weeks we can get more characters or events out there for everyone, not just staff members, to get more involved in everything across the site.
A big subject is making more missions, especially for lower tier characters. As it is, some have said it's difficult to participate in larger events without a zero-tier, and this has been an issue before in the past, so we'll definitely be getting more missions catered to a lower tier crowd to be able to get them progressed as characters as well as more involved. And this shouldn't just be done for lower tier characters, but with neutral characters as well.What are we doing well?:
People have said we've done well to greet new members and maintain activity on site. We've also done well for the most part in terms of checking applications, and just generally being on top of our responsibilities as a whole, performing professionally, not exhibiting favouritism, and getting things done in a timely manner.Old Staff: A bit more of a touchy subject, but one Frost brought up--I presume for closure and to end any speculation or floating words in the air. And, most of the opinions stated was that things felt too serious, as if this wasn't a place to RP but some place where you had obligations for. Which, in a sense was understandable, and there's an expectation to responsibly handle what you signed up for, but at the same time PH ultimately is an online community where we have fun as a hobby and connect with one another, and I suppose moving forward we should really focus on that aspect.
III. IC/OOC ChangesWhat Orgs and Races need help?: A subject we went over to see which areas on the site could use some improvement and activity to help interactions throughout flourish better. We got some good feedback on this, and are jumping towards getting things moving along in response.Race:
One of the races we were told need some focus on helping is the Iramasha, which makes sense. They've been a longstanding race on here, and in construct are beings that easily rival Shadow Fall and demons as a whole; it's unfortunate that attention hasn't been put on them, and hopefully we'll be able to do something with this by making the information on their race easier to understand and easier to create.
Another race were Quincies. As it's known, I personally
don't care about Quincy, they're the abominable cousins of the Human Master Race, but it's a race of interest that members have asked for hopefully seeing more activity for them, and that being said, we'll be looking to get them out more and better describe their evolution as a race apart from canon, since they're comparatively underdeveloped and much of their higher-tier content revolves around the 1000 year war arc from canon that never happened on PH.
Finally, werebeasts, another abominable sub-race of the Human Master Race that I personally don't care about. That said, just like Quincies, it was brought up as a race of interest, and in light of that Crow has noted getting on making them better equipped for 2018, hopefully with the help of JJ as the co-creator of the race.Organisations:
Naturally, if Iramasha are a race of interest brought up, the Iramasha Union are to follow. We'll be trying to get them active as one of the few orgs that would on equal terms be capable of contesting with Shadow Fall, and furthermore put them as key parties in the upcoming events, as well as condensing the information in their org threads (which we've already started on) to make it easier to make characters for them. Frost and I have discussed what we should do moving forward, and we'll be implementing these actions in the coming weeks.
Another organisation of interest is K-World, and thankfully there are some people with interest in it, to include myself and Taichou, as its the only other antagonist organisation on site at the moment, though their relationship with Shadow Fall is best described as "rocky". I've discussed things with Kyle in terms of what he's comfortable with moving forward, and for the most part we can begin to get the ball rolling for K-World, so hopefully there's some activity and further interest generated there.
Vandenreich is another subject of interest, though they aren't an organisation but a faction. The parties involved, namely Crow, Owl, and Shizuo, as members with positions in the Vandenreich, will be in charge of getting them to move forward, and discussions on their inclusion with the upcoming events has already been discussed with some conclusion.
Finally, the Vanguard, Vizard Corps, and Yayjuu were all discussed, but seeing as there will be a merger coming around, the anticipation for activity to be generated in them as an Earth-based protagonist force seems like a given, so once that gets done and their overall revamp is put into play, we'll see where things go before getting on with putting additional efforts.Events for the races and orgs?:
You can expect all these orgs to have things along the lines of recruitment missions, for both new and existing characters, and condensation of their information threads to make them more accessible. The rewarsd involve Platinum Points, tier leniency to match up to the positions, and in general some missions for them to get started off in the orgs and inspire activity.People for Positions: During this subject, we talked about who was interested in getting positions in organisations and who people recommended for these positions, mainly to give them an IC status that helps promote activity for the organisations, as well as giving them opportunities to have some decisions and say in the way the orgs move. The intent is to help keep organisational activity organic and allow members opportunities for management and leadership roles, give them easier access to creating missions and events for the org, and overall promote activity for the whole site.Recommended People:
Gin was a recommendation, seeing as he has org-leader level characters as well as an interest in hollow independence from Shadow Fall, a large factor in the chaos revolving around the organisation. Things have been discussed with Gin in terms of getting his side of the event moving forward, and it's mostly a waiting game for other important prologue events.
