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Sprucing up the place.

Posted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 5:52 pm
by TheVagabond

I think lore should be an important update to the site, as it is, its extremely difficult to figure out what is/has going/gone on in the world of Illarion. This creates issues of where your character has spent the better part of their life (unless native to the region play takes place in). RPG wise, I believe the place that has the best organization of ig lore and facts would have to be an Ultima Online Enforced RP Shard I played on called Dark Age II. If you will be so kind as to look at this link and take note of how easy to read and navigate everything you could ever want to know about the world the shard is set in is. Take particular care in reviewing the Recent and World history. The Recent history are all events that happened IG during this version of the shard. The events in World history have a mix of non-played events and events from the first version of the shard, Dark Age.

The Religion and race lore have seen massive overhauls (not just adding new entries like in the history section), but retain the information under the link "Old Revisions" which is reviewable by anyone whom would like to brush up on the lore in those categories for whatever reason (mostly for the application process).

In my opinion, compared to everywhere else I've rp'd at (aside from maybe comraich, but their website isn't available to use as an example) Dark Age has the best method of showing off their flavor which is incredibly important (in my opinion) to ensuring continuity in the roleplay IG. If people don't know how to act, if they don't know their history, racial lore, theological lore, and all the other types of lore, then they will just act how they want to act and not have a clue how the world actually is! Like me, coming back to find Gobaith blown the hell up and spawning on the mainland with three towns to choose from with absolutely no information aside from the sparse stuff during the tutorial!

Secondly, I would like to address the ever solid stance on mechanics. Illarion has a lot of them. Illarion hides them like soiled unmentionables the first time you bring your significant other to your house. This is no good, in my opinion. Illarion is the only place I've ever been to (and I am an rp whore, I get around...ALOT) that gives flavor text as explanations to how the mechanics work. It makes absolutely no sense why you do this. The argument that it will ruin rp or hinder it somehow is dead wrong, and I know it from experience because everywhere I've been has had detailed guides to how their mechs work and they have all given me countless hours of fun roleplay, similar to what I experienced when I joined illarion way way way way back in the second client. I'd love to be a regular at illarion again, to make new memories playing here, memories like those up through the first character wipe.

We need more people, and people like to know how to play the game part of the rpg. People -DON'T- like to be punished for powergamers mistakes. What I mean by this, is that you have every system designed to punish those whom don't powergame, because let me tell you, you aren't hurting the powergamers by making shit harder. Powergamers enjoy the grind and find the effort worth it. No matter what you do, you are going to have powergamers. Know what I say? Let them powergame. It's their character's actions that will ensure they receive their just rewards. For those whom like a point-by-point, this is what happens when you try to quell pging:

1: You try to quell power gaming.
2: Power gamers are slowed down some while they relearn the systems; normal people are still hindered beyond belief, even more so now.
3: Power gamers figure it out and work harder then ever; normal people fall back even more.
4: Rinse, repeat.

This wont be acceptable to the majority of new players. In fact, it's one of the reason the dozens of buddies I rp'd with elsewhere refuse to come here, and they are all grade A roleplayers who happen to be kind and friendly people oocly, too.

Now... I don't know if I'm going to be listened to, or if I'm going to be flamed, but I don't really mind. I just wanted to put my two cents in on what needs to be done (in my opinion) to spruce this place up some. The only thing I'd personally add, would be character applications, but only after the lore is properly published and made easily available.

Thank you for reading this,

Re: Sprucing up the place.

Posted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 6:04 pm
by Djironnyma
thanks for your opinion. Anyway many of the points you told are known and on the most are worked at. If you want to help, e.g. writing lore content you are welcome to do so. To write Lore - e.g. in form of books- talk with Skamato, for general help of devloping talk with Vilarion - both you can find regulary in the IRC.
Furthermore please use Mantis ( for concrete feat request. Here in the forum they will mostly disappear after a short discussion.

thanks dji

Re: Sprucing up the place.

Posted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 6:22 pm
by TheVagabond

I don't dispute lore written for in game books is useful, I would like to impress upon you how important it is to have all lore easily accessible in a link on the homepage. I'm not sure if you were referring to this when you said "Anyway many of the points you told are known and on the most are worked at.", if not, then I'm not sure what I can say to convince anyone of the importance of that suggestion.

I'm a player through and through. I don't have game development skills; I don't know how well I can write in regards to lore (It never sounds as good as some of the stuff I've read over the years). I can only offer up suggestions on what I feel would help promote the server to new players, as I've been a new player at many different rp servers/shards. I know what I look for, and I know what I point new people to when they have questions.

If it's all in the works, then I can rest easy knowing that my opinion on what would make Illarion more successful is going to be implemented in some form.

English is my second language. American Poverty is my first, unfortunately .


Re: Sprucing up the place.

Posted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 7:05 pm
by Flux
As for skilling.. personally, I will not punish any player for pging. And pgers aren't advantaged (for the most part) with the new skilling system.

Our skilling system is now pretty damned clever. It essentially racks up bonus points the longer you do nothing (in reality it subtracts points constantly, and you get points when you do actions). Someone who sits around rping all day will wrack this value down to a really low value, and then when they do actually do some skilling they will skill extremely quickly. In this way.. someone can powergame for a long time if that's what they want to do, and they won't put the rpers at a significant disadvantage, because their high MC will simply mean that they skill slower. Ideally, person A who rps 95% of the time and skills 5% of the time and person B who does it the opposite way round both end up with the same skill values after the same amount of online time.

