Post rut discussion and voting

So, following a lengthy discussion on one of the TEF discords, it's come to our attention that there are things worth bringing up, discussing, and voting on. Many have expressed disappointment in the overall tone of the event, finding the interactions unsatisfactory particularly in the area of actual competitive game-play and realism.
While the Rut is already intended to support serious and realistic play styles, it was distinctly lacking this year for a more party based atmosphere. This isn't intended to condemn such however, but we do need to try to strike a balance that leaves as many, if not all participants, happy with the event.

In the conversation we've managed to come up with some suggestions and critiques. I'll first begin with well meaning suggestions that were bought up by community members, for community members, in how we might be able to try to help accommodate the event overall. Please bear in mind that this is not an attempt to tell people exactly what to do, or how to play, but recommended ideas that might help the event as a whole succeed better in future, for everyone.
The biggest problem seemed to be that many members were AFK and unresponsive. This is something that we as a community have been used to and comfortable with for a long time. Unfortunately, during the Rut, especially while gathered in groups, this proves to be detrimental to everyone else's experience.

The most common suggestions to help in this area are:
* Asking people to, if they can, move to the no-rut zones to AFK so that no one needs to expect anything from you.
* Let your deer sleep when AFK, so again no one expects anything from you.
* Try to rely less on Discord. Or at least check in more often if you're able.
* Try to be less hesitant to contact one another outside the game.
* If you don't see anything going on, then try to be the one to start something. Yes, anxiety is a big key factor to acknowledge in this, however it might help to know that many members are probably in the same boat. Try your best to push aside your shyness if you can. This is a big part of what the Rut is for.

On a less related note, but still a community-wide suggestion; in future we also would like to see a lot less focus on substance abuse in characters. Yeah, a little bit is fine, but when it overwhelms the events theme, it gets unpleasant for a number of reasons.

As for suggestions on what we can do to help encourage things ourselves; we've discussed a few ideas, all with pros and cons. After reading thoroughly what these ideas are, please proceed to vote on what you think is best, or suggest any ideas you might have. Please understand that as organizers, there's only so much we can do. At the end of the day the Ruts success is and will always be defined by the combined efforts of the community.

First of all and most significantly, there have been calls for a second "sister-event" for the Spring. So far, the concepts and formula is much the same as the current Fall rut. It will use combat and judging to bring people together, however the tone is to be significantly less serious with focus being towards sparring and teaching the inexperienced on how to participate. At the very least, we can start a trial attempt of this event in Spring 2019 to see if it works out.
One of the intended purposes of having two events is that the Spring event will be more toned down, so that the Fall event can focus more on serious gameplay between players and characters.

One other significant idea is splitting the forest arenas in two. The theoretical idea is that the First Forest could be a place for more laid back rutting while the Birch forest could become a place for more serious and realistic participants to gather and find others looking for a similar experience.
This is NOT to be mistaken as being a strict separating border, as players and characters will be able to seamlessly travel between both halves depending on what sort of Rutting experience they're after.
However there are still some concerns that this might cause some form of segregation in the forest.

A similar and less dramatic idea would be implementing "Activity Hot spots" again and hoping it works out better. These are areas (usually pre-defined by the community throughout the years of rutting) which encourage serious herds and gatherings. This is NOT to be mistaken as "Rutting can only happen here", as with the exceptions of red-zones, the rest of the forest remains a free for all in the event.

And on a smaller note; during the event Aivilo and I discussed the roles of Competitors and Challengers. We contemplated the idea of merging the two roles into one to Combatants, leaving all different playstyles and flexibility to the player to decide on how their character will participate. There will still be great variables between character types.
This is an idea drawn from how fluid both these roles tend to be. A challenger may hold a herd and a Competitor may not compete with a show of strength. Merging the roles will theoretically open up even more fluidity and dynamic playstyles, but the expense may be that people will be slower to know what to expect out of their rival.
But that being said, even with the roles in place a rival can still be unpredictable.
This is entirely the community's call.

And last of all, did you feel like the Rut was long enough? Was it too short? Too long?

Vote on all issues here!


ShrinkingRose's picture


0baf0's picture


Icon - ahimsa.Signature - Qanat. ♥

Every year you remind people

Every year you remind people of the rules set into place, and every year there are those who fail to follow them.

You are already urging participants to play their part accordingly, ie judges must judge, yet this is something that participants always seem to neglect irregardless. Simply adding more rules therefor seems unlikely to make a difference, other than offering even more rules to break, and running the risk of overcomplicating the event as a whole.

My suggestion: Let participants sort out their preferences for themselves instead of relying on the event organizers to please everyone. Participants who find a certain crowd unsatisfactory should simply leave and find those that suit their own particular playstyle. A judge not judging is not a judge worth fighting for. Participants not paying attention to their screens should be left behind. And, if someone is having trouble finding anyone around in the game itself that isn't partying, they could make a post asking if there are any more serious combatants around that their character could tag along with.

There's only so much you as event organizers can do, it's ultimately up to the participating players to make the event an enjoyable experience.
OshiBoo's picture

Personally I found that the

Personally I found that the discord use helped a fair bit. Participants were able to get in contact with one another as far as their formed herds went, so notifying judges of a challenger or even letting players know that someone was afk in the group was extremely useful overall. There were other uses too but that's just a few.

As for the seriousness and realism of the event uhh... idk. As far as I understood it wasnt supposed to be the same as the real rut - just a fun mock version. I've always appreciated that it was up to players and characters to translate that how they will as long as it was kept tame for younger members. Asking that it be more serious or more realistic may put people off participating altogether. Bear in mind I say this not knowing what went on a good portion of time in the event.

I really dont think the event itself needs changing but I do think people tend to submit too many characters(myself included sob so I'm not jabbing at anyone in particular please) which often leads to a lot of tabbed out participants hanging around while their player is focused on their main. It can leave the impression to some players that judges aren't judging or competitors/challengers are ignoring them. Thats not exclusively the case but I think its food for thought at least, perhaps the second less serious event might go a long way to alleviating that? It's worth a shot I think and personally I'd prioritize characters better if there were two events - others may too.

