Bar hubs: A discussion

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Dekerrex, Apr 27, 2020.

  1. Dekerrex

    Dekerrex Anomalous Entity Ex-Staff Gold Donator

    Jun 26, 2017
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    For as long as I and others before me have been on GC, there has been an inescapable truth about this community that has plagued its on server environments for years and years: The Bar.

    I was not around to know if there was one prior to horsebutt, but the horsebutt bar itself seemed to become integral to the setting. Yes other hubs were in use, regularly were small clumps of people on purgatory or the nova cafe, but additionally the server had a far higher playerbase back then as well, so its not that the proportions themselves have changed, just the net users online.

    So what makes bar hubs so popular? Some people enjoy idle rp, get the conversation in, a break from whatever plots they have going, make a new friend. That's fine, I for one deplore the thought of spending hours just sitting and talking and would rather be causing mischief without the risk of an entire hub filling my hide with lead or a terrifying alpha and its purgatorian worm friend yeeting me from the stairs, but that's just me.
    Idle rp sustains the bar hubs, but one does not need a bar to do such calmer roleplay, see the garden on haven, or the various other locations there like the clubs or restaurants of even for a time the apothecary I owned. Similar in setting, but different enough to be a unique location with unique world interractions. But this calls to attention a pattern: If its not a bar hub, but has traits like a bar hub, it may receive some attention

    Perhaps it was the era of the outpost bar that lead to this situation? The outpost was brought about by a game update wherein there was a single location accessible from any system, granted the player acquired the minerals to activate a gate. This subspace bubble became THE hub, with very little going on outside of it at all, despite there being teleporters with other locations loaded and present. Every now and then a new hub comes along and gets its five minutes of fame, but at the end of the day, everyone went back to the outpost. Initially we could blame convenience on this. anyone could get to the outpost from anywhere, but soon we introduced the concept of teleporting to any hub from the safety of one's own ship. Now EVERY hub was just as convenient as the outpost, but even then few saw the light of day. Furthermore, whence the outpost was removed, whatever hub had the most accessible bar came to replace it.

    It is such a strange phenomena that if anyone ever hopes to have a remotely active hub to this day they must have a bar, or a bar-like environment. I understand some people are just edgy and think downing a whole bottle of vodka is cool, and they can do that if they so chose. but what about the lowlifes? what about the criminals? what about the high profile and elite? A setting should have, and ours infact does have, a WIDE roster of character types, but because only one main hub; Garlen- namely winstons- is in active at any time on the server, if you wish to have any sense of on server rp you must go to winstons more often than not. Its limiting to those of us who would not want to put our character out of place just to get some juicy interraction. Currently I have bore witness to discord rp taking over all the non-bar settings, and also home to a good chunk of the kind of characters that typically would not spend all their waking hours at a bar.
    Surely making a non-bar hub would fix this no? well its been attempted, and it has failed.
    Its not that making a non-bar hub is more time consuming, nor is it any less convenient than making one either, it just simply seems that if it is not a bar hub, you are very unlikely to get any traffic, regardless of how much time and effort was put in, thus creating a feedback loop where creative minds almost feel like its not worth their time to even make a hub in general knowing in advance it wont be successful.

    So I ask what all your thoughts are on this matter? Why is the bar hub reigning supreme? How can we resolve this and bring balance to the different types of hubs?

    I've had some ideas of my own, some more radical and experimental than others. Perhaps a return to before the teleporter network would see people sticking to some hubs more than others as they feel invested for going through the effort of travel?
    What about a hub to replace the likes of the old outpost, one that acts as a mediator between hubs that every ship's teleporter can connect to, but to access any of the other hub teleporters you must go there and find the right station or taxi ship?
    Perhaps simply a return to the idea of a Featured Hub per month?

    Who knows, this is a discussion, go nuts have fun and DISCUSS!
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2020
  2. Roval_Jax

    Roval_Jax New Arrival

    Jul 1, 2017
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    Honestly, with the likelihood of CRP and drama happening as well as RL stuff I don't hop on in server as much as I used to back in 2017 and 2018 so take this with a pinch of salt. That being said...

