The Future of PkHonor

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Iron adam
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The Future of PkHonor

Post by Iron adam » Fri Mar 01, 2024 7:20 pm

The Future of PkHonor


TL;DR at bottom

As everyone is aware, PkHonor has been struggling lately. There are some obvious things that need to change and some not so obvious things. I thought that I would share my thoughts on the situation. I would like to try and keep this discussion as forward thinking as possible. While I will address some historical issues, the goal is not to bring up drama, but to figure out the best way to move forward as a community. I tried to separate this into an easy to digest format, but many of these issues overlap into multiple areas. I will also be making formal suggestion threads for these as appropriate.

Starting with the most obvious point of improvement: Communication. The community has begged for better communication for years now. We have periods where we do a good job and then long stretches of silence from the owners and admins. The community understands that this is not a full-time job for anyone. However, we simply cannot go for months without any sort of official statement. Even if it something as simple as “Hey guys, unfortunately we have been too busy irl and there is no progress to report. We are hoping to start working on XYZ content/issues by this Date.” Without this official communication, the liaisons between the community and owners can’t effectively communicate to the community.

What we have seen over the past few months is this:
  • Player asks staff about status of the server/website/wiki.
  • Staff member says, “idk I haven’t heard anything”.
  • Players then proceed to complain on yell about how the owners don’t care about the server.
We know this is not the case, but we have no recourse to prevent the spreading of this negative sentiment throughout the server.


What are PkHonor’s Immediate Needs?

The website issues and wiki need to be fixed ASAP. We need to communicate with the community about the issues that are being faced and why it has taken so long to fix. We are losing lots of frustrated players daily because they have little recourse for the challenges they face.

We need to re-incentivize voting. The vote store needs to be re-worked and Ironmen need to be allowed to vote. We have had several threads suggesting changes. There is extremely strong support in the community for this. It is a small amount of development that could go a long way. At the very least, we need to immediately let ironmen accounts ::vote and start accumulating points.
The Overall Vision for PkHonor

We need a better overall vision and direction for PkHonor. Development needs to be focused on the most pressing issues and the top members of our community need to be more involved in the process. Don’t add all OSRS content just for the sake of adding it. Things like Wintertodt and Tempoross have their place in OSRS, but would be dead content on PkHonor. For example, the recent change to Nex’s mechanics was something that not many players asked for or wanted. Lots of hard work was put into making a net-neutral change. We are a private server after all and it is okay if something is not 1:1. We have limited development bandwith, so let’s make the most of it. Thoby’s Slayer Expansion Update in my opinion is the gold standard for how we should be implementing content. It is heavily based on OSRS with many unique spins and QoL additions. Every single thing filled a niche on our server.

Going forward, it is clear that we need to further empower members of our community. We have talented developers, great staff members, and many others who want to help PkHonor thrive. We need to remove the barriers that prevent their contributions.

We need to change the way content is intertwined. On PkHonor, Pkers are forced to skill and PvM. PvMers are forced to skill and PK. I believe it would be in the best interest of everyone on the server to work to minimize this. The completionist cape is the greatest example of this issue. The best in slot PvP cape is locked behind hundreds of hours of skilling and PvM. The best in slot PvM cape is locked behind hundreds of hours of PvP.


Addressing the Development Cycle

This topic was discussed in depth on a previous general discussion thread. This is the most critical thing to address for the future of PkHonor. We need a better system in place that allows developers to release updates without bottlenecks. The current developers have all proven they have no ill intent, so that should not be a concern. Code review and QA testing is incredibly important and should still be required. But something needs to change in order for PkHonor to receive consistent updates.

Better management of the current ideas/suggestions/bug report sections is needed. There are many old threads in these sections that should be addressed. Suggestions should either be accepted, denied, or further discussed. I have made efforts in the past to pull out the best of the best and bring them to the attention of the developers. Someone should be in charge of periodically reviewing and archiving threads as needed.

We need to improve the checklist that developers go through prior to releasing an update. The ::prices and alch prices of new items is often 1 gp during release which causes issues with logging, community perception within the economy, and establishing baselines. This type of stuff should not be slipping through on every update. There are still plenty of items from recent updates that have prices that make little sense. Additionally, we need to establish who is responsible for updating item prices. Is it the developers? Is it staff members? The 50x limit on items in the grand exchange should be removed and replaced with a warning that requires extra confirmation prior to placing an offer. This avoids the issue of locking people out of buying items for a certain price.


Role of the Staff Team

The lack of transparency and consistency from the staff team over the last few years has hurt the community’s perception of the staff team. There have been multiple instances of clear rule-breaking behavior that is not addressed appropriately. The Player-Made-Deals section has been used as an excuse by the staff to not get involved in certain situations. The fact is, a very small percentage of our players ever make it to the forums, let alone that specific section. Players should not be immune to punishment on scams/lures/etc. simply because a player made deal thread wasn’t created in advanced. Of course, proper evidence still must be provided. However, when we have situations in which the evidence is clear and punishment is not issued, the community loses faith in the judgement of the staff team. Common sense judgment must be an option for the staff team. Punishment guidelines are important, but at the end of the day they are just that: guidelines. We vote staff members in with the faith that they will have integrity and use their best judgement.

The lack of punishments on toxic players needs to be addressed as well. There are 3-4 players on the server who are consistently breaking the rules and being toxic on yell. The worst these players get is a 12 hour mute. This level of toxicity needs to start being seriously dealt with by the staff team. Especially when it comes to the consistent use of racial slurs. I have been told in the past by staff members that they will not look back through the yell logs, only screenshot proof will be considered. I do not understand this logic. The logs are there for the express purpose of capturing this information. When a player is reported for toxic behavior, and the reporting party notifies staff that it is an ongoing issue, the staff team has an obligation to review the reported player's behavior and take action. Players with extensive history of toxic behavior should not be getting a 12h slap on the wrist. Extended mutes and permanent mutes are the only thing that will stop this behavior in certain cases.

The community wants better communication from the staff team as a whole. The current moderators have been doing an excellent job of communicating and interacting with the community in-game. However, communication needs to be better regarding changes to the staff team and major decisions. The community has expressed the importance of this over the past few years. The Staff News threads are great when they are used. However, this hasn’t been consistent since mid-2022.

We should clarify staff members’ role in events. 026 has run many pking events over the last few years. We have had a few lottery events and 1-2 Titans. But other than that, staff members aren’t frequently holding events. We obviously have an event system/coordinator that covers a lot of things. Should staff members be expected to fill in the gaps with more Pking/Titan/Bingo/HnS/etc. events?

Add more helpers. We made a lot of changes to the helper position then promoted/demoted most of the existing helpers. There are plenty of active helpful players ingame. The staff team should be actively recruiting these people as Helpers.

The staff team needs to update ::prices more frequently. Lots of suggestions have been made over the past few years and get shut down for various reasons. The current system we have is not working and hurts old and new players alike. The 50x limit on items in the Ge needs to be removed and replaced with a warning.

Staff members should be expected to contribute to the Wiki. There are lots of gaps that still need to be filled. I put together a summary of the pages which needed to be updated on the wiki last year. If each staff member committed to updating 2-3 pages, we could make serious progress on finishing the wiki.


Events

I would say the event system is in a relatively good place. There are certainly things we can change to improve it. One major thing to consider is how slayer boss (Hydra/Kraken/Cerb/etc.) events work. We may want to consider limiting free entry to a certain KC in order to maintain game integrity.
I have not been perfectly consistent with running events, but I am aiming to run at least 1 community PvM event per month. Events that benefit endgame AND early/mid-game players will be rotated between. I know everyone wants CoX/Nex/Cerb/etc. events all the time, but we have to keep in mind the new players that benefit from DKs/Barrows/GWD/etc.

As previously mentioned, we need more types of events. Pking events are great for the Pkers, but require substantial planning/coordination to execute. I think we should look to create an automated PvP tournament system that can be run through our event system. This system would work similarly to LMS and the OSRS DMM 1v1 Finals. When the tournament starts, everyone is taken from the lobby into the 1v1 arenas and randomly paired. Any entry fee would be removed from their coffers. The 1v1s would proceed through each round until there is a winner. The event system would then automatically distribute the rewards in the same way community PvM event rewards are.

Titan events have become rare. We need to find a way to improve our ability to run these events. Either staff members need to continue to host them as they currently exist, or we change the system. An alternative would be allowing Titan accounts to spawn the items themselves. This would reduce the amount of coordination needed from the Admin(s). If this change was made, then the event coordinator (me) would be able to run Titan events with some frequency.