And agreeing with Jin here, theres only so much an organizer can do. The groundwork for the rut is fine as is, in my opinion. I think this year may have just suffered from the same low-activity the game has had the last few months at least.

Tl;dr, I dont think the event needs changing, there's only so much an organizer can be asked to do! but a second less serious event might help the rut be more focused in the long run.


coddiwomple's picture

I'm in the minority here so

I'm in the minority here so just putting my two cents. And before I state anything, I am not, not accusing anyone of anything or singling anyone out. This is tough love. I know so many people here are so sensitive, but you know, that's how life is sometimes. And sometimes it'll sting. Please... just...don't attack me for it. This is just constructive crit.

But as someone who hasn't been able to partake in the Rut because of it conflicting with scheduling issues for the last few years, I'd enjoy having a sister event in the spring to participate in. I think someone brought up, once, talking about like a silly flower sparring or playful type of event- just something fun that included playing with fawns/OOC, all sorts of games, and overall getting back to the roots of what this place used to be and less intense and clique-ish. I wish I knew where that post went or I'd link it. If you know what I'm talking about, and know where it is, please dig it up? It was around here somewhere...
But the point being it sounded adorable, light and fun- just what this place needs sometimes to remind us we're not on our own little individual rafts but a community connected by a common love of TEF and our characters.

As for the rest of this, rules can only do so much if no one abides by them. You guys, as the organizers, are doing your very best and we as a community should appreciate that by following those rules. But that's just it, half the work is by the community, organizers already did the other half by monitoring the event and putting up ground rules. If the rut has an overall feel of being underwhelming, then the people partaking need to ramp it up. The main thing I've noticed about TEFC as a whole is that players have a longstanding habit of wanting things to change then expecting the person next to them to do it- when they need to do it themselves.

Newsflash guys, I know you probably don't want to read this, but the vast majority of the people here have an anxiety issue or another that is crippling their ability to reach out. The thing is, while it's an issue, they can push past that and reach out instead of hiding behind it. It's hard, I know, I have those issues too, but at least try for the rut event. You can do it. For the most part if people are participating, they're not going to bite your head off for talking to them. You can't expect everyone else around you to do your participating for you, while you kick back on your heels and wait for them to come to you. Otherwise it's going to be this way through the whole event. And the point of the event is to meet new people and reach out, regardless of what your character IC thinks the event is! It's about having fun, moving outside your circle (because as much as everyone here is turning a blind eye to it, TEFC is just as cliqueish if not moreso in recent years, about their social circles- I'm not blaming anyone, and I'm guilty of it too) and meeting new people. How can you do that if you're waiting for everyone to gravitate to you or initiate conversation?

The only way I can even remotely suggest controlling the lack of activity is to put a cap on the number of characters people are allowed to enter. I know it'd be a terribly unpopular opinion, but there's a reason why other games and any sane thing revolving around participation does this. It stifles the fun a bit, but it also, in this instance, makes the player really think about who they'll enter and put all their energy behind it. And I did this too, I'd throw in 5, 6, 7 characters when I still had time for this and then only some of them would get to participate because I never consider the amount of lag in game or the connection issues, or the fact that you can only realistically do so much. At the end of the day juggling three characters in the rut allows you to really play and have fun rather than tabbing constantly and frustrating those around you because no sane person can be constantly active on more than one character at a time. Besides, if you have a large group of characters to pick from, most people tend to gravitate to their favorite baby by the end of the event as it is...

So yeah, those are just my two cents. Again, not singling anyone out, just dishing out some tough love.

Aivilo's picture

Would just like to

Would just like to mention:
Having an excess number of characters logged into the Forest at the same time puts strain on the server, which was only meant to handle 50 connections, and makes it more difficult for others to log in and produces more lag for all. If you anticipate being away from your computer for an extended period, or if you find yourself bored enough with the event that you are spending more time tabbed out than in, or find you are neglecting one window for another, please consider logging out of/disconnecting the inactive game windows to help reduce the lag and connection issues, if not for the activity issue.
LostintheEcho's picture

I haven't fully read the

I haven't fully read the current comments, but I do want to make something clear just in case someone isn't part of the TEFc server on discord.

A good chunk of the community, over the past 24hrs have put their hands into the jar with their issues and ideas to help format a way to potentially help the rut in the future. No one is relying on the organisers for everything. yES they are putting things together and ultimately adding to the rules etc, and we're all grateful af for that. However, this never would have happened if not for the voice of the community. we have spoken and we WILL work to improve the event next year.

Its not on the organisers backs to make this work, its on ours, and we all know that.

Sigi by Wake

just posting to track and

just posting to track and also second Lite above, all of this stuff was heavily suggested by the player base, as the blog owner mentioned. It wasn't all the Rutrunners' work (not that I'm saying they haven't worked, bc gosh they put lotsa effort in!! but..), it was the work of everyone involved in the discussion which some may or may not have been privy to- but regardless, don't be dismissing the community as a whole for not helping out or 'playing our part', bc a huge section of us did.
And thanks for doing the poll, Rutrunners eue let the voting commence
HeartClock's picture

I know I shouldn't talk about

I know I shouldn't talk about myself only here, but I'm pretty sure I wasn't the only one living this situation:

I personally did my best to go past my social anxiety. Heck, that's why I registered Gabi as a challenger. It was supposed to be a challenge for me, especially since I never got any of my characters into a fight during a community event like the Rut.

I had the idea to do something myself like gathering everyone and/or challenging someone else's character, but I was never in the mood or just was not sure about it. I did ask for a fight once (although the in-game interactions got me confused a bit), and tried to invest a little in the event, by taking part in the Rut players' conversations as well (which I barely did because I never knew what to say). But I wasn't feeling like it, sadly, and the only reason why I logged in the game for the Rut was because my characters needed interaction and I was worried that I would not be able to find any other perfect opportunity like the Rut was. However, I got distracted by other things and ended up not doing much at all. The main reason being that I was having personal/family issues at the same time.

