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Suggestion [Community Feedback] Posting Habits System

Discussion in 'Questions & Suggestions' started by Octi, Dec 3, 2017.

  1. Octi

    Octi The Helpful Octopus
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    Hey all!

    This thread is branching off of the previous one that Nairne put up. I'm going to both reiterate the things I said in that thread as well as expand upon it so that there is hopefully less confusion.

    Okay, so what's the issue?This issue is one that staff has been aware of for years and it's been a hot topic the past several months in our coordinator chat. Players feeling as thought they haven't found the right partners, making some feel as though either their personal plots aren't moving at a pace they are comfortable with and making others feel as though they are being pressured to post more quickly than they are comfortable with. The most ideal solution to this would be, of course, communicating with your partners and finding a solution. That solution might be prioritizing the thread, relaxing the pacing, skipping somebody, writing somebody out, or doing whatever else you guys might like to agree on.

    That said, we know that communication can be a huge struggle for a lot of people, which is why this discussion is happening. Whatever solution we do come up with, it will absolutely NEVER involve punishing players who enjoy a more relaxed pace. Again, there is nothing wrong with a slower pace and we, in fact, want to continue to emphasize that. It's all about finding rp buddies who will mesh with you. We've tried to help you guys with this in the past by providing things such as the Ping Lists, which we recently took down because nobody looked at them, and more recently, Organizers, which are designed so that you can outline your player preferences in the first post. However, this doesn't necessarily help when posting varies drastically from character to character, when players forget to update their organizer when their posting habits change, etc.

    Okay, so what's the solution?I'm gonna be totally honest. There is nothing that will 100% fix this problem besides everybody communicating better, but at the very least, we can continue to try to provide you guys with tools to make information such as posting habits more accessible so that you can find rp buddies more easily.

    With that said, we do have a potential new system in discussion inspired by Nairne's recent suggestion which we want to present to you guys.

    Posting Habits

    Every character would be given one of three Statuses representing a Posting Habit reflecting their current pacing on the board.

    For example:
    • Mercury = 3-10 posts a month
    • Mars = 15-25 posts a month
    • Neptune = 25+ posts a month
    I pulled random numbers and names, so they might not end up looking like that if we go with this, but you get the idea!

    This status will be updated every month based on their actual IC posting habits across the previous three months. Every character's Posting Habit would be visible to members of the board, so they can make an informed decision about whether or not this member or character is a good fit for them. Furthermore, the system uses results from the past THREE MONTHS in order to determine a status. If multiple months have the same status, that one is used. If all three months have different statuses, it's set to Medium.

    For example:
    • Mercury + Mercury + Mars = Mercury
      Mercury + Mars + Neptune = Mars
      Mars + Mars + Mercury = Mars
    If we implemented this, it would be automated, so zero work for staff and zero work for members!

    The goal here would to better help players find other rp buddies who match the pacing they are looking for. This might mean you're looking for a quicker poster for a specific plot. Or maybe you're looking for a more relaxed poster! There is no right or wrong posting habit, this would simply be yet another tool that the community could use to find buddies.

    You're busy/on absence and concerned about your status? NO PROBLEM!There will be a new vacation/absence system released with the upcoming activity check which will basically be able to pause the counter on your account, so it won't be counted during the time of your absence.

    We will NOT be using the term 'tier'.Because these are not tiers or rankings. They are simply types of writing styles in the same way that some of you may remember putting your name on the Ping Lists if you liked writing short posts or long posts, or posting weekly or bi weekly. In fact, the only difference between this and the Ping Lists is that this will be more visible and will actually be updated. There is no right or wrong group to be in. There is absolutely ZERO penalty to being in any of the groups and there is absolutely nothing wrong with being in any of the groups either.

    FEEDBACK WANTED!Once again, this is only at the consideration stage and is still being discussed by staff, so any community feedback is welcome and appreciated! If you are into the idea, post and let us know! If you have concerns, post and let us know! This all rolls back to communication and we can't possibly know how you guys are feeling unless you let us know.
     
    #1 Octi, Dec 3, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2017
    Jen, Steel, The Governor and 5 others like this.
  2. Lilah

    Lilah Player

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    I'm a little concerned about this. I totally understand the need for it, I really do. I just know that I'm in the "relaxed" group of RPers, and I feel that if I am branded as such, I will be considered...well, as an undesirable. Other players may not even give me a chance because I don't post 25+ posts a month. I don't know, I think it's probably a good idea for the site, but considering my end of it I may reexamine my place here and end up dropping characters just so I can (maybe?) post more often with one.
     
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  3. GhostOfHalloweenPast

    GhostOfHalloweenPast a dragonfly on their way into the sky

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    Hey there~

    I honestly think, that's a good idea, or at least one I'd be super willing to try out. While I didn't have problems with other people's posting pace before - because I'm super patient and all - I would totally offer for others to look at the activity groups my characters are in and decide they don't wanna plot with them. If it's a problem for people, they should get the chance to see such stuff.

    What I think though, and I agree with Lilah there: I don't think, that many connections between characters would have come to life, if the people had decided by activity? Maybe that's just me (/us), but I see a risk for people to get divided here.

    Which, I totally realize, should actually not be a problem in the first place. Since you (the admins/mods/coordinaters) yourself say there will be no penalty and you're not pushing ppl to write more, etc, the players shouldn't take this too serious either.
    But I feel, that there will be people who do and then they'll get disappointed, when a Neptune character suddenly drops in activity because the player is lacking muse or something. Which, *inhales* could be avoided with communication.
    It could pressure players into thinking, they have to 'uphold' their character's rank or else there will be lesser plots/threads/inquiries. And that such pressure isn't great, I probably don't have to point out.

    There's no easy answer to this, I fear?
    While I would welcome it, just as a reference, and maybe a personal motivation, it could turn into some huge problem? So, maybe.. only for players' own view? So they see their character's activity level, but nobody else? Which, of course would reset us to zero, because then the others, those who want to see it, to decide based on it, wouldn't be any smarter again. Or people could decide if they wanna show it?

    Actually, like I said, it shouldn't be a problem in the first place. If people need that, then they should be able to see it, but I just hope it won't turn into some pressured competition. We're here for the fun.
     
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  4. Dharke

    Dharke Find me in Pulaski!

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    I support this idea. I personally have no concerns.

    Love that last suggestion.
     
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  5. Nairne

    Nairne Player

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    Yeah I definitely agree with you those concerns. I only brought this up mainly for the people who go in to plot with characters and end up having threads/plots abandoned or held up because one person isn't communicating their absences or what not. Reminding a few people is fine, but I don't want to be pinging 6 different people asking if they forgot about our thread every month and seeing nothing posted in the absence thread. People have their reasons but if this is happening a lot to many people, then it's a bit hard to manage characters/plots and have fun.

    I personally think it would be insane to expect everyone's characters to be 25+ per month and I like to balance my threads out with slower paced RPers myself. I too get that posting anxiety. Again, the point is about helping people figure out those preferences and it has data to back up what they're actually doing as opposed to promising activity and then getting led on for half a year. At least with data, it's objective as opposed to just saying "oh this person has no activity etc" which is currently a guessing game and can lead to wrong conclusions anyway.

    As for the not picking rpers based off activity part, this already happens anyway to an extent, from what I've noticed. People know which players who fit their preferences are and they stick with them, whether it be writing style, pacing, etc. It goes both ways that some people might not want to roleplay with a higher activity level because they don't want the pressure of responding fast. With this system, its supposed to make it easier to find people who fit your playing style so 1) slower posters aren't getting bugged alot and 2) faster posters don't get frustrated.

    With Pandora, there's a variety of roleplayers here and there seems to be a mixed bag of every type paced writer. And as some of the comments have shown, people are pretty opened here about pacing so the stigma issue probably shouldn't be a rampant thing across the board. (And honestly if someone will give you problems for your posting rate then just don't RP with them or tell an admin. Spare yourself the stress). The issue here has been communication and this was just an attempt to help resolve that.

    ((Edit I took 20 years writing this post so I agree the option part would really help))
     
  6. Hunter

    Hunter they're in his infinite void of darkness

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    So a disclaimer: I'm a suuuuper slow poster. I'll just get that out there so you can decide how biased my perspective is. That being said, I really dislike the idea of this system.

    I totally know how slow and unreliable I am. I'm a college freshman trying to learn how to balance school, work, a social life, extracurriculars, and hobbies, and Pandora has definitely slipped off my radar in terms of how much time I can devote but not necessarily in terms how much I care. Aka: why I haven't just left yet. I've been at 3 characters since July despite wanting to write for others because I know my own limits.

    I personally don't really see how this system is going to help the problem. If someone doesn't know how to communicate with me 'hey, I super enjoy our thread/it's important to my character! Would you mind putting it on priority?' then I don't really know how to help anyone. I guess it could warn people against plotting with me, but it also takes literally 10 seconds to check 'recent posts' on a character and look at the dates before approaching me. Also, I know better than to even engage in any more long term plots because I don't want to get in the way of anyone who prefers a more fast paced posting schedule.

    Whether or not they're officially called tiers, they're pretty much going to be considered so just by the nature of the qualifying factors. I mean, I'll be totally honest: I like to succeed. Being put into the bottom group is just going to make me feel bad about myself regardless of what other people think of me/if they even care. Small issue I suppose, but I do write on Pandora to have fun.

    So basically my opinion of the system is that there already is a way to check if the character you want to write with posts a lot. Ask their player or just look at their recent posts. If someone doesn't reply on the schedule you want or doesn't communicate with you, then don't RP with them. If someone does not tell me there is a problem with my activity, then I don't know there's a problem -- I communicate with nearly all the people with vested interest in my characters, and if they're just silently resenting me but not saying anything then, well...sucks bro. Nothing I can do.

    I know communication is stressful for some people, but you literally can't RP without learning how to. There's no way to magically find a partner with a plot who somehow knows your preferences, and when it comes down to it, posting speed is just a preference. I mean, this entire system isn't super important to me in the grand scheme of life, but I don't think there's a problem that can be solved by just slapping labels on everyone.

    Like Octi reminded us all we have, I think it'd just be easier to update the ping list or create a new one just based on posting speed. I will happily slap myself voluntarily on the 'don't RP with me for your own good' list as soon as it went up. I'm sure there are plenty of people proud to put themselves on the 'I'm finished with my reply ten minutes after yours is posted' if someone's looking for one of those godsend players. Otherwise, if there really is a problem with activity, just raise the AC requirement to 5 or something. I'll cry about it definitely. But it would be a hard solution to a problem.
     
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  7. Octi

    Octi The Helpful Octopus
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    Thankyou so much for the feedback, guys! We definitely understand where the concerns are coming from. As far as communication goes, I'm gonna be entirely honest, we also don't know how else to help people if they won't approach their partners to discuss the issue with them. There's only so much we, as staff, can do when the issue isn't actually activity, it's just players' preferences not really jiving.

    It seems that there is definitely a heavy split on this. @Hunter and @Lilah, since you've expressed similar concerns (and they're probably the same exact concerns everybody else who is wary of this system have), do you think that having it being displayed publicly as entirely optional might be something worth considering as an alternative? Meaning you could go into your preferences and turn it off so that nobody can see it?
     
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  8. Meeks

    Meeks Player

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    just wanted to pop in here and say i do agree with the concerns that have already been expressed, although i also appreciate the place the staff are coming from. this site has a huge memberbase and there's no way you can like... corral everyone and force them to communicate with their partners, even if you were inclined to.

    having an option to make these statuses private seems like a good surface compromise, but from what i've seen a lot of the people who are arguing FOR this system see being able to gauge the status of their partners as the primary benefit, so i just don't know if? that would sort of defeat the purpose for a lot of them. then the people who are leery of being labeled aren't happy (happier, maybe, but) and the people who are trying to select their rp partners via this process also aren't happy (if i'm understanding this correctly).

    ultimately i think there are a lot of viable alternatives for figuring out the pacing of threads/replies already in place, and if people can't be encouraged to use them, they're going to struggle regardless bc this is only one of many rp issues that require clear communication between partners. for me the concerns about this outweigh the benefits, but i understand that i'm one voice in many.
     
  9. Hunter

    Hunter they're in his infinite void of darkness

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    I think that's a great alternative. I know I personally won't display anything regardless of if I manage to get my schedule back on track or not, but if other people find it helpful, then awesome. I think an important part to consider is whether or not things like this are voluntary anyways.

    I also think the part that bothered me is the implication that you're responsible if your partners aren't communicating with you. Sure, it's one thing if you're making an effort to try and speak with someone and they're just straight up not responding, but...this is an issue that isn't specific to Pandora or its members anyways. It's an RPing issue found nearly everywhere.

    It's also a situation specific issue that I personally don't think the staff is responsible for handling, in my humble onion. Like, you guys are doing an awesome job at maintaining such an awesome site for us all to write on, and if we as players just aren't jiving sometimes, then I think it's up to us to be adults and figure it out. /shrug. Just my opinion.

    edit: TO BE ENTIRELY CLEAR RE-READING THIS, I didn't mean the last part in a 'butt out' kind of way. Just that you do so much already, I as one person don't expect you to have to micromanage us all. You're great. Luv u. Luv everyone here. We all valid.
     
  10. Fleet

    Fleet Madness, it's all in the mind!

