Vampires Theoretical

TiurTiur ProducerMember, Administrator, Immortal Posts: 280 admin
Vampires are a tagline for Aetolia. Some of our ads literally say "A Vampire themed MUD". You and I know that isn't very accurate but reputation is a difficult thing. As I see it, we cannot have that main tag be confusing or stagnant. Due to different views on bloodlines, generations, and houses, there is little to no comparable unity between how a vampire is played. And to state a fact, the vampire newbie experience needs to be standardized with the others. No newbie needs to quit this MUD because they could not find what they were looking for. And on the other hand, no player should be forced to go and sire a newbie so they can have the vampire experience.

We are looking at new bloodline and generational systems which limit a sire to a set number of childer, but allows vampires to fluidly swap out those to whom their loyalties lie—both as to their sire and their childer—as roleplay or other considerations dictate. It’s meant to encourage a far more meritocratic system than the current stagnancy. Instead of a vampire being locked into a generation upon being embraced, any vampire may rise (or fall) in bloodrank by convincing a higher-level sire to re-embrace them and any sire may release their childer if expectations are not met. The idea is to encourage consistent roleplay much in the same way that cities, guilds, and houses not only assign council-like positions to those who are most willing to work for it but also remove responsibility if another is better suited.

Roleplay wise, it allows sires the ability to request assistance from their childer implicitly backed with the threat of potential release if their directives are not followed. It gives childer a reason to listen to their sires because their link to bloodrank and peerage is directly tied to appeasing the one above them.

However, this also provides a level of choice for childer that they have never had before. If a sire becomes too demanding, the childe may simply find another willing to sire them. Also, if a childe shows that they are useful, able to roleplay, or are a valuable asset, they can simply leapfrog their current sire if a higher-ranking sire has an opening and sees the vampire as valuable.

Combined, this creates a system where there should be a more intimate connection between sires and childer lest the bond be broken. It also creates a system where intrigue, drama, and roleplay are a method through which a character can gain power within the system—ultimately, this leads to mechanical rewards for roleplay.

The goal is to combine the Consanguine into a more populous group through the Dominion (and lessen the influence of the houses). The Consanguine cease being a subdivided group of a subset of a subset and become a unified entity, while still retaining the backstabbing and intrigue we know and love.

-------------------------------------

This was the starting place for the design of a new vampire system; a rationale for changing and direction of change. I feel like keeping up the transparency and seeing how you all feel about it. Please note I didn't actually include any mechanics here! We're not debating the how, just the why and what. And I have chatted with a number of players, which led to a few modifications of the above (example, we're retaining a way to keep track of who your original embracer was).

This also explicitly does not mention Abhorash. I wouldn't mind your opinions on that topic, I'm just not going to get into mechanics and ranks yet. So tell me if you love the Admin micromanagement, or hate that we admin never have the time to run him.

I'm actually in the middle of making this a reality. I won't give an ETA because, and I'll be honest here, this level of project is at the edge of my ability in Rapture. I'm pressed to meet our internal deadline, and by opening this up to comments, I'm risking that deadline. Completing this will enable me to judge my own familiarity/skill and actually add timelines to things in the future.
DzekkKerrynVyxsisPazradymKodaRijettaZaila
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Comments

  • RhyotRhyot BloodlochMember Posts: 179 ✭✭✭
    So, here's the thing about Vampirism and being a Consanguine as a whole. It's all about respect. Respect to your Sire, respect to your House, respect to the city, respect to the Blood.

    Now, because Siring is mostly done within the House, this brings up a very restricting point. Most Houses only have 1-3 active people who are authorized sires. So by implementing a change of being allowed to jump ship on a Sire is going to start affecting the overlooking view of the Consanguine society. If someone can just jump ship from a sire all because they want a blood rank, that will spread through out the vampire community, and most definitely within the House the newly embraced is in, and they will find themselves barred from any sort of future changes because that is a huge disrespect to the original Sire. That's an equivalent to your son/daughter saying, "Thanks for the past 18 years parent, but I'm going to leave you now because you've used up your usefulness to me." I'm fairly certain if your son/daughter verbally/non-verbally said that to you, you'd feel pretty angry/upset and likely wouldn't want to help them with anything for quite some time, nor anyone else to help them for that matter.

    Very few people even care about blood rank anymore. Yes, peerage is used, but only by very few. Most see peerage as a form of chest beating or a meaningless title. You don't get anything special by being an Emperor, a Prince, or a Grand Duke. It's a title, one people really don't care to pay attention to unless you tell them that they -WILL- adhere to peerage.

    Also, most Siring is only done within the House. There is no cross-house Siring. Typically, if its found out that someone has gone outside the House to obtain a sire, one of two things will happen. Either a) the newly embraced must break ties with their Sire and obtain a new one within the same House or b) the newly embraced must leave the House. The latter is more restricting because now you're a Rogue and while being a Rogue is fun, you are no longer seen as necessary to the Dominion.

    As for Abhorash, I love the lore and history behind him. I wish that he'd get played a little more often as I love the demanding and dictator-esque vibe I get when I communicate with him.



    But commenting on some points you made, Siring already is a fluid thing. Any Childe can go to any Sire and get re-sired, but it goes back to the whole respect thing I mentioned earlier. The Dominion will be hard pressed to become a staple point of Consanguine necessity, and Houses are still going to have laws in place keeping their siring within the House.

    That said, I feel this change won't do much for the roleplay of a Consanguine or the vampire community. As it stands, a majority of people coming to Bloodloch don't even want to BE a vampire and of those who start as a Nightstalker quite often don't remain as a Nightstalker, but instead quit the game, leave the city, or just become undead. There are many issues regarding this trend, but the primary reasons are because the very few amount of available Sires within the Houses, the near minimal options of available Sires outside the Houses, Siring as a whole, and the overarching cost of the Praenomen class in general (but we won't get into that argument here).

