Late to the party and I’m glad you’ve already amended this change. But I feel I need to articulate some feedback that you should understand.
I, as a GM, am a huge believer in music and sound as part of the RPing experience. I’ve been doing it since the days of swapping cassete tapes between scenes. I even wrote my own jukebox app for managing RPG music playlists back in the day, so you can see I’m at least moderately techie and willing and able to work through any technical problems. Naturally I love Syrinscape and what it can do, and want to use it in my games which nowadays are 100% online.
My players are NOT all as big a fan of music and sound effects in games as I am. At least one is vehemently opposed to it. Others appreciate the effect it can have on the game experience, but they’re not dedicated to the idea. Others still are entirely lukewarm. Also they’re NOT all as technically savvy as I am, some are quite the opposite, and even tasks that are fairly simple for the likes of us, they have to be painstakingly talked through repeatedly, again and again and again and again and…
Seriously, do not underestimate the ingenuity of users in finding ways to screw things up. I’ve had more than one player who, after I’d even sent them the link to download the Online player, went ahead and installed the offline Fantasy Player instead, because that was what they found behind the Download button on the Syrinscape web page…
So here’s the thing - I can be enthusiastic and evangelise about how great having the ambient sound & music will be till I’m blue in the face. But I can’t force the players to use the Online player, and every single obstacle or inconvenience in the way makes them more likely to decide that it’s just not worth the effort. We have the regular problem of the online player repeatedly losing the device link to players’ accounts. We have had several games that coincided with Syrinscape server outages so we had to do without, some users (including me) reporting the online player crashing periodically, and most recently this change requiring the users to re-subscribe to the game each session.
Every one of those little obstacles, minor though they may be, makes it more likely the players decide not to bother with the effort. I’m down to about half of my regular player base who usually use the online player and the other week I ran a session which when I looked back on it, none of the players had connected to Syrinscape, so I was basically DJing for myself alone. At some point as a GM, you have to decide whether or not the time and effort is worth it, never mind the subscription cost, and if you’ll forgive the bluntness, it doesn’t matter how much I love Syrinscape, if none of my players are using it, there’s no reason for me to remain a SuperSyrin subscriber.
After the previous week without sounds,this week my Tuesday group and I worked out that we needed to re-invite the players. We didn’t realise we’d have to do it every session, and while I understand you’ve reversed this, when we have to repeat the process next week for what will hopefully be the last time, I’m still going to wind up taking some stick from the players and have to sell them on the idea. If this was still going to be something we had to do every week, I honestly think I’d lose them.
Please don’t think this is another internet rant, although I’ll admit it’s reaching a good length for a rage-post :-). I just want to try to get the message across that all the little inconveniences mount up and no matter how enthusiastic, loyal and supportive your main customer base may be, if we can’t sell it to our players and they decide it’s just not worth the hassle, we won’t remain as customers.
Please accept this as the constructive criticism it’s intended to be.