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Balmung RP, is it dying? Has it changed?

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A discussion I'd like to have is based on a question I and some friends have been asking ourselves.  "Is RP on Balmung dying, or is it changing?"

The reason for this question is we've noticed less RPers showing up to events like the Runestone and Grindstone and also less in the Quicksand. We're seeing more players who don't RP inside the quicksand, a lot more ERP alts but much less people there to RP. We've also noticed a rise on people roleplaying villains who are stronger than most players and require an army to defeat only for them to resurrect the next day unharmed.

We're all from back when ARR was current so maybe our perception is off, maybe we are missing something. Maybe it's just a downtime due to content since none of us are heavy content-goers to say the least.

So I wanted to ask you the community, do you think RP on Balmung is dying or at least decreased temporarily for some reason? Do you think it's just changed and if so how? Do you think Balmung being locked down and another RP server forming had anything to do with it?


This isn't really just for Balmung either, if people from Mateus want to chime in go for it, I'd just like to hear people's opinions on the matter in a friendly well-mannered discussion. 

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People not showing up at the Quicksand, or the Grindstone, or the Runestone, or whatever other event you want to put out there, doesn't mean that RP is dying on Balmung.  Most players never went to those locations or events in the first place.

Edited by LiadansWhisper

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RP is going strong as far as I can see. The only serious issue I can say I've noticed is that players on the whole seem reluctant to branch out from their existing friends, even if they wish they had more friends. But, that's just the clique nature of basically every RP community in basically every MMO. It's only problematic on Balmung because there's a lack of new players due to the lock, so with existing players being a bit set-in-their-social-circles, it's a challenge to make new friends.

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I feel like I was summoned. 

 

Balmung is not dying, by any stretch - At least not from an event standpoint. And I have the data to back up this claim with. 

Initial post from November 2017: https://curious-balmung.tumblr.com/post/172081222485/meandering-mind-a-word-about-events-please 
Trimester update: https://curious-balmung.tumblr.com/post/172705727655/balcal-analysis-trimester-update-previous 

And here's the most beautiful graph I ever did saw: 

tumblr_p6ubyhq1q21xn83qjo1_1280.png

 

I like to call the summer of '17, "The summer of heck this I don't wanna do events anymore."

 

You can find links to the spreadsheet where all of this data is gathered up in, in the links I posted above. 
The data is based on the Balmung Event Calendar, which has been run for a couple of years if not three, and has been the go-to source for event information for many people. 
As I always say, it's very dangerous to base claims like that on what you feel like you see. The very reason why I decided to get on this project was because I myself was doubting, I thought Balmung had suffered from being closed - which is not the case if you look at events. What you see in the quicksand can be more like a snapshot of what people who like to go to the quicksand/pearl lane like to be up to, and as much as that is "the" hub, I know just as many people who never ever go there as I know people who do. It has always been like this. It doesn't speak for the rest of the server.

 

Another way that you can get a finger-on-the-pulse kind of feeling, and this is boring but I find it works - Is by standing in peak time, in the quicksand/big event, and counting how many individual RP FC's (Who for example end in -RP or have it mentioned in their description.) you see in the span of an hour. I have also done this (I was bored and just standing there anyways), and I think the maximum I ever "recorded" if you would, was about 120. Which is a lot of FC's in my view, if you assume all have at least ten unique members, that's a lot of nerds. 

 

What you might be feeling or picking up on, is the patch lulls, because those do happen. They don't always seem to have any affect on how many events are happening, but there's less hype going about - some people may not log in as much, and things can feel really stagnant if square doesn't give us anything shiny to play with that lasts. The Eureka patch bellyflopped really fast, but the good news is that there is less than a month till the next one. 

 

I should also note that the events you're mentioning, whilst they may be big, are also recurring and somewhat niche. And late, they start late, even for a saturday for some people - 10pm isn't doable, or maybe they can't stay for more than an hour or two. Recurring events are more likely to be hit by this whole Balmung-why-are-you-closed thing, because people are inevitably driven to what's new. The rest becomes a staple, something to fall back on if all else fails. The backup plan for your RP plans. 