    RhoynnRijetta
  • KalakKalak Member Posts: 151 ✭✭✭
    Rhyot said:


    Very few people even care about blood rank anymore. Yes, peerage is used, but only by very few. Most see peerage as a form of chest beating or a meaningless title. You don't get anything special by being an Emperor, a Prince, or a Grand Duke. It's a title, one people really don't care to pay attention to unless you tell them that they -WILL- adhere to peerage.

    Most see them as such because most people play the game with a modern mindset. That is generally detrimental to the health of the game. Normally if someone disrespects an Emperor one would think that household troops would make short work of the said person, for his/her arrogance. But c'est la vie.

    @Tiur I would like to offer a counteridea to the sire-jumping mechanic. Perhaps my judgement might be colored by Vampire: the Masquerade but you could introduce something like blood potency which allows vampires to have additional powers (whether over other vampires or generally, disregarding Sire mechanics to a degree) to reflect their generation level. Now initial potency value is derived from the potency of your sire and amount of time you have played the game (you will get slightly better potency as a veteran player then a novice but still far lesser then your original sire) As time goes by you will gain potency due to your mastery upon your blood and if you kill other vampires by sucking them (not in Sect or ylem combat, but hardcore sucking them dry outside) you will gain potency as well to further your generation. Also getting Blood Offers from vampires with higher potency can elevate your blood potency in exchange for their hold upon you (not Sire jumping but a kind of blood-bonding) Also acquiring Blood Ranks will give a modicum of potency because you are being exposed to the secrets of a vampiric House and learn new ways to utilize your blood. (But losing rank, getting sucked dry, dying under sun, due to lack of blood will weaken the blood)

    Now I am not entering into a debate about balancing benefits etc but to emphasize on the concept....when there is enough blood potency/blood rank difference:

    - Might allow control over other undead.
    - You can summon any weak blood to your side (compared to your potency)
    - You can dismiss any weak blood away (compared to your potency)
    - If the gap is way too high, you can instantly boil their blood and paint the walls with their entrails (your blood potency probably equal to an Elder or Ancient vampire)
    - The powerful vampires will require less sustenance then weaker bloods
    - Their Consanguine abilities will require less blood due to their potency
    - Additional techniques/abilities depending on Blood Rank and House would definitely make those ranks desirable aside from Blood Rank potency bonus.

    On Abhorash, I will not say anything much but probably I would prefer a player dictator rather then an admin dictator. But again we return to the modern mindset and in a game where leaders are elected, player dictators have limited options. Though blood potency could deal with this issue as well because you know...the Ancient Vampire will snap your insides out.
    RhoynnRijettaZaila
  • RhoynnRhoynn HartfordMember Posts: 65 ✭✭✭
    edited May 23
    So, I wanted to wait till I had a chance to sit down and formulate a response. My gut instinct said that this idea really appealed to me, and would have also made very recent events more weighted, and also easier, for something I was trying to do.

    I'll try and approach this through the lens of what I am- a relatively newer player, playing an even newer vampire.

    First off, I want to say that both Kalak and Rhyot make good points. Rhyot is accurate that, for the most part, a lot of Consanguine RP is based around trying to -escape- the formalities of blood rank, and that, for the most part, one's worth in the Dominion, or even in their house, is fairly meritocratic- whether formally stated or informally. Peerage as a sign of respect and accomplishment, as a sign of hierarchy, is more an antiquated relic. But I will ALSO agree with Karak that the reason for this is because we're modern people with modern mindsets playing a very ancient, very feudal type of roleplay. It's fairly natural that we'd buck against "Oh this person got X to Sire them, and even though I'm 35 levels higher and Ascended and HR8 and they're only HR3, they're better than me and I should respect that."

    That's hard to do, in a game like ours, where guilds and cities (And even Houses most times) reward people based on their work- be it roleplay, written, events, PK, hunting, donations, whatever. Not on 'what' or 'who' they are. To use another point of comparison, I've never really felt that 'Ascended' people (Idreth, Azudim, Yeleni) were treated as 'better' than non-ascended people. If you had someone who was level 92 but cranked it out at the Orrery and super helped Novices, you'd be more likely to vote for them as a city council member, or choose them as a mentor, over someone more lazy or self-focused who was an Azudim, even though both things are a balance of choice, and earned.

    Now, all of that being said, I personally love the core idea behind this. I recently (succeeded) in getting resired, but it was a lengthy, confusing process that, after a while, started to hamper the RP behind what was truly going on. It felt like a slog and a chore, and ultimately, in the end, my character still ended up with the same Blood rank as before.

    Combined, this creates a system where there should be a more intimate connection between sires and childer lest the bond be broken. It also creates a system where intrigue, drama, and roleplay are a method through which a character can gain power within the system—ultimately, this leads to mechanical rewards for roleplay.


    -This- is what makes me support this idea. I'm someone who is very, very RP intensive. Rewards for roleplay, in-game, are often few and far between, and end up linked as part of one task among many that I don't like to do. Vampire RP, the theory behind it at least, was something that really drew me to go make my first Bloodlochian, and even when it's dull, I can never really leave because I hold out hope that it'll kind of right itself. I think there's a lot of merit to the idea, as a whole. I've some minor suggestions that, while perhaps a bit controversial, might help make this a bit more...exciting, and fluid and hectic and stimulate roleplay and broader interaction.

