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Posted (edited)

Hello! 

 

With the current state of the real world, my staff and I have been discussing how to rework our activity requirements long term. For the time being, we have stopped all activity checks due to the amount of stress everyone is under, but we would really like an alternative to ACs in the future (or just a better way to run them). We usually ask for the bare minimum when we hold ACs (one post per character during that on-site month, which lasts around 3 rl months) and our purpose isn't necessarily to weed out members, but to see if there are major canons that aren't being used. A lot of our plot movement is dependent on certain canons, so having them actively played is important. However, we want to remove the panic that comes with an AC, which is why we have been discussing an inactive membergroup. Something that allows our members to say "hey, I can handle characters x,y, and z, but character b is a bit too much for me right now."  or "my life just got really hectic and I need to step away from these characters for a bit". Without the looming fear of that character being taken away from them at that very moment. Especially if they've been active with that character up to this point. We also want to be fair to the people who are plotting with these characters and it isn't necessarily just canons we are worried about. Characters for want ads are also a priority. 

 

In short, I have a few questions:

 

Do you use an inactive membergroup?

If yes, what sort of perimeters do you set?

If no, what do you use (if anything)?

What other alternatives would you suggest?

 

To clarify, this is not referring to members who join the site, make a character, and then never log in again. This is more for long-term members who are still active either OOC or with other characters, but might be having some issues with muse, stress, or anything else. Our idea behind it is, if we have an inactive membergroup, it allows current and new members to know which characters are taking a short break from plotting and threading. We don't intend to let these characters sit in that category for a super long time, as after a certain point it's just holding onto the character without having any intention of using them. 

 

Note: We have a fairly large site and we do check in regularly with our members. But there's plenty of room for human error- such as not remembering to check in with so-and-so or forgetting they mentioned being gone for a hot second. 

Edited by PixieMegs
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Posted (edited)

We launched Dragon Lore after lock downs started so when we sat and discussed activity and overall expectations, this was at the front of our thoughts. What we have come up with revolves around expecting less and encouraging more. 

 

We came up with two overall activity rules for the general whole. However, with that said, we do have a few extra stipulations for roles that are considered integral for obvious reasons. 
 

Quote

 

Activity rules are as simple as this, everyone is responsible for their own characters. For the most part this will be managed via self obligation. This also means, if you vanish for a several weeks without a word then others are not obligated to wait around and may or may not push forward. Staff encourages everyone communicate with each other to avoid misunderstandings.

 

Characters are archived and marked as 'inactive' after a month of absolute inactivity. Inactive accounts will be purged after six months, until that six months is reached, characters can be recovered by visiting the appropriate thread in the 'moderation' forum. Important roles and positions are handled a little differently.

 

 

We decided we have as much time to police every character's activity as everyone has to be active. Which amounts to not a lot when we have our own characters to keep up with as well. Our thoughts were that our community is meant to be adult so we have no problems allowing our members to delegate their own activity on their own. No one is going to remind them they need to post but if they hit a rough patch we encourage them to be vocal with those they are role playing with and to make use of our leave of absence page if they will be unable to  post for an extended period of time. This also means if someone vanishes for weeks without a word all of a sudden, then no one is under any obligation to wait around and can move on. Communication is key here and this doesn't work of members aren't talking with each other.

 

We do make use of inactive group accounts as well as custom main profiles so character info is attached directly to the account so there is no need for shuffling profile threads around and having to dig them up when someone comes back. Anyone who vanishes and has their character go inactive can return to us with open arms and have their account reset to active, no questions asked. After six months of just sitting there we just delete the account. We are a new site so we haven't come across an older, generally active member vanishing for that amount of time and I do feel like we would likely hold onto those accounts.

 

A sort of trickle down from making use of an 'inactive group', they are not listed on our 'member list'. Our member list is actually used as a 'character' list instead and it will only list character accounts that are active. It sort of doubles as a 'face claim' and a 'who plays who' list. 

 

If a member actually decides to have their accounts moved to 'inactive' I would happily do that for them so they can comfortably take their break, but they wouldn't be able to use those accounts while they are set in that group.

 

Canon or important roles we are a little less lenient, following the month of absolute inactivity, that character is set as inactive, but they cannot be recovered. (we leave them in case the writer might want to rework them into a different role). We just don't have the luxury to hold onto those roles when someone else could come along and fill it and circumstances can alter that but not in any lengthy amount of time. And as I've said, staff and myself aren't going to consciously police this. If we slip and miss this time frame by a week after realizing, 'oh shit has it been that long???' then that's okay. We aren't sitting there counting the days. 

 

For any and all instances, in the case of it being a member who in the past has been very active and reliable, I wouldn't hesitate to apply an extension of that time for veteran members who have been around a while as I feel they've earned that extra bit of grace. Communication will always be key. 

 

Damn... I feel like a talked in circles I hope it helped a little. 

