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-   -   State of the Server (9/24/15) (http://www.sundren.org/forum/showthread.php?t=24426)

Requiem 10-03-2015 09:42 PM

The goal is to have epilogues for characters and possibly fold their swan songs into the lore for the next chapter of the server's story. Lotus mentioned previously (and I believe in another thread) that the specifics of this are currently being determined. Obviously characters that were active for a long time and partook in many events/were deeply involved with their factions will be more likely to have something interesting happen in the interim. And while we are all special snowflakes, it will most likely be impossible to give everyone some form of epic closure given the parameters set by the current story and our goals with the next step.

My suggestion is that you pick your favorite character and how you want his/her story to end. We will hammer out the submission process and let you know how to put those chocolatey story nuggets forward for our storymancers to try and fold into the tasty dough we have already crafted for overarching server plot.

Elusa 10-05-2015 04:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jarlexel (Post 174593)
Pickpocket: please get rid of that, met a person who played here six years ago and only for a day due to some jerk stealing her weapons and she could not afford new ones.

Seconding this. It's too easy to abuse. You can still RP sleight of hand plenty well.

OnyxTigress 10-05-2015 05:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lotus (Post 174599)
We won't have vampire PCs again for the forseeable future. They'll exist as an NPC influence.

I'd say this is a good thing, honestly. Being a vampire was fun and all, but it was really something that caused too much hostility oocly and such.

As for wrapping up the stories of a character we choose, that would be great. When is it you guys would be wanting us to do this?

[DM] Grinning Death 10-05-2015 12:53 PM

As it stands right now, we've mostly determined the faction futures based on how we foresee them acting in response to the server events that have been designed. So, I'd suggest writing out a word/text document and labeling it as such:

faction-forum name-character name.doc

example: "Legion-Peridan-Peridan Twilight.doc"

Then depositing it in this dropbox. We'll go through them, and see about adding the finishes to the future wiki entries and lore. Keep in mind, there won't be anything particularly epic about their ending, and any such endings will need to be approved by staff. If we read it, and it doesn't fit with how we want things to go, we'll send you a PM for you to go back into the document and change it based on our edits on the document within.

Dragor 10-05-2015 01:36 PM

Ooooo this was enough for me to come out of the woodwork and cheer you guys on.

On that note, a bad joke and some nostalgia!

Requiem: I don't remember bards being the ones getting killed so the important people didn't have to when I consistently played.

Redjack: Don't you mean swords wielded by Paladins and/or the entire server all at once?

I should find my CD keys...

Satoshi 10-05-2015 09:45 PM

Obligatory post demanding more elves.

Fuzziebunny 10-05-2015 10:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by [DM] Grinning Death (Post 174624)
As it stands right now, we've mostly determined the faction futures based on how we foresee them acting in response to the server events that have been designed. So, I'd suggest writing out a word/text document and labeling it as such:


It will be a lot of fun to see how everyone comes out in the end. I look forward to reading the history. You guys rock!

Elusa 10-06-2015 07:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Satoshi (Post 174626)
Obligatory post demanding more elves.

I'll possibly be returning with an arcane archer Moon Elf along the lines of the original Elusa from the old days. Just need a new name, new concept, new backstory. Keeping Selūne as the deity though!

[DM] Grinning Death 10-06-2015 07:50 AM

Just as a note, we've killed off all the elves in a terrible fire. Tragic, truly is.

Doubtful 10-06-2015 08:50 AM

Tragic, but that's what comes of living in wooden houses.

Redjack 10-06-2015 01:34 PM

How about only half eleves allowed in the new Sundren.

Poltergeist 10-06-2015 01:42 PM

Clarification: Living elves of any percentage are not allowed, but Frankenstein horrors comprised of no more than 50% elf by volume are fine.

Elusa 10-06-2015 07:25 PM

Damn, no elves. Well, there's no more race restriction on Arcane Archers, right? So I can make a ridiculous gnome arcane archer with whacky hijinks? Also we're going to need a new race for half-elf flesh golems.

MyNameIsDave 10-06-2015 07:32 PM

I'm going out on a limb here and say that Poltergeist was joking.

[DM] Grinning Death 10-06-2015 07:37 PM

I'm going to hop on a branch and say Elisa was too.:p

Kitsunestume 10-06-2015 08:00 PM

Sounds dangerous. Timbers might be unstable due to all the recent woodland fires.