    1. Abhorash should be played a bit more, if for NO other reason than to Sire the heads of Houses in the Dominion. If someone is the head of a House in the Dominion, I really feel like they need to be the highest blood rank around. Yes, will it mean almost everyone will gun for their HL? Certainly, but if you limit Childer, you allow there to be a bit more of a structured hierarchy between HL, the people at hire Blood ranks, and then their Childer, and so on. Who HL choose to sire will, of course, be up to them, but I can see some reasonably valid Abhorash RP being him gathering the current HLs, Siring those who are not his Childer (Even against their will, maybe? He is the head honcho after all), and then telling them that the Blood needs to be 'purified' and 'cleaned' or something, and that they need to get their houses in order.

    2. Blood rank should be more intimately tied to HR. Not super rigidly, of course, and there still needs to remain an intimate bond between Sire and Childer, but if someone shows great promise and rises up to HR6 or 7 and has a dull, inactive, or low-ranked Sire, then this rise should be rewarded by a Resiring by someone higher in blood rank and house rank. This would go a long way towards giving Peerage some weight. This could look like:

    The following members of Ve'kahi are in the realm:
    Member Rank Status Blood Class
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Erzsebet Padishah Earthmelded Empress Praenomen
    Siaern a Disciple of Freedom Arch Duke Indorani
    Merla an Initiate of Power Princess Nightstalker

    4. I know this may be difficult to code in, but one's bloodrank should be displayed in the Dominion and in the House. I think that could be a really cool little feature to keep it in the forefront of RP. It would also, I think, promote inter-house RP. It would political beneficial, for example, for a Prince of Bahir'an to marry an Arch Duchess of Nebre'seir. So maybe the two HLs get together in private and create an arranged marriage (Or something, it would certainly be appropriate to the feudal-type RP Vampire is supposed to be) and then it further facilitates RP between said Prince and Duchess. For example (Totally hypothetical, IDK anyone's rank, but)

    he following members of the Imperial Dominion are in the realm:
    Name Position Status House
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Erzsebet Council Member Empress Ve'kahi
    Aeteyr Prince Bahir'an
    Siaern Arch Duke Ve'kahi
    Coribhell Princess Bahir'an
    Ilyon Baron Bahir'an
    Iriden Duchess Bahir'an

    That way, I can look at DWHO and go, "Oh, hey. I'm wanna join Bahir'an. I'd like to be a high blood rank, so I should search out that Coribhell person, since she's a Princess, and is likely a high ranking official", or alternatively "Oh, I'm in Ve'kahi, that Siaern guy is an Arch Duke and he's been a good Sire, but I feel I'm surpassing him. I should speak to Erzsebet about getting Resired"

    That way, it can spur a bit of competition, as well. Now Siaern has a motivation to hold onto his Childer (If he wants) and Erzsebet has motivation (If she wants) to take it away from him, or lord over him that she can at any point.

    4. I like the RITUALS in Sanguis. Perhaps going along with @Kalak's idea of rewards for higher blood rank, maybe someone goes in, fixes those rituals, adds some more, and makes it so that you can only access certain rituals if you're a certain Blood rank? Like, for example, you can't do the ritual of Union unless you're a Grand Duke or higher. Hypothetical, of course, and easily bypassed by the ability to marry in orders and cities, but still, it affords Blood rank SOME mechanical superiority without making it unnecessarily OP as it relates to Praenomen class.



    image
    Rijetta
  • RijettaRijetta Nowhere ImportantMember Posts: 49 ✭✭✭
    Hi! I don't really know if I have the ability to talk about this stuff, as new as I am, but I'll give it a shot and describe my experience as a very recent newbie, despite meteoric acclimation.

    I like what vampire RP seems like it used to be -- where peerage kinda mattered and it was a rigid society. But I also like it now, where blood rank is less important, although I think it's still a very fun aspect of RP and shouldn't be done away with. As of now, Vampire society, at least in House D'baen, seems to have largely become a meritocracy -- those who put in effort receive reward, and I don't think that kind of thing should be discouraged, so that you don't get people who just rest on their laurels because they're a Prince. Or, at least, you discourage that kind of behavior.

    Right now, however, there's the issue that folks with high blood ranks can stop playing (for many reasons, and this is not an attack or jab at any of them -- this is a game, after all!) which has the unfortunate side effect of weakening the blood; with no Empresses, there are no Princesses. I think there needs to be a continual resurgence in blood rank amongst the Houses, so that you don't get the blood weakening too badly, although without mechanical incentive, it's all RP (which is important!!)

    I think, perhaps, there's a way to reconcile all the problems at once, and I'll attempt to approach that reconciliation: tying blood rank into the meritocracy might give us the best of both worlds. If the House leader is given a high blood rank, Prince or Emperor or what have you, then another way for them to favor a hard worker in the house is to elevate that hard worker's blood rank through resiring. This ensures that there's always a strong blood rank at the head of the House, and with limited Childer for the Emperor in question, it means there can only be so many Princes, and those Princes will then create even more Grand Dukes, and so on and so forth, creating a pyramidic structure.

    You can go on and perhaps get a little metaphysical and think of the House, then, as an entity -- its head, its core structure, and certainly its public face is the House leader, the Emperor, but without its subsidiary souls in the form of the Princes, the Grand Dukes, the Dukes, the Counts, and so on, it is a rather empty entity.

    This also means that as you enter the House, you're likely to be Sired by one of the lower blood ranks, a Duke or Duchess who are the gofers and the workers of the House, handling much of the day to day bustle and no doubt assigned to oversee Novices. Then, as you prove yourself, you are elevated as you move up the chain of Sires within the House. Of course, your Sire is likely also looking for opportunities to rise in rank, which gives us the intrigue and politics -- everyone is vying against one another for the honor of being a Prince or Princess, or perhaps even an Emperor or Empress. This also means that typically, if you see someone with that high rank of nobility, you'll know they put in work in their House.

    I think this idea eliminates some of Rhyot's valid concerns, that of "sire-jumping", by ensuring that blood rank is tied a little bit to House rank, so you'll want to be loyal and hard working if you ever want to wear that Princess title. (I'll get it someday!)

    I haven't been in a Guild, but I think this structure is somewhat similar to them -- cool titles come from hard work and high Guild Rank.

    Obviously, this idea will need a lot of refining and a lot of input, and I welcome criticism, constructive or otherwise. I'd love to hear everyone's thoughts.
    A low, sultry voice resounds within the depths of your mind, "I look forward to seeing your descent."
  • ZailaZaila Pacific TimeMember Posts: 261 ✭✭✭✭
    Over the years, I've tried to make Vampire alts several times, but they invariably fail because of lack of RP to get a sire. Perhaps I had terrible luck with timing, and I've only done it 4 times, but I couldn't ever find a remotely compatible sire to the characters I had drawn up. I was even going to settle for "Doesn't care about the RP, just willing to sire you".

    Am I completely missing where this problem is being solved with the changes? Was this problem already solved and I just didn't know? Because I didn't see anywhere up there where it will be easier for new characters to find a sire/actually become a vampire. Will there be an NPC vampire handing out Siring that will throw you into the lowest-possible Bloodrank or something and let you work your way up from there until you can find someone you impress enough to really give you the full sire-experience? That seems like a decent-enough solution if you're going forward with a really easy-to-resire concept and somehow get the community to care about Bloodrank again.
  • RhyotRhyot BloodlochMember Posts: 179 ✭✭✭
    I vastly disagree with the notion that blood rank should be tied to House rank, for the pure simple fact that not all vampires are members of a House. If you run things like that, you're completely eliminating Rogue vampires chance to have RP as well because not all vampires want to join a House. There's a lot of politics, red tape, etc that goes in to being part of a House and some people just don't prefer it.

    Additionally, just because you are part of a House doesn't mean your rank is crap. There are many cases of a vampire who started in a previous House, left and rejoined a different House.

    For example:
    I joined Lunare originally and became the childe of Princess Satomi. Which immediately made me a Grand Duke, I was HR2. Lunare merged with Ve'kahi and I rose up to HR4 through hard work (still a Grand Duke). I left Ve'kahi for a handful of reasons, became a Rogue vampire, and eventually joined Bahir'an. Since then, I have only done enough to claim HR3 and haven't done anything more (Still a Grand Duke). If I got a demotion just because I am only HR3, despite being the childe of a Princess, I'm going to be pretty upset/irritated (especially since I try to very much so play to the medieval age of peerage/respect).

    If you suddenly got a demotion of rank based upon the rank of your House, it would cause a lot of animosity towards the House system and it would make people not want to play or even join Houses in the first place.

    I also did not like the idea of Emperors/Empresses being chosen simply because you're an HL. If you're an Emperor/Empress, you should be someone of note that people fear and/or respect and should also be someone who is spoke of widely for your various accomplishments. An Emperor/Empress is the epitomy of the Blood ranks, what everyone -should- aspire to become, as you become the direct descendant of the Primus. This isn't a title that should just be handed out because you won a popularity contest within your House. Maybe have a specific amount of people become Emperors/Empresses (6 seems like a good number), and Abhorash only creates more every 5-10 IG years. This time frame would be ample time for the previous Emperors/Empresses to quit the game, thus stopping a flood of high ranked Blooded members.

    I did like the idea of Blood potency though. That did seem relatively awesome.

    Zaila
  • RijettaRijetta Nowhere ImportantMember Posts: 49 ✭✭✭
    Ah, I'm sorry -- it seems like I wasn't clear enough with my idea. I didn't mean to imply that blood rank is inherently tied to house rank, in that they are one and the same -- rather, the purpose of what I was going for was "mobility within the blood ranks, without completely throwing away House stuff". I think that if you have a certain blood rank, the only way that should go down is if people force it upon you through combat, capture, and ritual. If you're a Prince of Bahir'an and you decide to go rogue, you shouldn't suddenly not be a Prince anymore -- rather, the dominion will very much WANT to find you and reduce your blood rank as you might be seen as an embarassment or a liability to them, but it isn't and shouldn't be an automatic thing.

    Rather, I wanted to use House achievement as a convenient way to gauge when upward mobility should happen within blood rank. I can totally see your point regarding the HLs -- I suppose I assumed that HLs are typically the most worthy folks of being Emperors and Empresses, but I can see why that wouldn't be true. I think I was also semi-responding to the question of whether or not Abhorash is a good thing, though I don't have a concrete answer of my own towards that just yet. In any case, the ideas I had in mind were designed to work either with him or without him -- if he made more Emperors than there were HLs, then that's certainly his prerogative.

    As for rogues, I'm not sure rogues being able to get sired easily is intended -- becoming rogue seems to be a very serious choice that means you actively give up the benefits of a House, that is, (relatively) easy Siring and structure and Consanguine society, as dead (ha) as it is.

    Another major issue with my idea, though, is the sire/childer bond, which I don't think any of us want to be lessened or cheapened. If you can just get re-sired to improve your rank, it throws a wrench in that bond and makes it seem much less important and meaningful. But if you surpass your sire in blood rank, other weird things happen.

    Maybe mobility within the blood ranks isn't the way to go after all; this definitely requires more thought on my part.

    Blood Potency sounds cool, since I'm a big fan of VtM as well, and I certainly think Sire-type stuff could be expanded, but perhaps limit blood potency such that it's generational, i.e. an Empress might have Sire-level control over whomever is Sired by her Princes and Princesses, and so on. Eventually, a high blood rank vampire will be at the top of a pyramid, but they can't, say, reach into another House and start messing with vampires they didn't Sire. That seems to be the purview solely of the Primus.

    And finally, to respond to something that Rhyot also mentioned in his first post, I agree with him that there are more systemic issues with vampires and vampire RP than just the Sire/Childer/Blood Rank/Primus issues. It comes down to a matter of gameplay, too.