Right now.. it works pretty well but it's not perfect. It's still better to hardcore powergame. I'd like to get around to writing a PID controller for it (as described here: to make it a little more elegant, though right now there are more pressing matters. Either way, with this system there shouldn't really be any need to punish powergaming at all, because the "powergamers" are not unfairly disadvantaging the hardcore roleplayers at all. If they WANT to skill all day, I don't have a problem with that if that's what they enjoy. Illarion is a game after all.

And in terms of lore.. even as a GM I feel like I can't touch that. Like.. the gods and stuff? That is Damien's creation. I feel like it would be sacrilege for me to have only appeared here in 2005 but to sit around and make up lore like I'm dictating ex cathedra. This is only a self-guilt problem though. I don't mind someone else writing the lore.

One thing I am.. thinking about is whether or not the mindset of not publishing information is good. Like.. we have client item lists, we have internal maps, we have armour and weapon stats, I do wonder if these things should be more clear to the players. I mean, obviously it'd be nicer to have items in a list of "merchant products", a proper nicely drawn map (and an in client map), and perhaps just a better indication of what weapons/armour are good (which is going to be a lot.. easier soon, next week I intend a proper perfect rebalance of all items). Obviously we wouldn't publish e.g. damage formulae, but things like.. relative importance of attributes is fairly importance as far as I'm concerned. It seems like in the past illa's fighting has relied on being interesting by being "mysterious", like.. noone (not even the people who wrote it) know the perfect builds and item sets. I'm hopefully going to be about to change that into strategy instead of muddled guesswork.

Dissertation first though! ;)

Oh, and also:

There's no rule against pging anymore!

Also, we're about to lighten up on the "#me interupts his work" type messages.

Re: Sprucing up the place.

Posted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:52 pm
by Dyluck
Flux wrote:And in terms of lore.. even as a GM I feel like I can't touch that. Like.. the gods and stuff? That is Damien's creation. I feel like it would be sacrilege for me to have only appeared here in 2005 but to sit around and make up lore like I'm dictating ex cathedra. This is only a self-guilt problem though. I don't mind someone else writing the lore.
I don't think he meant changing lore about the gods, so much as just update the "current" backdrop of events. As it is right now, there is pretty much zero mention of Cadomyr, Galmair, Runewick, etc on the webpage. While some staff have said they believe it would be better to find out in-game, I personally am of the opinion that it would be better to "sell" the current story a bit more.

I also agree that the lore isn't very well organized or user-friendly. The links to races are hidden inside paragraphs of text, and the history of the mortals are irrelevant, and the chronicles probably not updated. The Illarion Wiki was kind of better and somewhat organized like that Dark Age 2 example. Unfortunately, the Wiki can't be edited, and a lot of the info is irrelevant to post-VBU once again.

Re: Sprucing up the place.

Posted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:58 pm
by TheVagabond

Just...Wow. That was well written, clear, and to the point. This is what is, this is whats planned, and this is what will be. I like you already. I don't expect exact formulas, even that is restricted to OSI UO shards on the stratics website and has no use for private shards. But a breakdown of like.. Strength does A, C, and E while Dex does B, D, and F. I want to know what weapons require a particular amount of skill or stat to be viable; can someone with high strength and low dex still use a dagger effectively? Should they practice with a different piercing weapon first to get the skill necessary to use the dagger well? Do piercing weapons have a bonus against plate or chain? I just want to have a clear idea how my character will perform with different skills, stats, and equipment. I don't need "(str x dex) + bow skill level/2" or anything like that.

I really appreciate your stance on powergamers, and the removal of the rules regarding them. It was always just to much of a hastle and flame-war starter, imo. People would throw around the PG acronym every time they got their ass kicked and it was really annoying.

The biggest thing atm is the lore. It deserves the most attention right now, I think. Hardcore rpers like myself are drawn to it like bees to honey. We need lore to establish Illarion as a serious roleplaying community, imo. Right now, it boasts it's role-play enforced, but it doesn't have the resources to really make a connection between the character you are making and the world they have and will live in. I think it should be top priority, even before publishing the details of the mechanics and any changes to skills and magic (and this should paint a picture of where my priorities lay, because I'm one of the people with a character who is missing their magic since this new map :P).

We need an overview of the gods, a detailed write up on each race (including how they interact with the gods, the cities and land of the races), and a history (including the mainland, gobaith, and this new map(which will be very hard, I know). It's a long list, and I don't have the resources or the looking glass that staff has had to see all that actually went on (I only saw what my chars did, and it makes my version of history very one sided)... Else I'd volunteer to try to sort through stuff and put something together.

I dunno, it's just something to think about, I guess. I'm not trying to demand anything either, I know it's just my opinion on what should be done. My opinion is drawn from my experiences at many different roleplaying communities both as a newb and someone trying to educate newbs. A large part of game development is researching games of a similar genre, the demographics associated with them, how well they were received and such. With that, I will offer links to communities I've been a part of or am a part of; I'm not saying steal their IPs... But it's always good to get fresh ideas, see how someone else does something, or how other people act and react.

Anything to help,

Edit: Dyluck is correct, I didn't mean change the lore. Just make sure its all written down and easily accessible.

Re: Sprucing up the place.

Posted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 7:42 pm
by Teflon
The mantis-task that addresses this issue: