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Re: Whispers

Post by Coraal » Sat Nov 11, 2017 8:16 pm

Normally I would not weigh in or offer any sort of opinion on a thread like this but the question being brought up in this line is one that should be given serious consideration simply due to the implications that give rise to player concerns.

For myself, and myself alone; I completely agree that whispered content, in spite of it happening IG, should be kept entirely private between players. I recognize that a limited number of GM's have direct access to his faculty within the game and I feel that this is a good thing. The more people who can "hear" whispers in game, the more the issue of trust that will constantly be under scrutiny and question. To Flower's point: she has stated that she was given the acknowledgement of the powers-that-be that her in-game whispers would not be utilized in a fashion that would cause her to be concerned and which might ultimately have a negative impact on the way she chooses to play her character. This is a valid concern given the aforementioned reassurances she was provided. Counter to that point, a GM who recognized a player was having a problem and chose to intervene to assist that player is also a valid use of this ability as it only affected the interaction between the player and GM directly, and did not involve anyone else in the situation. The GM in question was doing exactly what a GM should be doing.

Now, with that being said, I DO feel that a GM character able to hear whispers would be an engaging and interesting addition to a roleplay if certain conditions were present in the use of the hearing of those same whispers. For example:

Silk Nuvas is capable of hearing when his name is spoken and this, in turn, get's his attention depending on the nature of conversation surrounding how his name was used. This is not outside the norm in many roleplaying instances. All throughout literature there are examples of powerful beings, gods, demons, fairies, wizards, etc. who were made aware when someone spoke their name. The being in question then chooses whether to ignore the speaking of their name, or opts instead to make a direction appearance in some fashion. In the latter instance, this often leads to an interesting twist or aspect of the story in progress and generally either scares the player characters in some fashion which gives rise to new twists and turns in decision making, or puts them in a state of awe that also then helps to direct and guide the next phase of the story. Both of these, in my opinion, are acceptable uses of such an ability by a GM.

In the case of Eldryck Venym; he is empowered by the Mace and as a result is the direct proxy of someone or something else of immense power. This naturally means that his character would have access to skills and abilities that defy what players would consider as well within the "norm". He has demonstrated these already as well, when he stripped Lu Chaos of his Arts and when he shows that he is able to hear the whispers of those around him. To me, this situation only becomes potentially abusive if this ability to hear direct whispers is used outside of his presence. For example: I am speaking to Flower of Cienne and she and I begin to whisper about the circumstances of the City as other dreamers have arrived at our location and we desire to keep the conversation private. If we did not speak Eldryck's name directly, even using a moniker like "The club lover" or some other title; I do not believe it would be appropriate for Eldryck to be aware of our conversation in any manner. The same holds true for conversations spoken aloud, in joined company, where Eldryck or one of his "minions" is not present to directly hear the words spoken.

As long as the use of the "hearing whispers" ability is confined to direct exposure between the GM character and the players in question (i.e. within the same general location), and it is being used to further an interaction that helps foster or promote the roleplay, then this is more than an acceptable use of this ability. Bear in mind also that the majority of this community stands at, or exceeds, the Fourth Sphere and thus players are far more capable in dealing with greater threats that pose a significant challenge to their standing, authority, and capabilities within the game. And that is what makes having a GM character with this ability so much fun to interact with; we have to think outside the box in order to combat the threat they pose to all of us en masse. Eldryck possessing this "power" should be a turning point that drives the players to work together in tandem to complete the storyline.

Circling back on this I acknowledge both Flower and Tember's concerns in regards this thread as both of these players must have had a negative experience with this in the past and that these experiences have compelled them to speak out on this point. It is, at this time, that the powers-that-be should, as Koi-Shadow has done, attempt to help the players understand the use of this ability in game and to alleviate their valid concerns that this is not being used to promote or foster abuse of any sort that would create a situation where players feel uncomfortable engaging IG. Along with some of the other commentators, I agree that the level of trust between player and GM is a fragile thing and that, in the end, it is up to each of us individually to choose to either extend, or retract, that trust.

