Character adoption survey
Character adoption survey, made in the same vein as Sunny's pack survey. I'm just looking to gauge general opinions about the adoption process at 'Souls.

A few things, before you participate:
  • This is a personal project of mine, not officially sponsored by the 'SA, Salsola, or anyone else. I'm the only one with access to the survey responses.
  • I'm not interested in fielding specific complaints about a specific grievances with particular adopters/adoptees/whatevers -- I'd prefer fake names/aliases/no names at all, if you MUST reference a specific adoption-related situation.
  • Responses may be published. Inflammatory comments, obviously not, but if you write some particularly poignant advice about adopting a character or choosing a player for your adoptable, of course, the point is sharing, and your commentary may be publicized! :3
  • The survey is anonymous -- there's no space for your name or anything. If you really, really want me to know who you are, just mention it somewhere; I don't care either way. XD
Any questions about the survey you want to ask before taking it, feel free to ask here. Enjoy. :3
Poking dis to move it back to the top and catch moar attention. <3
Helping poke! It's a good survey, take it guys!
Thanks Maddi ^_^ <3
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Character Adoption Survey Breakdown

30 Responses Total

For Adoptees

Have you ever adopted an open character before?

Why did you adopt your open character?

Personality was also mentioned as a big draw, and certainly should've been included in the multi-choice answers. x:

What typically appeals to you the most when browsing open characters?

Personality was also mentioned as a big draw, and certainly should've been included in the multi-choice answers. x:

Do you have any "dealbreakers" where adoption is concerned?

In other words, is there a specific "part" of an adoptable that would make you cease considering that character? For example, say you found the perfect adoptable, but you hate the name. Would this stop you from adopting the character?

Personality was also mentioned as a big draw, and certainly should've been included in the multi-choice answers. x:

Age was also mentioned as a dealbreaker by one player.

Another interesting answer, one I didn't even think about, was the character's pack affiliation. Some players prefer to roleplay in the same packs over and over again, due to familiarity with that pack's structure or preference for a particular group of roleplayers or whatever other reasons. Some roleplayers refuse to play characters in the same pack and prefer to spread their characters over as many groups as possible, for whatever reasons.

Either is a perfectly acceptable style of play, of course, but it's something adopters may not consider: obviously, as an adoptable character is generally intended to provide an in-game connection to an existing character, many adopters have stringent requirements about which pack an adoptable should join. Consider, perhaps, relaxing your requirements as to the character's pack affiliation -- your characters can definitely still interact frequently if the adoptable joins a neighboring pack, and inter-pack roleplay opportunities (e.g., for an alliance or even negative consequences -- make sure to check with your leader first).

Another thing players mentioned frequently was the adopter themselves -- a very strict adopter with exacting specifics about how the character should be played seems far less likely to get a character adopted out.

Was adoption a positive experience for you?

Do you have any other thoughts on the previous answer? Feel free to expand upon how adoption was for you.

If a character's personality or back story is too detailed I likely wouldn't take interest as I would be afraid of not playing the character to the adopter's expectations.

I think that's a really important point to be made. Personally, speaking as an adopter, I tend to go completely buckwild with my character's histories, personalities, stories, etc. I like character creation, and I have too many ideas and not enough time to play all of them -- I pour a lot of those ideas into adoptables. However great that is for a player who is looking for a supremely detailed adoptable, it also frightens off players who are just looking for a "basis" to start off which, and develop as they go.

While I love the adopter of my adopted character, as well as the potential he could have had, I have felt trapped with the plot he is in, mostly because there hasn't been promised progression.

I believe this is also an incredibly important point: if you have a plot for your adoptable, FOLLOW THROUGH WITH IT. As an adopter, I am very, very guilty of throwing up "just 'cause" characters that I have no need to roleplay with and no plots in mind. Other players make sure to offer very detailed plots and plans for their adoptables, which is great! However, it's important to follow through with those plans so other adopters don't feel as this commenter did. :C Another player made very similar comments to this, and I feel the succinct "trapped" word works very well to express the feelings of players stuck in such plots. Remember: plots dying out without a resolution can very easily cause a busted muse in some players! Characters with slow or entirely halted plots may be dropped.

What kinda soured it was some expectations that the owner had that changed...

This is also HUGELY IMPORTANT: if you're using an adoptable contract, make sure you adhere to your own terms and make sure your terms are very clear and very exact. If you're not sure what you mean by a phrase in your adoptable contract, it's just bad form to expect another player to hold to those terms.

Would you adopt a character again?