Kai as the de facto leader of Vanguard more or less, as well as the most active leading character in the organisation, and especially with activity revolving around Vanguard; unfortunately, with Extinguishing Hope and the upcoming Summit, it's also a bit of a waiting game to see that move along.
Absentee and Crow have both expressed interest in things moving forward with the Gotei, as well as the recently returning Rawk as he's another captain in the Gotei; there's been discussion with both in terms of creating tangible progress and interaction for the organisation; you can expect actual things to happen in the coming weeks, though naturally they won't be publicly discussed until it actually happens.Interested People:
Taichou mentioned willingness to get involved in both Shadow Fall and K-World leadership, and I personally approached her asking about how she'd like to go about this. That said, thankfully since I also got into contact with Kyle concerning K-World, we can have some missions come up in the next few weeks to be involved in the event prologue.
Lillian expressed interest with Khalaism, and as JJ and Frost are the main members in the site dealing with the religion, it'll be up to them to be in contact with Lillian to see what sorts of things they can accomplish together.
Rook also expressed interest in K-World, and just like Taichou I personally got into contact with him to see what we can do regarding that.
All in all, we're still open to members expressing interest in getting involved, and for those who even aren't yet adapted or fully aware of all the things generally expected of leadership level characters to know, there's opportunities to be trained up to the appropriate level of understanding.
IV. Resolving IssuesDemons Overpowered: Several members earlier this month brought up a general concern with the power level of demons in general on-site. They have resources, they have a god on their side, and their main organisation at the moment is easily and uncontested the strongest organisation at the moment. So, it was a topic of discussion for staff, and here's what we have for that.Why are they the strongest?:
Well, demons aren't literally
the strongest--in concept, at least. It just came up to be this way through organic development. Shadow Fall wasn't always the strongest organisation--in fact, they were built on the shambles of their predecessor org, so in a sense for some time they were the weakest. Additionally, their capacity to attack other organisations with little fear of consequence is a result of the organisation naturally being built stronger and stronger, with more characters and resources at their disposal than anyone due to activity sparking around them, and as a result attracting a lot of attention and thereon sparking more activity, so on and so forth. So, in a sense, it's difficult to answer their overpoweredness since it was done naturally, and one thing we value on PH is the organic development of characters and organisations.What are we doing to answer this?:
Nevertheless, it was a concern brought up by members, so we're not just going to leave it at that. Primarily, Frost and I aim to condense Shadow Fall similarly to other organisations, and furthermore better define Traditional Demons, as a part of the concern was their overwhelming freedom of thematic and general malleability as a race to do anything and everything. Of course, they're not solely the ones who can do this, as many races have a lot of that freedom, Humans and Iramasha are big ones. The other demon sub-races are generally more well defined and in a sense more restricted with how they can be built. So, Traditional Demons should be getting a bit of a revamp to better define them and answer this issue. On top of that, there should be a bit of work done on Demon Magic, as its largely considered their most powerful asset in that it allows obnoxious degrees of freedom with demons to basically do whatever the hell they want, and the only race with a similar freedom is the Iramasha's Aether Spells--which people seem to not want to get active with, so it really seems like Demons are the only ones and therefore overpowered as a result.Understanding the Site: Another longstanding issue is for some people to better understand the site, the information on the board, and how to navigate or know everything about PH. Likewise with the last topic, there's reasons that this came about, and things we intend to accomplish to answer this issue.Why is this the case?:
A large factor for PH being complicated and difficult to understanding, to be frank, is member unwillingness to read a lot of the information threads we already have out. Time and time again, we come across questions asked by literally anyone, or even times when members and staff alike answer questions or make statements spreading misinformation, and a lot of the time this sort of thing is easily answered by linking the thread with information literally written out, information that people just haven't bothered to read.What we're going to do about it:
Unfortunately, this is also due to a lot of information being hard to find on the site, threads that are difficult to read and understand, and a lot of information that required being intuitively understood or grasped with time and experience on the site, since some stuff isn't clearly stated, also to be frank. As a result, myself and Frost have put out a lot of guides to get things straightened out and better understood, and we intend to get more threads out for this. This includes condensing information on races, organisations, getting a condensed plot guide out that explains what's happened in PH's history, better defining the changes to these races over time, writing an app-guide explaining what it takes for certain tiers, and even writing an ability guide better explaining how to properly construct one in a manner that makes abilities more easily reviewed and approvable. Over time, we'll get through simplifying everything or just having it outright stated so that there's no confusion.