Requiem 10-06-2015 08:11 PM

"You are all bad at dry wit." -Oscar Wilde

Elusa 10-06-2015 08:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by [DM] Grinning Death (Post 174636)
I'm going to hop on a branch and say Elisa was too.:p

I was serious about the half-elf flesh golems.

gamestarmike 10-06-2015 08:50 PM

Need more dwarves, not girly elves!

jarlexel 10-06-2015 09:47 PM

Think I'm going to do a dwarf, bring back my Dwarven Gigolo

Elusa 10-06-2015 10:48 PM

So here's an idea I came up with. For the week prior to the vault wipe, how about we lift the restrictions on races and classes? Sort of a celebration, plus we get players on to mess around with the restricted stuff before we all have to restart. I think it would encourage people to get on and play again. A week of goofy times with goofy characters. Everything's going to be wiped anyway, and we can just declare that week non-canonical.

Fuzziebunny 10-07-2015 01:49 AM

I am all for Golems!


As for a week of testing concepts, I like it. Even if you want to be silly with it. I think a week of looking at all the restricted and unrestricted classes sounds fun. If only to look at the mechanics of a character they may be considering from an RP stand point, but are unsure of play wise.

Kasso 10-07-2015 01:55 AM

For one week, I will play a drow paladin.

jarlexel 10-07-2015 01:57 AM

Why only a week though, have have a few months till the wipe and new stuff, it can bring us and a bunch of others back to mess around until then :)

jarlexel 10-07-2015 02:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kasso (Post 174644)
For one week, I will play a drow paladin.

Sorry Kasso, but it's already been done on sundren. GBX done a Drow Sunite Paladin, my toon Michael Zollas tried to save her life from everyone, and I mean everyone wanted her gone.

gamestarmike 10-07-2015 08:13 AM

I like this idea :^)

http://i.imgur.com/EivmmTy.gif

Farmboy2003 10-07-2015 02:00 PM

I'd rather have no elves than Gnome Arcane Archers.

Elusa 10-07-2015 02:12 PM

I say a week, mostly because it's a good length of time to get in some silly roleplay that can be forgotten. If the DMs/admins think a month or longer would be alright, it's up to them. Currently the server is almost constantly empty, so personally I wouldn't be opposed to a longer period. Just have to make it clear that any events that would happen during that time are non-canonical. So it would be a "just for fun" kind of thing.

One other thing I'd like to suggest, while on the subject of restricted things? RPotM. This needs to be a thing again. And there needs to be other avenues to earning the right to play restricted classes/races. They should only be rewarded to the best RPers on the server, but they should be something players can work towards through player and DM recognition and through in-game and forum RP.

[DM] Grinning Death 10-07-2015 03:12 PM

I'm not opposed to having silly RP, but all of my free time for Sundren will be put into the long laundry list of things we want to do before the holidays. That said, it's really up to Saulus/Lotus/Doubtful.

In regards to RPotM, I think we can figure out a similar system. However, I firmly believe restricted races/classes should be subject to character requests, with a well written bio as part of the application.

Doubtful 10-07-2015 04:20 PM

Personally I'd rather we have some fantastic events that help close out our current timeline, wrapping up stories and getting people excited for what's to come, rather than a final week of comedy and farce.

As for RPotM, I have to echo GDs sentiments, a bio based application system is preferable to the RPotM system. An 'always open' system is probably ideal, whereby if people want to apply they can, rather than it being a monthly vote-off.

Elusa 10-07-2015 06:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Doubtful (Post 174653)
As for RPotM, I have to echo GDs sentiments, a bio based application system is preferable to the RPotM system. An 'always open' system is probably ideal, whereby if people want to apply they can, rather than it being a monthly vote-off.

I tend to agree with this. And RPotM always had sort of two problems: It was a bit of a popularity contest, where some of the best RPers may not have characters that are popular, and it required a lot of work on the part of the staff.

Memnoch1962 10-07-2015 07:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jarlexel (Post 174641)
Think I'm going to do a dwarf, bring back my Dwarven Gigolo

please, no pics

Rekov 10-07-2015 07:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Elusa (Post 174656)
I tend to agree with this. And RPotM always had sort of two problems: It was a bit of a popularity contest, where some of the best RPers may not have characters that are popular, and it required a lot of work on the part of the staff.

The best designed settings/servers have no need for applications. This is a common philosophy among people who work on custom setting PWs. The idea is that the setting should be designed to fit the game as well as just the story. You create a setting where any player can pick any origin for their character without it causing issues for the setting.

There was some discussion earlier about the decision not to include PC vampires in the next iteration of Sundren that touched on this issue. The extreme mechanical superiority aside, PC vampires in fact demonstrated a better approach for giving players exclusive content than applications, because the special status is earned through RP, not chosen by some contest only tangentially related to actually role-playing well.

