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    Your Elvenar Team

Fellowship contributions and making the game good for all?

BizDani

Member
So in our Fellowship we are very social and for he most part a fairly competitive bunch. Enjoying building and trading and helping one another. We have members of all different developmental levels and habits and ways they enjoy the game.

Everyone is active with the NH. Some with trades, some with KP, some very social and enjoyable personalities, some extremely knowledgeable and help to educate others. Some not so active in any of those areas, but very good in building themselves and high ranking and help the guild raise in rank.

I don't want the game to be cut-throat in our fellowship. But with only 25 members and lots of applicants I have some questions (same questions being asked to the whole fellowship right now):

  1. What are the contributions you have found to be most valuable in everyone's enjoyment of the game?
  2. What are some of the ways that you have made decisions about how to evaluate the contributions and personalities of particular members?
  3. How do you make decisions about who stays and who goes? (aside from people who break the rules - like unfair trade practices)
  4. Do you vote people off the island as it were?
  5. Do you talk to people who maybe are not contributing as much and ask them to leave?
  6. Do you set up hard, fast rules about exactly how to stay in the fellowship based entirely on achievement?
  7. How do you rate the social aspect, the friendly and enjoyable personalities, the educators?
Weigh in on any you questions you wish, or add any thoughts, comments, brilliant ideas, examples, cliches, amusing anecdotes or witty cynicisms you care to add. Any feedback is greatly appreciated.

Thanks and have a great day!

Biz
 

SoggyShorts

Well-Known Member
I think it's important to ask those questions inside your fellowship. In my experience our fellowships have been evolving.
At first you just need bodies to fill the 24 other spots, (something better than nothing) but as you grow your expectations may change.

1. What are the contributions you have found to be most valuable in everyone's enjoyment of the game?

Once you have a good balance of boosted goods and a strong trading base then player production levels start to matter less, and for some the social aspect matters more. Assuming everyone does their visits, and trades aren't sitting there waiting to be taken, the only difference between players becomes their personalities (and now tournament participation)

2. What are some of the ways that you have made decisions about how to evaluate the contributions and personalities of particular members?
We track who does visits, and try to see who is posting/taking trades, but since that is hard to see we just require boosted only builds-if you only have 3 types of buildings you must be trading, right? There are some players in each of my FS that never post in chat, but always have fair trades posted, grow their cities, and do visits. Those players will never get kicked, but I won't be looking for any more.

3. How do you make decisions about who stays and who goes? (aside from people who break the rules - like unfair trade practices)
This can be tricky, generally we won't kick anyone unless they go inactive or break a rule, but since our FS voted on what is important (visits>trades/growth>chat) if a player isn't making any progress they might be let go. First they are offered all the help we can possibly give, but sometimes they just aren't as into the game as the rest of us.

4. Do you vote people off the island as it were?
We don't have a real democracy in our FS, more of a benevolent dictatorship, but of the very active members we do take a poll. The few times that we have asked everyone to vote on something we got quite a few "whatever you decide, we trust you" responses, so now we mostly ask Mages what they think about removing someone.

5. Do you talk to people who maybe are not contributing as much and ask them to leave?
We offer them extra help and guidance, then monitor the results. If there isn't any improvement they may be let go.

6. Do you set up hard, fast rules about exactly how to stay in the fellowship based entirely on achievement?
Another tricky one, since it's rather unfair to impose new rules and then kick people who don't adapt, but yes. Since all rule changes are discussed and agreed upon new rules are strictly enforced after a suitable grace period. As an example we switched to requiring boosted only builds, but we offered to pay for them--using 4:1 trades we gave smaller players enough goods to tear down non-boosted and replace/upgrade boosted to max for their chapter. Those who didn't comply within 2 weeks were let go.

7. How do you rate the social aspect, the friendly and enjoyable personalities, the educators?
As I said in #1, once trades are under control, provided everyone's growth is maintained the only thing left is the social aspect. There is a balance that needs to be struck. Currently we have about 15 quiet members, 5 very active chatters, and 5 that chat occasionally. While I would enjoy even more chatter, there are limits to the chat feature in game, and also the more personalities involved the higher the chance that some might clash.

That's my $0.02
 
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DeletedUser5180

Guest
I'm with Soggy on just about all aspects of the givens. The only difference is, in my Fellowship, we have set guidelines in place that were adopted early on as the FS was being formed.
Answer to question number 1, A well balanced FS of Boosted goods and Fair trades within the FS are critical to the well being on the moral and growth of your FS. This outlined in the Overview and agreed upon by all members of the FS.
Answer question number 2, All members had input into how the guidelines were to be worded, including a set number of visits per week to fellow members. Once these guidelines were put into effect, each and every member, Including the ArchMage had to agree to follow the now named Overview (Rules). Any new members joining the FS had to agree to the exact same Overview before being allowed into the FS.
Answer to question number 3, This took away the responsibility and possibile infighting of keeping a player who went rogue on the roster.
Answer to question number 4, Any member failing to follow the rules now would, 1) get a message from any of the Mages or the Archmage warning of the infraction and the pending disassociasion (removal) from the FS (this was already spelled out in the Overview), if they didn't straighten up and start following the rules.
Answer to question number 5 is the same as Soggy's
Answer to question number 6 is already spelled out in our Overview..If you are joining us and are needing help tearing down your non-boosted goods to build boosted goods only manufacturing, we will help with 4:1 or 5:1 trades to get you built up and going.
Answer to question number 7 is the easiest of all, we are a very social group out to help each other and willing to help build each other up. We have taught new and old players that as you help others build and grow, it only helps the overall team rankings and health, and with the health of the team growing, the individual growth of each player is phenominal. The chatter is growing by leaps and bounds, sometimes the language barrier by some of the players has to be taken into account, and those are the players that use the messaging so that they can use translater software, but it still works out for my group.
 

DeletedUser4778

Guest
Would any of you boot out someone who refuses to follow the boosted goods strategy and whose production levels are quite low to begin with?
 

DeletedUser2824

Guest
We don't have a real democracy in our FS, more of a benevolent dictatorship

Eeyup! While everyone's input is important to me and I often put things to my pups or mages (depending on the nature of the decision), in the end it's up to me as Archmage to make the best decision based on the circumstances. While my wisdom may be questioned, I know it's my job as Archmage to lead. If I put everything to vote I'd be handing those reins to someone else. While I'm certainly not the best Archmage, I took up the position and with it the responsibilities.

While I would enjoy even more chatter, there are limits to the chat feature in game

Don't I know it! I'm hoping they give us some better fellowship features somewhere along the line. Let's face it, for some of us it's the part of the game that keeps us going the most.

Would any of you boot out someone who refuses to follow the boosted goods strategy and whose production levels are quite low to begin with?

Tricky question and it probably depends on the fellowship. For mine, I don't have boosted only goods as a hard rule, but I highly encourage it. It might become a hard rule in the future, but I started my fellowship to be newbie friendly, so I kept the rules few and simple. As we evolve so might the rules that are important to us.
 

Calenmir

Well-Known Member
Our FS wouldn't boot anyone for having other non-boost buildings in their city and that's not a rule in ours either. After all, you don't get to pick your boosts and maybe you like the look of one of the non-boost buildings and want it in your city. So long as they don't have as many non-boosts as boosts, I see no harm in that. Where it becomes a problem is when they do have as many non-boosts as boosts. Because you see them frequently in the trader looking for their boosted good as well as those goods they are producing and they are rarely able to help the FS when others need their boosted good. You simply can't make enough for it to be a benefit and it wastes coins and supplies each time you start a production.

We do expect them to help with trades and hopefully knowing that, it would be enough for them understand what the expectation is and that they game is actually designed this way - especially if you are in a FS - you work together to meet the needs. And any that do have a lot of non-boost buildings will surely eventually see that the one big reason they never have enough space is because they are using it to produce goods they could trade for.
 

DeletedUser1901

Guest
Soggy summed it up pretty well on how we run our fellowship (we do not demand only boosted factories either, however most of our players have gone that way as I try to lead them down that path). And as taggathias said, I am ultimately responsible for the group as a whole.

  1. What are the contributions you have found to be most valuable in everyone's enjoyment of the game? Daily visits and trading hands down. This is such an important part of the fellowship that it can actually make or break a group. People either want to swim in these benefits or have such a hectic life that they seek a more laid back group that does not have all the requirements so that they can experience a more casual playing experience.
  2. What are some of the ways that you have made decisions about how to evaluate the contributions and personalities of particular members? When I finally decided that we needed more Mages and Ambassadors I asked for volunteers. Not everyone wants a position of power and I've seen where players that were promoted did not contribute anything to the group. Out of those that volunteered I took personality and knowledge into consideration.
  3. How do you make decisions about who stays and who goes? (aside from people who break the rules - like unfair trade practices) The only way to get booted out of my fellowship is if you go MIA (no neighbor visits) for more than a week and I get no response from you when I message you. Now, with that being said... I do take the players personality into consideration. If I KNOW that they would not just up and leave then I hold them for a while. I've had people come back to us amazed that they were still in our group and let me know that they were seriously injured, exceptionally sick or even had to have emergency surgery. Real life happens and you need to know your players to make a good judgement call.
  4. Do you vote people off the island as it were? I am the only person that can expel a member. I do speak to my Mages but I am also the one that always makes the decision.
  5. Do you talk to people who maybe are not contributing as much and ask them to leave? Yes, I do message and offer help or to see if they are doing ok. In every instance so far, the person just did not respond back to me so out the door they went after a week.
  6. Do you set up hard, fast rules about exactly how to stay in the fellowship based entirely on achievement? Yes, at least 4 visits per week (we average 20/day most weeks!) and fair, same tier trades. We do help the smaller cities with lopsided trades but if I see someone taking advantage then I do step in. By the way, I have never had to reprimand anyone in my group over this. :)
  7. How do you rate the social aspect, the friendly and enjoyable personalities, the educators? This one was tricky for me as our group is pretty quiet and I've had to use some tricks to get them out of their shells. Now they are not the chatterboxes like some fellowships are but they can be and I also have seen a huge increase in help which makes me so happy. I used group messages to play games like we have in the forum and I have several special group messages for things like each guest race, culture and NH, Help and suggestions... and a few more. All of these have brought out the personalities of the members and have made us closer.
The most important thing I can tell you is to KEEP IT POSITIVE! During all the Orc and Battle changes we become stronger rather than losing players by the masses. I kept a very positive spin on EVERYTHING I said and did. As a leader, your players will feed off of your emotions and it can either boost the group or demolish it.

Many of our players say that this is the best fellowship that they are in now. Not too demanding (like being enlisted in the military lol) but we all get what we expect and have started to gel. Just trying new things (good ol' trial and error) has helped me find a path that worked really well for us. Just remember, to most people this is just a game and they don't want it to feel like a job to them.

Hope this helps and Happy Gaming :)
~Pixi~
 

DeletedUser2824

Guest
As a leader, your players will feed off of your emotions and it can either boost the group or demolish it.

Because it takes so long to do visits, I recently had to quit one of my fellowships to devote more time to the others, and especially the ones where I'm Archmage. While both of my other groups were all good people, there was a difference in moral between the two. One Archmage tried to look on the bright side of things whereas the other would often complain about the challenges of the game. When I would share information about the events and give the lists so everyone could plan ahead, one would thank me, and while the other would thank me as well, they would also express often the opinion that it wasn't worth it. Wanna guess which one I let go?
 

DeletedUser4778

Guest
Our FS wouldn't boot anyone for having other non-boost buildings in their city and that's not a rule in ours either. After all, you don't get to pick your boosts and maybe you like the look of one of the non-boost buildings and want it in your city. So long as they don't have as many non-boosts as boosts, I see no harm in that. Where it becomes a problem is when they do have as many non-boosts as boosts. Because you see them frequently in the trader looking for their boosted good as well as those goods they are producing and they are rarely able to help the FS when others need their boosted good. You simply can't make enough for it to be a benefit and it wastes coins and supplies each time you start a production.

We do expect them to help with trades and hopefully knowing that, it would be enough for them understand what the expectation is and that they game is actually designed this way - especially if you are in a FS - you work together to meet the needs. And any that do have a lot of non-boost buildings will surely eventually see that the one big reason they never have enough space is because they are using it to produce goods they could trade for.
I definitely agree with you but, unfortunately, for the cases I'm talking about (mostly neighbors, not in my FS, but they do regularly message me for help), they have more non-boosts than boosts. Ah well, I hope they will see the light soon.
 

Calenmir

Well-Known Member
Honestly we have some too, but while I would like to introduce guides to them, I don't want to offend them. I think, personally, you should be allowed to build your ci the way you want SO LONG AS it doesn't negatively impact the fellowship. You join a FS for the help. You try to pick one that meets your and their needs, but to ignore the basics of the game as well as constantly being the one in need of goods, means maybe you/they need help in understanding.

I like the thought that a city has a bit of uniqueness. I don't want my city to look like yours or anyone else's BECAUSE of rules of the fellowship, but i do want the members to understand that in joining the agreement was they make their boosted goods available to everyone, not just themselves while constantly looking for more. Most of them understand they were picked because of their boost, so making them understand it should be the MAJOR number of buildings (if not only buildings) they have) shouldn't be that hard. But it is.

If your only goal is to be the number one fellowship, then I suspect you have no problems insisting on certain rules, but when those were never rules of your FS, how do you introduce it without sounding like you are telling them how to build their city? Without making people leave in droves which would destroy your fellowship. Very fine line.

I think our FS has some really smart folks and they will figure it out eventually. I do have some documentation ready to distribute if things don't improve - these would show the benefits of producing only your boosted good, while keeping one or two buildings you like. But still, we enjoy the comraderie, and most help when they can, it could just stand some improvement. There could be so much more to go around if they did produce only boosted, every FS gets there at their own pace.

Patience is key. Let them figure it out. If they don't, then offer them help.
 

SoggyShorts

Well-Known Member
Well put @Calenmir
There is a balance point somewhere between
  • players not liking that their city "should be like this" and
  • players not liking that their city struggles to make ends meet.
Of the 100+ players that I have personally converted to" boosted only" I have yet to hear any regrets:D
Then again, a couple months ago we started paying for all of the goods that it costs a FS member to replace 4-6 non boosted with max level boosted, so there's some carrot there too.
 

DeletedUser2824

Guest
In the fellowships where I'm archmage, I never had boosted only goods as a hard rule because for a lot of people who've had bad experiences with too-pushy of fellowships, this can get their backs up pretty quick, and for a newbie it can sound too demanding as well. Inside my fellowship I do my best to encourage the newer player to go boosted only and explain the benefits, but again, I don't push as hard as I could because like you said, no one wants to be told how to run their city. Even while discouraging cross tier trades I've been trying to give them as much information as I can about how much factory space they need in order to eliminate the need for cross trades. I've been trying to offer solutions to problems, instead of just trying to tell everyone to adhere to one way of doing things. I'm hoping the more examples and explanations I give they'll come to their own conclusions and find a way to play that enhances their own gaming experience as well as help the fellowship out as a whole.
 

Sir Squirrel

Artist and Buddy Fan Club member
I found that once the members trust they will have there trades took, it is easier to talk them into going boost only, I always offer deals to those that join my fellowship to build that trust. Then reassure them that if they go boost only the fellowship will help them to get going again as at the early levels having only a few factories, most think they are being a mooch by asking for help with goods. I also tell them that their boosted goods are needed by the fellowship so they wont have any problem trading for the others. It is a tough go but if you explain it as this is how I got my goods going so good and players see you are doing well in the game they will be more inclined to do it. I found it harder to do with higher level players that have been playing solo for awhile as they are used to doing it on their own. I also get them to look at some of the other members cities that are boost only so they can see that the higher players are doing it so it must be a good thing. Also I found that explaining about the space they will gain is a good motivator. The hardest part is trying not to make them feel like you are trying to tell them how to build their city. It is always better to say I have a suggestion that might help you with the game and save you space to help you advance a little quicker. I offer tips every once and a while and try to put them like that, a tip to help if you want, but the final decision is theirs as it is their city.
 
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Ashrem

Well-Known Member
In the fellowships where I'm archmage, I never had boosted only goods as a hard rule because for a lot of people who've had bad experiences with too-pushy of fellowships, this can get their backs up pretty quick, and for a newbie it can sound too demanding as well.
I think if your group (whatever kind of group that is, not just fellowships) has rules, and someone finds those rules unacceptable, that is their problem, not the groups. As long as your fellowship says up-front that members are expected to produce boosted goods only, no-one should be joining unless they feel that's an acceptable condition. There are lots of fellowships, and anyone can start their own. There's no excuse for being recalcitrant about following the group's rules.
 

Mykan

Well-Known Member
  1. What are the contributions you have found to be most valuable in everyone's enjoyment of the game?
  2. What are some of the ways that you have made decisions about how to evaluate the contributions and personalities of particular members?
  3. How do you make decisions about who stays and who goes? (aside from people who break the rules - like unfair trade practices)
  4. Do you vote people off the island as it were?
  5. Do you talk to people who maybe are not contributing as much and ask them to leave?
  6. Do you set up hard, fast rules about exactly how to stay in the fellowship based entirely on achievement?
  7. How do you rate the social aspect, the friendly and enjoyable personalities, the educators?
Weigh in on any you questions you wish, or add any thoughts, comments, brilliant ideas, examples, cliches, amusing anecdotes or witty cynicisms you care to add. Any feedback is greatly appreciated.

  1. Anything where we work together as a team (visits, wonders, expecting tournaments)
  2. Some contributions are incredibly hard to measure. We have some members who spend hours doing things to help the fellowship function but for most members just visiting and trading regularly is great
  3. A bit like SoggyShorts it tends to be a benevolent dictatorship. Mages tend to have a larger say and are sounding boards for tougher decisions.
  4. No. At most mages and arch would discuss an issue and course of action
  5. Talk to them yes but not to leave, at first. Try to see if they are ok and if their situation has changed and if we can help. Prolonged departure from rules would lead to a request to leave/removal
  6. Generally the only rule we have is visits but it is important to be as clear as possible on the type of fellowship you want/have so those joining it are clear and can decide more easily if it suits them. If everyone has agreed to the rules initially it is easier to deal with departures from the rules. Having rules, how many you have, or not having them all send a message of the type of fellowship you are.
  7. We don't all are important aspects as is loyalty. Really comes back to the "tone" you want your fellowship to be.
 

EarthbornIcarus

Active Member
Hi...I have a (probably) Dumb Newbie Question:

I joined a Fellowship (Good Neighbors) and have been playing and steadily building my city, upgrading buildings, following all the prompts and challenges, exploring provinces, and also going around to every city & person in my area plus in my fellowship every day to help. I've only been playing for 2 weeks, this is the first game I have ever played online. So a lot of it is new to me. I'm trying to learn.

A few minutes ago- I was >>without any communication or warning<<< kicked out of the fellowship-- and I have no clue why. I messaged a few of the members, including Cranky the First, Archmage (which I don't as yet get what the deal is about hierarchy) but no responses whatsoever. Up until now he has been very nice & kind.

Now- I thought- that it had been going very well...I had good communication with members and was told I was doing great.

The only thing I can possibly think of is that- about 20 min ago- a member messaged me and offered that if I put up a trade for 5 planks, he would give me 200 silk...to help me meet my silk challenge....(I haven't unlocked the silk man. yet)....

The deal could not work out, as we found out- it doesn't allow you to trade to that ratio.
So- I messaged that I would work on building 200 planks to trade for some silk....

That's it-
Can someone explain. Is it normal to get no info, communication, clues, warning , if you are new and still don't know all the ins & outs?
It seems weird and mysterious and did not feel good, and has pretty much stopped my game play.
Thank you....
 

SoggyShorts

Well-Known Member
What you experienced is not normal. I'm not familiar with that particular fellowship, but theee are many out there that will take on new players, especially those looking to learn and grow (which sounds like you)

Don't be discouraged, what happened is rare-- pop over to your world forums and post in the "members seeking fellowships" section, or check out the fellowships seeking members, I'm sure you'll find a good fit.
 

EarthbornIcarus

Active Member
What you experienced is not normal. I'm not familiar with that particular fellowship, but theee are many out there that will take on new players, especially those looking to learn and grow (which sounds like you)

Don't be discouraged, what happened is rare-- pop over to your world forums and post in the "members seeking fellowships" section, or check out the fellowships seeking members, I'm sure you'll find a good fit.
Thank you.
It really threw me, and didn't feel good at all.... Esp. the mystery of it all.

Thanks, again.
 

DeletedUser4778

Guest
Hi @EarthbornIcarus. I checked your city in Winyandor if this is indeed the city that you're talking about and the FS and I don't see any plank manufactories iin your city or a Cranky the First in the FS or in the list of player names -- the closest was a lord cranky. Those aside, I would say the FS has poor communication if they expelled you without notice. You might want to contact the fellowship Festal which trains new players to prepare them for bigger fellowships.
 
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