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    I just want to drop in and say I also agree with the concerns raised about the idea, generally I shall admit that I sit quite comfortably in between quick and slow responses as I tend to go where my muse is... So my status with this system would always be variable anyway which kind of defeats the purpose of it a little? as it would never be constant?

    Plus this feels really like its singling out the slower posters and yes you could hide it but lets be honest here, those who chose to hide the tier are automatically going to be classed as a slower poster who are not worth posting with.... So my general thoughts is that though its a decent idea in writing, in principle I think all it will lead to is people being alienated for something they can't often help because life invades posting time or muse is slower...

    But I do understand peoples concerns in these situations, having had to wait for posts in threads yet generally I find this is fixed by talking to those involved in the threads not alienating them or singling them out...

    Sorry if this isn't what you're after and badly written, my mind is blah because its midnight.... Also I am not meaning to come across as negative, I'm just trying to get the concerns across...

    (ALSO Edit sidenote I just thought of, its also likely to make people compete more which can be viewed as good or bad, but in the long run bragging about post counts and stuff is likely to occur which people don't tend to respond well too)
     
  11. Nic

    Nic Coordinator
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    Do any of you have alternative suggestions to something like this? Beyond making the status optional or not, because clearly people aren't super hyped about that, either (which is fine, I understand the concerns).
    The activity survey showed that the concerns about player activity - particularly people not posting for plots or hoarding important canons without doing anything with them - is a huge issue.
    What can we do to mitigate this?
    If you guys, as the players, won't communicate with each other, how are we, as the Staff, supposed to help other than to do something like this?

    That's my main issue here -- we've had many recent complaints, from several different people. So our reaction is to feel that we obviously need to step in and somehow solve what is apparently a big issue. Yet the solution we come up with gets quite a lot of negative feedback, and no one is really offering an alternative beyond "tell people to communicate." But if people were communicating, we wouldn't have this issue in the first place, lol!

    I think the Staff are just feeling like they're between a rock and a hard place at this point. No matter what - if we implement this, if we implement something different, if we don't do anything at all - someone is going to be unhappy.

    I'm at a loss, I guess. -throws hands up- I have honestly never been on a site where people were so unwilling to just talk to each other. Don't get me wrong - I love Pandora, I love the community and the people I write with. I just really don't love this unwillingness to speak up when you're having issues or concerns. That's where about 98% of our problems come from.
     
  12. Meeks

    Meeks Player

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    this is sort of off the top of my head so i'm not sure how satisfied people would actually be with it, but... would it ease anybody's concerns to implement a system similar to what we've been discussing, but to make it entirely based around self-sorting? i feel there's a certain comfort and autonomy attached to being able to choose these labels (and choose whether or not to display them) as a sort of additional member/character profile component, rather than have it be automated and based around how many times you post

    like if someone chose to label certain characters of theirs as "low activity" or whatever the equivalent was, then they could adjust that in accordance to their muse and availability level. that way it feels less like a... i don't want to use the word "punishment", but a result of how many times you might be able to post in a month, and more like a simple tool that serves players' convenience and preferences.

    idk idk, maybe that's not all that much different than the stuff we already have in place in the organizers and such, but i'm just brainstorming a little so you guys have some suggestions to work with!
     
  13. Nic

    Nic Coordinator
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    Octi implemented a Ping List that was meant to be much like what you've suggested @Meeks. It received great feedback when she first pitched it to everyone.

    ...and then no one kept up with it, updated their stuff, or used it lol. xD
     
  14. Fleet

    Fleet Madness, it's all in the mind!

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    Maybe it should be simpler than a ping list Nic, just the name 'ping list' hurts my brain and sounds complicated and blaaaah.... Maybe like what your suggesting to go on people's profiles but allow them to pick for themselves how active they think each character is rather than make it auto-mated and something they can't really control except to make it private?
     
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  15. Lilah

    Lilah Player

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    I'm not quite sure what to say. Before reading this today, I wasn't aware of the problem, so I feel a little frustrated being told I should suddenly come up with a better solution to the one presented. I do agree with what was said above: that even being given the option to "opt out", so to speak, would still put a label on the player. But as I said, I have no other ideas to offer. I've only just begun to mull it all over in my head.

    This has all been a little disheartening. I see now that the most active players have been living with frustration over the slower player's pace, but it does seem that they probably should have been communicating that directly rather than stewing about it quietly. I don't know. I'm just feeling a bit less welcome now, I guess? and wondering if there have been complaints about me.
     
  16. Fleet

    Fleet Madness, it's all in the mind!