TL;DR: Despite my efforts to overcome my anxiety, real-life issues made me go AFK most of the time and made me want to do something else than playing TEF. I honestly feel fustrated about it because I really wanted to particpate for real this year.

I apologize for leaving my characters sitting still in the middle of the active spot while AFK, I should have moved them somewhere else and/or left them asleep instead.

The Rut just happened at the wrong time for me.
Sig by Lathyrus. ♥
coddiwomple's picture

That's great to read that you

That's great to read that you guys ironing out the issues for next year, hopefully it'll run better then ♥

And again, I wasn't singling anyone out just noting something that happens every year. So no hard feelings from my end. ^^ If you take offense, well, I'm sorry you feel that way. It's just an opinion.

@Heartclock Hey- I wasn't in game, but I can guarantee you didn't singlehandedly ruin anyone's fun! I think it was a collective outcome.

Apologies for coming off as

Apologies for coming off as dismissive of those who did make an effort!

I just feel that play styles differ so greatly that it's fruitless to try to accomodate or even try to erase that individuality via the event rules, especially considering the event focuses on getting to know one another. Letting participants sort it out for themselves seems like the most natural and unintrusive option imo, as opposed to demanding others act a certain way or segrate in game areas. In other words, I don't believe that it's an issue that can be helped by adding more rules.

This is NOT to be mistaken as

This is NOT to be mistaken as being a strict separating border, as players and characters will be able to seamlessly travel between both halves depending on what sort of Rutting experience they're after.

it is impossible to make a physical barrier or segregate it, no one is gate keeping nor should they, it would be an addition for the multitude of players who want a little more competitive and realistic rutting experience, no one is banned from going into these areas or leaving, it's an easier access for players wanting to find a similar experience and style with other players and characters to the one they're wanting to portray and play as well.. no one is being forced into one area, nor are their characters

change isnt a bad thing, even as potentially small as whatever decision comes regarding a more competitive/realism rutting experience space for those wanting it. No one is demanding anyone act any way or a certain way except that they be aware, if spaces or a split takes place, that this is what they would expect, and could experience, coming into whatever area they and their character wander into, just as you would expect spars and judging to happen waltzing into the 'pit' of the rut area during it every year. There is no demanding happening whatsoever of anyone and neither would it if it were to go ahead im sure. No one is trying to erase anything? Only add something to an already yearly event that could open up more doors for creativity from all players and give a wider variety of play for everyone. Just because your character might favor the laid back/not as competitive area doesn't mean it cant go to the other areas if/when they want something a little more competitive, or even chill on the outskirts to watch?

Nothing is being taken from how it is if there is spaces/a split. The rut map is never fully used anyway so it's not as though this would be taking space from it. It's adding things for those wanting it and giving double possibility for styles and characters to engage in different levels of competitive and activeness depending on ic and ooc mood at any given time.

Sig: Aihnna

I was largely referring to

I was largely referring to the 'not to rely on discord as much' or 'go somewhere else when you're afk' though 'demanding' was a strong choice of word on my part. I don't actually have anything against the separation of the birch and first forest for those purposes, just pointed out what seemed most natural and unintrusive to me personally. It seems like a good way to go about it if people uphold it. Is it getting hot in here?
Gustiro's picture

I agree with Jin and several

I agree with Jin and several others here.

I also agree with coddiwomple's idea of limiting the amount of characters entered into the rut. While it may not guarantee people wont put 5+ inactive characters into the forest at least maybe it will discourage it. I am personally guilty of having 3 characters in at one point for a short while. And truthfully I don't see anyone needing more than that as keeping tabs of 3 characters is difficult enough. Plus the fact it puts strain on the servers and adds lag. And then hunting pictos in the Rut List. So I agree with a limit cap 100%.

HeartClock, you are not the problem. AFKing in general is not the problem. People have perfectly good excuses for having to step away at a moments notice like having to use the restroom or eat or whatever else important.
What most people are annoyed about is people leaving their deer in the game for hours/days sitting or standing like statues when they could have easily let them sleep or logged off. Or people that leave their deer in and tabbed while they play another game, draw, or people that have 8+ characters logged in but can only realistically play one or two actively at a time. And then them never checking if someone might be trying to interact with them, and THEN complaining no one interacts with them. That's what people are finding issue with, not simple little AFKs or emergencies.
It's not even really about people being shy. As a challenger player and a long time vet player I felt it my duty to initiate interaction and try getting people involved. And I'm sorry I didn't notice your characters because I would have gladly tried getting you involved.
But I say good on you for trying to overcome your anxieties. It took me a long time to get where I am emotionally and socially, I understand your struggle, and I want you to know that fighting is not a lost cause. Some people might not understand just how hard it can be sometimes, it can feel like they're even against you when they say things like "just get over it" or "you're just not trying hard enough". Just remember they just don't understand and they may even mean well. Don't let their misunderstanding hold you back. It can become easier, especially if you are around people willing to hold some patience with you, showing you support while you gather courage and confidence. Surround yourself with people that make you feel good and avoid those that tear you down, make those anxieties flare up worse. It can and will get better. Don't give up on community events, don't give up on yourself.
LostintheEcho's picture

Going to disagree with the

Going to disagree with the idea of limiting the number of characters entered into the rut.

A lot of players want a more serious rut, and this includes taking fights more seriously, dealing with damage and dealing with fatigue fairly. Coupled with a few players wanting a loNGER rut event, by the end of the first week, several competitors and challengers might be struggling. SO players might be inclined to throw someone else in instead to focus on while their other characters recover.

If you limit the number of characters entered, your just adding to the issue of less activity really :s
Sigi by Wake

Jacklo's picture

Adding to the above, everyone

Adding to the above, everyone I witnessed with multichars and myself included just used the same window to change characters.