 

Anyways, I hope this helps bringing a little nuance into play. Of course I could be super wrong, I mean, I am not a statistics professional and my methods are definitely not perfect - I am but a nerd who likes to do these somewhat insane things. But I like to think I might be on to something. I plan on keeping on doing tri-monthly updates to the spreadsheet for the next foreseeable future. 

 

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Changed I would say.  Less to the stock events and more local circle type stuff.

 

You could look to the exodus of some, maybe even the non NA players as a reason and also there has been an influx of new people. This may mean that new norms are being established, or maybe time of year?

 

I have noticed less people at some events, and even myself has stopped playing/RPing so much.

 

Yet there is many active and some even pushing new ideas to bring us together in RP, /cheer for them!

 

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Gdamn Maril. Coming in here with a laser pointer and graphs and stuff.

I can only speak purely for Balmung. But to sort of chime in, this is one of those things where it's very much "perspective vs. reality" and when to discern between the two. It's easy to feel like RP might be dying or low on a server when you have a swing of bad meetups, ghostings, a few events where you sat like a wallflower, whatever have you.

I highly suggest checking the RP event calendar and even if you think an event isn't for you, even if you think the premise is dumb, even if you think it's a tad lore spotty (I had some friends cringe at the idea of disco pants) you should still go. GO. GOGOGOGOGO. Try to hop in the goings in, send characters that you think could jive with yours tells. Go say hi. Propose a toast. Go TRIP over someone. Go spill a plate of food on them. DO SOMETHING.

The worst thing that could happen is you realize "Wow this is dead and nothing is working, k I'm out I guess my character stayed home reading tonight". The best case scenario is you meet cool new folk. Maybe you'll swap Discord info with someone. Maybe you'll make some new friends. Maybe you'll get invited to a LS. Now, all of a sudden, the RP is popping on the server again.

I despise the word clique. Always did, always will. It's basically a word that tries to to make people feel like garbage for having an established friend group and not feeling entitled to, or simply not having the time, to reach out to every person they see. It's sort of a boogeyman people like to point fingers at when RP isn't going their way.

Do group of friends that RP together exist on Balmung? Completely. Such behavior is normal. Are they closed to meeting to people? In my experience? Hell no. In fact, most RP FC's and LS's are constantly actively recruiting due to server lock. They've got RPC pages, Tumblr pages, Discords. There is a degree of pro-activity that needs to take place in searching but if you're not willing to put forth that then you can't really complain about a lack of RP. To be honest? There is more RP here that I wish I could try to join that I simply don't have time for or have a conflicting schedule.

Taking that step is hard though. It can be hard to get out there and meet new people because the reality is: You're not going to jive with everyone. Sometimes you're not a match for an FC. Or maybe you join an LS and realize that the RP just doesn't interest you as much as you thought it would. Maybe they prefer to RP in Discord and you don't. Maybe you feel like you're a better writer than them or vice versa and it makes you uncomfortable. Maybe their lore make you gnash your teeth. It could be a zillion things but the reality is not every group fits all. It's not a bad thing, it doesn't mean RP is dying. Just means you gotta keep your head up and keep putting yourself and your character out there and I say that as someone who has had to do it themselves many times.

The last thing I'd like to note is summer is on the horizon and a patch lull is upon us. You're going to have people going outside more (Vitamin D wtf is that can I get it in the Quicksand?) going on vacations, spending time with the partner and kids, whatever have you. There is a natural ebb and flow to populations in MMOs and the RP community isn't immune to this. It is, however, something that is only worth worrying about a very small percentage of the time. This is not one of those times.

This is the stuff I always think whenever I see stuff like this so finally just putting it to paper. Or text. Hope some of it is helpful and I'm not just bloviating in your face. o7

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Dying? Not even close. Less accessible? Definitely.

 

More and more RP has withdrawn into player housing and away from the open world. Running across random adventurers IC at camps and whatnot is more challenging than it once was (and 'stalking' people for RP encounters in the wild is just as hard >.>). Looking at all of the scheduled events up on the calendar right now, an alarming amount of them take place in houses. Some players (myself included probably) are just super 'old school' and it's tougher for us to follow suit in walling ourselves up like that. That said, I also don't see housing based RP diminishing anytime soon either. People like showing off their houses and they're considered 'safe zones' for many.

 

Add to the fact that Balmung is a super old community as a whole where some people are more comfortable in certain settings or groups, along with the fact that the server has largely remained closed entirely, and you have a recipe for what it is now. So to answer your question, is it dying? No. The RP population is still extremely massive. Is it changing? Kind of. It's been changing for the last several years though. This is nothing new. The "low quality RP" (public ERP, crazy strong super villains, etc) is just more visible now that the "high quality RP" is largely walled up and increasingly requires making something akin to an OOC appointment to actually RP. For people like me, this is maddening and I can certainly understand frustration of others. I'm still old school and not changing anytime soon sadly >.>;

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6 hours ago, Pumpkin said:

A discussion I'd like to have is based on a question I and some friends have been asking ourselves.  "Is RP on Balmung dying, or is it changing?"

The reason for this question is we've noticed less RPers showing up to events like the Runestone and Grindstone and also less in the Quicksand. We're seeing more players who don't RP inside the quicksand, a lot more ERP alts but much less people there to RP. We've also noticed a rise on people roleplaying villains who are stronger than most players and require an army to defeat only for them to resurrect the next day unharmed.

 

Bolded emphasis partly mine. I have to know why you think these two are connected.

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I suspect people may be more spread out at different events since there is a such a variety now. To be plain, as much as I respect grindstone, most people have been to it so perhaps people are attending other events these days since there's a great variety. 

As for the quicksand, I've heard more complaints then usual about erp-ers sending them weird/random messages straight up looking for erp or asking odd questions straight up like (quote) "Are you into vore?". A great ooc conversation starter (sarcasm). Things like that have a tendency to deter people. I also agree with the sentiment people may be sticking to their fc/friends circles these days when it comes rp rather then venturing out. 

I also agree with the pre-patch lull. I know quite a few people playing other mmo's because eureka got boring quick or they did everything they wanted to within a few weeks. Even as a more casual pve player I've managed to get to 20 and make most of the artefact gear  I want dyeable. 

I'm pretty confident once the next patch drops a lot of people will reappear. This isn't really anything out of ordinary. 

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8 hours ago, Maril said:

I should also note that the events you're mentioning, whilst they may be big, are also recurring and somewhat niche. And late, they start late, even for a saturday for some people - 10pm isn't doable, or maybe they can't stay for more than an hour or two. Recurring events are more likely to be hit by this whole Balmung-why-are-you-closed thing, because people are inevitably driven to what's new. The rest becomes a staple, something to fall back on if all else fails. The backup plan for your RP plans. 

 

I just wanted to pop in and say that Grindstone numbers can and will likely continue to be very... "swingy." This can be due to a mix of personal player burnout, other real life things (time differences, holidays, RL plans like movie releases and just general outside-of-game social activities, even things going on in OTHER games), and even "counter-scheduling" of other events (events happening at or around the same time as the Grindstone) among other things. So some weekends we might only get 20-30 people, other times we get 50-60 or more. So, as a whole, using it as a barometer for how RP is doing for the server as a whole is... awkward due to the huge number of variables that can affect the turnout beyond just "less RP on Balmung."

 

Plus, I want to throw my own hat into the pile of "there's plenty of RP if you go looking for it." I haven't had too much RP lately, but that was due to me not going out and seeking it myself - and I know that because I've seen plenty of events I could've thrown my Garlean at being run by Aegir and them (and several events I could've thrown Chachan at as well!). Not to mention that there are plots and events going on that I'm aware of but having dipped my toes in for some reason or another. I mean, there's a new plot that I just got into that has a lot of people jumping in on it and it looks like it's going to be a lot of fun for getting more RP and interacting with more people. All because I put myself out there and said "I wanna do this."

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The quicksand have a bad reputation as an erp nest and a meeting place for people that break the lore. So its only natural that a lot of people will slowly back away.

 

Join an FC and you'll suddenly drown in more RP than you can handle. Because thats how it works in this game. RP is closed off to many private pockets you have to find and get into.

 

Not saying all public events and rp sucks but if you are looking for quality plots? They are unreliable.

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The other thing about Balmung RP is not even about balmung itself but atm the 'game' is feeling very stagnate to a lot of veterans and other players alike. Lately the focus of content in 14 has been the cash shop, the story for at least what i hear from most friends of mine is meh/uninteresting and their RP narratives make them more engaged in the world or they simply are just not having fun in 14 like before. And i don't blame them....and i know you are going to ask

"What does this have to do with Role Playing?"

It does affect some people, especially myself who likes to RP in public from time to time or wants to get out...fact of the matter is i struggle to even log in because i know all i'll be doing in the game is mostly sitting and occasional Emoting/looking for parties to interact with or plain AFKing. I don't have interest in the endgame nor gearing and Eureka i finished on Alyx by purely AFKing through it all...No joke.

That said the RP if anything got bigger after some people were allowed to transfer onto Balmung. My FC in particular has had a resurgence of recruiting and some of them hailed from mateus (when they first started RP during Stormblood) or other less populated servers. We have had more activity in the last few weeks and months than 4.0-4.1. And this is just a small personal thing. I know the FC members go out and about RPing elsewhere and attending events like Grindstone which is to my knowledge still the best location to meet other RPers you want to connect with even if you are just watching the fights. 

Balmung RP is not dying. FAR FROM IT! Balmung RP may be stagnating or atm people are just taking breaks from the game cause...let's face it there's nothing much to do in 14 for some people besides Role Playing.

 

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There's more RP on Balmung than you can shake a Moogle at.

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This question comes up every now and again in some shape or form on either here on RPC or on Tumblr. Sometimes it's just a few posts embedded in another topic, sometimes it has its own thread, sometimes it's presented as someone trying to choose a server. And every time, the answer is the same.

 

No, it is not dying.

Yes, it has changed -- as all things inevitably do.

 

There are so many factors that play into the stuff you're seeing (or not seeing) in regards to Balmung's "state", that it's almost difficult to identify them all.

 

Some people have had personal life changes, so they can't RP like they used to. Others play multiple MMOs and can't have the majority of their focus on 14. If you want to judge mostly by events and their attendance, you have some RPers like me who've been around for quite some time... but we almost never go to Grindstone or any other popular recurring event because we just don't like them (and/or can't deal with immense chat scroll). Then you have some "old guard" RPers like Kylin mentioned who're just not for sitting indoors all the time and want to RP in dungeons or actively roam across the world. You won't find an official listing or ad for those sorts of RPers/groups all the time... You just have to be lucky enough to encounter them. And then you have people who sort of show up when content is new/abundant, then dip when it's not.

 

I guess the main point I wanted to make is that unstable things like event popularity or the number of instances of less desirable RP concepts ALONE do not dictate what the health of an RP community is like. That verdict has to be drawn from a long list of things that play in conjunction with the current state of game itself, building up and winding down over many, many months of said community's lifespan.

Edited by Kismet

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This question has popped up every now and then since... well, launch, basically. So, no, it is far from dying. The server is still, after all, considered a congested world--and one that is largely populated by role-players. There are multiple RP events on any given day. Every day, I see new recruitment ads for FC's and LS's. Everyday, I see a Discord of some sort being advertised, or someone on the server looking for an RP FC or RP connections. I've never seen the Quicksand void of RP for more than an hour or two at off hours.

Going by the metric of people presently RPing in the Quicksand or attending big, regular, old events like the Grindstone is far from an accurate measurement. You have to consider that Balmung has been locked for a while and was only very briefly unlocked before being locked again. Most people on the server have been here for a while and had plenty of time to establish connections. And most people, typically, aim to spend their allotted time for RP with people they know and trust, enjoy being around, and can build a progressing and long-lasting character narrative with rather than RPing with a rando in the Quicksand they will probably never see online again. It's natural people want to find friends and social circles and then spend time with them, try as people might to demonize the notion with "cliques" and "circle jerks." And a lot of these RP's people are doing with their friends will, naturally, be more secluded by nature--private conversations, hanging out at someone's house, going on adventures not suited for a dozen strangers tagging along, progressing a character's personal storyline, FC events, couples going on dates, etc.

RP hubs are typically frequented the most by people trying to make connections. If you've already got your connections, there's little reason for most people to utilize them, unless they find themselves bored one evening with no friends around, or just desire a change of pace. And with how long the Balmung community has been established and most of us have been here, a lot of people already have all the connections and RP partners they can handle. As for events like the Grindstone, it's been running weekly since shortly after 2.0's launch with little to no breaks. It's basically the same every week, and most people have already been to the Grindstone--repeatedly. I'm not meaning that as a drag against the Grindstone by any means, just to say that the Balmung RP calendar is overflowing with events lately, and Saturday nights are primetime for them (that's not even mentioning all the non-public events, like the many FC's and Discords I know that hold meetings on Saturday evenings). People are more likely to be drawn to one-time events or more unique ones than they are a weekly recurring one that's been running for years which they've already been to a dozen times and can go to a dozen more.

Things do, admittedly, feel especially boring right now--but it is worth remembering that we are in a patch lull. In fact, perhaps the worst patch lull I've seen. The Eureka patch was a total flop for the people who ended up disliking Eureka or had little interest in its rewards, and for the people who do like or tolerate Eureka, they've been given a long, instanced grind to complete which will probably eat into their RP time. Right now, a lot of people are feeling uninspired (and even letting their subs lapse) and are only logging in when they have something scheduled beforehand like an event that caught their eye or a private RP planned with a friend. These people aren't just loitering around looking for walk-ups in their downtime, instead they're spending it on other games and pursuits until FFXIV catches their attention again. It's a temporary problem and one remedied, for the most part, when a new patch is released.

tl;dr there is still plenty of RP happening, just in different places. I'd say "less accessible" places, but that's not quite right. All it takes to access them is making friends, signing up for events and storylines, posting or answering LFRP ads, and joining some FC's/LS's/Discords.
 

Edited by Faye

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I've been playing MMOs since the early days of Ultima Online, so speaking from experience I can say one thing is true...

 

The only constant is change.

 

People come and go. Some stay a long time, others only a short time. Guilds rise and fall. Friendships blossom and wither (though some stay friends). People eventually get bored or burned out and move on to other games, or put a higher priority on real life for any number of reasons. It is the cycle of the MMO. It's not unlike real life in that respect - we grow, get jobs, start families, make new friends and lose touch with old friends... nothing stays the same. That doesn't mean things get worse, or better, just that they change.

 

I can not say if RP is dying on Bal, or any FF14 server as I'm fairly new here (though considering that Bal is still a locked down server, and I see people popping into the Welcome forums regularly, I think the RP scene in general is still pretty healthy). But I can guarantee you that RP is changing. It's always changing. The question is, are you willing to change with it, or even help direct change?

Edited by Tregarde

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Ah, I'm very sorry for making a repeat thread. I was unaware this was a thing though I did google before posting here I should have perhaps done a website search. I think perhaps I just need to adapt and maybe work on my FC which has been kind of a dead canary for a long time now. 

 

Maril- you're my hero and that graph was very erotic, I greatly appreciated your insight and very well cited information. I'm sorry you had to do all that work but it seemed like a labour of love.

I'm trying to get involved with more RP groups and do more things. It's weird for me trying to penetrate established groups but I really want to drown in RP so I'm going to do that.

Thank you all for the wonderful insight.