Application based characters will only lead to the same resentment that people felt towards PC vampires, and it will turn people away from the server who want to jump into the character they want to play without having to jump through hoops first.

gamestarmike 10-07-2015 07:47 PM

ya! I want to be a fiendish half-orc vampire paladin/sword saint of Eilistraee!! let us decide!

http://i.imgur.com/qPWT2of.jpg

Kasso 10-07-2015 09:10 PM

Well, given the server's history (or you can just go look on Dalelands or Baldur's Gate) if you let anyone play any race/class they want, they'll tend to muck it up. Which means more of the not-fun work for DM's which is policing people's RP to make sure they're doing it right. (I for one absolutely hated it when I had to step in on someone doing something ludicrous as a DM, it wasn't fun for them, and it wasn't fun for me.)

The alternative is just to remove every single ECL race/class that has a particular RP/selectiveness attached to it, which is again, the not-fun option. I enjoy seeing tieflings, aasimar, genasi, etc in game, and the RP that's normally attached to such characters.

Sundren's appeal as a unique server was a -higher- standard of RP being attached to it. Drop in and play whatever you want without any research attached (Which is all it takes to make a good bio, a bit of research) and it becomes too casual. If players want super-casual play where nobody's going to police their paladin's alignment, they can go to Baldur's Gate, I for one like that Sundren has a higher standard and expectations of their players.

[DM] Grinning Death 10-07-2015 09:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rekov (Post 174659)
... PC vampires in fact demonstrated a better approach for giving players exclusive content than applications

You raise some interesting arguments, most of which I'm not certain I agree with. But first, the vampire race was application based. The staff evaluated the written biography and overall character concept, and deemed it fit for use in the general public. Which, as you point out, is why they were such a good catalyst for RP.

But importantly, I feel a need to point out the lack of custom setting in this case. Faerun is filled with a variety of races, classes, etc., covering an incredible variety of viewpoints and cultures. We didn't create it, which means it would be fundamentally incorrect to ignore certain races and classes.

That said, these races and classes are specific to certain parts of the world. And it is only in a rare circumstance would they visit the enclosed valley of Sundren. Thus, we wish to keep them similarly rare among the PC population in order to conform to the setting.

This raises the question of how to do so. Should we allow everyone to create any PC they want? Probably not, because then we'd be breaking the setting that we're adhering to. Should we forbid everyone from using them? This would also break the setting, albeit in a more acceptable manner. It is conceivable that no drow, gensai, or tiefling would ever come to Sundren. But the problem there, is that it isn't fun. People like having interesting backgrounds, abilities, and roleplay. Else, why have the setting in Faerun?

We could solve this by removing Sundren from Faerun. Create a completely new world, with completely new lore. There are two problems with this solution. First, the server history would have to be jettisoned. While this is feasible, it would need to be something discussed among the staff and the remaining population. And, quite honestly, many of us wouldn't want to do it because we've devoted literally years to developing this PW.

Second, as I pointed out, Faerun has a wealth of lore and history itself to pull on and we don't have to pull all of it. For example, we're skipping the steaming pile of crap that is 4th edition entirely. Suffice to say, I don't think taking Sundren out of Faerun is a great idea, at least not without almost unanimous agreement among the staff and population.

Thus, we're left with how to regulate these restricted race and classes. And we've found that largely, an application system works. We rarely deny players the chance to play their character as long as they properly develop a background, and the valley doesn't have ten tiefling warlocks running amok (bringing us back to the rarity I spoke of earlier). And in fact we give people as much time as they need to develop a good bio, and wait until the population of particular races to die down to give them the green light.

All that said, we are open to an alternative system, provided it addresses the points I've made and it is acceptable to the staff as a whole.

Rekov 10-07-2015 10:50 PM

Kasso and Grinning Death, you've both raised some good points there, and this is one of those issues where there really is no completely perfect solution. Sundren is FR, and probably should remain so for a variety of reasons which you enumerated well, GD. And yes, FR leads to exactly the problems you described.

On Sundren, applications have in the past been used as an attempt to solve a number of different problems, many of which aren't even consistent with each other. Applications are for the sake of lore correctness, or the quality of RP, or the rarity of certain races, or the perceived additional nuance required to play a certain type of character. They only solve a few of those problems though, and only imperfectly at that. They're also a hassle for both players and staff along the way.