We tried a longer rut a few years ago and it died. It died dead midway through the 2nd week. Believe me I'd be pleasantly surprised if the next one at 2 weeks works but this one was quiet as heck on day 8 to 10 I don't hold much hope for a whole 14 days.

Jacklo's Characters/Hub
Discord: Daddy#4977

I like everyone's suggestion

I like everyone's suggestion so far honestly, I'd have to agree with LostintheEcho with the limiting characters. More or less, I think rut rules should encourage putting characters in you think might have a better chance of participating, then again there's also some discrepancy with that. Possibly something that works around that kind of basis? In my own personal opinion, the rut this year seemed much more quiet than the last, of course I can only assume people are busy with their outside lives and due to a miss-schedule of the rut season.

It could be a hoard of reasons, but I've been on tef/tefc for quite a while and the game itself has become much less active over the years. I agree, cliques are present, people are shy, however too many people joined the rut and many weren't able or didn't participate like they hoped to do so.

Lots of people put in their characters and afk, I'll admit to doing that and well I'm sure everyone has their valid reasons. I think what might be a possible solution is a prep rut, something where newcomers to the game and community can learn about the rut and other such related topics. Something to hype the actual rut and give others who haven't noticed the rut is about to begin/or has started, can get a chance to prepare and enter their desired characters. A beforehand event saying "hey the rut is here and its time." I'm honestly just voicing off the top of my head, but it's worth a try.
Wyldflower's picture

Assuming a less-realism based

Assuming a less-realism based / laid-back (what is the correct term lmao) event goes ahead in the spring and the rut is marketed more towards what people felt they missed out this time around would there still be the same need/want for the map split?

@Coy Interactions with Idelle were some of my highlights from this year, it just shows just a little bit of initiation goes so far! c:

Not by any means trying to suggest that was the only good example from this year but it was a really encouraging thing to see, made me feel a lot more confident in my own ability to positively initiate (or at least awkwardly try to ahaha) something. Heart there's always options like having a challenger team up with another or a judge initially hanging around with a friend's and just going with the flow from there. Little things like that have always helped me and it gets easier once you settle in and things are underway. It's just finding that little push in the start and as more people take a leap for it hopefully others feel more encouraged to do so themselves.

By Draak ♥
coddiwomple's picture

You bring up a valid point,

You bring up a valid point, Lost! (and people who snuck in while I typed) I also didn't mean it as a hard and fast rule, but just a suggestion. It's more for the idea of so many idling tabs...

So let me rephrase and approach in a different way. It's more limiting the amount of tabs at any given point throughout any one day. Not necessarily limiting characters, as it was politely pointed out to me that players can delete or add characters at any given time. Which is great, it keeps the event dynamic.

Instead of having 5 tabs up all the time, maybe have 3, maybe 2. Then switch out a character. It's more of thinking of the server load as well as the rest of the player base. For example, if your (this is a hypothetical you) challenger is in the middle of an epic fight (well... for TEF xD) while your judge is sitting and tabbed out in a distant group but with the background off and someone's competitor comes to woo them, but has no idea this is your character too... well it's a triage, do you deal with your judge or save your challenger's butt? Especially if you can't just pause everything to find the other competitor while you're in the middle of moving a character around.

It's more of the idea that realistically anyone can only give so much focus, why have idling tabs and having to constantly split focus when you could just focus on one for a bit and move on to another one. And I feel like this mostly happens as it is, but I think it's a really nice thing to keep in mind... it's just a way of suggesting to keep the server load down, as well as help those that didn't really feel like judges were participating.

Since it's not fair to dictate the type of event (serious, fun) the idea of different areas sort of "designating" different gameplay styles sounds like it'd be a wonderful way to implement everyone's playing styles and character types without anyone feeling left out!

EDIT: @Fin, yes thank you a cap limit on the amount in at any given point is what I was trying to say.

Fincayra's picture

gonna.. jump in on jo's point

gonna.. jump in on jo's point and throw in a bit of my own opinion here

also have to disagree with limiting the number of characters in the rut only because i know players (like myself) enjoy shuffling through their ocs a bit during the event. applying the different personalities and registered roles of a char to get the most out of the rut is what i think players prefer depending on what suits their play style on a certain day, and it'd be hard to do that if there's only so many chars you're able to register- that doesn't leave a whole lot of options. and like jo said, chars in certain roles might burn out too fast and it's just nice to have a few fresh picks to keep the activity goin'.

what i do agree with is there should definitely be a cap on the number of registered characters allowed to be in the game at the same time. two as the limit or something. like many have said already, it's not at all feasible to manage the activity of more than two windows, sometimes not even one oh my goddd let me tell you so having more than that is useless and only adds to the server load.

so i'unno. i personally like getting to choose which chars of mine will be in the rut on a given year, even if it ends up being, say, five and maybe i don't end up playing one or two- still cool to have a handful involved so i can switch between them for any reason. but having several windows running to play them all at the same time is just laughably hopeless, so if there are any restrictions to be had it should be focused on the number of game windows open at a time.

just my two cents tho

edit; oop! ninja'd by coddi you basically said it, man
or maybe someone else has said it before idfk

jus' gon pipe up and say that

jus' gon pipe up and say that while i realize the last time there was a 2 week rut that things tended to die down towards the middle, for people like myself who had no earthly opportunity to play except for a couple hours on a couple days during the one week, a second week would have been splendid. discussion of overall activity/competitiveness aside, giving people more than one week to participate in an event that only happens once a year is beyond just convenience, it's fair. like i've been saying in the discord, i'm fairly bitter (not towards anyone, ofc, just in general bc im a salty sandra) that i missed out on 90% of my favourite event because the week chosen was my midterm and Thanksgiving week. if there'd been a second week, i'd have gotten to really enjoy it, and i know i'm not alone- the one week available just isn't prime for everyone, whereas two gives more opportunity.