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On 5/1/2018 at 11:37 AM, Pumpkin said:

The reason for this question is we've noticed less RPers showing up to events like the Runestone and Grindstone and also less in the Quicksand

 

There's plenty of better and prettier places to RP in the overworld and instances outside of Ul'dah

 

On 5/1/2018 at 11:37 AM, Pumpkin said:

We've also noticed a rise on people roleplaying villains who are stronger than most players and require an army to defeat only for them to resurrect the next day unharmed

 

You can always block and autoignore villain sues

 

On 5/1/2018 at 11:37 AM, Pumpkin said:

We're all from back when ARR was current so maybe our perception is off, maybe we are missing something. Maybe it's just a downtime due to content since none of us are heavy content-goers to say the least

 

A lot of the Heavensward and Stormblood content is excellent, don't miss out
 

On 5/1/2018 at 11:37 AM, Pumpkin said:

Do you think it's just changed and if so how?

 

More people expect you to join their guild discords now. Which is bad because it promotes insularity, but also good because it allows for cross-server interaction and storytelling. The upcoming cross-server linkshells will help with that even more

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Hi.  I run the Balmung RP Event Calendar.  It's far from dieing...  I'm constantly behind on the work I have to do on this thing and I actually have help now...

 

In the last week 20 new events were submitted on the calendar (most of them one off events)

 

For this week there are 42 events on schedule this week, an average of six a day, and that's just the open to the public events.  Anything with a signup to attend, limited attendance, or not taking place in game is not this list (Fate 14 events and the l like.)

 

At a quick glance, last year this week there were 37 events, the year before that only 17.   I'd say we're still growing (somehow).

Additionally the events are spread over more timezones now instead of clustered around EST Prime time (It is still the most popular, but there is more variance)

 

One of the reasons I believe you're seeing less attendance at some of the old standbys is there's more going on, more choices to make, and it's easier than ever to find new things to do.

 

~ Erah'sae.

 

PS: I'm showing the Mystic Runestone tournament closed it's doors end of last year, if this isn't the case, get someone running it to yell at me.  They're not on the calendar currently.

 

Edit:

PPS:  Welcome back to Eorzea to the OP and their friends from AAR.  It's a good time to play again.  Don't skip heavensward, the story is amazing.

 

Edited by Erah'sae

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On 4/30/2018 at 11:46 PM, Maril said:

I feel like I was summoned. 

 

 

Maril, you've made my week with that post.   Just hitting the like button wasn't enough.  Thanks for all the analysis work!

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Since OP asked briefly about Mateus, (I haven't been visiting Balmung's peak times lately)... I can sufficiently say that RP is booming. Running through QS I see a lot of people rping daily, moreso on Friday evenings throughout Saturday. I get home pretty late on the weekdays so there might be more people playing during earlier times I can't say for sure. As for events I see them quite numerously through the different resources like discord, Party Finder, tumblr etc. BUT- it is still a patch-lull and not nearly as much as say when things are not in a dry spell.

Now, I will say that the times I did play more frequently in Balmung this time of the year tends to have some of the LEAST amount of time played mostly in part to the fact school is winding down both primary schools and secondary-college schools. Finals are coming up, people are freaking out over them, etc. Soon as end of May into June, hits? You're going to be looking at a lot more events and a lot more rpers running around in general as well as the fact that a major content patch is dropping.

Oh and to edit on! With the next patch we are getting multiple server linkshells so I suspect there will be more events on both large and smaller servers for rp as well.

Edited by Fox

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5 hours ago, Erah'sae said:

PS: I'm showing the Mystic Runestone tournament closed it's doors end of last year, if this isn't the case, get someone running it to yell at me.  They're not on the calendar currently.


Runestone did shut down afaik, a new magic tournament was created as its unofficial successor, but I don't know the name of it.

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2 hours ago, Faye said:

Runestone did shut down afaik, a new magic tournament was created as its unofficial successor, but I don't know the name of it.

 

The Magus Invitational is the primary "replacement" for Runestone. Though there's also the Spellguard tournament on Fridays and some Masquerade magic tournament - but Magus is the one put in the old time slot of Runestone. 

Edited by Saikhantuyaa

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Thanks you two.  I thought this was the case, but the line of the Runestone in the original post made me think I missed something.  (Which happens all too often)

 

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