    I think the bar hub is as popular as it is mainly due to things beyond GC, namely the barfight tropes. That stuff's entertaining no matter the setting and it didn't have to involve booze since the popularity of the bars meant that there i s a guarantee that conflict's gonna happen.

    I think other hubs can get love if they're optimized (we changed from Calypso to Garlen due to lag) and if there's something that can ICly bring alienated characters into that place.

    Personally, I would dig a hub where wholesome RP can be done without someone ruining it (regardless if its an accident or not) but hey that's just my opinion.
    Randy likes this.
  3. PrivateNomad

    PrivateNomad There goes my hero, watch him as he goes Staff Member Technician Gold Donator Event Builder

    Jun 25, 2017
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    I think having a featured hub a month sounds neat. Its doable too - simply change the server's default world and cycle that hub to the top of the teleporter list. Maybe host an event on the hub to start things off. Something like that wouldn't necessarily restrict players, just encourage them. And I have noticed that recently (being the past few months) people have sometimes just hung out on multiple hubs, like Haven or previously, Calypso. Its really just a matter of people being there in the first place.

    That being said, I enjoy that Garlen's the 'main' hub right now, since its meant to be our first 'open world' megahub that anyone can affect if they have the time and resources, like how Solus has the mine, Atlas has the bunker, and Gary has the corru place. Its a neutral place that you can build shit in if your character really wanted to - in a mysterious world people dont know much about. One time I literally updated the hub because one of the Occasus dudes ICly wrote "rhapsody wuz here" on a fucking sign.
  4. Randy

    Randy New Arrival

    Jun 29, 2017
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    TL;DR - Lack of events and interesting things to take part in as a result of Discord RP, promoting a hub that has a giant bar on it, hubs are nice and big - but only 4% of all that space is getting used in character.

    In the past years, I've come to question this more and more often, so I've given it a lot of thought. Thoughts that I sometimes vented and discussed with a number of other members of the community.

    Personally, I don't think that Bar RP is particularly "popular". It's something we hang onto, because there's a lack of something else going on on the server. Most of the interesting RP that would be held on the server, moved to Galaxy Citizen's discord server and its many, many sub discord servers, which I think are a curse. Whenever there's something else to do than your regular Bar RP, there's a spike in the player activity on the Starbound server.

    Bar RP isn't a choice, but a lazy habit that doesn't promote character progression. People have their characters go to the bar, because there's bound to be someone there they can interact with and there's no need for a reason other than getting a drink or socializing with others. So why are people not visiting Joe's at Haven or that cute place at Renderra? Garlen isn't tied to a faction would be one of my guesses. Another guess would be that Garlen and Winston's are more often the topic of the day, because people are inclined to go there and therefore, they can relate more. Often have I tried to just camp at another hub whenever I was alone on the server, yet people have always been drawn to Winston's; and not even Winston's, but just the bar. Winston's actually has a stage, did you know? In contrast to Winston's, Horsebutt's stage actually got used.

    Bad hub designing? Now, this is something I'm not sure about and don't get me wrong: the aesthetics look alright. However, I get the feeling that people are drawn to the places that are closest to the teleporters. For Haven, it is the big tree to the right, for Garlen, it is Winston's. Why? People want to make sure that their presence is known and that they're in character, ready for roleplay. No one feels like searching the entirety of Haven for that one person, as it has a lot of interesting locations someone could be at. Even then, their character would need a reason to visit that specific location. If I had a character sitting at the skyrail or the bridge at the far right, chances of other characters randomly bumping into them are pretty slim.
    Also related to this sub topic, I feel like the average player peek is too small to smear across the many hubs we have.

    I probably could sum up a few other reasons or things to think about, but for now, I feel like these are personally my three main concerns when it comes to Bar RP.
    Cheffy and Dekerrex like this.
  5. Cheffy

    Cheffy The Form Bronze Donator

    Nov 23, 2018
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    Alright! So! Bar RP, yes. While I don't think it's a bad thing. I definitely feel that unless someone causes something, it's mainly just pleasant conversation that sometimes switch to heavier topics. And while personally I enjoy that. I've let my other gripes about hubs known, But those gripes aren't apart of this. This is about bars! Yes, it definitely seems like bars are the only real place people go. And since- nothing against woog and nomad, love you both- the hub is kinda exhausted right now. Winston's is the place to be! Or the area right around it and that's generally where people stay.

    Meanwhile, Olympus for example. Despite how much work has been put into it, the only real place people go- is 3DEN. None of the other bars or clubs. Just 3DEN, which isn't a bad thing, it's a good, nice place that's player run and active whenever the bar's staff are there. But it's the ONLY place on the hub that anyone visits.

    With Haven... It only has two bars open ICly anymore. The SOLUS one, and the underground ones. Otherwise, it's all around the Haven tree.

    A big issue is that there aren't things for people to go out and explore/fight right now on server I feel, not enough adventure so people gravitate towards those bars. Where unless someone causes a fight, or pulls out a weapon. It's mainly calm.

    And many, many more cases. This isn't the place for my more personal gripes, but that's what I think.
  6. ZachChase

    ZachChase Evolved Idiocy Gold Donator

    Jun 26, 2017
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    Bar RP is popular because it's accessible to everyone and easy to do, that doesn't make it bad, but it can definitely get stale. The setting of a bar is so easily understandable and chill that most characters can go to one without expecting to deal with combat or drama, which are things not everyone wants to deal with at any given moment. Sometimes you just want to pop in for an hour or so and not have to deal with some CRP character trying to shoot you in the back of the head for insulting the color of his tie, because once that happens you're going to have stay on server for much much longer. Not that CRP isn't fun or bad, though I am biased because CRP isn't something I regularly find myself in. And that isn't to say CRP doesn't or can't happen at a bar, but in most cases bar staff should intervene with conflict, that's just how businesses work. Bars should be a safe place, at least somewhat.

    I think what GC needs is a hub with regular EVENTS. Rendera and Haven kind of do this occasionally with their holidays and whatnots, but these are usually monthly or bimonthly occurrences, not something that happens weekly. A hub with weekly events I think would bring a lot of attention, but would undeniably be a lot of work to do. I think it would be cool if there was hub with a preplanned story where the actions of the characters who go there change the course of what happens in that story. One problem I could see with this is that once the story is over, or begins stagnate the hub will die and people will just go back to Garlen or something. Even if that is the case though I think the prospect of having an intricate story tied to a location, rather than just the players would be a very interesting experience. And I know for certain that Garlen has tried to do this, but it was so shut out from most players that the people who were a part of it no longer want to deal with it. For a location based event to work it needs to be ACCESSIBLE to the general player base, otherwise it will most certainly stagnate.
    Horriblues, Lange and Randy like this.
  7. zecon125

    zecon125 Lizzer Staff Member Moderator Bronze Donator

    Jun 26, 2017
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    The big issue I'm seeing around this discussion- And do be aware I have skimmed some of it- is that everyone here equates Bars with being the issue rather then just... Idle RP. People sitting around and doing nothing is not exactly the fault of the bar itself as it is the type of characters around here. Yes, it's not exactly the best setting for plot or character progression, but we have too few characters who change the situation and make drama happen.

    Idle RP is bad, I can see why people don't like it, and I don't engage in it myself. All of my characters are explicitly made so that what they do is interesting and that their interactions can actually bring some cool moments to the server. I don't want to sound like I'm tooting my own horn here, it's just how I make characters.

    We don't necessarily need some new, better, fancy hub, we just need people who are actually interested in playing out villains and people who will cause drama. That is sort of why I made Thorn, with the intention of causing drama and giving people a character who they can band together very easily.

    Yes, we need events. Yes, some of the hubs aren't particularly fun to be around. But the main issue isn't that the bar itself is bad, its that everyone makes... well, normal people who don't do things to upset others or spark drama.- Or even characters that are big and friendly and cause nice cool events like Caesar giving card readings. Don't complain about the bar, complain about the character population. Do stuff, make stuff happen.
    Dekerrex and PrivateNomad like this.
  8. 9K

    9K Galactic Citizen Staff Member Administrator Diamond Donator

    Jun 27, 2017
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    I want to say this from the perspective of someone who has a character currently running a bar on a "bar hub" or whatever: I kind of hate it a lot of the time. But not for the reasons you might think.

    I hate it because this problem goes two ways as it always has. If we have a civilized hub, people want more action because it's always casual RP, and if we have a relatively lawless hub, people want less action because it's always combat RP. If we have a hub with a ton of security, people want less of that so people can get away with stuff provided they're smart enough. If we have a hub with no security, people want to establish themselves and become the security, or they want someone else to because people are dying there constantly. With Garlen and Winston's in particular, I'm really trying to find the "golden mean" for lack of a better term and have some security, but not too much and some passive RP, but not too much. The passive RP is just because of my character who runs the place not being very aggressive herself minus her yelling fits when she's had enough stress. I can probably do more to organize small, fun events as Belle for people like exploring the woods and stuff and discovering new things about Garlen, but I don't have the talent needed to do that. I'm not good at making big animal sprites. I'm a terrible builder, so I can't make decent looking ruins or new additions to Garlen myself. And I know nothing about Starbound modding past making some gun drawables, so any potential for custom stuff that would make any of the above even more interesting goes out the window. So I do what I can with passive RP and wait for an opportunity for a plot to come along, which isn't the greatest way to do things on my part either, but I don't have much of a choice.

    The other thing is that currently, Winston's is falling into the same trap Haven has on some occasions with the guard, where I cannot be on 24/7, and don't want to multiclient CRP, a thing that is against the rules, and also don't want to just have everyone who wants to do anything swarmed by Winston and 3 others. But when I don't have Winston immediately shoot someone who's a known troublemaker either because I'm not on or really don't want to multiclient because I am on, reputation suffers IC for reasons out of my control, which is bullshit because I just can't be there. And if I do have Winston immediately cap someone causing trouble? Now a character is locked out of a hub, or dead to what is essentially an NPC right now, and we have a thread like this asking why nothing "actiony" ever happens. I don't really want to deal with either of those. I don't want to kill characters en masse because they're antagonists, but I also can't deal with people constantly acting as if I should be there to do everything and both acknowledging it IC and saying the NPC that is definitely always there doesn't do jack shit for no reason, and people taking advantage of the fact I can't be there 24/7 and conveniently ignoring his existence when they do things like shoot up the bar.
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2020
    WowGain, Randy, Lange and 3 others like this.
  9. 17

    17 Silver Donator

    Jun 26, 2017
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    I think the most important question to ask yourself in this case is 'Does my character have any reason to go there?'

    Where I live the 'bar culture' is a niche and I know little about it, but I think people come to bars to socialize. And not to shoot people or 'spread mystery'.
    The reason for the popularity of the bars on GC is stupidly simple - people go there because that's where everyone is usually at. I think you should focus more on why hub owners create the bars in the first place.
    And perhaps stop coming to bars, especially if it's proven over and over again that they're dangerous places.

    If I could throw my opinion in (oh god oH FUCK NOT THE NEGATIVE VOICE) I think the diversity of the available hubs does not help. If there's no place your character would sit at in-game, you might think the best fallback would be to make the choice based on the popularity.
    That's how I found myself thinking months ago, at least.
  10. Neon

    Neon New Arrival

    Jul 14, 2017
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    I think it's mostly that new players are fearful of being wrong because they're not wearing some specific technology that allows them to breathe in this atmosphere also why are you wearing shorts this planet is known for being exceptionally cold yadadadhahdahdahdah etc.
    i know at least I was fearful of being wrong.
    and like what was said earlier, people look at it as "do I have a reason to be here?"

    bars are simple. it's a place for a drink or somewhere to eat. by design they've always been social. Garlen is a temperate forest, and the other bars are in air conditioned places. yay, im not getting yelled at. everybody's got a reason to go to a bar, be it a character being overworked and wanting to relax and have fun or a person who drinks for their increasingly rough relationship. and everyone can find the "hangout spot", and it helps with it's popularity.