    @Rhyot Hopefully, this helps clear some things up and dialogue can continue.
    A low, sultry voice resounds within the depths of your mind, "I look forward to seeing your descent."
  • KarhastKarhast EnorianMember Posts: 84 ✭✭✭
    So, after discussion on Discord and thinking in general, I've come up with more than a bit, but.. I also don't want to be that guy who's played a 'lochian alt for a week and thinks he knows better than everyone else. Add to that the fact my opinion seems very different from what I've read here, and I'm really torn between commenting properly or not doing so at all.
  • TiurTiur Producer Member, Administrator, Immortal Posts: 280 admin
    Unfortunately, I have to be that guy that's been producer for a month who thinks he knows better x_x. I don't get to avoid it, Vamps are next on the dev cycle. Hopefully I don't make any of you too mad.

    So, I'm going to share a bit of the mechanics I'm working out, because y'all are being a huge help and having nice discussions.

    Embrace: I'd be pulling "Embracer" out of the system and making it a separate thing. Zenobia embraced you, and is forever your sire in that fashion. Your score will always remind you of this. But you can go move elsewhere for bloodline.

    Generation: If, say, everyone could have 3 childer, you progress by threes (this is not what I'm doing, I just need an example. I am well aware that there are 5 main bloodlines). 1, 3, 9, 27, etc. You get really big, really fast. By generation 13 we have more spots than we have players over 15 years.

    NPC Sires: An NPC bringing everyone in at gen 12 would be our baseline. There's room to fall, if you find a way, and there's tons of room for growth. I would like to balance a normal, everyday vampire at Gen 12. That means someone can come join and enjoy the class without making their way up the generations, but there's room to kick them down if they suck.

    RP abilities: So, I'd really not like to tie PvP or PvE effectiveness to generation, as that would make Keroc mad, and he can be scary. So mostly, imagine at Gen 12 you have no real usage of Sanguis sire abilities. Up around Gen 2/Gen 1, you have far reaching sire powers and can do many flavor things.

    Essentially we would be building a pyramid below each Emperor/Empress, and their powers would stretch down. The more people in the pyramid, the larger the depth of their power (think like, I increase blood pool for players with large families down the chain).

    Now, here's the real rub: I know I'm really kicking sire/childe RP in the pants.... but what we have now isn't working. There's this massive difference in experience based on what sire you find.

    And I really, really want to de-emphasize Houses. The Consanguine cannot support 5 guilds (I count Bouchard). It's a flat out fact, sadly. So I'm pretty set on reducing the scope of House to just an organization that owns property and has a news board.
    Zaila
  • SerriceSerrice the Black Fox Member Posts: 1,202 ✭✭✭✭✭
    DIABLERIE.
     
    RijettaIraeKeahi
  • AishiaAishia Queen Bee Member Posts: 1,820 ✭✭✭✭✭
    It seems like it used to work a lot better when we were at our vampire hayday. (I remember someoneadmin posting numbers and like 50%~ of new chars that came out were vampires or something, to the point where it was problematic.) I think the problem with any sort of permanent eminence based system on emperors/etc is just placing too much weight on the shoulders of someone who frankly just isn't going to be around forever/can't necessarily be trusted to stay at any level of activity and interaction for more than a short period. Might work better if you could CONTEST it somehow or there was some system in place to replace inactive or under-performing top dogs so there was a bit of a struggle to it. It's demoralizing even to new players to get the impression there's no clear path to the heights of leadership beyond having been a favored older player.




    ZailaLinHaven
  • ZailaZaila Pacific TimeMember Posts: 261 ✭✭✭✭
    @Aishia - RPishly/mechanically speaking, are you imagining some sort of blood-line mutiny ceremony of enough underlings unhappy with their master lineage to "purge the bloodline" or something that can kick someone high off the pole (or at least down a notch or three) and shift everyone up a notch?
    Haven
  • RijettaRijetta Nowhere ImportantMember Posts: 49 ✭✭✭
    Tiur said:



    snip

    And I really, really want to de-emphasize Houses. The Consanguine cannot support 5 guilds (I count Bouchard). It's a flat out fact, sadly. So I'm pretty set on reducing the scope of House to just an organization that owns property and has a news board.

    Thanks, @Tiur ! That was a really insightful look at what you have planned, and I think several people in here have struck on that "pyramid" idea. I'm not sure I much like the sound of an NPC siring you in, but I suppose that fits in line with how the game tends to work. I like that PVP and PVE effectiveness won't be tied to generation, even if it's a shame to lose really close childe/sire RP.

    Some questions, if you don't mind answering any or none:

    1) Under which Emperor or Empress are the people who are sired in by an NPC? Or none, until you bump up at least one level?

    2) With regards to the House issue, would that mean that the Dominion would effectively be a 4th Guild, with Houses as different paths within that Guild, to use an easy-to-understand analogy? I realize they likely won't and can't be 1:1.

    3) How would this affect the Nightstalker/Praenomen divide? Would they simply be Nightstalkers until graduation from Novicehood?

    4) Would you be opposed to allowing Houses to kind of semi-dictate one's growth in the greater Guild, which I'll still be calling the Dominion for these purposes? In a sense, the tasks Houses already assign for raising in Houserank might be of use in the new system.

    5) Perhaps the most forefront question in my mind, for somewhat obvious reasons, how do you foresee the implementation of this system affecting existing vampires? Or, in other words, do you have any plans you'd be willing to share on this on how this will affect the current Consanguine?

    Sorry if this is a deluge of questions, but transparency among developers is a really great thing, something I think many devs could learn from.
    A low, sultry voice resounds within the depths of your mind, "I look forward to seeing your descent."
    Irae
  • TiurTiur Producer Member, Administrator, Immortal Posts: 280 admin
    Hmm.. I can answer some of those.

    1. I plan to let the Houses all design their own NPC for it. I might even add in a few tasks to let them at least slightly weed.

    2. That's how I am thinking about it.

    3. Yeah, Nightstalker would just be a Novice Prae.

    4. I'm actually considering multiple methods of House design. I don't want them to have actual ranks outside of what they get via Dominion, because that gets confusing. But I'll likely be trying to find a solid way for each House to handle its own House leader, and with that, their own sires/childer.

    5. Here's the plan tentatively: I have a command that will take everyone's Sire, declare that person their Embracer, and then disconnect every vampire. This was built presuming the changes to bloodline is some huge traumatic event. Embracers would be able to re-sire with a much easier method than the rituals. But I am open to suggestion.

    It has been proposed I put a time limit and not be so immediate, for instance.

    @Aishia I really dislike when people take a massive important role, then go dormant. I will likely implement a thing that clears dormant vampires from the list every few months RL. That means bloodlines would reshuffle when an Emperor goes dormant.
    RhoynnRijetta
  • KalakKalak Member Posts: 151 ✭✭✭
    edited May 24
    Tiur said:


    RP abilities: So, I'd really not like to tie PvP or PvE effectiveness to generation, as that would make Keroc mad, and he can be scary. So mostly, imagine at Gen 12 you have no real usage of Sanguis sire abilities. Up around Gen 2/Gen 1, you have far reaching sire powers and can do many flavor things.

    Actually I do understand the reservation towards not dealing with the PvP and PvE capabilities, but that also runs the risk of not taking a very top-of-the-ladder vampire seriously. From the outlook, I would expect that an Ancient/High-Gen Vampire to be more troublesome then a Fledgling/Low-Gen Vampire. Now I would not say let us tip the balance of Consanguine class, but those who work to the top should actually have some punch besides their hold over lesser vampires. And at the end of the day, small PvE/PvP bonuses would provide incentive for people moving up rather then becoming a serious balance concern. The class will be still effective as it is, just that who is at the top of the ladder has a bit of difference and power. And...if you are so jealous of that, go ahead and take that power for yourself!

    I will revert towards a bit criticism, but I believe there is a huge avoidance around from making players feel like they are achieving, gaining power or turning out to be something special. Because that MIGHT tip the balance. I found this is stronger in case of Consanguine and Mage classes. Consanguine has the whole bells-and-whistles RPwise but their hierarchy has no mechanical impact. Mage classes on the other hand are heavily copy/paste and they do not have anything mechanically differentiating them. See the problem is that when you work towards something and get told it has not much impact or easily acquirable by everyone, they lose their desire in our eyes. If there is no carrot, there will be no desire to stick there. I do not want to trans Enchantments, because it has no uniqueness. I do not want to care about Blood Ranks or moving to the top of generation, because there will be no uniqueness besides some flavor-sire abilities. My blood generation is not a sign of power.

    Bells-and-whistles without WOW!-factor generally is prone to fall flat on its face in the LONG RUN. You would want to have presence of an Ancient/High-Gen vampire disturbing and even taxing on your willpower and sanity. That is a prime-strength predator who sucked his way to the top and can splat you into pieces without batting an eye. But then it has the same powers with a new-vampire who threw some credits to class. I believe you should try to capture the theme of "Blood is a serious matter" instead of "Blood is a serious flavor" It works also as a carrot for achievers and a stick for those who tries to break ties easily. This was a strong pillar of the potency idea. Working through organizations and interactions provide you better potency while breaking off ties will leave you with gaining potency over time only.
    Rhoynn
  • XavinXavin Member Posts: 1,422 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The problem with giving higher blood rank people bonuses in pvp or pve should be obvious though. It can and will make balancing vampires a nightmare. Heck, there was a time long, long ago when blood rank did seriously impact the strength of vampire abilities. It was possible to do a great amount of bashing without health/moss and rely on mend alone, and frenzy hit much harder depending on how high up the chain you were. It's not a matter of balance maybe having been skewed, it outright -was-.

    Ultimately, it's going to be hard to make blood rank matter in a meaningful way without, well...skewing balance in some way. Better to do what @Tiur is suggesting and base it all on rp/utility/flavor abilities. No one reasonable wants to go back to how blood rank used to work.

    RhoynnKalakPazradym
  • KalakKalak Member Posts: 151 ✭✭✭
    Xavin said:

    The problem with giving higher blood rank people bonuses in pvp or pve should be obvious though. It can and will make balancing vampires a nightmare. Heck, there was a time long, long ago when blood rank did seriously impact the strength of vampire abilities. It was possible to do a great amount of bashing without health/moss and rely on mend alone, and frenzy hit much harder depending on how high up the chain you were. It's not a matter of balance maybe having been skewed, it outright -was-.

    Ultimately, it's going to be hard to make blood rank matter in a meaningful way without, well...skewing balance in some way. Better to do what @Tiur is suggesting and base it all on rp/utility/flavor abilities. No one reasonable wants to go back to how blood rank used to work.

    That is a case of "once burnt twice shy" because that one bad example should prevent people from doing such things?

    Anything which is flavor and fluff, feeling unoriginal or copy/paste will not make people move towards it. Without anything to aspire for, you are basically back to square one.
    Tiur said:


    And I really, really want to de-emphasize Houses. The Consanguine cannot support 5 guilds (I count Bouchard). It's a flat out fact, sadly. So I'm pretty set on reducing the scope of House to just an organization that owns property and has a news board.

    As you can see from his words, he wishes to consolidate Houses rather then enriching their uniqueness. Just an organization that owns property and has a newsboard. So, then I can see an Emperor as "just a title-jumping Consanguine" who is not more powerful then a Count in practical. Without a modicum of mechanical backing you cannot make blood matter other then "organizational ladder climbing"

    The better way to go would be emphasizing upon blood and different approaches of Houses to it via mechanical differences (on top of RP differences) But if the aim is to go towards consolidating people under one roof, then plan of @Tiur will save the day. But will it make vampire attractive or cool in the long run? I have serious doubts about that. Regardless these are my assessments based on my vision of how a vampiric society would work.
    Tiur
  • RijettaRijetta Nowhere ImportantMember Posts: 49 ✭✭✭
    @Kalak I hear what you're saying and I see where you're coming from, but I don't think that the system @Tiur is positing would cause a high-rank vampire to be seen as "just a title-jumping Consanguine", since they WOULD be more powerful... in the Blood. He mentioned them having a higher Blood pool, which, if it's as powerful as I think it could be, that would actually remove or vastly increase the difficulty of one way of fighting against a strong Vampire, which is to stall them out and let them waste their blood. Moreover, they'll have vast power over their bloodline, generationally, and that means if you insult a Prince or an Empress, you run the risk of having a blood hunt called down on you, with all their outraged Childer joining in. They'll wield immense political power more than straight up "My frenzy does more damage", and I think discounting that RP power is unfair.
    A low, sultry voice resounds within the depths of your mind, "I look forward to seeing your descent."
  • KalakKalak Member Posts: 151 ✭✭✭
    @Rijetta I am definitely not discounting the RP devices or power. Without those mechanics you can still call the bloodhunt. And like people can defy you right now, they can defy you in such a case as well. When you consider a vampire, you do not only think them in their society but also in the whole world. So they -appear- to be powerful in the Blood but "yet another Consanguine" out of the Blood. They will not be different then your average popular leader who can move masses upon you at your slight. And what I said was not "My frenzy does more damage" kind of shallow suggestion. Regardless the goal of this is to consolidate Consanguine and I already said plan of @Tiur will save the day. I just offered my long term projection for vampires and their attraction factor.
  • RhoynnRhoynn HartfordMember Posts: 65 ✭✭✭
    edited May 24
    @Tiur So would you fold House Ranks -into- the Dominion? Or make one's blood rank ALSO their rank in the Dominion, and remove House Ranks entirely?

    EDIT: I think I've got a pretty clear idea of what you're hoping to do, but I just need a bit of clarification. What would Ranks, DWHO, one's Score, etc, look like after this change? Also, would everyone suddenly be ripped from their Sire and all Siring have to be done again? That's what I read as "disconnect every vampire".

    Edit 2: OH! And also, would all bloodlines then need to descend from the House Leader? Basically, after this change, would Bahir'an have Sarita as an Empress, and then -everyone- in Bahir'an would have to descend from Sarita? Like she'd have three childer, and said childer would have three of their own, etc etc. How does this address the problem of multiple and/or imbalanced bloodlines in a single House, such as Ve'kahi, where the originator sired multiple childer, and the current HL is a lower Blood rank than a different member, who is...an Arch Duke, I think? Something like that.
    image
  • RhoynnRhoynn HartfordMember Posts: 65 ✭✭✭
    As a second, quick idea, after having re-read both of @Tiur's posts on the mechanics, am I correct or incorrect in assuming a bit of the following?

    - A Prince in this post-change landscape, with, say, 10 Blood descendents would have a higher blood pool than, say, an Empress with 5
    - If the person who Sired my character, way way back, was Zenobia, then my SCORE will say "Your sire is Zenobia" but if I join the D'baen bloodline and am re-sired/embraced/whatever by Zisra, then I'll also have a line saying something like "Your Embracer is Empress Zisra"
    - THere will be no more house ranks but there'll be a Dominion Rank, and I'll have a section in my score saying something like
    - Dominion: "Prince, D'baen (DR 9)"
    - If I am sire my three Childer, and they sire three childer, I will be able to use some of Sanguis skills on my 'grand-childer', let's call them
    - Will DWHO look something like:

    Name Position Rank House
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Erzsebet Council Member Empress Ve'kahi
    Aeteyr Prince Bahir'an
    Siaern Arch Duke Ve'kahi
    Coribhell Princess D'baen
    Ilyon Baron Bahir'an
    Iriden Librarian Duchess Bahir'an

    - The Dominion will become more like a Guild of all Praenomen. A secondary guild, if you will, maybe more like a Religious Order, with positions other than just Councilors?

    image
  • JensenJensen Corruption's Butcher Member Posts: 1,808 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I think I'd rather see vampire clans like in VTM that behave mechanically like shapeshifter packs.  Then make the 'alpha' of those groups report to Abhorash wether they want to or not.  You don't have to listen or follow what he says, but he'll treat you accordingly.  Dominion would be made up of pack leaders and discuss alliances, conflict, and group actions.

    This -might- require that vampire novice clan (from years ago) to be an actual joinable org with representation from packs to teach and help nightstalkers decide where to join.

    Initially you'd see a spike in vampire packs, but that would stabilize in time, but it would allow veteran and novice players alike to join more meaningful groups that suit their rp/interests (or hop to one that does).
    image
    Haven
  • RijettaRijetta Nowhere ImportantMember Posts: 49 ✭✭✭
    @Jensen I think a lot of us really like VtM and are taking inspiration from it, but I feel like clans (in the VtM sense) would just be further subdividing the vampires, which is something @Tiur seems to want to avoid with regards to their RP. Rather, I think the Houses already fulfill the role you're positing, within the "new" Dominion/Imperium, in that they are merely paths that vampires take within the greater, overarching organization. Letting anyone make their own "clan"/House, I think, is what caused the recent schism regarding removing bloodlines and making only four Houses (which I was not here for, but as I understand it, it's still a tender subject for many).

