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Morrigan

Open Threads... are they dead?

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So I browse sites, I'm on a few but are open threads a dead practice? No more random encounters? Is it too difficult to make an open ended thread that is interesting and not a "hello" thread.

 

I'll admit, I'm personally not the sort of person that enjoys making open threads as I've seen some of mine sit for MONTHS and never get a reply. It really sucks when that's like your introduction to a community and no one likes it enough to join in.

 

So, what is your opinion? Do you make them? Do you join them? Give me the deets.

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If they're not dead yet they should be. It's like you said. They often sit for months. Making the person that left it there feel unwelcome, and cluttering the board. People don't always know how to do the random encounter thing. But personally, I need more than that. Those threads very rarely go anywhere or accomplish more than a brief view of your character. I like progression. Goals. Something to move the character's story forward. Filler threads do not entertain me. They die. Just like random opens need to. 

 

Just get in chat and plot. It can still be a random encounter. Just make sure there's someone that wants to encounter your brain baby first.

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Or, you know, people could start making a point to reply to them... which I think is also an issue compounded by the fact nobody writes them right; very rarely are opens terribly inviting and some people even dislike when they are. #cantwin

 

I think it depends on the site. Some sites foster a culture where open threads are replied to in quite short order, so people are encouraged to post them more often. It's sort of a catch-22, except this one can be broken pretty easily by more than a few people making a point to post in opens. On Messiah, opens get responded to sooner rather than later. Given we're all friends, sometimes they do sit around for a good long while before somebody posts to it, but we all know we're all busy, so it's not that it won't get a response, it's just it won't get a response right this second. And we're all okay with waiting on each other. Life hap.

 

Here's the thing though, interesting stuff can absolutely happen in opens; both sides just have to stop being afraid of doing things. Here's my thing about the RP community; everybody's afraid of doing shit. (Most people really hate me nowadays because I'm not.) Throw curveballs yo. Make minor misfortune happen. Get into a loud conversation with a stranger about that guy over there being a jerk to a barista. Have random bursts of magic happen at inopportune moments. Get shot at. Whatever. Unfortunately people are so terrified of doing anything that isn't discussed first, and I think that's silly. Back in the age of dinosaurs, we didn't plan anything, we just did stuff, so I'm not sure why no one seems to be able to anymore. It doesn't even have to be something big, you know, random-npc your way into something interesting and roll with it. Find a way to mush your char's personal plot in there. It doesn't have to be perfect. Nothing is. It just needs to be. Some of the most interesting threads I've seen were actually opens. A lot of the plot-pushers on Messiah were opens. It's all in how you approach and handle them.

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23 minutes ago, MAD said:

I like to make them. In Actuality, we reward people who finish threads. The reward is higher if it was an open thread. Giving people an incentive to create, and even more, to join them has helped a bit from what I have observed.

This would be a great separate thread in the Management forum. Tell us how you encourage it etc. we'd love to hear and love for you to ask others how they do it.

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Typically on a new forum, I'll make an open thread and hit up plotters concurrently, assuming I have an interesting to me idea for a random encounter. I appreciate that the open  probably won't get a reply, but it might and when you're new I think it behooves you to try all kinds of way of integrate with the community. Particularly if you're like me and you aren't someone who enjoys/wants to/can't hop into chat.

 

If I'm an established member, I'll only throw up an open thread if I want another thread but have no one particular in mind to write with and I have an idea.

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I don’t think they’re dead. My members still write them and I hop in when I have a spare moment between other threads. In fact, a thread I talked about in awkward moments happened in an open thread. It didn’t even start terribly interesting: it was just their character walking around. So mine—a homeless dude—attempted to rob him without realizing the other guy was a vampire. I thought it was fun. They can be fun if you make it so. 

 

I also write opens when I have a moment between planned threads. Or if I just have an idea or hankering to play somebody. Normally when I join a site, one of the first things I do is pop up an open or join one that I can see my character in. 

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I absolutely love open threads. I'm not the most social of plotter types so the first way I usually get my feet wet on a site is to join a few opens. Unfortunately you all are right. folks are scared to do stuff, afraid to cause some chaos, get into a fight, or otherwise make interesting things happen in threads if it wasn't pre-plotted first. it really hurts a site when all or most of the players are uncomfortable taking risks or find those risks policed when they do. This too would be another a good topic for a new discussion; how to encourage more risk taking in rp.

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I prefer plotted opens. I mean, threads open for a whole faction, but which they all know what direction it would go/ what purpose the thread has. And each of the participants reacts as his character considers fit.

 

As for the newcomers, I would prefer they join first the threads they are recommended when approving the bio (usually threads for the character's whole faction, and this is an opportunity to interact with peers, make friends or enemies) or, if no thread available for their faction, to plot a thread starting their active integration into the story, instead of throwing a random open thread which is less probable to be taken, because others wouldn't know what to do with it. I agree with @Jones.

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21 hours ago, Arceus said:

Here's the thing though, interesting stuff can absolutely happen in opens; both sides just have to stop being afraid of doing things. Here's my thing about the RP community; everybody's afraid of doing shit. (Most people really hate me nowadays because I'm not.) Throw curveballs yo. Make minor misfortune happen. Get into a loud conversation with a stranger about that guy over there being a jerk to a barista. Have random bursts of magic happen at inopportune moments. Get shot at. Whatever. Unfortunately people are so terrified of doing anything that isn't discussed first, and I think that's silly. Back in the age of dinosaurs, we didn't plan anything, we just did stuff, so I'm not sure why no one seems to be able to anymore. It doesn't even have to be something big, you know, random-npc your way into something interesting and roll with it. Find a way to mush your char's personal plot in there. It doesn't have to be perfect. Nothing is. It just needs to be. Some of the most interesting threads I've seen were actually opens. A lot of the plot-pushers on Messiah were opens. It's all in how you approach and handle them.

^ This. 

 

I think people just don't like having to actually MAKE a story - a lot of RPers nowadays just want to jump in and ride the wave. 

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I've noticed a lot of that, too. If people aren't posting opens, they are begging for plots... but they don't have any input of their own. Every time somebody goes "Hey, anybody wanna thread?" I'm like, "What are your ideas?" and they just seem to internet shrug. Like... that's not going to entice people to write with you. At least with open threads, even if they start out dull or predictable, if you hop in with the right type of character, you can steer it into amusing territory. 

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I still make them and reply to them. I do however use them almost exclusively for getting new members involved, because once I have a thread under my belt with someone we usually have plot bunnies that go here and there and all over and we don't have to do an open thread anymore to have our next thing to write.

 

They aren't for everyone, and some people also like to plot alongside them, but I like to have a few of my own up there especially for new people so they see a place they could jump in right away. Especially if a new member is shy about plotting or talking to someone new... and I can be that way as well, so I get it.

I suppose they really are what you make of them. It doesn't bother me if I have an open thread that sits for months. If it's my own thread. I will sometimes delete it and re-post it so it doesn't look ancient. If it's something that someone jumps in on and then poofs, I will often times just archive that thread that they poofed on and re-start it to leave it as open again. I know other people feel bad if the thread sits a long time and nobody joins it... with all the discord people do a lot more plotting these days than they used to, but I have also had open threads turn into majestic things. They don't have to be hum drum meet and greets or boring. Whether I'm starting one or joining one, I like to try and make it different from the norm.

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I'm a little late to this, but I think that "open threads" are fine, so long as you know someone in the forum.  Then again, I've been known to crash a thread or two (depending on the site) to get an introduction.  Some people don't know how to respond to them, sure, but you can't just not have them -- some of my best plays were started from an open thread.

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