Over at Pixels & Polyhedrons, MJ mentioned how he was nearly ready to give up online gaming because it is so hard to get people to commit or show up. I started thinking about some ways to insure that you get good players who show up on time.
I realize that some of these may be controversial, but I'm just throwing out ideas.
- Have a category for "premium" games, which are run by experienced GMs with high ratings. People will have to pay a small amount of money per session. I'd pay $15 bucks to participate in a game run by Vincent Baker, Jason Morningstar or Judd Karlman.
- ...which leads us to a) having some sort of ranking/karma system for players. I hate to say this, but I had experiences with two "nightmare" players when I used Fantasy Grounds. I wasn't the only person to have problems with these folks. It would be nice to have some sort of warning (I know...I know...).
- ...and b) perhaps you don't get charged unless you don't show up. For example, Game X has a deposit of $10. You give the GM at least 24 hours notice if you can't make it to avoid being charged.
I think all of these things should be optional, and not at all appropriate when playing with people with whom you have a good relationship and gaming history.