on the note of limiting chars, i also disagree. everyone should be allowed to enter as many as they like, considering there's no real obligation to play every single one, but being able to choose what you vibe with on a day to day basis has always been a key part of the rut, at least for me. BUT, in terms of having yay amount of chars ingame, that i vote yes for- our poor server can't handle the multitudes to begin with, and if they're all one person, it's not fair to anyone else. so i'm all for keeping the number of tabs on the low side, to keep things going eue
i know during the first or second day, somewhere in there, there was one picto that had twelve, tWELVE instances open at the idol, and it was bogging my computer down to near stand-still. that kinda stuff should be discouraged for sure

andand yes afk zones are a plus imo, makes perfect sense for the designated rut time for people to move their chars out of active areas if they're tabbing out (ofc excluding situations where y'gotta up and leave the comp abruptly). n.. yeah.. forget what else i wanted to say so wELP
pumpkinseed's picture

I like the idea of: Limiting

I like the idea of:

Limiting the number of characters that you can login to the event in one sitting, to facilitate more incentive to interact. Entering as many as you want is fine, but maybe rotate through them.

Having an area where people who want serious rut interaction vs people who want a more casual and/or merely social rut is a neat idea. I think it'd make it easier to determine who is also actually active at the time or willing to engage.

Overall, I enjoyed the rut this year. I don't have that many complaints about it. It was nice seeing everyone be attentive to their characters like back in the olden days... I was previously in favor of having a shorter rut, but I think a second week benefits those who are in school/out of town/dealing with life, etc..

Have we considered maybe doing 1 week, then having a handful of cool down days, then maybe another full week? That way the second week feels fresh. Just a silly idea to throw out there.

You guys did a great job, and it was great meeting people I hadn't interacted with before.
WayfarerHart's picture

I'll give a more thorough

I'll give a more thorough reply later but I wanted to point this out in the Rut blogs rules. Does this not already cover the subject of accounts well enough?

[b]Performance:[/a] Due to the notoriously large amount of people the event has attracted in the past - something that has been known to have a negative impact on the server - we ask, for the duration of the event, if you could please try to refrain from needless idling or from using multiple inactive windows.
Qanat's picture

HELLO i'm here to echo what

HELLO i'm here to echo what other people said because 'i agree' is too easy apparently sigh

personally i was only as active as i was because i had multiple characters signed up, with different roles or different goals. if there was nothing going on where one of them was, i could switch to the other's viewer and stir things. i did avoid logging onto the ones i felt weren't doing anything on that day BUT
maybe an enforced cap of like.. two (rut participating) deer in at a time so you can play a passive judge roll and an aggressive competitor or challenger roll at once

i've never seen the rut go strong for the WHOLE duration of time it was running. it seemed really quiet to me this year, with quite a few days that were pretty dead for the majority of the time i was awake (compared to other years), but it also fell on a week that was busy for plenty of people. I DON'T THINK IT HURTS at all to make the event longer, while it definitely dies down partway. people aren't obligated to participate, but it's nice to give others a chance to do it

I LIKE THE IDEA OF AFK ZONES, but i also know that i'm rarely 'afk' and more often.. doing things that i can't be tabbed in while doing. tabbing out during lulls in activity while everyone's just sitting and getting sucked into a drawing only to tab in again to everyone gone can be a bummer! so it could also be helpful to poke anyone who seems to be unaware of the group moving or action happening! poke thy neighbour in need

I voted before reading the

I voted before reading the comments, now I'm not sure what to think because everyone has really good points.

But I definitely agree people need to either move their deer if they're afk or they need to let their game keep running in the bg so their deer can fall asleep. That was the main problem I ran into.

Having seen a Rut Herds

Having seen a Rut Herds discord in the tracker, I thought that'd be the solution to mass inactivity.
People announcing new arrivals, the start/end of fights there, the herd moves, and other coordination.
Those who actually joined it, how did it work for you?
ShrinkingRose's picture

Okay, so, my opinions in

Okay, so, my opinions in short:

Yes to...
...increased activity, duh. That's the issue here.
...asking people to afk in no-rut zones, I already do it and would be nice for others to try it too.
...having less characters in at the same time. Only once had I two characters at the same time throughout all the years I have been rutting. I have one window open and switch characters once I want someone else to get some of that Rut action.
...others contacting others and starting action, self-explanatory. And don't get me wrong, I have asocial tendencies at times but the Rut is only once a year, let's make the most of it. Tbh it should be enough if your character approaches OR just shows up close. In my opinion, Competitors/Challengers should pick up on the activity around and react, not only focus on the herd. Stay aware of other Competitors/Challengers, invite Judges/Wildcards.
...unifying Competitors and Challengers into one role.

No to...
...any splits be it in the map or between playstyles. Lets keep it all mixed. The activity is already low, it will get lower when stuff gets divided. People will get more divided too.
...hotspot zones cause lag.

Other notes...
I don't feel like substance abuse took over this year's event.
I don't feel like this year's event was less serious. If there aren't enough C&Cs then it's better to have a party than a funeral where no one is moving.
If the Rut Server is a problem, I can delete it. Created it for easier ooc and ic interactions. @Uitleger, what you said was the concept and pretty much that's how it went in my opinion but guess it's not what people want.
Also, as a wrap up, I would like to thank everyone who tried to make this year's event as enjoyable as it was.

Let participants sort out their preferences for themselves instead of relying on the event organizers to please everyone.

^ Nailed it, J!n.

ALSO yes please to Spring Festival but imo let's not talk about it together with the Rut, it should be a different event with a different vibe. There was an event like that once and it was great as it was, not associated with the Rut.
OkamiLugia's picture

Here's my brain vomit after

Here's my brain vomit after reading this post and the comments:

tbh I had a pretty good time this year and have very few complaints Sticking out tongue of course I wasn't around the WHOLE time and there were some dead stretches, but a lot of the deadness I saw was due to there just being no rut herds to speak of. Peak activity times for me were roughly late-morning to midday CST.

I had a lot of characters registered to the event but ultimately only 3 did any serious participating. I think the number of registered characters tends to sort itself out that way. Limiting tabs and limiting tabbed out time is definitely something to encourage, once I saw a competitor had been tabbed out a while and eventually the herd dispersed on its own (except for me bc what is executive functioning??). People who wanted to find more activity did so. I will admit to being a lazy bum on my competitor a couple times but inertia is a helluva drug when all else is quiet around you xP

I'm hesitant to designate any rut/rally event as "more casual" vs. "more serious". My competitor is absolutely non-feral and though he approached herds and fought for judges, but he was also happy to just hang out in a group should a competitor/challenger that happened to be around welcome him. Basically, he was willing to hang up his competitor status for a while in favor of socializing, and I'm worried a "more serious" designation to the event may frown upon that sort of thing? Even though ultimately we want to encourage socializing? Like I know the designations aren't going to necessitate this but it's just a wee concern.

The rut discord was a great idea and it helped keep my activity up in game. Being able to talk to other people in game whether or not their characters were next to mine kept me from retreating and closing the game.
OkamiLugia's picture

kinda unrelated but imo ever

kinda unrelated but imo ever since spell data went server side, in-game activity tanked and everything became more messenger roleplay based, which made it more difficult to forge new connections.

I also did not notice "inebriated" activities beyond the crossed logs bar channel on the discord so I wouldn't know if it got out of hand.

I think a small issue may have been people not knowing the discord server existed and feeling like they missed out, but I think that's an easy fix.
OshiBoo's picture

I do like a lot of the

I do like a lot of the opinions shared here - I wasnt fully aware of what was wanted by more serious but I think I get it now.

I think in years past players did take the rut a bit more seriously? At least I saw quite a few players bearing in mind their stamina and damage and so on, I always felt that if judges really thought the player was godmodding (or just you know, not being fair about it) they’d approach the player or just have their judges eventually leave that participant. It's a group effort to take things more seriously and its already in the rules to play fairly but maybe that needs some straightening out or something to make that clearer for newer participants?

Agreeing with a lot of the above as far as limiting goes, yall said what I meant better than I was able to. ;; I know that technically it's already a rule per se to limit how many idle tabs you have in game but in its present writing it seems like its too often ignored or maybe it's just considered a courtesy ask more than anything? Either way clearly limiting how many tabs someone has in at once would be very ideal and could help more people to be able to get in game and join the event overall.

I'll say it again, I thought the rut server was a fantastic idea Shrink! I know not everyone in the community joined but it was a blast in my opinion and made coordinating herds and members very fluid and easy. I personally feel like we need more things like that to encourage people out of their shyness and anxiety - it's hard to not have a good time when you're being invited to join those who are and those in the discord seemed to be more aware of participants in general as it was often a group effort to identify nearby characters and interact with them. It was quite honestly the only reason I felt comfortable in joining herds at all to be honest.
The banter may have been a little silly at times but in game events remained pretty focused as far as the groups I joined.

Coy - Idelle was easily one of my favorite rut interactions this year and I didnt get to play much so thank you for that. ♥

So what I've gathered from

So what I've gathered from all of the comments here and the discussion on discord, to summarise, is that those that want more competitive behaviour and a more serious drive want to ensure that those who like the rut how it was this year still have that for them next year. But, for those that didn't enjoy it as much, want something added (such as hotspots, etc..) so it's fair and more styles are capable of being played throughout the entirety of the event and easier to find those that want to play the same way.

A lot of opinions spoken, most by those who have enjoyed it this year, have perhaps got confused by all the terminology and maybe don't want the players who want more serious drive and realism to have anything they can play and experience? Even though the rut has had a more competitive drive for years. We're not trying to take anything away from anyone, we'd just like to make it easier for more competitive behaviour.. not scrap the noncompetitive or tell people who can and cant go into whatever areas. This would be an addition, helping those who want to find players and characters of similar style find each other so they can enjoy the rut just as those who did this year got to

aND THEN as someone who had more than 2 tabs up during the event (dont egg me), i think the main reason was because i wanted as much interaction as i could get (almOST desperate for it sigh), and ultimately it didn't work because i was focused more on only 2 tabs and others suffered for it (the others i had in) sO i dont think it's a bad thing to have a limit, and god knows it'd be a blessing for me to be forced to only bring in 2 at a time

Sig: Aihnna

LostintheEcho's picture

Something to note about the

Something to note about the rut server just from observing and my own personal thoughts. Like anything new, it wasn't perfect. Some players never joined, while others left after a few days because of one reason or another.

As for a place to go for help, I want to encourage this!!

But overall I think its something that should be used in moderation, not something to be relied on for everything. Maybe i'm too 'old school' but I still prefer spontaneous forest interactions over planning things on discord. Since the introduction of discord in particular, after Skype and the ancient MSN, forest activity as a whole plummeted to what has been referred to as 'sitting simulator'. We are all guilty of this trap, myself included.

This years rut with its lack of activity really showed how 'robotic' and 'choreographed' some of the antics seeeeemed inforest. Players tabbing out before a fight, players chatting and misSING things inforest, and the awkward standing around waiting for responses. The formation of herd channels was interesting but what if i throw in the word 'clique' and suddenly that channel seems very intimidating to approach. I'm not saying that's what happened, but we're all balls of anxiety and although some are saying the server made things better, it could have made things worse for others. AND SO I SAY moderation is key.
Sigi by Wake

OkamiLugia's picture

I agree a lot with what you

I agree a lot with what you said Lost. Since 2013 my activity plummeted bc having spontaneous in-forest fun was just so much more difficult. I think messenger apps combined with server side spell data took a lot of incentive away from actually playing the game Sticking out tongue but man some of my fondest forest memories are the combined GC's and in-forest fun. The balance just got skewed somewhere I suppose. Like you said, moderation.

edit: also I joined the discord discussion and got a much better idea of people's complaints and feel a lot better about it all :ok_hand: it seems like my being able to enjoy this year was just being able to log in at the right times of the day, which is super lame for people who couldn't
ShrinkingRose's picture

Note: Also would like to ask

Note: Also would like to ask to not disregard people's efforts.
There were characters who stayed in the frame of their role perfectly, took the role 'serious' and acted as 'realistic' as they were able to. I could name a lot of such characters, not only C&Cs but also Judges.
Gustiro's picture

If the community does

If the community does separate the forest for next years rut; can we have an area that is not just "party/silliness" or "serious" zones? I purpose a third area designated to people that welcome both aspects without us having to worry or stress about having to behave one way or the other. I personally want my characters to be able to act as spontaneous and true to their character without having to move to a different zone. I personally don't want to have people coming at me saying "but you're character was acting this way that wasn't so-and-so's definition of serious enough, you should have been on the party side" or vice versa. I think that could be a fair compromise that accommodates everyone involved. The serious rutters can have their area, the partiers can relax in their area, and those of us wishing to stay true to their characters as situations develop can react or behave in the way that pleases them in the moment.

If Gustiro wishes to romp with his Judges I want him to be able to and in the moment. If Idelle feels threatened I want her to be able to get tense and tussle with that challenger that tried taking her Judges away but if she feels she's comfortable inviting a challenger/competitor into the herd, who is not currently trying to take her Judges away, I want her able to do so. If my Judge characters want to have a dance with the other Judges as a way of bonding but also Judge a spar that may suddenly happen during it or get tense and uncomfortable with how the spar is going - I wish them to be able to. And do so without a lot of backlash from either the "serious" or "party" side of the rut.
Jacklo's picture

There doesn't need to be a

There doesn't need to be a 'mixed' 3rd area the rest of the forest is supposed to be this mixed area. No one is complaining about people having their characters have some fun with their judges or muck around a little, it was getting to become an issue when that was all they were doing in lieu of actual rut behavior, such as a competitor dancing with challengers and inviting them into herds when other people wanting to fight were stood nearby unable to interact because they wanted to play a little more competitive/seriously.

Jacklo's Characters/Hub
Discord: Daddy#4977
Gustiro's picture

But what exactly was stopping

But what exactly was stopping them from behaving competitively? Gustiro had no trouble in previous years being aggressive to overly friendly challengers/competitors. And in "friendly herds" him just looming and staring a while got people on edge. Did anyone that says it was not competitive enough actually try being competitive? I'm asking legitimately.

Would people define Idelle as not having been competitive enough this year? I'm truly curious. Because if anyone had been tense she would have been too. Wake's Rota was tense with her and she returned it. We joked some OOC in discord but that didn't make the in game interaction any less serious or tense. Now Wake might have felt differently, maybe the Judges did? So I'm curious, did you all feel that was not serious enough? Because if I knew maybe I can get a better understanding what people are considering not serious enough, not competitive enough, and what is making them feel like things were not inclusive enough.

It all comes down to some of use are still just not getting other peoples definition of seriousness. The definition and details are not clear enough. Where is the line being drawn between being serious and not serious? Where is the line between being "realistic" and not realistic?
Jacklo's picture

Idk man I feel like you might

Idk man I feel like you might be making this a bit more about you than it needs to be, like I understand you're using your experiences to give situational feedback but if you're worried about how you were perceived in the rut maybe ask some players to contact you privately? No ones going to call you out in this thread while we're trying to discuss how to make the entire rut more inclusive for everyone.

To answer your initial question, what was stopping them behaving more competitively, was exactly what i described in my post before. If someone wanted to fight for a herd, but the herd 'stag' was ignoring them to spin around and play with other competitors while their judges sat down in a clump, (which was a situation i saw multiple times) it's not fair on the person wanting to fight/be taken seriously.

I guess in that situation the competitive player could have messaged the 'stag' like 'hey man can you stop lets fight' but they shouldn't have to.

This whole 'how much realism is enough for you guys?' stuff is just boiling down to basic roleplay etiquette and being considerate of play-styles, we don't seem to have this problem when its not the rut and anything being added to the new, revamped rut is to help this understanding, such as if your character is prone to having a good ol' dance and romp around when its quiet, but mine likes to groom their judges and have a snuggle session, maybe having a forest divide isn't a bad thing.

Jacklo's Characters/Hub
Discord: Daddy#4977
Gustiro's picture

Except I'm not the only one

Except I'm not the only one that has been asking these questions, repeatedly, without getting any clear answers.

And what is wrong with dividing it three ways instead of just two? It's a compromise that is accommodating to all players and not just a few.

Jacklo literally just...

Jacklo literally just... Answered your question tho?
LostintheEcho's picture

Players can romp around with

Players can romp around with their characters all year round, forming dance parties and the like. Starting fights however, is a lot more trickier to handle. Taking a predator for example, a lot of players want consent before being touched in-forest. Pretty sure some players used to even frown upon seeing violence within the forest.

But during the rut? Balls to the wall lets go fight fight fight. Or at least that's how it used to be? Should be? But now we need to stop because there's a party instead.

A lot of us have tried over and over to explain things. And if its still not clear, then let the event do the talking next year with the new ideas implemented.

Maybe it seems 'unfair' to you now as you sit there thinking about next years event that hasn't even happened yet. But this year was 'unfair' to a LOT of us and we're trying to find a balance so both sides can have equal amounts of fun.

Sigi by Wake

OkamiLugia's picture

I think people are feeling

I think people are feeling defensive (myself included) because they did both things: fight and compete seriously when other players wanted that and be more relaxed and silly when the mood was leaning that way. And we have a lot of people voicing that there was too much silliness happening, so naturally people who participated in some of the silliness are going to feel attacked when no one is giving a clear and specific example of where proper roleplay etiquette wasn't observed. I understand no one wants to put someone else on blast, but no one has to do that if we all just communicate maturely with one another.

And what I mean by "specific and clear": name names and describe what happened, and how you interpreted it. You can do this without seeming like a jerk. I promise at least I'm grown up enough to handle it. If someone messed up and they can't handle some polite constructive criticism regarding a community based event it is not your problem!