 

Edited to add that we define "absolute inactivity" as having not appeared on the site or in discord or posted any leave of absence for that duration of time. 

Edited by Lavi
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Original fantasy rpg with a relaxed atmosphere for adults.

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I have an inactive group which is literally only use when someone vanishes for several months without a word. I don't run sites with activity requirements - Either post or don't, I'm not going to babysit you, but if I don't hear from you in months, you're inactive.

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On 7/9/2020 at 5:59 PM, PixieMegs said:

Do you use an inactive membergroup?

If yes, what sort of perimeters do you set?

If no, what do you use (if anything)?

What other alternatives would you suggest?

Yes, we have an inactive member group, "While there are not Activity Checks: after on or close to 3 months without logging in, accounts will be moved to the “Interested” grouping; after on or close to 6 months without logging in, accounts will be moved to the “Inactive” grouping." From our guidelines. We don't have activity checks as we are in our 20s and onward.

 

I have had boards that have them and it's hit or miss. With present state of the world it does put a lot of pressure on members to post or not to post. We've stated on our board & Discord that we are there for when they need a break from reality but with no pressure to post or log in. Rambling a bit but hopeful that gives you some insight.

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We don't have activity expectations for individual characters ; so long as the player is around, logging in, and engaging with the community, they're considered active. 

 

As far as I'm concerned, activity in personal plots/threads is between the players, and if a player isn't "active enough" (whatever that means between players) with a wanted, then the requester needs to approach them and deal with it themselves. Board plot-important characters get dealt with through conversation with the player by staff and setting up expectations for the plot they're involved in. At the end of the day, someone who is forever flaking or dragging their feet isn't going to be able to get meaningful plots, and every player has to decide for themselves what level of activity they can manage and coordinate with their partners about it.

 

All this to say, we have a single inactive group, and characters only go in there when their player vanishes. Even if someone only wants to post with one character out of twenty for the next six months, they're still considered active...of course, they might lose partners, but that's on them. We don't have the desire or energy to police it beyond keeping the place tidy.

 

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Activity is always a tricky question to answer even with out covid thrown in too! I don't think you will find a right or wrong answer to this. 

 

On my RP I have a fairly relaxed activity policy. Players are asked for 1000 words per month. This can be split over however many posts they like. If they can't post we ask that they tell us why. Even if they just say I couldn't concentrate etc. 

 

I try to create an understanding that we will support players through the ups and downs of activity as long as they communicate.

 

I don't know if such a laid back approach would work for you. Depends how big your member base is. But maybe worth a shot given the current  climate.

 

 

 

 

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The sites I have been largely operated without any activity requirements and I apply the same system to my own site.

We do have lenient activity requirements for members who hold characters of importance, but we usually deal with inactivity of those characters on a case-by-case basis. Outside of that, we have zero activity requirements and generally only ever archive characters on the request of members or if the character holds an important position and has been inactive for a period of several months.

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Hey everyone! Thank you so much for the feedback. 

 

We have begun to flesh out what would be entailed with an inactive membergroup. We have decided to do away with activity checks and hold people accountable to being able to handle the number of characters they have. During the pandemic, we have offered to hold current unused characters for 2 months. After that 2 months, they can request additional time or choose to drop the character. We are willing to work with our members to see what they need. As stated before, this group isn't meant for people who haven't logged in for a month or more. Those individuals would be purged, as it is a solid indication they aren't around anymore. 

 

The inactive membergroup serves primarily as a place to put characters and not have to worry about them for a hot second. We also have a few expecting mothers who hold major canons. With this membergroup, they would be able to tuck those characters away and let Staff handle the plot progression until they are ready to come back and take on some threads. Any and all characters can go into this membergroup and it signifies to new and current members that that specific character is no longer accepting new threads, plots, and so on for a certain amount of time (until the member is ready to take on the responsibility again or drop). However, characters cannot be held indefinitely. 

 

We do intend on being more lenient with OCs and obscure canons or characters that don't hold super important jobs. And we are working with setting up our activity expectations for major canons and important roles versus non-major canons. Right now we are toying around with 1 post per character for OCs, obscure canons, and non-requested characters for a site month (so 2-3 rl months), whereas major canons need to have had one active thread (8 or more posts in a single thread or several smaller threads). 

 

Some of the reasons we do not want to let people just sit on a character indefinitely are:

 

-face claims 

-canon names/families

-jobs (we have a LOT of characters in the Ministry and holding higher up positions and Professors at Hogwarts, jobs tied to subplots and so on)

-subplots and plot movement

-wanted characters (we do encourage people to communicate, but if a character isn't being used and the plot is being neglected, the person who made the ad has a right to be able to reopen that ad, which doesn't always work if the other character is still around - canon pairings)

 

As always, I'm more than eager to hear additional feedback or examples of what your sites do. ❤️ Thank you again for all the comments and insight. 

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