    In other words, I think the Houses already fulfill what you're looking for, but in a more structured way! Please let me know if I've misunderstood you.
    A low, sultry voice resounds within the depths of your mind, "I look forward to seeing your descent."
  • KelliaraKelliara Member Posts: 469 ✭✭✭✭
    Jensen said:

    I think I'd rather see vampire clans like in VTM that behave mechanically like shapeshifter packs.  Then make the 'alpha' of those groups report to Abhorash wether they want to or not.  You don't have to listen or follow what he says, but he'll treat you accordingly.  Dominion would be made up of pack leaders and discuss alliances, conflict, and group actions.

    This -might- require that vampire novice clan (from years ago) to be an actual joinable org with representation from packs to teach and help nightstalkers decide where to join.

    Initially you'd see a spike in vampire packs, but that would stabilize in time, but it would allow veteran and novice players alike to join more meaningful groups that suit their rp/interests (or hop to one that does).

    I wouldn't be relying on the pack-style system.

    The one Shapeshifter's have currently isn't that great, and to be quite honest, the ability for every dog and his man to make a pack at the drop of a hat is a bad thing. IMO the Pack system is going to need a hard looking at, and I really don't think a similar one is going to do vampires any favours.
    Now with 253% more Madness.
    Chibi-Kelli by @Eleanor.
  • TiurTiur Producer Member, Administrator, Immortal Posts: 280 admin
    Pack system is just a thing. Doesn't really serve a purpose.

    No lie, it was floated that we make Houses into Vampire packs.
    Lin
  • JensenJensen Corruption's Butcher Member Posts: 1,808 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I'm using the term clan loosely as a flavor for the word pack.  I don't mean going back to clan houses.  Vampire packs have the luxury of being fluid, small, and manageable; this in turn should get more people whom hold class but dont participate in rp/lore of Dominion houses to find a niche they'd enjoy.  They should also dissolve during long inactivity.

    In all honesty I think you're going to need to untether Abhorash from bloodloch so his rp and stance can be specific to vampires.  
    image
  • SerriceSerrice the Black Fox Member Posts: 1,202 ✭✭✭✭✭
    You could make higher rank vampires only have PvP bonuses against lower rank ones.
     
    Jaymi
  • KelliaraKelliara Member Posts: 469 ✭✭✭✭
    Tiur said:

    Pack system is just a thing. Doesn't really serve a purpose.

    No lie, it was floated that we make Houses into Vampire packs.

    Jensen said:

    I'm using the term clan loosely as a flavor for the word pack.  I don't mean going back to clan houses.  Vampire packs have the luxury of being fluid, small, and manageable; this in turn should get more people whom hold class but dont participate in rp/lore of Dominion houses to find a niche they'd enjoy.  They should also dissolve during long inactivity.

    In all honesty I think you're going to need to untether Abhorash from bloodloch so his rp and stance can be specific to vampires.  

    Without derailing the point of this thread, my comment was mostly to indicate that I think vampires NEED and DESERVE something better than anything too similar what Shapeshifters currently have.
    Now with 253% more Madness.
    Chibi-Kelli by @Eleanor.
    Rijetta
  • JaymiJaymi Member Posts: 78 ✭✭✭
    Couple of thoughts from me on this all?

    First, if higher ranked vampires got some extra flavor/utility skills that had no use in combat, I'd switch there in a heartbeat. I loooove utility skills way more than I like combat skills. Just... hands down, one of my favorite parts of Aetolia.

    Second, what Serrice said about higher blood getting combat bonuses against lower blood would be really cool. Like, if it was big enough, it'd be a good way to have say an emperor keep a prince or whatever in line because even if the prince is uber-skilled at PVP, the ability for an emperor to be all 'pfft, newp' -could- be a fun RP thing without really messing with general combat balance since ideally most vampires wouldn't be fighting each other.

    Third, another benefit of higher rank could maybe be the ability to have more childer? So if you want to sire people, the higher you get, the more people you can get. Sort of a way to make sure the power 'stays' at top by the masses not just being able to field as many people as they can and thus starting some vamp rebellion? Plus, it'd be a fun incentive to move up because then you can have more people to be your slaves friends you've never had underlings.

    Pazradym
  • DatoDato Member Posts: 25 ✭✭
    Gotta say @Tiur, I love the idea! I like the way the houses currently are, I think packs is not the way to go with it. However, I think perhaps re-structuring the Dominion so that blood rank actually means something is what needs to be done. Allowing people to roleplay/fight or whatever you need to do to earn your rank would actually mean something.

    This could be tied in to the current house roles, so that a high rank in Nebre'seir would mean they are a skilled fighter, a high rank in D'baen means they are a good politician/diplomat and so on.

    Lastly, I think it would be nice to have Abhorash dissociate from Bloodloch and focus on vampires, Maybe have him watch over the Dominion and choose an active Emperor/Empress for each house. Where the Emperor/Empress goes inactive/stops playing or doesn't follow Abhorash's lead, he can unsire that person, and sire someone else.

    That way blood rank should not simply be, someone bit me and I'm a Prince or a Duke and I will stay there even if I do nothing at all. I think it should reflect what someone is doing, with the potential for rising or falling depending on merit.


    That said, I don't think that high ranked vampires should get PvP benefits on lower ranked vampires. Simply because things like these do matter in combat, and sect arena is one of the areas where you will see vampires fighting each other.

    I kind of like the Tiur's idea that you can dispose of a sire and seek another, and should be "in my humble opinion" something encouraged. Helps everyone progress and improve, especially since it pushes the sire to make sure they are working hard to be where other vampires want to be their childer, and with the limitations on the sire it pushes the childer to also make sure they live up to their sire's expectations.

    Note: looking back that's a lot to read, sorry folks!
    RijettaRhoynnRizgar
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