Addressing the New Player Experience and In-game Content

The experience for new players on PkHonor needs to be addressed. Here are a few simple changes we can make that would improve the overall experience drastically: There are a few major changes we need to make to the overall game design as well:
  • Monster aggressiveness should be fixed to be the same as OSRS. On PkHonor, monster aggressiveness is seemingly random. Monsters will also un-aggro you in the middle of combat and walk away. This can be especially frustrating in multi-combat situations such as catacombs/GWD. On OSRS, all monsters inside the wilderness are aggressive. The lack of aggression and ability to PJ a PvMer off a monster has tipped the scales heavily in the direction of Pkers.
  • Address the wilderness situation. A single clan should not be able to completely ruin the gameplay for the rest of the server. We need either more wilderness heights or to stop forcing players into the wilderness for mid/endgame content. The wilderness should be high risk/ high reward, without being a requirement. Example: Preserve should not be locked behind Scorpia. This essentially means all HCIM can not get a max cape unless they pay for wilderness protection. Preserve should be obtainable from another source outside of the wilderness. Scorpia can still be the best drop rate for it
  • Implement OSRS Pathing. I know we have had many discussions about and changes to pathing. But PkHonor pathing is still riddled with bugs. I think it would be in the best interest of everyone to just throw out whatever code we currently have and implement OSRS pathing. (Feel free to tell me its not this simple, idk)
  • Rebalance the Morph Ring. Make the morph ring useful in different niche situations. It should not be BiS at all bosses. But it should be viable everywhere and BiS at some places.

Summary (TL;DR)
  • Communication with the community has to be better.
  • Fix the Wiki and website issues ASAP.
  • Allow Ironmen to ::vote for points ASAP.
  • Empower our developers, staff members, and community members so they can contribute to the growth of PkHonor. Remove the barriers that are preventing their contributions. Address the Development cycle and system.
  • Update all the ::prices that need updating.
  • Make improvements to the event system that allow automated PvP events and Titan events.
  • Address the new player experience and key game mechanics.
Last edited by Iron adam on Sat Mar 16, 2024 9:09 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Patel
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Re: The Future of PkHonor

Post by Patel » Fri Mar 01, 2024 8:23 pm

Solid post. This should be a bookmarked post that concisely summarizes what the server needs, from the perspective of someone who is dialed in to the community and staff team.

Appreciate the time and effort that went into this as well.
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Hc kassa
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Re: The Future of PkHonor

Post by Hc kassa » Fri Mar 01, 2024 8:39 pm

If I could thumbs up this post I would. Great summary and great thoughts. Thanks Adam!

(Add Thumbs up and down to forum posts maybe?)

Will be ok2
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Re: The Future of PkHonor

Post by Will be ok2 » Fri Mar 01, 2024 8:39 pm

+1 i agree with everything you've said in this post. Greatly detailed points with pure substance. Thank you for taking the time to make this post and address the issues and solutions to fix them.
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Re: The Future of PkHonor

Post by Lykos » Fri Mar 01, 2024 9:16 pm

100% agree with all of this, the server definitely needs some sort of shake-up or priority shift.
Alas, the biggest roadblock we constantly hit is not allowing devs to process updates on their own without the review of Mike. Until we can make it past this hurdle, it will be a difficult path ahead. Moral is at an all time low and I worry about the health of the community further declining.
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Re: The Future of PkHonor

Post by Arrsenic » Fri Mar 01, 2024 9:39 pm

Good effort and nicely said.
Wish PkHonor nothing but the best forward.
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Re: The Future of PkHonor

Post by Juntow » Fri Mar 01, 2024 9:56 pm

You've got my support boss :afro: :thumbsup:
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Re: The Future of PkHonor

Post by Nolan » Sat Mar 02, 2024 9:22 am

<3 :prayge:
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Azu rite
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Re: The Future of PkHonor

Post by Azu rite » Sat Mar 02, 2024 1:58 pm

Patel wrote: Fri Mar 01, 2024 8:23 pm Solid post. This should be a bookmarked post that concisely summarizes what the server needs, from the perspective of someone who is dialed in to the community and staff team.

Appreciate the time and effort that went into this as well.
This.
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Re: The Future of PkHonor

Post by Madjust1 » Sat Mar 02, 2024 3:56 pm

Iron adam wrote: Fri Mar 01, 2024 7:20 pm ...

I honestly agreed with around 95% of this especially about the wilderness, and events not always benefitting only the rich and experienced players.

We havent had many new players for a long time and this needs to change in order to save the server.

Also the voting sites advertisments we have out there are dated and not appealing to new players looking around for servers, maybe should have someone design a new and more interesting advertisment so that we can gain more new players which will help with the ingame eco as right now to sell items is extremely hard due to the eco being so messed up.

Ontop of all this recently I've noticed alot of racial slurs being used ingame that people are using as jokes and that go unpunished as staff have tended to join in or just simply ignore it all. That needs to change, ANY type of racial slurring weather its as a joke or not needs to be punished.
Last edited by Raj on Sat Mar 02, 2024 5:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: removed the quote of the entire post

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