Describes the act of preventing further writeups to a node on Everything2. If a node is getting out of hand, as happens with GTKY and opinion nodes, an editor can say "no more" and prevent any more write-ups from being added.

A softlocked node will contain the phrase "No more writeups are being accepted for this node." at the bottom, where logged-in users would normally see the "Enter your writeup" textarea. Editors can also include a bit of text to explain why, usually inviting would-be contributors to write their nugget of joy into a Scratch Pad and contacting an editor for future inclusion.

Woe is me! The node is locked and I cannot add my writeup! The editors are cruel! Everyone hates me! The computer hates me! The editors hate me! The users hate me!
So you stumble across a node that has a note at the bottom saying something along the lines of
No more writeups are being accepted for this node.

What has happened is that some time before you graced the node with your browser clicks - someone (or several someones) made the mistake of causing a cascade of poorly done writeups. Often these writeups are at -10 or there abouts when the editors do get around to cleaning up the node. Frankly, they don't have enough time to constantly monitor all those nodes out there that teeter on the edge of GTKY oblivion causing even the good nodes in there to be killed.

Thus, the editors lock the nodes. This does not mean that it is the end of the world. There are several possibilities for you to express your ideas.

First off, message someone who already has an existing writeup there to include your ideas along side his or her own. This is by far the most suggested (even if the node isn't locked) if your own ideas are short in length.

Next, you can write your writeup in your scratch pad and ask an editor if you could add it to the locked node. If the node would add something new and wouldn't be downvoted to horrendously low reputations that would result in its immediate killing, most editors are quite willing to open up the node for the brief moment that it takes you to do this. On the day of the original writing I recall seeing a node cross the new writeups in a node that had been locked a week earlier.

And there you have the essence of the idea - this user took a week to write one node rather than just slapping it together. It was well done and formatted and clearly added new ideas.

Lastly, you can go find some other node that almost has your idea and add to it. Be wary though your writeup will still face the "is this a worthy writeup" test from your peers. If you write one that suggests to others to add their own lists no amount of hiding the writeup at time of creation will prevent everyone else from doing it - it just takes one bad writeup to catch the eye of an editor on a GTKY node to clean the entire thing up.

By far, I suggest asking an editor to glance over it and unlock the node. If it won't survive in that node, it is not likely to survive outside of it either. Take time to write it - as you would with any other node.

Soft locking refers to when a player manages to create a scenario where they can no longer progress in a computer or video game. Soft locking can occur when a player gets out of bounds, loses an necessary item, kills a vital NPC, or otherwise locks themselves out of being able to reach the ending in their current game. One of the really pernicious elements of soft locking is that it's not always clear when it has occurred. As a general rule games are designed with the intent that it be impossible to soft lock them. Level designers try not to put any pits into games that you can't get yourself out of or that don't kill you outright. If a vital character dies you should get a game over screen same as running out of health or time. Basic design philosophy says that the player should always know when they've lost or won. This means that anytime that it seems to the player like they've screwed themselves they have to weigh that against how competent they think the developers were.

Fell into a space you can't get out of? Have you missed a part of the movement mechanics?

Killed the NPC that you need to get through the locked door? Is there some other way through?

Sold the Axe of Fate's Folly to buy nine hundred mana potions? Is there another way to kill Orgalorg?

In the age of ubiquitous internet walk-throughs this is less of an issue than it use to be but the odds of finding someone explaining the way out of a rare failure state is slim. How much this matters depends on the game. Some games let you save and load whenever. In those case the harm of soft lock is proportional to how judicious you've been at saving, how far back in the chain of causality the soft lock goes, and how often you over write your own saves. Other games decide when and where you can record your progress and with them you're at the mercy of the devs. These circumstances can cost the player from a few minutes too several hours and at the extremities force the player to restart the entire game.

Soft locks are in contrast to hard locks where the game actually freezes up and becomes non-responsive. The obvious difference is that it's pretty hard to miss or misinterpret when a game is hard locked. Hard locks carry the same problems of potentially destroying a play through. Whether hard or soft a lock in this sense represents the end of a play through, in part or whole, and if the instance is egregious enough a total cessation of play. This is often followed by a scathing review and a solemn vow never to buy from that developer again. For this reason quality assurance tends to be fairly aggressive in stomping these out in specific instances and guarding against them through general design.


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