    on the other hand, a place like olympus or bastion is rather imposing, there doesn't seem to be a reason to be there (in olympus's case, it's not inherently obvious where you should go) and bastion is just a wintery land with fun bits of lore and not a whole lot else. it's great for like a private meeting, don't get me wrong! it's just that it's not always a purposeful place.

    also the sheer amount of hubs doesn't help. it also doesn't help that they're fukin massive too.
    hubs should probably follow the KISS rule, and have a non complicated walk to social areas. more niche areas should be further away from the main teleporter, and private areas that shouldn't be accessible without RP should be further back, like housing, and jails. all that.
    Horriblues, Dekerrex and Cheffy like this.
  11. babobeebo

    babobeebo call me nick!! (thats me name!!!) Ex-Staff Gold Donator

    Jun 25, 2017
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    beer go to liver then fun nice giggles burp belch
    Horriblues, PrivateNomad and WowGain like this.
  12. PanKruk

    PanKruk hi Gold Donator

    Aug 20, 2018
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    in my experience bars boil down to the following cycle
    - people drink
    - few people with gun enter
    - people with gun get shot at and they die eventually
    - people who drank a moment ago go to hospital
    - (discord rp segment here)
    and then rinse and repeat
    Khan333 and Black Bohrium like this.
  13. TurnWall

    TurnWall Local Skeleton Impervium Donator

    Jun 26, 2017
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    Speaking from my own experiences, I've always used BarRP and similar IdleRP as a means to have my characters form connections; and such. Personally, I've always preferred the more casual side of roleplay, slice of life stuff, its fun to have characters socializing in a setting clear of danger (most times). BarRP is not an occurrence limited to GC; I've noticed it on other servers, and even other mediums such as World of Warcraft and Guild Wars 2. On other platforms if often serves the same purpose, for networking and connections for guilds and groups, and new IC friends.

    Outside of that? I've always gravitated to bars whenever I am on server because of the reasons 17 provided; its where everyone generally is and my general non-combatant nature of my characters, and OOC tendency to avoid it for the drama it often forms. My timezone isn't the greatest, so I don't always have the time to wait in a not-so-visited-often corner of a hub; in essence, its quick and easy roleplay despite its flaws.
    Horriblues likes this.
  14. ThatCabbage

    ThatCabbage New Arrival

    Jun 25, 2017
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    Opinion Time: Not a Bar RP Problem
    I personally think the problem isn't bars but the fact that there's too many hubs disconnected from one another, most of which belong to a faction or have some sort of law enforcement or NPCs to restrict conflict on the hub. I personally believe the greatest mistake in GC history was the destruction of the outpost.

    The Outpost: Forcing conflict through design
    When the outpost was around, it was simple: you beamed there directly and had to go through it ICly or OOCly to access any other hubs, meaning on the way you would get either pulled into an RP or at least be able to spectate some fun shenanigans. Everyone knew where to find people because there was a single central hub that everyone had to share and fight over. The fact it was a space asteroid also limited the playing field forcing people closer together and making searching for something or someone easier, the lack of tele-doors meant you didn't have to go looking through every building trying to find someone. It was simple, efficient, and if you didn't feel like dealing with it, there was an organic way to get away from it and distribute the weight of the huge playerbase we used to have.

    TLDR: Cabbage get to the point
    Old GC felt DENSE, connected, noisy, dynamic
    Now GC feels SHALLOW, disconnected, quiet, static

    ( Don't force me to try and prove this with numbers and graphs and shit ill do it fuck you )

    Bring back a Neutral Main Hub, Garlen is pretty good but it's way too vast and lore-heavy to be that.

    GC has held on for so long because of its tight knit community, the server itself hasn't been the reason why I got on since Eclipse happened, the only thing that kept me around were the friends I made before that and our stubborn fight to keep having fun despite the environment no longer being the most adequate for it.
    Horriblues, Khan333, TriReef and 3 others like this.
  15. seaweedgod

    seaweedgod New Arrival

    Jun 28, 2017
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    cabbage is a retard but pretty much what he said is the main issue. plus with a bar your characters have a reason to be there and rp compared to streetcorner #2345151