Friday Harbor began as a 2-region homestead role-play environment and has since expanded to a total of 13 regions dedicated to the role-play of a San Francisco-based role-play city. Many of the regions are owned separately by different owners while the two original Friday Harbor regions remain owned by Josh Piper, the initial founder of Friday Harbor.
Look and Feel (1 – Poor Quality):
After nearly a year of examining role-play environments for TRR, I can attest to the fact that Friday Harbor as it stands right now, is likely the most disorganized, and worst looking role-play environment in terms of the look and feel. The environment is plagued with poor design choices, which stems from the onslaught of different owners wanting to make their own “unique” slice of Friday Harbor leaving much to be desired.
Each region takes on a completely different design and theme which makes immersion almost impossible. Sidewalks, roads, buildings and houses share only their poor design and implementation in common. It amazes me that the regions are even connected by roads and highways which amongst the obvious lack of organization and forethought really doesn’t seem possible. In addition to poor design choices, the multitude of scripted objects, high resolution textures (which don’t look so great anyway) and needlessly scripted items causes the homestead regions of Friday Harbor to drop of performance extensively, making even the most common role-play frustrating and obnoxious to play out.
The Role-play (1 – Poor Quality):
Friday Harbor is the host to role-play that is below the quality of most similar environments, due mainly in part to the lack of organization throughout the management and administrators. Most role-plays end in disputes among players, resulting in a ‘voided’ role-play scene when other solutions are available and could be easily achieved. Many role-plays involve non-stop car chases with a multitude of police departments taking part in the action and end with the suspects vehicle deleted, or returned by an admin because of concerns over ‘lag.’
Issues and arguments ensue when members of different police departments patrol wrong jurisdictions even though administrators have said all police departments (I’m told there are 6 or 7 different police departments in total by an administrator) are to maintain jurisdiction over all 13 regions. In addition, the environments fire departments (I’m told there are 4 or 5 in total by an administrator) maintain jurisdiction over all 13 regions. This leads to a multitude of issues and confusion between departments and frequently causes department leaders to quit on a whim and join a surrounding department only to repeat the same process later.
The Management (1 – Poor Quality):
Due to the lack of organization, and plethora of administrators it severely harms moderation which usually result in public ‘battles’ between owners, admins and role-players alike in the public Friday Harbor group chat. Many administrators bicker with each other publicly and have no recourse for their actions due to the seemingly endless list of separate management groups which take part in moderating Friday Harbor. In addition, most administrators only have the rights to ban or eject parties who disrupt activities on some of the 13 regions making up Friday Harbor. This leads to administrators frequently needing to call for “backup” in order to put an end to the disrupting party.
I overheard (on voice chat) a head administrator for the primary Friday Harbor region, that was idling in his vehicle parked upon a sidewalk tell a police officer who was attempting to engage in role-play with the administrator whom showed in-character on their health system that “I’m not IC, I’m only IC on my DD because then I can shoot griefers with my orbit gun … because I can’t use the admin tools very well yet … so I have to use my gun and I don’t want Linden Labs knocking on my door … for griefing … because I can tell them that my DD was IC at the time … then I won’t get in trouble.” In addition, this administrator reported on voice prior to making that statement that quote, “I can’t role-play at all. I’m only good at being a sim cop” where ‘sim cop’ refers to his role as an administrator.
On another occasion I was told by a citizen of Friday Harbor that most administrators won’t get involved in a meta-gaming or power-gaming incident unless the person has repeatedly griefed any of the 13 regions. The citizen, whom wished to remain anonymous continued to tell me that, most administrators will tell citizens, “I’m not in the mood for this” or “This isn’t my problem” and instruct the citizen to “figure it out for yourself.” Leading to low-points in role-play and overall enjoyment of the environment.
Online Presence (1 – Poor Quality*):
Friday Harbor does not have any established online presence.
Overall (1 – Poor Quality):
All-in-all, Friday Harbor has declined in quality since my previous review which received a 3 out of 5 rating. The declined quality can be attributed to the spread out role-play, management and lack of organization which has led to severe confusion and poor choices. The environment does still have a fair amount of traffic ranging from 15-25 concurrent avatars during daytime hours, many players however remain inactive or out-of-character and one must travel up to 13 regions to participate in or locate on-going role-play. As Friday Harbor stands much needs to be improved for it to be considered anything but a glorified combat sim with a lackadaisical management team to go with it.
Regions: Friday Harbor, Rain Cloud, Soul Siren, Roaming Bluff, Plymouth County, Down Under, Charming County, TKA City, Genesis County, North Genesis County, Faithful Land, Night Out, Hysteria
Region Ratings: Moderate (Mature) and Adult
Roleplay Style: Voice Role-play, Metered Role-play
by Caitlin Phenomena
*Denote ratings which were not included in the final overall rating.
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