I love that there were no negative answers to this question. Big Grin No one had a bad enough experience they'd never adopt again, which is great.

How do you feel about characters being re-adopted? Do you dislike the practice? Do you like it?

Essentially, I feel this quoted answer covered most every possible thought about this process. Most players were okay with the idea of re-adoption, though fears of playing a pre-played character "right" were mentioned several times in this section. Additionally, many players expressed their agreement with the idea that a long-term, highly-involved character should not be replayered on a whim.

From the standpoint of someone adopting a character out, I completely agree with it. It's frustrating to see someone pick up a character then drop them soon after, especially if the character is closely related to theirs (sibling or child) or comes with a particular plot they'd really like to see played out. In that case, taking the character back and adopting them out to someone more active is a great idea. The only time this wouldn't be appropriate is if that member had played the character faithfully for years, truly making it theirs, and I had an adopter letting me know they wouldn't ask for the character back after a certain point if I dropped them.

From the viewpoint of someone who wants to adopt, I'm a bit more iffy about adopting a character that had already been played, unless they were very young or only played a certain time. I'm paranoid about missing something important or getting them "wrong," and it just adds pressure to play them like they had been played before. I did adopt a previously played character before and spent most of the time pre-adoption reading through every single one of the posts the character was involved in and pestering the adopter about details. It isn't too much of a big deal and can be overcome, but I don't feel as comfortable playing one.

For Adopters

Have you ever placed a character up for adoption before?

Have you ever had a successful adoption?

I'm a little surprised by this answer, but I feel it might help everyone to see it -- adoption isn't easy and if you are struggling to get a character adopted, you are not alone.

How do you consider players for your adoptables?

Here, it seems we have two opposing schools of thought, from the answers provided. In one camp, you have players concerned primarily with activity and whether or not the player is actually going to stick with the character. In the other, you have players primarily concerned with writing ability and the player's ability to play the character well.

Both viewpoints have their negative and positive aspects. For players concerned with activity, they may get an adopter they don't enjoy roleplaying with -- this is bad! For players concerned with writing ability, they may get an adopter who is a very slow poster, or an adopter who poofs shortly after adopting the character -- this is bad!

One idea I really and truly liked: i may ask for a short written example to see how they would play the character. I really, really like this suggestion -- if you're not absolutely sure whether you want to go with a player, ask for a sample. If the player can't be bothered to even write a little blurb for you, they probably won't stick with the character -- and, you'll also be able to roughly evaluate their writing abilities to see whether they jive with your style or not.

Another: I approach the player and propose the idea. Instead of feeling obligated if someone approached me... I think this is a great idea -- there are certain characters of mine I'm very, very picky with, and I don't really want "just anyone" playing them. Yet, I still dislike saying no -- even if I know for a fact I won't be satisfied with a player approaching me about adoption, sometimes it is still tough to say no.

Personally, that's a point I'm trying to improve upon in ALL arenas of my life. I've found it helps thinking about it in absolute terms: on one end, if you say no, you do run the risk of offending a player and making them hate you. However, that would take a rather petty person who isn't worth your time anyway -- so it doesn't really matter, does it? Smile On the other hand, if you say yes, you run the risk of frustrating the living hell out of yourself and regretting adopting the character out -- I can say with certainty, there's one particular character I've always regretted adopting out, and even now, years after the fact, I still D:-face over this character. That's the absolute end of adopting to a player who doesn't tickle your fancy -- which absolute is worse? Smile

What do you do to make your adoptables appeal to others if they're not being adopted?

I'm a bit surprised by the two lowest answers here -- your pack leader can help your adoptables get noticed. Ask your leader to help promote your adoptables via Twitter -- most pack leaders will gladly oblige. Quite a few packs actually have areas on their websites that list available characters relevant to that pack -- Salsola, Inferni, and Anathema are three, off the top of my head and without purposefully looking at the other packs. Ask your pack leader to help! It's what they're there for. c;

Additionally, I stress this briefly later on, but seriously: try off-site character advertisement spots. I've had minor successes outside of 'Souls, and while it might be a little scary to try and find a player from some bigger community, you're also drawing new eyes to 'Souls, as well. There are tons and tons of resources related to roleplaying -- it's a big thing, seriously! There are Livejournal communities, Tumblr blogs, ginooorrrmous forums related to roleplay... :o There's a list of off-site resources within the Open Characters list itself -- go check it out! :o

Other suggestions:

  • Make sure the character has IC ties readily available, for instance to my own characters or other active characters: This doesn't necessarily have to be a family tie -- if your character came from outside of 'Souls, perhaps they met and befriended your adoptable elsewhere? For example, with Eris, I've always figured she met various characters on her journey north from Eterne to 'Souls, but I've never gone in-depth about who or which characters. I eventually plotted with the players of Jeremiah Ezekial and Bastion Hallow/Janos Russo that our characters had encountered one another previously. It's bad roleplaying form to make gigantic edits to your character's backstory, but there's nothing wrong with a little assumption like friendship on the road or having traveled together or even a negative encounter. Smile
  • I leave more about the character up to their adopter: This is covered pretty extensively elsewhere, but I thought it was worth mentioning here: personality and history seem to be the biggest draws ([#] and [#]) along with family. You can easily change the character's personality and backstory, while family isn't so easily alterable.

What's your most positive experience with adoption?

There weren't a ton of positive answers on this one. A few players were personally commended by their adopters. A few people said they actually dropped their relevant character, and the person who played the adoptable continued onward -- I think that's really great. Big Grin Again, though, I wanted to point everyone upward to the question about successful adoptions -- there are many players who do struggle to get a particular character adopted.

What's your most negative experience with adoption?

I've adopted 6 characters altogether, and they have all been dropped not long after, or been played with such scarcity that it could hardly be called activity (1-3 posts per month). Some of my characters have been adopted numerous times because they have been returned to me shortly after being adopted. This is discouraging, and really damages my own muse if these characters have close ties (family etc++) to my characters. I try to give players the benefit of the doubt, but after trying for a few years I've just given up finding dedicated players entirely. It seems the players that could play my characters well aren't interested in adopting them.

I think this answer speaks pretty well for the rest: there are a lot of negative experiences with players who pick up and drop characters shortly thereafter. :c Unfortunately, I think the best things to do here are:

  • Talk to other adopters and ask about their experiences.
  • Check out the player's previous experience. If they have a history of picking up/dropping/picking up/dropping very quickly, or their activity is very low, reconsider.
  • Keep your own "blacklist" of players you won't adopt to. It's not at ALL a pretty idea, but it seems to be an unfortunate necessity: there are players out there who simply can't hold down a character.

Another problem I'm noticing with these negative experiences is that characters tend to sit for a really long time. 'Souls pool of players is growing -- but it's not growing super-quickly, either. The same players are looking over your adoptables -- it's no big wonder the same players aren't interested, right? Advertise your open characters elsewhere -- off-site advertisement is good for 'Souls and it's good for your adoptables. Smile

Anything else you want to add regarding character adoption or this survey?

A tip to all who want to adopt: think on it for a while. Even if the muse just burns in your chest, make sure you actually have the time and dedication for another character. Not only is it much more fun to be able to maintain a character, instead of having to drop it, but it gives off that you're a stable RP'er, and people will generally be positive towards you for it! You might have an easier time getting plots, threads, or other adoptables later!

I think this is an excellent tip and goes not just for adoptable characters, but any character you're considering picking up. We allow players to LASKY test potential characters -- try that if you're even a little bit certain. Some players pay pretty close attention and they know, roughly, when a player quits and rejoins frequently. As this commenter states, stability leads to positivity in other areas of roleplay, not just adoptions.

Regarding character adoption in general, the most critical aspect for me is the ability to make the character "your own." I dislike open characters whose backstories are written out to a T, whether before they were played or as an result of being played for years before being put up for adoption. I love it when adopters are lenient and open to certain changes as long as the player doesn't take the character in the completely wrong direction. I did recently approach an adopter about an "evil" character I was interested in, so long as I could provide a deeper backstory and reasons for his behavior, and she was completely excited about it; that's an example of what I'm looking for. By advertising that I'm open to interpretation and changes about my own open characters (and making them shiny stuff), I hope to get more interested players too.

I'd just like to say that, though I love adopting characters, sometimes my own fear of letting the adopter down, and of their adoption contract, stops me from doing so.

Great points that lend credence to the idea that a stricter adopter is less likely to get a character adopted. Players do want a starting point for their characters, but they also want the opportunity to make that character their own. Restricting their freedom to do so can certainly lend to less interest in your adoptables -- some players just feel constricted, while other players feel guilty and anxious about letting you down. Smile

Another interesting fact pointed out by this survey is the fact that I am a smelly, smelly Sie. Guilty as charged. 8D Thanks for the love, guise. ♥


Essentially just wanted to say thank you to the participants who took the time to fill this out. Everyone provided insightful commentary! Big Grin I hope these results are useful to adopters! It'd be great to get a discussion going on some of these points, if anyone has anything else to add, so feel free to reply, as always. :3


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