Thanks for listening,

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No one can and no one may.
We ourselves must walk the path.
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Re: Whispers

Post by Koi-Drama » Sun Nov 12, 2017 12:03 am

I would like to personally thank Shadow for his informative and accurate post. Two years ago, I wrote a similar post that discussed access to the master logs which can be found here.
Only a handful of GMs are granted permission to our highest tier of access which includes our database, forum moderation, and master logs.
Shadow accurately pointed out the team members with current access to the master logs. In most cases, Wish and I are the most active users of the master logs. Wish utilizes them for roleplaying purposes while I often reserve my access to investigative and/or monitoring for RE purposes. There are rare occasions that I will utilize access to assist the In-Game Support GMs in 'DreamWide' coordination, that is when an event is spread out across different rooms or plane. Anyone familiar with the master logs access can testify that after a few minutes, it can be a strain on the eyes.

We have maintained access to the master logs limited to four GMs in attempting to maintain our players' privacy. We do not foresee access to the master logs changing unless the composition of the administrative team is altered for any reason. The In-Game Support GMs can probably attest to the many times I have grilled them over GM-Invis issues ensuring that we keep privacy invasion to a minimum.

On the opposite side of that coin....
Players are free to hold consensual conversations in private but they must understand that every single keystroke a player performs in the game is recorded and documented in an extensive log. This means, every sentence, every word, and every 'emote' is logged. Please be mindful that our game is meant to stay in-character in-game at all times. Therefore, it is not intended to facilitate personal "OUT OF CHARACTER" conversations. Remember, everything is electronically recorded.
I believe the intent of the controller of Eldryck was not to invade privacy but to present an illusion in the game to an end without any perceived malice. I really appreciate the feedback from the community regarding this subject as it provides us with opportunities to improve upon and allow us to better serve you as GMs.

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Re: Whispers

Post by Lu Chaos » Sun Nov 12, 2017 2:34 am

Kudos to Drama for the above post.
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Re: Whispers

Post by SnowAngel » Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:24 am

My initial thoughts on this are... just as in real-life.. people can read lips, and people do overhear whispers. In the case of a player like Eldryck, who appears to be extremely powerful and possesses a lot of knowledge about dreamers in the city... that it would be highly likely he is capable of "reading lips" or has extremely good hearing and could well indeed hear what dreamers are whispering in the same room. I mean he is instilling fear and terror in dreamers.. what better what way to do that than by getting inside your head .. knowing your thoughts and hearing your whispers...
From the example given, it did not seem to be violating any private moment, but more over proving his reign of terror.. and letting you know he knows what you are thinking.
IMO, it is adding to the RP by emphasizing his power and reign.

Just my two cents :)
There are times when we stop.. We sit still... We listen and breezes from a whole other world begin to whisper.
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Re: Whispers

Post by Erasmus » Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:16 pm

It is a GM’s responsibility to be able to ensure rules are followed. Simply based on this fact, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that one could read the logs at any moment. We’d be pissed if something happened and they said, “Sorry, can’t help you. We don’t have access to private information so we can’t investigate.” We would think that is absurd. The fact that only four can read them and more specifically those four are specifically chosen proves that Koi cares about privacy.

As far as using them to promote RP. Kudos to them. If the whisper was IC, then it isn’t a privacy issue because your character is a part of the Underlight world which is maintained by Koi. It’s actually pretty intriguing because this is an area that I don’t think other GMs have been brave enough to explore for this very reason.

If you are whispering something against the TOS then you are at risk. Otherwise, you aren’t.

Does it make IC sense to be discussing a truly sensitive, private matter with others around? Take game mechanics out of the equation. Does it make sense? Now, if a GM was “spying on you” by remaining invisible and then using your IC whispers against you, that’s another matter but has already been discussed above.

Treating whispers in the game as you would in the real world. They can be overheard. Lips can be read. There’s even an idea that someone could be clairaudient or clairvoyant. So this isn’t a stretch.

So now we know it’s possible, let’s move on, being more aware of what actions should be taken to maintain IC privacy.