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    Generally though I think encouraging communication between people somehow is the way to go, I have little sympathy for people who say they can't do that as communicating is part of life and why not use RP as the time to learn how to do that if you struggle with it. Plus the system is also likely to reduce communication between players not enhance it...

    I'd say Nic that maybe get stricter with the complaints because personally I don't think this is a complaint that should be taken to staff, if you have a problem with the speed levels of posters it should be taken up with the RPer, not taken behind the RPer's back to the staff.... To be honest the thought of that happening is a little insulting and reminds me of playground childishness... (I am again not trying to cause upset here, it's just an opinion and I fail to make coherentness at 1am xD I will probably wake up tomorrow regretting having said a word cos yeah... 1am I fail xD)

    As for an actual solution other than to encourage those who have this issue to talk to the others in the threads or plots, I have nothing off the top of my head as my solution for this problem when I have run into it has always been to talk to the rper..
     
  17. Octi

    Octi The Helpful Octopus
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    Thanks again for the feedback, guys, and I'm really sorry to have brought this up at all and stressed anybody out. We won't be implementing this, and we'll instead be focusing on the upcoming automated Activity Check!
     
  18. Nic

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    @Lilah I didn't mean that at anyone specifically, I apologize if it came off that way. I am definitely frustrated, so I'm sure that came across in my post, but it's a general frustration! I didn't mean to make you feel less welcome. ^^;

    And you're absolutely right - people should be communicating! That's where all of our issues come from, I'm just feeling at a loss as to how we can encourage that, or what tools we can give people.

    And Fleet, we did discuss that! It could certainly be an option, though the Player Organizers somewhat offer that information anyway (or are meant to).

    Anyway, hopefully the automated AC system by itself will be enough to mitigate a lot of these issues with people only posting during the AC week. With the automated system there is no specific AC week, it continuously checks to make sure you have the minimum number of posts within the last month. Hopefully that will be enough, and in the meantime maybe we can figure out some ways to help people communicate more effectively!
     
  19. Andii

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    Hope I can still post to this!

    I actually really like this idea. Not as a "bragging" method or other things of that nature, but as a way to help base how much I can put into something. I guess the best way to put it is like... I'm currently a slower poster due to life, but based on the above chart, some of my characters would be high/etc. Its almost like an automated trend to help show where my muse is vs. anything else and a great way to help me gauge maybe where some of my own characters lack and/or who I could potentially be plot buddies with. Someone who matches my current speed may be a great person to help me get a working pace on a plot I'm excited about, but may not have all the time in the world for. It could just help me gauge which characters could match with other characters in that sort of way, so I don't feel pressured and so that I know the other person probably won't feel pressured in return.

    If anything it would really help me on my activity levels of trying to bring some of my other characters up to speed if I see them trending low a couple months in a row vs my other characters. I typically manually track my posts in that manner to see if someone's muse is slowly dying off, so I can gauge putting in more effort or letting them go.

    Its not a ranking system, but an automated muse sort of system. You don't have to state "my muse is low for x character", its already there! But in return, if you have high muse for a character, its also already there! IDK, I think its neat. Even if it were an option to select or not. Its another way to communicate with others without me actually talking to everyone!
     
  20. Sabine

    Sabine Moderator
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    I know I'm late.

    There is nothing wrong with posting more slowly. I think it's more like a plot is plotted and then not replied to for months. You feel bad mentioning it more than once or twice and they promise they'll get to it and then they don't, which can be frustrating. Slow posting is different than not posting. Slow posting is cool in my book, especially if you have divulged it beforehand.

    Being in threads that die is pretty much par for the course in RP though. There is no magic solution. It's annoying, but it's gonna happen but I feel like being transparent might help.

    I think this attempts to make sure everyone communicates. And, sometimes, communication can be hard. Anxiety, real life issues, etc. Maybe the relaxed poster or the person who doesn't want to be in the thread anymore at all feels bad and so avoids. There are many reasons communication doesn't happen. Then, there is when communication doesn't change the posting habits of the two players.

    Faster posters have just as much responsibility to make sure relaxed posters don't feel badly about their speed as much as relaxed posters are responsible to communicate their posting habits to someone they plot with. i.e. Letting them know that they post once a week and not every day, etc.

    It's the responsibility of both players to be honest about their posting habits and the limit to which they can be in plot heavy threads. I have relaxed and active characters, so I would seek out a more relaxed poster for Evelyn and a more active one for Irene. It's not a stigma, it's information. Just be honest. Anyone who judges you for being relaxed is not a very nice person.

    The solution here IS communication between players. Honest and steady communication.
     
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