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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2020 9:31 am 
®ealworld Founder Admin Core
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Proposed Retirement Of Official Sessions

Not everyone will respond to this. However, the Proposal is up to read anyway:

® Realworld Guild has had a long history of "Official Sessions" held at regular times, but things change and it's important this is reflected in current circumstances.

The long defunct Xfire played an important part in announcing Session Start Times to 100's of players, since which has never been replaced to the same extent, and Discord Membership simply isn't large enough to significantly fulfil this feature.

Additionally, recent Discord Halonet Channel censorship restrictions have gone a long way towards stifling freedom of information and discouraged many from posting or joining there. Basically now it's primary livelyness is showing player server activity.

Time and time again people don't take kindly to having their posts deleted and told what they should post and discuss according to the moderator's own personal beliefs, asides preventing harassment and racial or sexual abuse.

Read here for further information about freedom and censorship: viewtopic.php?f=91&t=5358

The main point is that player numbers now just have become too low to continually populate ® RWG "Official sessions" at set times. Instead, players are choosing to fragment and play on their own specific Clan Servers at times which suit them best, and which is completely understandable. Core playing times are crucial so members can meet up on their preferred server and play their preferred game types.

Hosting "General Servers" can only please some of the players for some of the time, they never can please all of the players all of the time. And as they say, "variety is the spice of life".

It's important to realise that all "Official Sessions" are simply "Known Times" so Players can find other Players around to play on a Server. Really they are nothing more than that, but they do provide the function of providing "Consistent Times" which act as a kind of guarantee for Players, provided players actually show up.

"Official Sessions" are entirely voluntary and in fact ANY TIME Players are on a Server it actually IS an "Unofficial Session"!

So perhaps now it is time to retire "Official Sessions", and let players join as and when, and for as long as the Servers remain being hosted.

I suspect this is all simply "Water under the Bridge" now, and already past mattering for many. Especially since Forum contribution is pretty much non existent, apart from browsing, which does at least remain active.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2020 3:53 pm 
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Hi Harb,

Real World Guild survived all these years cause of stability.

We accompany the dying of Halo since xfire went down. I never understood why no one could replace such an old (2004) tool. Finally I believe in "Official Sessions" and times.

Former players remember the RW Server and Session and maybe some will come back. I understand that you doubt, but Sessions are like an railway station. People meet there and maybe they drive together (playing a session) or they go to another server. There are a lot of known reasons.

You never want the possibility to skip a map or change game time, sometimes I don't like the mapcycle. But there should always be an RW station so people can meet there.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2020 5:55 pm 
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Yo Paul,

I just read your post carefully and can only be sorry. I totally agree with Jan that official sessions are like train stations and that players need fixed haunts to meet up. :thumbs:
On the other hand, I also want to blame you a little bit as you should be the first to join the official session but lately you are on another server first (LTD2) :o ;) .
Normally, the official session starts at 9 pm (French time) but not for some time :? .

I know full well that the number of players is drastically dropping (Even Art no longer plays with us :eh: ) but I still believe that this is not the end of our official sessions. :P
Jan may be right about being able to change maps like the right to vote. :idea:
Think carefully before you make a decision but in the end it will be your decision even if you ask us for our advice. :eek:
I will continue to play on Realwolrd servers as long as Halo is alive (or me lol :twisted: ) anyway.

Your Friend and Admin (thanks to you. :D)

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2020 9:19 pm 
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Unfortunately it can't be down to just one, or even a few regular players to populate a server... it takes many different players to come join to make the game viable, and really this requires a minimum of (at least) 4 players before a Team Game becomes fair.

No regular Guild Member is ever expected to attend any "Official Session", and there is no mandate for them to have to play at these times.

There have been numerous occasions when an "Official Session" start time is either empty, or has just a single player waiting for others to join. This is not fun, especially when other servers already have players (including Guild Members) there playing on them at the same time.

I have spent many games alone during "Official Session" times, before deciding it's better to go join another populated server, and later after playing a game with them, then mention about going to the "Official Session" server in the expectation that others may soon come join. Sometimes this strategy is successful in attracting players, and other times still results in remaining alone for long periods. In fact this has been my experience during several Primary Core Server Sessions.

® RWG "Official Sessions" are spread across several different servers, and offer an enormous range of maps and different game types to play. These Servers are hosted with the intention of providing choice.

As an aside, even the Race Map Servers numbers have fallen significantly, and these special servers do have Skip and Map Vote options enabled. So it's obvious that a drop in players numbers can't be solely due to the lack of Skip or Map Vote options... something else is going on.