It is important at the beginning to draw a distinction between the quality of a players RP, and making sure that they correctly adhere to the lore. There are players in the larger NWN community with an encyclopedic knowledge of FR lore who still can't write a character worth a damn, and there are plenty of people who can write deep, entertaining, and witty characters, but haven't had the chance yet to familiarize themselves with niche aspects of the lore.

Applications cannot stop someone from Baldur's Gate from coming over and playing a terrible character, and your other example Kasso is perfect proof of this. I have never seen a server more obsessed with their application based content than Dalelands Beyond, where base classes, prestige classes, alignments, deities, and faction affiliations all require applications at character creation and again afterward. You can judge for yourselves the effect on the server's quality this has had.

Sundren itself has had a number (but admittedly a small number) of eye-rollingly terrible snowflake concepts around that weren't in any way hindered by the application process. Prancing idiot vampires, paladins with the same approach to lawful good as Darth Vader, characters switching between Bane and Lathander every other week, and so on.

People who generally RP well are also generally going to take the time to research their characters anyways. Let's face it though. Most of us have been on PWs for over a decade now, and FR isn't so big and complicated that people don't know what a drow, tiefling or warlock is in 2015.

I think it is also something of a mistake to conflate 'interesting background' with a well written and interesting character. Too often a character's race and class are substituted for the actual substance of a well written character. If the only interesting thing about a character is that they're a drow or a warlock, I'd submit that they aren't actually that interesting.

Sundren has already shown that they would rather remove vampires than have one such special class of character around. Despite what you say GD, I maintain that they were still better handled than drow, warlocks and the rest. Players were given the opportunity to demonstrate their characters before being judged, and were then judged based on their characters, not some secondary material. It wouldn't be too much of a next step not to have drow, tieflings, genasi, and so on either, if that's the route Sundren wants to take.

If the goal is to promote well written characters, good RP, and a server that feels like a cut above the rest, then the alternative is to lead by example. Reward good role-play with the opportunity for unique and impactful character arcs. Let people have unique and interesting characters by giving them unique things to strive for as characters (like the potential to some day become a vampire). Make characters interesting for who they are, not what they are.

My final argument against applications is that they inevitably lead to negative perceptions among the players, and I do mean to stress perceptions. The most fair application process in the world will be perceived as biased and unfair by those denied, especially if it's for something like rarity of a race and not quality. It creates the unavoidable impression of the staff as elitist, holier-than-thou types who think themselves better than the riffraff players. Better able to write, and better able to judge others' writing. It is in large part what led to the explosive collapses of ToA, PoS, and ToA2.

In the end, I think we're all in this to make Sundren an awesome experience. I almost always take the libertarian position over the authoritarian one on such matters because I think it sends a positive message to players, and doesn't punish the innocent for the sake of preventing the bad apples from slipping through, so to speak. I would rather risk having a few bad apples slip through before being nipped than have a pristine but empty server, of which there are so, so many these days.

I'm gonna try to let this topic rest here because I could go on forever about it, and that doesn't lead anywhere good.

Fuzziebunny 10-07-2015 10:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Doubtful (Post 174653)
Personally I'd rather we have some fantastic events that help close out our current timeline, wrapping up stories and getting people excited for what's to come


I would absolutely adore a wrap up of events. I think there are a few people, like me, who played characters that weren’t really active in a faction. I played an active character sure. But she wasn’t special or important to any sort of server group. I can't speak for anyone else. But, I have a strong suspicion that those who have several alts would also adore the opportunity to gain ideas for their characters endings. And, close out events, could be just the thing to do this. If you do happened to decide to hold a few close out events, I think you will find several people interested in attending.

On a separate note, I personally like playing on a server where people care about lore. What is the point of even having the lore if we aren’t going to, at the very least, give a nod to it?

gamestarmike 10-07-2015 11:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fuzziebunny (Post 174664)
I played an active character sure. But she wasn’t special or important to any sort of server group.

Chime was a pretty big deal and was in on a ton of intrigue and had a huge impact on Aquor. Im confused :confused:

Also Sestra Tournament when?!

Kasso 10-07-2015 11:23 PM

Quote:

I would absolutely adore a wrap up of events. I think there are a few people, like me, who played characters that weren’t really active in a faction. I played an active character sure. But she wasn’t special or important to any sort of server group. I can't speak for anyone else. But, I have a strong suspicion that those who have several alts would also adore the opportunity to gain ideas for their characters endings. And, close out events, could be just the thing to do this. If you do happened to decide to hold a few close out events, I think you will find several people interested in attending.
I still have no idea what to do with Gabrielle, if anything. Some last few events to throw her at would be nice, I could end this Sundren plot leaping through another perm-loop.


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