Also you cannot assume that people see your gestures in-game unless you are facing each other within proximity while the both of you are tabbed in, and I can imagine that a lot of miscommunication and misinterpretation can happen because of this. I'm not trying to downplay these issues bc being ignored and excluded sucks. I just have personal experience letting little bits of in-game stuff build up and it becoming an issue so I'm concerned about it.

Like it might just be me but these comments above would not really be good feedback for me if it was my behavior that was part of the problem, especially since I'm pretty confident my roleplay etiquette is fine, but that just also means I would never know unless someone named me in a complaint.

Also iirc, the rut mods do encourage people approach them with issues regarding other characters and their players. I have no idea how much of that actually happened.

This all being said ilu guys a lot and the last thing I want is to be a poopoo jerk and I really hope I'm not being one.
Aquilo's picture

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Player & Character Hub
Discord: Gulonine#4267
Aivilo's picture

Quote:Also iirc, the rut mods

Also iirc, the rut mods do encourage people approach them with issues regarding other characters and their players. I have no idea how much of that actually happened.

Yes, we list contact information at the bottom of the blog for a reason. Please do message us if something is wrong.

I personally received no complaints until the post-Rut discussions.

I do think there should be

I do think there should be less emphasis on using Discord. Sure it's helpful, and I think having the rut server was a good idea. But not everyone can be expected to have Discord. Some people might not even want it for whatever reason. I have it now, but it took a long time before I finally caved in and got it. So while it is useful, it shouldn't be used for everything.

Also as someone else pointed out. I think the use of messengers like Discord, and Skype before that, and MSN before that, is actually a big reason, and probably the main reason, for the lack of in-forest activity. Again I'm not saying it shouldn't be used at all, since it does make communication easier, and that's important. But I feel it leads to people being tabbed out a lot more than they used to. I remember when commenting on people's blogs was the main method of communication, and that was usually done after an interaction was already complete. It meant fewer interruptions of what was happening in-game. There would inevitably be confusion, but that could be cleared up later. Discord is faster, of course, and communication is even more important during the rut.

Also about dancing: Maybe consider it doesn't necessarily mean that person isn't taking things seriously? Shikoba does a display dance to try to lure judges over. Though hopefully in cases like that, people would have it somewhere in their character's bio or rut blog. So looking at those is also important. There's a reason people make them, after all.
LostintheEcho's picture

OKAY SO I wasn't going to

OKAY SO I wasn't going to bring this up, BUT SINCE 'display dances' have been mentioned...

A friend of mine tried to play a character that displays rather than fights, and well, they were basically mocked for it. Words suggesting cowardice were thrown around and the 'unamused' & 'joy' emoji. I honestly couldn't tell if the comments were IC or OOC but regardless, it wasn't nice to see. We chose to overlook it since it was the start of the rut and figured things would get better....

But I reiterate, pleASE be accepting of every play-style. We're not trying to push anyone aside, we're trying to accommodate everyone.
Sigi by Wake

0baf0's picture

Jacklo's Stagg? That example

Jacklo's Stagg? That example is making me more confused, rather than clearing things up. What people who are unhappy with this year's event want is less parties, more seriousness, more fights, longer fights... correct?
And your example... are you saying the character was in the wrong then? Since he dismissed/ignored those who came to challenge him, refused spars, did his dance/walk, didn't interact with judges, showed 0 brute strength or direct combat despite being a competitor...
He was taken very seriously, challenged by others for a spar and treated like a threat until it became clear that there was no spar to be had and he had no actual interest in interacting with the judges.

You complain fights had to stop because of parties and dancing...
But during the rut? Balls to the wall lets go fight fight fight. Or at least that's how it used to be? Should be? But now we need to stop because there's a party instead.

...but then you also complain that someone who waltzes in just to do a display dance and not fight, didn't have the judges swoon at his hooves and instead was oocly joked about?

Am I the only one who sees the contradiction there?
Icon - ahimsa.Signature - Qanat. ♥
Jacklo's picture

At the risk of making this

At the risk of making this about me, since I've been directly mentioned I'll admit that the short exchange between Stagg and that one herd just obliterated my muse to play him and I only had him in forest once after that because I felt like OOCly the judge characters were being cruel to his/my style of competing.

The way you phrase it makes it sound like I was dismissal of all judges and challenges, which since I only had him in once actually trying to compete, is untrue. It was the first day, he wanted to strut around, he was challenged and politely declined then moved away as to not cause strife. It should be allowed for competitors/challengers to decline offers to spar? Especially as I knew this meant he wouldn't win any judges? I didn't expect for players to start calling him a coward even when I asked you guys to stop being cruel about it.

Stagg doing a strut/display is not the same as dancing around and ignoring actual rut behaviour, which is the topic here. It said quite clearly on his bio this was his form of competing, and perhaps later in the rut he'd have got physical and started sparring. If people ignored Staggs style of competing to bounce around, act OOC and dance that would be the issue.

Jacklo's Characters/Hub
Discord: Daddy#4977
0baf0's picture

I feel like we are finally

I feel like we are finally getting somewhere because under this guise of "let's make it better for everyone" it's usually someone who was personally hurt or feels like they were treated unfairly. And that's easier to address once we know what exactly they feel went wrong.

Of course it's allowed to decline offers to spar. But just like accepting a spar comes with consequences and decisions made by the judges, so does declining as it sends a certain signal, which was only solidified by you commenting that the group was "not worth" which was very dismissive to me. Only after you oocly condemned the group as "not worth" did the joking start. I am not saying it was fair, but if you throw the whole group under the bus, it's going to come right back at you.

I was one of the people joking and I apologise, it was not my intention to be cruel or hurt anyone.

But yes, back to the topic then, still would love to second Okami and get some actual examples if this apparently wasn't one of them, as we both agree that there was an ic interaction, challenge was issued and the judges paid attention.
Icon - ahimsa.Signature - Qanat. ♥