On the other hand, LTD2Clan Server does not have Skip or Map Vote options, has a very strict 2 Weapon Game Type (Rockets or Shotguns) played over a smaller mapcycle, yet is highly popular with its members. Whilst other servers, such as LE Clan Server, are popular with highly proficient skilled players.

Also lets wait to discover just how many players actually respond to this topic... there's no doubting that both Pat & Jan are highly dedicated players who regularly play.

Many other players however, play a lot less often, and players numbers are definitely lower now than ever before.

I suspect that very few European Players remain to actually care.

The majority of remaining players are N & S Americans, having vastly different time zones to Europe, where Core European "Official Session" times mean very little to them. Likewise, when the majority of N & S Americans are playing, it's much too late for European players.

Setting session start times for Non European players doesn't make much sense for European players, and regrettably setting session start times based solely for European players no longer makes much sense either.

Possible retirement of ® RWG "Official Sessions" isn't going to bring an end for Halo CE. It's just another sign of the changing times for Non N & S American players.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2020 9:48 pm 
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Ye Paul,
even Pat and me are alot of times alone and waiting. Feel free to join our Threema Halo group. We try to make call outs if someone is going to play.
https://threema.ch/en

Even response could be better there, but better than nothing

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:00 am 
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Yes indeed Jan.

I fear the European Player Base is now too weak to support enough players to break away from their own clan servers during European core playing hours and to come join a ® RWG Server "Official Session".

Basically what this means is all active and available European players are getting thinly spread across their various own clan servers as each server competes to congregate with their own clan members during times which suit them best.

If this situation continues, then really it marks the beginning of the end for European players on ® RWG Servers during core session playing hours, if not happened already.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2020 2:52 pm 
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Hi Paul,

Firstly, I've not been around RW servers for a long time as you know, but in the short time I've been playing on them I've always found them to be great fun.. along with various players.. Louke, Pat, Jan, Art.. and others who seem to have disappeared lately.. and I've always been made to feel welcome.

It's true to say that players on our side of the pond have definitely waned - something that we've also noticed on our own LTD2 server. Having said that, there has also been a noticeable decline in USA players too.. at least to what it used to be - although, that could be just down to pings etc., and the availability of many alternative USA hosted servers offering much lower pings.
I've no idea what the exact cause of the decline in players is, one reason could be that it's down to many other games on offer which offer incredible graphics and playing options etc. Add to this that consoles are so popular now.. Steam games also. There's just so much choice. Most players that I know just love Halo1 - PC or CE.. and for me personally, it's not about the funky graphics etc - it's about the gameplay, CTF, slayer or whatever.. they all offer a great balance of gameplay that's fun and exciting to play, winning or losing doesn't really matter, it's not a scrim.. it's just good fun. I'm betting that there are only a very small core of people too who actually know about Halo1 nowadays.. an added problem.

I think it would be sad to see the official sessions go of course - and if you did this and then rely on players to join whenever they feel like it, could that maybe be counterproductive? I don't know.. at least with official sessions, players know the days and times - but it just needs advertising more. I've no idea though how that could be achieved in order to let players know. There are many people registered on the RW discord.. an idea would be to @everyone on a regular basis about official sessions ? I don't know.. just one idea.

While I'm here Paul, I noticed there was mention of you sometimes playing on LTD2 during RW core sessions (did I read that right?) - not exactly true.. it's the opposite in fact. Our main days on LTD2 are Sunday and Monday from around 6pm UK time to around 9pm.. it's always been like that for many, many years. We've also added in shotgun games on Wednesday and Friday evenings too - mainly due to member requests, and so far it's become quite popular with many of us. Note that our server is paid for by our members, most donate annually, so we give them what they ask for. The other days are by choice.. anyone is free to join and play. But Paul, I can vouch that whenever that you're playing with LTD2, you leave our server to begin your RW core session on time.. and mention it to our members. For myself, when most players have left our server, then I will always try and make time to join the RW core session. But, as an example.. last night (Monday) our server was quite busy.. after most players had left after about 9pm, I couldn't find any active RW servers, so I opted to join Realworld - I was on there a while thinking that soon people would maybe come, but it didn't happen, so I left.. it's not the first time either. After 9 in the UK is after 10 in the rest of Europe.. not an ideal time for most people.
Most of our members work and have family too.. so it's understandable that they leave early and don't follow me to RW - I've tried, believe me... even though I have posted a large article about RW and the core sessions on our clan forum, so it's not like they don't know.

