In recent weeks we’ve had a massive influx of new players into the system - thanks to the awesome videos by Mark Hulmes et al.
That’s been fantastic and we’re really looking forward to seeing so many new players at the event - but it’s made us think more about how we do stuff online; especially on facebook where a lot of Empire stuff happens these days. The reality is that we haven’t been doing as much as we could to engage with players online; we’ve operated this Empire LRP facebook page, run our forums and left the rest of the internet to do it’s thing.
That’s worked ok - but it’s been odd not to have official facebook groups to direct people towards. The nation facebook pages in particular have become really important over time - but they’re unofficial and each one operates with its own rules for moderation and so forth. Not being official makes it harder for PD to direct new players to these groups.
It’s also true that there have been the occasional angry flame war on the groups. While that’s inevitable in any online community - we’re not all going to get along all the time - it’s not something that we’ve been entirely comfortable directing new players towards. We want them to see the hobby at it’s best!
As a result we’ve taken the decision to begin operating ten official moderated Empire nation facebook groups. There will be a set of rules for moderation common to all the groups that is designed to encourage positive discussion and avoid some of the more circular arguments we’ve seen in the past. Having official groups also means that we’ll be using them and encouraging all our crew who use facebook to do likewise.
We’ve chatted to the moderators of the existing groups - and where they were comfortable with what we’re doing - we’ve assumed ownership of them. Where the moderators didn’t feel confident taking that decision on behalf of their group, we’ve left things alone and will set up a new nation group in the next few days. There are already hundreds of unofficial groups on Facebook so some duplication here and there is fine.
No change is ever completely trouble free - we’re aware that there will be challenges with the new approach and having PD moderate its own nation groups won’t be something that every player wants. But we’ve always made a big deal of wanting to work together on Empire with our players - to create a shared community that works together to promote and improve the game - and this change supports that approach.
We’ll continue to use this [the facebook Empire LRP] page for announcements - we know a lot of our players want to keep abreast of game developments even if they don’t want to be in a group discussing them.
But for those who want to come and chat about the game, and create their own threads to share pictures, ideas, etc - there is now a new Empire LRP facebook group here: Redirecting...
We’ll update the wiki with a full list of groups in the fullness of time.