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I was following a few discussions on chats, discord, and related issues, and I noticed how more than a few people don't like being reachable OOC off site, and sometimes not even by PM. Of course I don't mean "at their personal address with their real name", because that'd be crazy, but, say, on any address or social media that you actually check, even if you're not visiting the specific RP site for a while.

 

I don't mean to discuss what make others uncomfortable, because that's totally up to them. What I want to talk about is where I find myself not knowing what to do.

 

I mean. Most sites that are targeted to adults have lax activity checks or not at all. Also, people post at variable paces. This is 100% fine. 

 

However, if you're not replying to my thread for, say, a month, and I may like to use my character in other scenes that don't happen in the consequenceless void, I might like to hear from you, not to "pester for a quick reply", but to know if you're still interested or if the thread should be archived so I can move on. And if you're still interested but have no time now, I'd like to arrange a vague outcome to keep in mind so I can play something else. Or if you don't want to preplot and you'll be there in three months, okay, I'll wait, but at least I know I'm not waiting for a ghost.

 

Now if we have no way to communicate I can only wait indefinitely, knowing that statistically speaking I've been almost definitely ghosted, but still being supposed to wait because I can't godmod you into uselessness and you're breaking no rule.

 

So I'd like to know what reasonable solutions people have for this. I'm only talking about RPs where a scene can influence others, if everything happens at once and independently it's a different case.

 

Also for people who don't want to be contacted, what would you like your RP partners to do? Start other plots that potentially make your reactions moot, as long as they don't bother you? Assume you left if you're not around for x time (that's potentially shorter than the lengthy activity requirement)? Wait until the Staff archives your character?

 

I hope it doesn't come across the wrong way, because I understand communication can induce anxiety, however cooperative writing requires people to arrange things somehow.

Edited by featherstone

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I personally check in before I even start anything. Even when it comes to communication styles, communication is key. I absolutely hate being prodded for posts, but I don't mind a quick PM asking me what to do, and will reply on a timely manner. 

 

As for what I do, I absolutely never prod people for posts. Period. Even if the person goes 'I'm one of those people who needs to be prodded'. That means we're not gonna roleplay, because this is a hobby for me too, it's not my job to chase after my partner. 

 

So I line some stuff up, and let them know that if they vanish for (x days - in my case, normally a month) I'm moving on with my plots and characters unless THEY tell me to wait. From the other side of the fence, I like putting things in place with my partner so if I vanish for some reason that leaves me without access to the roleplay they can move on without waiting for me.

 

Just gonna say I would definitely hate if someone came to me on any form of contact I haven't given them (so on my facebook, for instance), and that would seriously give me pause.

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Shady McShaderson

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I wholeheartedly agree with @Stormwolfe. People who don't want to communicate and who aren't reachable are not made for a collaborative writing story where communication is a must. You can be busy, but do damn tell it. If I e-mail you to ask you if you are still around (after one month of silence or more) and if I can help you somehow, do damn reply in one week or at longest two. If you don't, I understand you don't care anymore and you'll be archived, with the character got out of the story how it fits the story best. 

 

If you communicate, nothing you don't want happens... and you can return whenever you are able to.

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I am not reachable off site because I compartmentalize really intensely. It's why I almost always avoid discord (mine is shut down to stop me from seeing DMs or rejecting them whole cloth). I totally understand not wanting to have RP stuff follow you around when you're living your real life. 

 

That said, if someone in essence ghosts for months at a time, I would just ask the outcome of the thread (or decide it, if the person can't be reached) and work with that outcome in mind in future threads. 

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On a few of my sites, Discord is mandatory, for the simple fact that it's the only offline communication I use and if I can't reach you to find out what the fruck is going on, you're not welcome on my site, because I'm not here to be a frucking babysitter and people ghosting just makes more work for me and my staff.

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Discord I'll usually join because to me its like a Phone-friendly Cbox/Chatango. That's my ONLY "offsite" means of communication, because my social media / non-RP-stuff is only for my actual Internet Friends. Not my RP Acquaintances. If I disappear for a length of time that's interfering with the movement of plots; I fully expect to have my character written out of whatever plot is currently going on. If and when I DO filter back, it's not an issue for me to just use that write-out to pivot a whole new avenue of plotting for my character (if I even still want that one). 

If people completely poof for like, 3 weeks to a month, I usually just move on without them. I don't need to chase people. Their inability to load the site for 10 seconds and say "Hey guys sorry I need a break I'll be back soon go on without me" is all the communication I need from them as permission to drop them from the plot. 

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I mean, I don't think I make people chase me. I try to be upfront if I don't have the time to do something. At the moment, between school, job hunting, family, health issues, BLAH BLAH BLAH, I just haven't had the time to dedicate to outside RPs. It makes me a sad panda any time I have to throw in the towel but I still like to lurk sites I was on and see what's going on, read threads, follow characters, etc. 

 

Buuuuut the thing is, I have my contact info in a few places. And I don't like having to give it to every site I join. Sometimes I say I just want to be PMed because I don't want to have to deal with checking five hundred social medias to see if somebody contacted me and then they get mad because they think I'm ignoring them. I pretty much only check my own site, this site, Facebook, and Instagram on a daily basis. Everything else is a crapshoot. I may show up, I may disappear for 3 months and peek in again. Who knows? And if it's a chat client um. Well, I only give that info out to a select few and I only sign into those chats if somebody says "Hey, talk to me on chat."

 

I'm not so good with real time. I prefer to have time to formulate a response to an email or PM or whatever. So I don't much care for chats unless I'm really close to a person. 

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When someone poofs, I send them one (1) PM or DM, as a courtesy, to see if they’re still interested. If I get no response after a week, I drop the thread and move on. I don’t chase people down or poke for posts, except for that interest check if it’s been a while, and if I have no way of contacting them, then I just assume it’s over if a month goes by.

 

I had never really considered that some folks don’t want to be contacted. *shrug* It’s a social game, so I always just assumed communication is, y’know, a good idea in general. 

 

For myself? My contact info is plastered everywhere. xD I don’t worry about it, because I’m not shy about using the block button when needed, so I don’t really care who gets ahold of that info. If it is a problem...eh, block button, easy solution. But for the most part, I like being connected to my communities and have made a ton of IRL friends through them, so I really don’t keep stuff separate.

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My issue with just "moving on" is that it seems unfair if one's technically following the rules. Say, the activity requirement is posting once a month. One ALWAYS posts exactly once a month - they have a right to do so, and wrapping up our thread or unilaterally deciding its outcome wouldn't be all that fair. On the other hand, if I want to have some other scene I could need to *hear from them* more often than that, to make arrangements on what else I can do.

 

@Viscount Rhi-Rhi on people not wanting to be contacted in a social game - TBH I don't get it either, I mean, I get one could struggle with social anxiety, previous bad experiences and whatnot, but they still chose a hobby that is in fact based on interaction. I don't like saying what is or is not the right hobby for someone, but asking others to just cross their fingers and wait is a bit odd.

 

The issue typically comes out when discord or Skype are involved. Personally I don't understand what violation of one's privacy they cause, but then if one doesn't want to use them that's okay. It'd be nice if they checked their on-site PMs more regularly, not only when they come to post.

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Vampires are real. Now the world knows about them.

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