It's a difficult one, but whatever you decide to do I'll still be playing on RW whenever I get the opportunity. :)

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2020 4:00 pm 
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It's not entirely accurate, sometimes I leave LTD2Clan Server at the exact ® RWG "Official Session" start time, often it's a bit later, although before joining any other server, I always check if there are any players already on the ® RWG "Official Session" server, and normally go there first anyway. And if I'm already on another server, then I closely monitor the ® RWG "Official Session" server for players, ready to go there the moment any player joins.

You've hit the nail on the head Pete:

LTD2Clan sessions start between 6pm-7pm UK time (7pm-8pm European time) the real issue however, is that by the time players have already played for a couple of hours, even 8pm-9pm UK time (9pm-10pm European time) is getting late for most players.

Not many players are able to regularly continue playing past 9pm, let alone past 10pm, or even past 11pm-12pm. A few do of course, just realistically not enough can these days.

Add to the fact that 8pm UK time is 3pm (USA) Eastern Standard Time, 2pm Central Time and about midday Pacific Standard Time. Not exactly the ideal start times for Non Europeans, and way too early for most N & S American players.

8pm UK "Official Session" start time actually was a compromise for international players to join "Official Sessions", especially for those players living further East of Europe.

During its peak we had many players joining from New Zealand, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, India, North Africa and Middle Eastern countries, in addition to Eastern European and Western European players. Even Canadian players were active back then.

The plain fact is that Halo CE (and Halo PC) have long been completely decimated from such countries now. They have no servers, and with no servers, no players. The scene for them is completely dead. As it may well be for European players soon.

This leaves 8pm UK start time left straddling in no man land, and I no longer believe this start time suits what remains of the European player base. Any earlier clashes with other Clan Server Sessions, and any later is too late for the majority of Europeans to play.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2020 8:00 pm 
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This is a fucking observation that you are making there :o , and unfortunately, it is true :eek: . I am desperately looking for a way to attract European players to the LE servers too, and I even change the location of the server which is now based in France. But it doesn't work either T_T . And besides, a lot of players don't like Lead 1 :? .

LTD2-Pe®ico wrote:
Hi Paul,

While I'm here Paul, I noticed there was mention of you sometimes playing on LTD2 during RW core sessions (did I read that right?) - not exactly true.. it's the opposite in fact.


Humm, yes Pete , you read right, but understand wrong (old man :xD: ). When I saw Paul in your server, it's all time at 9pm for me (and for me, 9 pm is the start of the official session).

I know there is nobody on the server but like last night I was on the Classicwolrd Server and nobody came. But if we don't come to play anymore, who will come ???

The remark I made to Paul was not a remark to embarrass him or insult him, it was just to say, when no one is present, at least try to give the want the player to come, nothing more, nothing less.

Finally, I also know for a fact that when players of some renown are on the servers, many others don't want to come because many don't like to lose. But I can't understand this because on the LE server, I lose very often because there are so many good players with an incredible skill, that does not prevent me from playing. As Pete said, losing or winning is not important as long as you are having a good time. :thumbs:

Trust me , we need Official session ALIVE :bananadancer: :bananadancer: :bananadancer:

The old martian with Halo's Heart :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :pistols: :pistols: :pistols:

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:10 am 
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Although "Official Session" (Days/Times) are a useful mechanism so players can know of when to gather and play, their downside is they can also be restrictive by conditioning the "best" days/times to play on unrestricted 24/7 servers, and which aren't necessarily the best days/times for all.

And what constitutes "best" days/times depends on many factors.

Primarily, ®RWG "Official Sessions" were designed for European players with the aim of attracting other players from the International Arena into the community and on to the servers at known times.

This idea worked well whilst there were enough European players available to randomly play together during "Official Session" times.

Since then things have changed making this idea less practical, and now we need to move away from the concept of "best" times to play, and seek more flexible, more responsive times to play.

Tuesday for example, no "Official Session" is set, yet players met up, a "session" came together, and a good time was had. It's more of this adaptability now that's required to keep the game alive, notably for European players, rather than relying on "Official Sessions" to fulfil the need.

Ideally there never should be a "best" time to play, because in an international arena (provided there are enough players) anytime is always a good time to play.

The real issue now is are there still enough (European) players actually available to play. None of this is a problem for Halo CE, it's a problem for Non N & S American players, and how best it can get resolved.

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